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Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor Sports Watch by Review Summary ,  Sep 25, 2015

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Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor Sports Watch
Report Date: 09/25/2015
Based on 458 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 3.8
Returned or considering to return: 6.8%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Comfortable5.0   above average
Fitness4.6   average
Fit4.5   average
Reliable4.5   average
Accurate4.4   below average
Exercise4.4   average
Track4.3   average
Battery4.1   above average
Monitoring3.9   below average
Pulse3.8   average
Sync3.8   below average
Monitor3.6   average
Moving3.5   average
Run3.5   average
Wearing3.5   average
Button3.4   average
Running3.2   average
Strap3.2   average
Bluetooth3.1   average
Connection3.0   average
Workout2.9   below average
Charging2.5   average
Display2.3   average


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Accurate

Accurate:
"I would say 85% of time would be accurate, but the other time, the error could be as high as 20-30% if my hands moved fast."
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"I found it was dead on accurate within one bpm every time."
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"When it works, the readings are accurate but it always seems to fail when you need it most."
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"You would need to keep your arm still for a few seconds (with exercises like cross fit or similar routines) to get an accurate measurement and often needed to tighten the strap to where it would be uncomfortable to get an accurate stable reading."
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"The heart rate is fairy accurate but I have a heart problem so it would be nice to beep when it's too low or too high."
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"Keeps a decent heart rate which seems to be rather accurate."
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"This device is extremely reliable and accurate though; it was always spot on with cardiac rehab."
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"Given that, this is the most accurate and easily useable heart rate monitor I have seen to date."
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"It does everything it's supposed to, it's easy to operate, and the heart rate readings are accurate."
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"Watch works well and is fairly accurate."
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Battery

Battery:
"Battery life terrible--one hour use and the day after battery is dead!"
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"The other failure is that in 2 + - years when the battery wears out, the only option is to toss a ~$250 watch in the trash."
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"I do know if you run the battery down you get flaky numbers."
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"I think, maybe, the battery indicator is just wrong."
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"The battery was dead and would not charge."
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"The battery life is excellent."
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"But the battery works well and the charge is enough for a few runs."
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"Although the battery charge breaks easily so handle with extremes care."
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"On the positive side, it does look fairly nice and I had not problems with the battery life at all."
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"Great battery life."
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Bluetooth

Bluetooth:
"Second, I was NEVER able to make it connect with my iPhone 5 via bluetooth."
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"Unfortunately it will not connect to any of my Bluetooth devices."
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"The version I have is the Bluetooth one, unfortunately due to Android fragmentation its difficult to get an app that supports the Alpha."
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"This device use bluetooth low energy, and is not compatible with samsung galaxy s3 and even samsung galaxy s4 I'm disappointed"
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"Beware though the bluetooth portion of this product does not work as others have stated."
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"it is not compatible with my Samsung N7100 which is Bluetooth technology v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LEMio Alpha and this seller can both blow it! "
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"It pairs with my phone via Bluetooth perfectly!"
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"looking for a waterproof fitness, hrm with gps and at 20 run time it wold be nice if it worked with older bluetooth phones so i didnt have to buy another $800 dollar phone."
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"Bluetooth connectivity is flawless and easy to use with my Android device."
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"The bluetooth feature is great."
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"Plus it connects to BLE (Bluetooth 4.0) so you can have further options depending on your mobile or App installed ..while wearing you should wear it 1-3 cm above the wrist bone, and it should be snug , not blue hands tight, but a bit tighter than the average watchUsing it:it is quiet nice, it will locate ur heart rate relatively quick, (for men it doesn't make a difference if your hands are hairy or not) wont make a difference in reading..Will connect easily Iphone 4s and above which have the bluetooth 4.0 technology (earlier versions of the ALPHA has ANT+ but they are no longer produced)and there is a few nice apps you can connect to (Map my run, Runtastic, ETC some fees might be required to use the programs for heart rate monitoring so keep this in mindAs for android Users no there are very very VERY few programs that will connect on your MIO Alpha (hope this change soon) but till now at the time of the writing only ONE ..."
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Button

