MIO Alpha HR Watch

20 customer reviews

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor Sports Watch

Take your training to the next level by using heart rate to track and improve your performance. Used by top athletes, Mio ALPHA provides performance heart rate monitoring in comfort. Alpha is the world’s first strapless, continuous heart rate monitor you can wear on your wrist. It has been tested accurate even while you are running at performance speeds of up to 12mph (20km/h).  Alpha uses Bluetooth Smart technology to connect with compatible smartphones and sport and fitness devices.

  • Performance sports watch with continuous, precision heart rate monitoring
  • Strapless continuous heart rate monitor – No chest strap required!
  • Suitable for running, cycling, and other intense workouts
  • Connects to Bluetooth Smart (4.0) devices
  • Battery life of 20+ hours of heart rate monitoring, and several months in watch mode
  • User settable heart rate zones with visual and audible alerts
  • Data review (total exercise time; average heart rate; time “in zone”)
  • Timer/Clock

Model: MIO 53P

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Mio Alpha 2 Activity Tracker Watch Smart Heart Rate Sport Watch. Size Small
Mio Alpha 2 Activity Tracker Watch Smart Heart Rate Sport Watch....
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MIO Alpha HR Watch
released on August 20, 2009


Mio Alpha Optical Heart Rate Monitor In-Depth Review ...

There are actually two variants of the Mio Alpha unit, one is Bluetooth Smart enabled, and the other ANT+ enabled. For those who bought-in via Kickstarter, they had the choice of either Bluetooth Smart, or ANT+. However, these days, they are also selling the Bluetooth Smart variant. That said, the packaging is identical on both.


MIO Alpha is the world’s first performance level, strapless, continuous heart rate monitor you can wear on your wrist. Alpha uses ANT+™ or Bluetooth® Smart technology to transmit your heart rate data to smartphones and other compatible devices.

Mio Alpha RunnerClick

The Mio Alpha is a nice fitness watch and heart rate monitor. It gives EKG accurate data and was designed specifically for high intensity workouts, with fast speeds and lots of movement. It can be used for just about any activity, from running to cycling to swimming.


// MIO Company Profile

Mio is a fitness company that was started in 1999 by Liz Dickinson. The aim of Mio is to provide people with the best health and fitness technology available, and they do this primarily through their fitness monitors and trackers. – View Profile

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20 Reviews for MIO Alpha HR Watch


    This monitor works better than I had thought for my needs. I was simply looking for a way to monitor my heart rate and make sure I stay at or below 80% max heart rate. The first two weeks I obsessively cross checked this monitor with those built into the gym cardio equipment. I found it was dead/on accurate within one bpm every time. As other have pointed out, sometimes it gets a little thrown off and reads low when your arms are moving wildly (I.e. Cardio boxing). But, when youre finished, simply hold your arm still for about 3-5 seconds amd it will readjust to normal. I gave 4 stars instead of 5 because the instructions manual that comes with the decide leaves a lot to be desidered.I have played a little with connecting this device to my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1.1. It has not been easy. perhaps it is user error, but I am a tech savvy guy. The Bluetooth synching process is not super straight forward and not like other Bluetooth items (like your car or external speakers). the online support docs and FAQs from the manufacturer are seem a little outdated. I have. It called for help yet. However, I suspect that once updated apps are released there could be endless possibilities with the bluetooth connection between this device and a smartphone.

  2. e will

    I’ve always wanted a heart rate monitor without a chest strap because I prefer my exercise to be incidental rather than a big event. Typically I just go for a walk up a hill but when I do, I want to measure my fitness and also exercise at an optimum level of exertion.This device is great because I can wear it all day on the off-chance that I might find myself in a situation where I can walk up a hill, climb a lot of stairs etc. I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing a chest strap all day and I’m certainly not going to carry one around with me just in case.I haven’t used all the functions or connected it to a computer but that’s not very important to me.

  3. Bodger

    Wasn’t sure how effective this watch would be, but in practice it reads your heart rate very accurately and very quickly.No need for a belt as it uses LED’s to shine onto your wrist and then monitors the heart rate through the skins tiny movements – works very well.Battery life is great too and can be realistically worn as a normal watch too (comfy with soft silicone strap). Easy to switch into heart rate mode and statistics can be uploaded for review on the PC.Great bit of a kit if you’re into exercising and keeping an eye on heart health.

  4. Claire

    This is meant for runners and because of that fine motor movements of the hand on the wrist wearing the watch can cause the heart rate to read abnormally high.Still, for someone like me who is using it to stay inside my energy envelope, it does a good job. Anyone who is interested in using it all day long for that purpose just needs to know that when moving the hand about you may need to do a quick manual pulse to assure yourself that you are staying within your heart rate goal.My hope is that in time the company will develop technology to overcome this issue, as this watch would make a fine tool for people who need to keep their heart rates low.

