Mio Alpha 2 Review: The New Mio Alpha 2 Heart Rate Monitor Watch Sports New Tracking Features and Ditches Both the Strap AND the Smartphone!
Our Mio Alpha 2 review takes a closer look at Mio Global’s new version of the original Alpha Mio heart rate monitor. The Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor watch is an improved version of the popular top rated original Alpha. Mio Alpha 2nd generation has the same award winning continuous heart rate monitoring wireless technology as the original, but with more features and improvements.
Mio Global are among the first to introduce accurate optical heart rate monitoring using pulse oximeters normally used in hospitals, without the discomfort of a chest strap. While the original model liberated countless fitness enthusiasts from wearing a chest strap and the associated discomfort, rashes and constant adjustments, people still wanted more functionality and features. The latest offering, Mio Alpha version 2, just got more sophisticated.
The Mio Alpha 2 watch is an attractive modern design and can be worn as a regular watch. It is available in two colors, in classic black, pink and in yellow for a sporty look.
So what’s new in the new Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor?
The Alpha 2 is a high performance watch with continuous, EKG accurate heart rate tracking data, displayed on the screen during workouts as periods of rest. The Mio Alpha 2 watch boasts a better software, a built-in accelerometer to track pace, speed and distance, and of course a much needed and requested backlight.
The built-in accelerometer means you can measure, heart rate, pace, speed and distance, calories burnt and various other metrics without constantly being connected to your smartphone, so you don’t need to have the phone with you. Alpha 2 stores your workout data which you then to upload/sync to your smartphone via Bluetooth later. Data can be accessed via the Mio Go app or your favorite Android or iOS apps.
Mio Alpha 2’s new software provides an enhanced performance watch with the following features and enhancements:
- Customizable heart rate zone and display to get the maximum from your workouts
- Easy to operate backlight
- 2-way Bluetooth to enable GPS data from your smartphone to display on the Alpha 2 screen
- Automatic wireless syncing to Mio GO app
- Offline data storage (up to 25 hours) for later syncing of workout data to the Mio GO app if not using your phone
- Ability to turn off audio beeping if desired
- Tracks pace, speed, distance and calories using a built-in accelerometer without smartphone connectivity
- Timer count flexibility: ALPHA 2 has a count up, count down and repeat timer for interval training
Other Mio Alpha 2 Specifications:
- EKG-accurate heart rate taken from the wrist, no chest strap required
- Configurable heart rate zones for different workouts with colored LED light to indicate current zone
- Optional beep alert if you go out of your optimal zone
- Bluetooth Smart (4.0) connectivity
- Optical heart rate with internal accelerometer sensors
- One rechargeable Li-Poly battery
- USB magnetic Alpha Mio 2 charger included
- Long battery life: 20-24 hours
- Water Resistant up to 30 metres
- Mio alpha 2 Sizes: fits wrists 5.3” – 7.5”/ 135 – 190 mm
- Countdown, Chronograph, and Repeat timers
Without doubt, the Alpha 2 is a superior model to the original Mio Alpha. Mio Global have responded to customer feedback and have included what was left out in the original model. This is not to say that the original is no longer desirable or not good enough.
It just means that those users who wanted additional functions and more flexibility can now find them incorporated into the new Mio Alpha 2.
However, if you just want an easy to use heart rate monitor which focuses solely on giving you accurate continuous data without all the bells and whistles, then the original Mio Alpha is a great buy.
Mio Alpha 2 apps:
This new version displays heart rate with any app. You need to first configure Alpha with Mio GO and then connect to your favorite third party apps.
Alpha 2 works with fitness apps like Strava, MapMyRun, Wahoo, MapMyRide, Runtastic, Endomondo, Digifit and many others.
Is Mio Alpha 2 accurate?
Accuracy is remarkably good. Lab testing show Mio products had a 0.99 correlation to EKG. EKG is the gold standard for measuring the heart rate with the use of electricity sensors to detect the electrical pulses. Mio 2 provides consistent EKG accuracy. Accuracy is comparable to the best chest strap heart rate monitors, with the huge advantage of not having to wear an uncomfortable strap.
Does Mio Alpha 2 work with Android, iPhone, iPad, tablet devices?
Yes, Mio Alpha version 2 works with Bluetooth 4.0 to transmit your data to smartphones, tablets and sports devices using the Mio GO app, which is available for Android and iOS devices or popular Android/iOS fitness apps.
Mio Alpha 2 is compatible with the following smartphones and tablets:
- iPhone® 4s/5/5c/5s/6/6 plus
- iPod® touch 5
- iPad® 3/4/air
- iPad® mini 1st and 2nd Generation
Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and higher with Bluetooth Smart (4.0):
- Samsung Galaxy S 3/4/5
- Samsung S3/4/5 Mini, S4 Active
- Samsung Note® 2/3/10.1
- Google Nexus 4/5/7
- HTC One (OS v4.3+), One M8
- LG G2, G Pro2, G Flex, Vu3.0
- Motorola Moto G, Moto X
- Motorola Droid RAZR M, RAZR HD, RAZR Maxx HD
- Motorola Droid Ultra, Maxx, Mini (OS v4.4+)
- Sony Xperia Z, Z1, Z1 Compact
- Sony Xperia Tablet Z, Ultra, ZR, ZL
- Sony Xperia SP, T, TX, V
If your device is not listed or you have technical questions, get in touch with Mio Global support.
Do you have to use the Mio GO app?
You don’t have to use the Mio Go app, which is the standard app for Mio products, although it’s worth noting that after recent updates, it has become quite a decent app. The Mio Alpha 2 sport watch can connect to popular apps like MapMyRun and others during your workout, so you are not forced to use Mio Go. If you use Mio GO though, you can export the data to other apps too later on.
Does Alpha Mio 2 store data?