Button:
"The same company makes a faceless model called the Mio Fusion which has a cheap 70's digital watch display and it works fine even though some buttons are still hard to find, practically invisible to the eye."
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"Work fine but the buttons to set up the time got broken after six months."
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"even though the buttons on the side are a bit annoying, it works perfectly and I use it most every day."
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"The heart monitor does not have a easy to push button like Polar heart monitors."
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"First of all, the control buttons are in fact tiny toggle switches that are hidden in with the case bevel, and given that the monitor's response time is so slow it is hard to know if the toggle is engaged."
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"My only complaint is that I find it's hard to click the buttons and get the other built in features like the timer to work."
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"Their help desk indicated that on a multicolored one, the button is easier to see."
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"Once you find the buttons, easy to use--buttons placed so not to accidentally exit your program."
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"Buttons are difficult to push...Accurate sensor."
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"Just make sure you don't press the buttons while its in the water and it should work no problem."
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Charging

Charging:
"The charger broke fairly quickly too (but had a backup since we'd bought 2 monitors."
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"The main areas for improvement would be: 1) the user interface is very basic; 2) the control buttons on the side of the watch can be difficult to click and appear flimsy; 3) the lead to the USB charging device would be better if longer."
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"I'm currently charging it but disappointed in the very short charging cable."
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"It's so very painful to try and get a stable charging station set up with the 4cm cable provided."
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"Only downside is having to use the unique charger for the watch."
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"But the battery works well and the charge is enough for a few runs."
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"Although the battery charge breaks easily so handle with extremes care."
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"No amount of attempts to reboot the monitor worked, and plugging it into the charger to just try and get some status change got it to come back."
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"It is easy to charge."
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"After this review the CEO of Alpha personally emailed me and made sure they sent me a new charger free of charge... she then followed up to make sure I received the charger and I was satisfied."
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Comfortable

Comfortable:
"On the positive side the watch is comfortable and well made."
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"I love the form factor, band is very comfortable and looks cool too."
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"Get the Mio Fusion for the accuracy instead of the Mio Alpha, it is more comfortable anyway,"
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"I've been wearing it for a few weeks now, and its comfortable and works great."
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"This strapless Heart rate Monitor works great and has made my workouts more comfortable."
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Connection

Connection:
"Second, I was NEVER able to make it connect with my iPhone 5 via bluetooth."
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"Unfortunately it will not connect to any of my Bluetooth devices."
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"However, I was still unable to get the Alpha to connect to my iPhone4."
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"Loses connection at least once a run and is frustrating, but I guess going in I wasn't expecting as good equivalent to a chest strapBad: 1."
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"So I wear it when working out and it's accurate after I get warmed up and a slight sweat on, then the connection is good."
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"very useful, easy to connect, nice looking"
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"I love that I can connect my watch to my Runtastic program and during my run just listen to the voice telling me if I am in yellow, green or red zone and what is my heart rate."
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"Bluetooth connectivity is flawless and easy to use with my Android device."
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"Plus it connects to BLE (Bluetooth 4.0) so you can have further options depending on your mobile or App installed ..while wearing you should wear it 1-3 cm above the wrist bone, and it should be snug , not blue hands tight, but a bit tighter than the average watchUsing it:it is quiet nice, it will locate ur heart rate relatively quick, (for men it doesn't make a difference if your hands are hairy or not) wont make a difference in reading..Will connect easily Iphone 4s and above which have the bluetooth 4.0 technology (earlier versions of the ALPHA has ANT+ but they are no longer produced)and there is a few nice apps you can connect to (Map my run, Runtastic, ETC some fees might be required to use the programs for heart rate monitoring so keep this in mindAs for android Users no there are very very VERY few programs that will connect on your MIO Alpha (hope this change soon) but till now at the time of the writing only ONE ..."
_

