PROS / The Mio Link displays your heart rate zone with customizable LED lights, so you can quickly see which zone you’re in.
CONS / This device doesn’t track steps taken, calories burned or distance traveled, making heart rate one of the only tracked metrics.
VERDICT / If you’re looking for a simple and very easy-to-use device to track heart rate zones, the Link is straightforward and has few features.
The Mio Link is a simple heart rate monitor watch that gives you information quickly. Since there are no other major features, the Link excels simply at heart rate training. Although this wrist heart rate monitor watch doesn’t feature a traditional watch face, it can still help you meet you fitness goals.
To use the Mio Link, you need your phone nearby. Since the Link has LED lights instead of a watch face, you have to sync the device with your phone and the Mio app to view your exact heart rate. Within the app you can set custom ranges for heart rate zones such as rest, light, moderate and maximum. Those zones correspond to different color LED lights on the watch, and they light up to alert you to which zone you are in. For example, if you set the resting heart rate zone to blue and that light shines, it means your heart rate is too low to be burning calories. On the other hand, if you set your maximum heart rate to red, seeing a red light means you should slow down because your heart rate is really high. These colors are customizable of course, so you have all the control via the app.
A downfall of this heart rate watch is its short battery life. With only six to eight hours of continuous heart rate monitoring, you need to charge this device every day you work out. However, we found that it lasted in standby mode for quite a while, so be sure to only turn on the workout mode when you’re actually using the device. Also, since you can only view your heart rate in a monitoring mode, this device doesn’t offer continuous heart rate monitoring – unless you want to charge it every six hours.
During our testing, we found this monitor accurately displayed our heart rates about 95 percent of the time. It generally reported heart rates higher than the testers’ actual heart rates, but overall, 95 percent accurate is much better than many of its competitors.
We also found the Mio Link to be exceedingly comfortable; its strap material is perforated so sweat can dry, and it adjusts to fit your wrist just the right amount of snug – perfect for strenuous workouts. It comes in three different colors and two different sizes. Since it is rated for use up to 3 ATM, or 30 meters, underwater, we don’t recommend swimming with this device. While the Mio Link does track your active minutes, it doesn’t track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned or sleep stats.
The Mio Global app was not the best we reviewed, as you can’t access your stats online, the memory is limited and features sparse. We also had trouble connecting the Link to the app via Bluetooth. The alternate Mio app, Pai, is a lot better. It tracks your activity for the entire day and gives you points based on the intensity of your activity. If you run a marathon, you’ll probably get 100 points, whereas if you sit on the couch all day, you’ll get maybe 10 points. It does work with other fitness apps such as Endomondo, MapMyRun and Strava.
The Mio Link is a good option if all you want to know is what heart rate zone you are in. While some features are customizable and convenient, we found this device to just be too simple to really help you improve your fitness regimen. Strictly for comfort and simplicity, however, the Mio Link is a great strapless heart rate monitor watch.