  5. Mr. Adrian C. Deeks

    Something of an indulgence really, I had a nice Xmas bonus and thought that would be nice to have.And it does work pretty good too, but the only frustrating thing for me is that it tends halfway through the workout to inexplicably lose itself and report heart rate at around the 70’s and 80’s when it should be in the 140, 150 range and then after a few minutes is comes back, so starts well, finishes well but has a bit of a break in the middle of a workout, I don’t understand why it does this so consistently and would be a major annoyance if I was worried about getting an accurate picture of my entire workout, but as I am only really interested in how high I get my heart rate up during a workout then this works great for me.It needs to work far more consistently for me to recommend this, but if like me you just want a snap shot and have a bit of spare cash then go for it.

  6. Jim

    The watch does excatly what it is supposed to do. However I have used it twice when exercising and to my disbelief it tells me the battery is low. Now I have had the item for less that a week and I would expect the battery to last much longer. How do I complain and to whom?

  7. Allen B Sowinski

    Exercise in our senior years is very important. An elderly relative of ours unknowingly exceeded his cardiac capacity on a stationary bicycle and ended up with an irregular pulse & a trip to see a cardiologist. My wife and I wear the MIO Alpha while on our bikes and treadmill during the winter. Sometimes we intentionally wear it with the sensor facing the underside of our wrist to make a more positive contact. Unlike an athlete in competition that may not be able to keep changing position to check a pulse rate display beneath the wrist, we have no problem rotating our wrist during our exercise. We routinely bring our pulse rate to slightly less than our recommended cardiac capacity and the MIO Alpha enable us to safely sustain near maximum pulse rates for the duration of our exercise routine. We’ve had it for slightly less than two months and it generally gets worn by either my wife or me on a daily basis. We generally charge it every few days, whether it needs charging or not. We’ve owned other heart rate monitors in the past and the MIO Alpha has proven itself to be the easiest and most accurate of all.An additional use I never would have thought of originally. We live in Wisconsin and have to deal with snow. I started wearing the Mio Alpha when I go outdoors to shovel snow. It’s a lifesaver because I can simply glance at it to make sure I don’t exceed my cardiac capacity when removing heavy snow from our walks. You would think this would make a meaningful use statement in the company promotion. It could certainly save lives in north snow belt states.

  8. chb

    Really poor. Strap pretty but all else very poor. The display is awful it cuts the icons in half. No light, but it flashes distractingly while measuring HR. I can’t remember an even t and then relay the activity to the computer, it needs to communicate with it the whole time. Generally really poor. I wish i could send it back but I’ve only just been able to try it out properly and it is now too ok at e to return.

  9. J Raine

    Have used the Mio Alpha while running, cycling and in the gym I am very pleased with the product. There have been some forum comments that the Alpha does not have the features of other sports watches, but it is a heart rate monitor, and should be compared to the chest strap equivalents. The Mio Alpha is more comfortable to wear, you do not need to use miosture or saline solution to get a reading. In my experience a heart rate is soon found and is easy to read, heart rate zones can be set with a flashing light indicating if you are in or out of zone. For other features, such as speed, gps, etc. the Alpha links, via Bluetooth, with most of the popular phone apps.

  10. Raf

    Overall materials quality is exceeding expectations with a resistant glass and an excellent strap neither too soft nor too stiff (clipping system can be a little bit tricky though).HR reading is ok though I reckon it’s not extremely accurate but unless you’re an elite athlete it’d give you a clear idea about how you’re doing. At a times, I reckon when the temperature falls down first 5/10 minutes is giving crazy readings that make you think you’re about to collapse.Main inconvenience I’d say is the lack of backlight that prevent you to know what time is when you’re out and about in the evening. However the three colors display would let you know at a glance within which HR rate are you. On the other hand, thanks to that absence of light the battery duration is impressive, it can easily last over a month with a 3/4 hours weekly use

  11. Alistair Crowley

    Kind of weird that it doesn’t charge up all of the way. BUT, that being said, it functions fantastically. WAY BETTER THAN GARMIN. Comparatively, The Garmin 235 is like duct taping a turd to your wrist/ it is irratic, sends phantom readings, and some times does not function in heart rate mode at all. Which is a shame because the Garmin costs about $320. What a waste. Whereas, the Mio tempers down the ping ponging reading into a smooth flowing data release which is much more useable to the wearer. Most heart rate monitors are junk; bad readings, unreadable in direct sunlight, or tiny, tiny unreadable numbers. It lasts about 8 hours per charge. Which is more than enough for even the slowest marathoner. The band is very comfortable.