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Display

Display:
"Unfortunately, the real glass, LCD display does not illuminate(MIO Alpha2 does)....but I rarely ever ride at night anyways."
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"Only downside is that the wrist display has no light at night."
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"Only downside is night jogging with no lighted display."
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"Other reviews complained they couldn't read the display in the dark."
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"The cons are short: yes it has no backlight and the beeping is annoying if you just want a visual display of hitting your target heartrate."
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"The display is weak and not readable from the wrist if you are running at night."
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"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."
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"This, coupled with the streamlined display, make this a truly beautiful piece of equipment."
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"I feel it would be perfect if there is backlight for the time and heartrate display."
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"Sometimes I have to reset it (on several occasions it picked up my heart rate as being 41BPM).- Easy interface and colored zones are nice- Easy to read in GOOD lighting conditions- Good battery lifeBAD:- Why is there no backlight for the display?"
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"It's so easy to use, detects the heart rate quickly and gives you the info you need on a great display."
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Exercise

Exercise:
"Only hiking cycling running so every time I weight lift or do crossfit I really don't have a accurate reading do to the exercise level."
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"While walking fast, my preferred exercise, it is erratic."
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"The bad: No backlighting <-- this is not a legitimate complaint for an exercise watch (who exercises in the complete dark?"
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"Using it whilst mountain biking has been great and the heart rate is accurate based on my exercise routine on machines at the gym."
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"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."
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"I enjoy HR feedback during exercise."
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Fit

Fit:
"I read many reviews, people complaining about fit comfort...inaccuracies and sharp rises and falls of HR readings."
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"Another update to this is that if you read reviews of other devices using similar technology (Like the galaxy gear fit, etc..) you'll find a lot of them aren't as accurate as the alpha when compared to a strapped HRM."
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"The Mio Alpha fits my needs perfectly."
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"It fits my rather small wrist well and is easy to read."
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"Looks great, fits great and feels great wearing it."
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"I have very small wrists and the band fits great."
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"It is comfortable, fits well."
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Fitness

Fitness:
")so the question I always like to end with:should you buy itYes IF :you only do running and static or minimum hand movement while trainingif you really really hate the chest strap then this is for youyou are a fitness geek like meif you like to sync to you iphone apps and do more analysis or any other BLE device (Bluetooth 4.0)NO IF:you do training besides running that needs hand movementif you dont mind the chest strapif you think its too damn expensive for what it offers (yes I do think its very expensive)needs the further options while training (avrg heart rate, calories, stop watch, and so forth...)in a nut shell its a great product but if you know what are you getting you should be satisfied with it,but for that price tag and if you dont mind the chest strap, you can get either a great Gramin or Polar watch with A LOT of featuresif you need further info let me know, I usually take one to two days max to reply on any questions :)have fun trainingand FOCUS! "
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"Picks up my pulse accurately every time and linked with my phone and fitness apps easily."
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"I have to say this is by far the best fitness gear I've owned."
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"I'm an industrial designer, so I have to say the design is nice for fitness applications but it's basically what's expected."
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"This is very good for gauging your fitness level."
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"I think it, in combination with the Digifit Iphone app give the most accurate representation of caloric burn and fitness you can get outside of a lab."
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Monitor

Monitor:
"I really wanted this to work because I dislike straps and touch heart rate monitors."
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"Most of the watch, arm & finger heart monitors in my garage were not accurate & consistent enough to be worth wearing."
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"First of all, the control buttons are in fact tiny toggle switches that are hidden in with the case bevel, and given that the monitor's response time is so slow it is hard to know if the toggle is engaged."
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"That was decidedly NOT the case with previous monitors with chest straps that were uncomfortable both during the workout and even after removing them due to the skin irritation they caused."
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"If you cycle, and perhaps with some other workouts, you cannot get accurate info from step monitors and this (or the more obtrusive strap) is probably your best option."
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"I have tried numerous heart rate monitors with disappointing results."
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"It also appears to be accurate - it corresponds to the heart rate monitors on the equipment I'm using, and the heart rate level does match my level of exertion."
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"Very soft on the wrist and no chest strap for the heart monitor--very nice."
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"None of the wrist band monitors seem to perform very well for very long"
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"Appears much more accurate than those monitors on the treadmills."
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"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."
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Monitoring

