Mio Link Review

The Mio link is an upgraded version of Mio’s first fitness tracker, the Mio Alpha. With this iteration Mio has addressed many of the shortcomings of its previous unit. The link is smaller, has dual broadcasting in the form of ant+/Bluetooth, and has a much lower price point.

Functionality

The Link allows for very basic fitness tracking: it is simply an optical hear rate monitor. It does not measure steps, calories, or distance.

One nice new addition to the link is its dual broadcasting function. Dual broadcasting allows the link to send and receive data to both ANT+ and Bluetooth smart enabled devices.

The ANT+ feature allows you to pair it with say, a cycling computer and a smartphone at the same time. This makes the link much more useful, especially if all you need is a heart rate monitor for additional measurements.

And for those who don't know much about Bluetooth, here is a quick rundown: Bluetooth smart is an upgraded version of Bluetooth that allows for better power efficiency. You’ll need at least an iPhone 4s or android 4.3 to take advantage of it. This will allow you to sync the link with your smartphone and utilize the many apps available for it, chief of which being the Mio Go app.

Also, the Mio link does not include a heads up display and instead comes with a single LED to help keep track of your progress. During the initial set up the device will allow you to set various “heart rate zones”. The zones correspond to a beats per minutes range. Once you have the desired range set, the LED will flash different colors depending on your progress.

Aesthetics

The Mio Link heart rate wristband is easily the sleekest out of all of the Mio units. It comes in two colors: white for small and grey for larger wrists. 

The sensor is also removable from the straps. We didn’t notice any slippage during our tests. Like all Mio units, the straps are especially pliant. Since they are made of rubber and not plastic like most fitness trackers, the Mio units are much more comfortable to wear. The link is highly adjustable, due in part to the fact that it has 3 sets of holes pretty much on every part of the strap.

The Link is priced at about half of what the Alpha costs, and doesn’t have a heads up display.

Battery

For a device with no HUD, the battery life is a little on the low side. We clocked around 8-11 hours with heavy use. Mio states that the unit can go for 6 months before recharging if left in passive mode. Users who need more up time may want to look elsewhere.

Water Resistance

The Link is waterproof up to 3 ATM or 30 meters. However the accuracy takes a hit when it becomes submerged. We have yet to see a heart rate tracker that works well underwater, so this is understandable. Heart rate monitors with waterproofing are more of a convenience thing anyway.

App Support

Since the Mio is only a basic heart rate monitor, there is very little to set up. Simply pair it with your device, open the Mio go app, and set your heart rate zone. You will also be able to calibrate your sensor although we found ours was very accurate right out of the box. The zones correspond to different beats per minute settings.

During your workouts the LED will flash consistently to let you know which zone you’re in. Mio still uses the standard green/yellow/blue colors to indicate the zone you’re in.

Conclusion

The Mio Link heart rate monitor is essentially the same as the Mio Alpha, but without the clunky heads up display and better connectivity options. It is a solid device for those looking to ditch their chest strap and is also very comfortable to use. And the inclusion of ANT+ and Bluetooth broadcasting is simply icing on the cake.

This unit works very well for what it is: a basic heart rate monitor. And the price is definitely right, at around $99, it is by far the most affordable of the Mio units.

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Alex Fischer