  12. Bill

    nice simple to use and no fiddly and pinching accessory straps to put around chest seems accurate in its readings

  13. Christopher

    I wanted a heart rate monitor that was convenient to use, and would tell me my heart rate as I exercised. This device works beautifully for that.Originally, I gave this one star because I was surprised and annoyed to find that the battery could not be replaced. The answers to the battery question, here on Amazon, were just dead wrong. The correct answer is that this is a disposable device, and the battery is not meant to be replaced. But the only way to know that is to buy the device, follow the link to download the full manual, and read that carefully. The manufacturer clearly states that the battery is not replaceable, and directs you to “recycle” this device it (i.e, throw it away) when the battery dies after roughly 300 charge cycles. For normal (i.e., gym) use, the manufacturer estimates to be 5 years. But if you are trying to monitor your heart rate all day long, this device is not going to last one year.That said, I wore it to the gym to day and it worked … flawlessly. I honestly did not expect something this convenient to work this well. It picked up an accurate heart rate regardless of the position of my arm, the type of exercise, or how heavily I was sweating. There may be a little more short-term minor up-and-down variation in the rate than I would like. But no big deal. And maybe it ran 2-3 BMP higher than the treadmill’s “grip” cardiac monitor. But that’s plenty accurate enough for what I needed.Most importantly, there were no false readings. I.e., at no point did it give me a grossly incorrect heart rate. That’s where accuracy matters. When there was a significant difference between the treadmill’s heart rate and the Mio heart rate, the treadmill heart rate monitor would subsequently jump to near the Mio rate. So while the Mio rate might dance up and down by a couple of beats, from moment to moment, it was always near the “true” rate. It was definitely superior to checking my heart rate from time to time using the treadmill’s grips.I have a “chest strap” type monitor for one piece of home workout equipment, and a) it’s a pain to use, b) it gets soaked with sweat, and c) the band is hand-wash only. Who needs that. This is vastly more convenient. If you can wear a watch, you can use this. Strap it on, hold the button, and you’re done.So, Mio, I forgive you for your @#[email protected]#$ non-replaceable battery. And the fact that you say it’s non-replaceable is not going to stop me from opening this up and trying to replace it once the battery dies. But aside from that drawback, this is a great little device.

  14. N. E. Fox

    This is my second one. It works about the same as my first one. I had the first one for over a year and it still works; however, the band broke a couple of months ago so there was no way to keep it on my wrist. The second one which I recently bought works about the same. Frankly I question the accuracy of both. Today, for example, I took a bike ride and the heart rate reading was oscillating significantly without any apparent reason. I use it by running it it for about 14 hours a day and then using the average heart rate in order to attempt to make sense over my day-t-day weight change. The most reliable heart-rate monitor I had was a Polar H7, a sensor which was held next to your heart with a strap. It seemed to have internal reliability but it also had a problem with changing the battery which had to be accomplished by turning a screwed cap with a coin. Eventually the slot in the the cap got gouged out so I couldn’t open the cap to change the battery. So both instruments had their problems.