Monitoring:
"You can have you're reading at 75bpm and you are doing box jumps or cleans so obviously the monitor is wrong."
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"I have been disappointed with this heart monitor."
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"If you move your arm too much, it does get confused but only for a few seconds and then it is back to monitoring you pulse just fine."
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"If you have ever worn a chest strap monitor before then you know the pain it can cause and the discomfort."
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"Cons:-Watch itself has continuous heart rate monitor but when you stop workout, watch is incapable of giving you calories burned, you have to use a compatible app for that feature."
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"The variability makes the monitor a device that I don't rely for HR accuracy."
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"Great for monitoring heart rate and showing nurses when I'm overdoing it"
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"Great monitor!"
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"This heart monitor worked fairly well for about a year and a half."
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"Mio is a great company who was a pleasure to work with regarding a previous Mio HR monitor (not the alpha)."
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"Heart rate monitor is very accurate."
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Moving

Moving:
"Not bad but lose heart rate accuracy when moving arm.. A bit of a hassle."
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"Even though there are sensors built in to compensate for body movement while running, the unit seems to lag behind and not get an accurate reading until moving relatively slowly."
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"I am doing the Insanity) and the strap keeps moving and moving and also the quality of the strap is not that good."
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"If I lose heart rate moving it up to a meatier part of my arm works well maybe inch or 2 higher than I typically wear a watch."
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"Seemed to work well when I was sitting with my arm not moving."
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"At rest the rading is quite accurate, but if I start moving the indicated heart rate changes radically."
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"Not bad but lose heart rate accuracy when moving arm.. A bit of a hassle."
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"Works well when you are not moving much or sweating, which defeats the purpose."
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Pulse

Pulse:
"If you move your arm too much, it does get confused but only for a few seconds and then it is back to monitoring you pulse just fine."
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"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."
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"It fails to lock onto my pulse every once in a while, and when that happens, it does not try to re-calculate my HR, but actually continues with the skipped counts, resulting an impossibly low HR for several minutes, unless I restart the session manually."
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"Every workout I had issues of it dropping my pulse, and incorrect readings that were either way high or obviously too low."
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"Turning the pulse function off and back on again often restored accurate readings but this is very impractical during a workout."
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"I have used heart monitor straps in the past on the same treadmill and I have a really good baseline of what my pulse should be at each workout level."
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"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."
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"Most of the time it's pretty accurate, Which I ascertained by checking my pulse manually."
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"other than that it works great, never loses pulse rate."
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Reliable

Reliable:
"Although it provided very reliable readings, it was uncomfortable to wear and often had to be readjusted frequently under vigorous activities such as trail running."
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"This device is extremely reliable and accurate though; it was always spot on with cardiac rehab."
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"This is a good watch - robust and reliable."
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"This heart rate has proven to be reliable throughout his workout, easy to use, and the battery stays charged for a long time."
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"Comfortable, easy to use, reliable, low profile (much smaller than my Garmin 310xt)"
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"All I want is reliable and easy to use heart rate monitor for my cardiac rehab sessions."
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Run

Run:
"i was able to do about 9 runs and 4 workouts (about 6 hours total of use) with the heart rate monitor going before i had to charge the battery, and that was only when it saidlow battery, perhaps it could have gone another hour or so had i run it completely dead."
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"I'm not a runner, just not able to run, but I do walk my dog daily and take him on trails with me, and I use my elliptical."
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"butBuyer Beware - If you run or fast walk this device is spot on accurate 99% of the time, I think that is because it is optimized to work best when your forearm is bent or held somewhat parallel to the ground as in running or fast walking."
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"You cannot read the display at all in low light conditions, so you are forced to look at your phone for stats in those early morning or evening walks runs- The enclosed manual is terrible."
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"I do know if you run the battery down you get flaky numbers."
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"What a relief that I don't need to use that annoying strap on my chest when I run... you have no idea! "
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"The watch is very accurate and does not wiggle when I run."
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"I use device with galaxy edge and Blackberry Z10(OS 10.3.1 w cascade run) and both work great."
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"But the battery works well and the charge is enough for a few runs."
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"I love that I can connect my watch to my Runtastic program and during my run just listen to the voice telling me if I am in yellow, green or red zone and what is my heart rate."
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"Would like it to have a light for my nightly runs but otherwise this is great."
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Running

