With the release of the Alpha 2, Mio has created a feature rich fitness tracker that outshines most of their previous entries.
In addition to being a stellar heart rate monitor, the Alpha 2 comes with an accelerometer, which enables it to track more metrics such as distance, steps, and speed. You will be able to scroll through these using the left and right buttons. There are 2 heart rate settings: one that uses the LED to give you a near constant read out and another that keeps a more constant record across all of the different zones.
The Alpha 2 has the standard top and bottom 2 button layouts that comes standard on many Mio units. The buttons are not bulky or obtrusive and sit flush with the screen.
With the Alpha 2 Mio has started to expand some of its stop watch features. They have included a new lap timer that allows you to more accurate detail if you are doing a running based workout.
As for the display, it is fairly limited, allowing only for readouts on battery, heart rate, and mode settings. You will also get the colored LED that is common with many Mio units, which will show a color depending on what “zone” your heart rate is in.
Unfortunately the alpha 2 follows its predecessor in that it does not have both Ant+ and Bluetooth tracking. The unit comes only with Bluetooth smart. This is disappointing considering how many other things it does right.
Looks wise the Alphas 2 has its predecessor beat. The unit has a full heads up display with a slightly curved screen. While not as wide as the original Alpha, the Alpha 2 still takes up quite a bit of wrist space and is not the most discrete unit we have tested. That said, having such a large screen makes navigating the functions of the unit a breeze.
The Alpha 2 is compatible with most popular fitness apps, such as strava, wahoo, and endomondo.
The Mio go app itself is solid but lacking in features. While the actual unit itself has built in storage that will store about 24 hours of fitness data, you can sync this data with a smartphone that is running Mio go. The app is compatible with android 4.3 and iPhone 4s.
As we mentioned earlier, the Mio go app is not the most robust of fitness apps. We had occasional trouble with syncing and the app only gave us limited statistics.
You will see the basic functions, such as speed, pace, and heart rate readouts. It also shows calories burned and total distance. And lastly there is a heart rate graph that keeps track of your average BPMs. Beyond that, the app has to be set to whatever activity you are performing. It supports running, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and cycling.
The Mio Alpha2 will last about 3 months in standby mode. The heart rate tracking mode will drain the battery considerably quicker. In our tests the alpha 2 performed on the higher end of most heart rate monitors, clocking in at around 18 hours before needed a recharge.
Also, like all of the Mio devices, the Alpha 2 has a different charger which resembles a USB charging dock. The cable on the dock is only about 3 inches long, which can be a bit annoying depending on how high your ground plugs are on the wall.
If you are looking for simplistic and easy to use unit that is a little on the pricey side, the Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor is the device for you. The device is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and highly accurate.
When the Mio units first started to hit the scene, they were the first devices to utilize an embedded heart rate monitor. This made them quite impressive for their time, but now there are many similar devices with competing technologies that are a little more feature packed. It is still a very solid unit however and we would recommend it to those who are looking for a highly accurate heart rate tracker.
Check out these links below to see some other Mio product reviews.