  15. KittyMac

    This is my second one of these. The first one lasted just a bit over a year, but for the price I think that’s acceptable. I’m not an athlete anymore, I’m chronically ill, so I wear this all day with the goal of keeping my heart rate low. I find it comfortable enough for constant wear. The holes in the strap allow the skin to breathe a bit. If my skin gets irritable under there I just put it on the other wrist for a couple days, or wear it a notch looser (it still reads ok!). I like that it provides a constant readout that updates every couple seconds, so whenever I am doing something that puts me at risk of overexertion, I can look at my wrist and instantly know what’s what, I don’t have to wait for it to update every 2min or something like that. I may be misinterpreting the info but it seems to me that in order to give a fresh reading every few seconds, it must take a reading over a very short time and extrapolate, which can give you worrisome numbers if you have any arrhythmia. For example if your heart skips or adds an extra beat in the, just to guess, maybe 5sec of reading, then the device multiplies that 5sec by 12 to get a per minute estimate, that one beat extra or skipped will look like a 12 BPM variation. I have got around this by not taking any extreme numbers seriously unless the monitor continues to display them for a minute or so. I don’t mean to suggest this is a weakness of this particular device- I don’t see how any device could avoid this pitfall. As for accuracy, this has a good reputation in my health support group, and whenever I compare it to the HR reading on my home blood pressure cuff, or have my spouse take my pulse manually, it all matches, so I do trust this device.The downside is that the app from Mio is buggy (well at least it was last I checked a few months ago) usually refusing to even link up with the monitor. The helpline won’t admit this though. I had a rep advise me to try the old “turn it off then on again” with my monitor, but since it reverts to being an ordinary watch after the battery gets below a certain level, and uses almost no energy in that form (think about how often one needs to put a new battery in a watch- once a year?) I realised after a couple months that he was just giving me busy work to keep me out of his hair. I quite resent having to go without monitoring for a significant span of time for no good reason. In online forums I saw that it is actually very common to have trouble syncing the app and the monitor. It’s a programming thing, gotta be. Not something that would be fixed by letting my monitor battery die then recharging it!So my point is, if you want to do fancy charts and analyses of your data, this brand may be frustrating for you. Myself I like to keep things simple, so I was actually relieved to not be able to access the app. I’m happy just to be able to look at my wrist and see my HR at any moment. At first, before I got in the habit of frequently looking, I found it useful that this can be set to alarm when your HR goes above or below a range of your choosing. But the alarm is stress-inducing so not something a frail patient wants. I imagine for the athlete doing sprints or whatnot, the burst of adrenaline that comes from hearing an alarm would be quite welcome though. And of course it’s a great feature for the visually impaired.I like that this is water resistant! I don’t want to push my luck and wear it in the shower or anything but it’s nice to know that a bit of sweat, or getting your wrists wet while washing dishes, isn’t going to kill your device. I do hear that some people wear it in the shower or even the lake/ocean- I’m just chicken to do it myself.Well, that’s about all i have to say on the topic. The fact that I bought the same one again when the first one died really tells you how satisfied I am with this product. And I’ll likely buy the same thing next time too. I imagine they’ll eventually work the bugs out of the app and then it’ll be a flawless product for everyone.

  16. George63

    Display – It has a nice clear display.Connection – Used it to connect with a few different mobile fitness apps over bluetooth for current HR display while using CV exercise machines.Controls – Four buttons which are nice and responsive.HR sensor – This probably has one of the most accurate ones.Battery – Lasts a really long time.Really pleased with purchase. It performs much better than cheaper HR watches I have bought and do not use.

  17. Shaun

    I purchased this watch about 2.5 years ago I liked it because of the colour zone warnings perfect for spin or running when a glance will tell you which zone you are in. After 12 months it stopped charging. I tried other devices cheaper (if they are only under warranty for a year and they dd not provide the same function.So I tried again purchased last week I am returning as the App will not talk to my watch, a real shame as the watch function is / was good I guess these are old tech devices still been sold by some retailers, unfortunately i have to say avoid save for a higher spec or try a cheaper version if anyone knows of a version that gives colour coded HR zones I would love to know.

  18. zhripple

    Mio Alpha’s focus on fitness HR functions saves money for buyers by avoiding the extra price for unnecessary features. It is also one of a limited number of HR monitors working effectively in swimming, compared to many others claiming waterproof but failing to read HR in water. I tried two apps: BLE Heart Rate Monitor is basically useless, as it disconnects when the phone stays in the locker away from the device, and it gives only a rough summary unless you pay extra to buy additional analyses. The app of MapMyFitness is much better. It connects the device easily, syncs at the end of workouts the data collected when the watch is separated from the phone during swimming, and provides informative analyses as well a good summary. I don’t rate it perfect as the HR reading in swimming is sometimes on and off, indicated by the short and frequent straight connections in the curve resulted from short interruptions, while the curve showing activities on the ground, e.g. walk, is smooth and continuous. I don’t worry it too much because the interruptions are short and frequent, producing a large sample size of the heart beats and picking up most of the hikes. Another disadvantage is it has a liquid crystal display instead of LED, so you don’t see it in the dark; but this is a minor point. After compared among several fitness HR monitors, I am satisfied with Mio Alpha and strongly recommend it, especially for swimmers.

  19. HR Fan

    I wanted a HR monitor that is accurate, constant and easy to read while running for HR zone training. Oh baby, this thing delivers. very comfortable to wear and long charge on the battery If you want additional whistles and bells the Alpha 2 might be a better choice. I am not at all interested in connecting to a smart phone or archiving data so I can’t comment on this function in this watch and its app. I will note, this model isn’t back-lite, so for running, cycling at night this isn’t going to be useful for a constant readout.

  20. Dean Steele

    The simplicity! And accuracy. This is the second one I’ve had (I damaged the first one after several years of use). I have not used it with a mobile app – no need for me. I simply want to get in my recommended heart rate range for a defined period of time then be able to log the average HR and time – nothing fancy, no competition with others over the internet, etc, etc. I’ve compared it to both a (complicated) Garmin and readout on the elliptical and, like the previous one, it has been very accurate.

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