Running:
"The MIO Alpha was nearly in perfect sync with the EKG machine, with an error rate of 0.2% running at 160-170bpm."
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"One, it was never a reliable heart rate monitor, even for running."
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"Works very well running, but terrible working out."
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"I don't want to have to touch it with my other hand in order to get the reading while covering up the display in the process - plus running or skating while touching the watch with the other hand is annoying."
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"At first that feels a bit uncomfortable but after running a few minutes, you don't notice it a bit."
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"I repeat ONE program will read of MIO Alpha and its called BLE Heart rate monitor ..([...]so for android users sorry you need to wait a while or if youre ok with this then go for itAccuracy:I have put it into test for almost 10 sessions for a week in various workouts from running to jump rope to Insanity program videos , cross fit and Weight lifting and along with it had another reliable chest strap monitor to compare (Polar because they are damn accurate thats why they are so expensive) and here are the results :the readings are quiet accurate ... may be off by + - 5 BPM but thats good very good actually, some times the heart rate will shoot or drop for a sec or two but will come back and sometimes when I stand still after a workout (especially in HIIT training) itll take some few seconds to register and drop the heart rate reading ...now here comes the problems:it will read perfect for :Running - Jump Rope (NO CROSSES and Fancy moves) - walking - Squats and weight training that DOES NOT INVOLVE HAND MOVEMENT ...on the other hand reading will be lousy for:any kind of movement that incorporates hand movementso in a nutshell while running the reading will be steady accurate and on the dot ... since not mush of huge hand movements are happening ...once hand movements occurs the reading will drop significantly sometimes till 56 BPM (resting heart rate) till the hand movement stopsso to test this more,Ive done the following :done some jump ropes with regular hand movement, reading from both the Polar and Mio Alpha were around 134-145now the minute i began to do crosses and huge movements with my handsPolar registered 155- 160 BPM while the Mio Alpha dropped to about 70-56 BPM!"
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"Use it for Spin class and running, works perfect!"
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"I would say it is reliable most of the time during running and biking."
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"For running to spin class, it works good."
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"I use it 4-5 times per week during my running sessions and so far this watch worked perfectly well."
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"Excellent watch for running or walking."
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Strap

Strap:
"Junk, buy one with a chest strap, watch HR are in there Infancy and should not even be sold right now."
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"The strap broke at the buckle after a few months of use, it's a great hear rate monitor with a watch"
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"I really wanted this to work because I dislike straps and touch heart rate monitors."
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"If you have ever worn a chest strap monitor before then you know the pain it can cause and the discomfort."
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"But with the trade off being either an uncomfortable chest strap or trying to keep your fingers on the sensor for a 10 count while exercising, I would recommend this watch every time! "
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"I hate chest straps."
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"I bought this straight from Mio a couple years ago and was really excited to be able to zone train without a chest strap."
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"No more need for that annoying chest strap which is the norm for these things."
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"No stupid, dirty, smelly chest strap required! "
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"The strap broke at the buckle after a few months of use, it's a great hear rate monitor with a watch"
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"I've found that the variety of arm muscle swell during a weight workout makes it kind of tough to get a true accurate read all of the time even with constant strap adjustment."
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Sync

Sync:
"The MIO Alpha was nearly in perfect sync with the EKG machine, with an error rate of 0.2% running at 160-170bpm."
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"The only big complaint I have was about the syncing to your smartphone."
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"I love that I don't need to wear an annoying chest strap and that it syncs with my iphone so I can get constant feedback during my runs."
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"However, if you are working out to a video, or are focusing on a jogging pace, the beep, which will not be in sync with your workout, will throw you off and be very, very annoying."
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"The MIO Alpha was nearly in perfect sync with the EKG machine, with an error rate of 0.2% running at 160-170bpm."
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"It works great and it syncs well with my runkeeper app."
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"On the positive side, the MIO Alpha heart monitor appears to be accurate and would sync up with my Polar heart monitor heart rate."
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"It did provide an accurate reading and sync with Endomondo."
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"Pros:- Excellent for runners- Very comfortable design- Very easy to use- Sync's up to phone very well (Samsung Galaxy SIII)- Battery last a long time (my workouts are typically an hour everyday and the monitor still lasts over a week on a single charge) * Also charges quick- No chest strap means you don't look like you're adjusting your man-bra in the gymCons:- Monitor somewhat spotty when weight lifting (minor con, still quite accurate for a ballpark estimate)- Does not sync to common gym machines like Life Fitness or Precor as most chest strap monitors do- Much more expensive than other heart rate monitors- No chest strap means you don't look like you're adjusting your man-bra in the gym"
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Track

Track:
"I have seen some complaints that it doesn't track higher heart rates, but mine regularly goes beyond 180 and I've never had any issues."
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"Its been hard to find a heart monitor that lets me track my calories burned as well tracking my distance run."
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"I think it may have something to do with a flaw in the algorithm used and less to do with it not being able to track the blood flow itself."
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"I wore both at the same time to track accuracy, and while I've never had a reason to doubt my Polar (No large fluctuations, BPM always relevant to activity), the Mio Alpha fluctuated 10 BPM plus or minus what the Polar was reading."
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"Tracks great and never had problem."
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"I am one of those people who love to track and record my statistics."
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"I was tired of wearing a chest strap that required keeping electrodes wet- it was awkward and uncomfortable- but since I have a heart condition that requires keeping my heart rate under a certain #, I needed a way to reliably track that without all the inconvenience and discomfort of other models."
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"Would also be great to track sleep."
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Wearing

Wearing:
"I do NOT recommend wearing this watch in the water! "
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"Most of the watch, arm & finger heart monitors in my garage were not accurate & consistent enough to be worth wearing."
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"The belt needs to be tightly wrapped around wrist, a little uncomfortable for wearing the whole day."
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"Recently I wanted to monitor my heart rate because I have Atrial Flutter (erratic, fast heart beat) and want to monitor my heart all day for days at a time, and the Polar chest strap gets really uncomfortable wearing it for long periods of time."
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"Because other products have the hassle of wearing a strap & that's had many positive & other many negative feedbacks."
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"Looks great, fits great and feels great wearing it."
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"No problems wearing it right on my wrist, heartbeat has been reliably detected."
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"I've been wearing it for a few weeks now, and its comfortable and works great."
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"No more wearing chest straps with this watch, It's accurate and gets the job done."
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"I have no problem wearing it 23 7, 1 hour off while showering, etc., but then I don't attend Black Tie affairs :-)."
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Workout

Workout:
"This is not that easy to do and after you're done the workouts on the device are lost."
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"Cons:-Watch itself has continuous heart rate monitor but when you stop workout, watch is incapable of giving you calories burned, you have to use a compatible app for that feature."
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"For me it was particularly frustrating how I was doing very strong workout and it just showed my heart rate at 95, then after 10 seconds (when I sat to rest for a bit) it would jump to 183.To close, I say you are free to buy this product if you want, but you will spend your money on a incomplete and inaccurate piece of technology."
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"If you are going to workout, this is not a good product, the watch lose the signal."
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"True, the red blue blinker is enough for my purposes during a workout, but when it is used as a watch... it is really painfully lacking some low light environment features."
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"It worked well, but was annoying that I couldn't check the heart rate during a workout, as you had to stop and put your fingers on the pads."
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"I do not need GPS, inaccurate caloric expenditure or smartphone sync, as I felt this over-abundance of information detracts from the ultimate task at hand....getting a good workout."
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"Turning the pulse function off and back on again often restored accurate readings but this is very impractical during a workout."
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"I have used heart monitor straps in the past on the same treadmill and I have a really good baseline of what my pulse should be at each workout level."
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"Forty-five minutes into an hour's workout (and good data up until then), the monitor switched to the battery screen and locked there."
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"This strapless Heart rate Monitor works great and has made my workouts more comfortable."
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