Yes. It has an offline storage capacity of up to 25 hours of data. This data will be stored until it is synced with the Mio GO app.
Does Mio Alpha 2 count calories burned?
Yes. The Mio Alpha 2 calorie counter via the Mio Go app displays the calories burned by using your personal height and weight data and how intense your workout was. Mio Alpha displays calories burnt on the device itself or on the Mio Go app.
Mio Alpha 2 battery life
You get one rechargeable Li Poly battery and the device comes fully charged. Battery life lasts 20-24 hours with the monitoring on the entire time, and an impressive 3 months without the monitoring function. It comes with a magnetic USB charger which attaches to the back of the device magnetically.
Does Mio Alpha 2 have GPS?
No, not in the actual device itself. However, you can configure your Alpha Mio 2 sports watch with the Mio GO App to display GPS data from your smartphone on the watch.
If you do not want to use the Mio GO app, Alpha 2 can use the in-inbuilt accelerometer for detecting your steps and it then estimates speed, pace and distance.
Does Mio Alpha have a step counter?
No, Alpha 2 does not have a step counter. It would have been a useful feature to include, but you can get this feature with third party apps.
Does Mio Alpha fitness monitor have a sleep tracker?
No, Alpha 2 monitors your heart rate during exercise sessions. It is not designed as an all day fitness tracker, but as an accurate wrist heart rate monitor with continuous readings. If you are more interested in an all day fitness tracker, check out Mio Fuse.
Do you need to have your smartphone with you while running, cycling and exercising?
No. The Alpha Mio 2 device has offline storage which will store all your data which you can sync with your smartphone later using the Mio GO app. So you do not need to take your smartphone with you.
If you want to use your smartphone GPS for more accurate data, then you need your phone with you which you should connect to the Mio GO app or whichever fitness app you prefer like Strava, MapMyRun, RunKeeper and others.
Can the Mio Alpha watch be used when exercising with gym equipment?
Yes. The Mio Alpha 2 sport watch is not just for outdoor activities but can be used indoors at the gym or at home and can be worn while exercising on all numerous types of exercise equipment like bikes, treadmills, elliptical and step machines.
Is Mio Alpha 2 waterproof? Can you use Alpha Mio while swimming?
Mio Alpha 2 strapless heart rate monitor is water resistant up to 30m, so it can be used while swimming, bathing, showering and in the rain. When swimming, switch on the heart monitoring before the watch is exposed to water. It displays your heart rate while swimming and it has worked for many, but Mio Global do not guarantee that the readings will be accurate under water. There are various reasons for this including the temperature and pressure of the water.
They also advise not to scuba dive with your Mio Alpha 2 or push the watch buttons while under water because the water pressure may break the buttons or cause them to stick.
Is Alpha 2 easy to use?
Yes. It is very easy to use and and navigate your way around the functions. You will get the hang of it very quickly. Here is a quick video showing you how straight forward it is to set up and use your Mio Alpha 2 heart rate sport watch:
Mio Alpha pros
- The Mio Alpha 2 watch measures heart rate in real time continuously during workouts and during rest. The new improvements in this version include more tracking options like pace, distance and calories burnt using an in-built accelerometer.
- You do not need to have your smartphone with you because Alpha 2 stores all your workout data which you then upload or sync later.
- If you want to take a look at all the stored data on the device itself, you can scroll through before uploading.
- You get a customizable display with a handy backlight which is especially useful in the dark. Simply tap the screen twice and the display lights up. This is a great improvement on the original Alpha.
- Mio Alpha 2 provides the absolute best heart rate monitoring from the wrist with high level EKG accuracy, as good as a chest strap monitor.
- You get a generous memory storage of up to 25 hours which you can sync with your device of choice.
- The silicon strap is worn snugly around the wrist but has enough stretch, so it is comfortable to wear.
- It finds your heart rate quickly, sometimes within 10 seconds! So no more fiddling or standing around waiting for the heart rate to be picked up.
- Long battery life so you don’t need to charge it so often.
- With the fashion for big watches, you can even wear the Alpha Mio 2 as a regular watch. It’s not just for workouts or sports. It is a sleek design but with a powerhouse of functions behind it.
- Mio Alpha 2 works with Android, iPhone and tablet devices and is compatible with a wide range of fitness apps including the most popular ones.
- It is very light weight at only 53g.
- The Mio Alpha 2 strapless heart rate monitor is made by Mio Global who have a solid reputation and bring reliable products to market. Should you have problems with your new Alpha Mio 2, they have a responsive and helpful customer service department.
Mio Alpha cons
- People with small wrists have complained that the strap can slip, so it is advisable to wear the watch a little higher on the wrist, rather than on the wrist bone. Make sure you fit the strap as tightly as you can for improved accuracy.
- There is no step counter.
- It does not do sleep tracking.
- It is not an all day tracker, it tracks your statistics during a workout. When you are not working out, Alpha 2 becomes a watch. If you want an all day fitness tracker, the Mio Fuse does that.
- Mio 2 is compatible with only iOS and Android phones, not with Windows phones.
- At the time of writing, Mio Alpha 2 is only available in two color options, black and yellow.
- Some people will consider it a little pricey but this is the standard price bracket for this type of technology, and it is offered at the same launch price as the original which had fewer features.
- It does not have GPS in the device itself.
- It does not support Windows phones, only iOS and Android
- It tracks heart rate during swimming but you can’t use it for diving.
Is the Mio Alpha heart rate watch for you?
Essentially, the Mio Alpha 2 watch will give you the required heart tracking data to keep you within your target heart rate zone, so you get the most out of your workout.
Mio Alpha 2 reviews have been good overall and I have not seen any major complaints for the product. Most reviewers have been impressed with Alpha Mio 2’s level of accuracy and consistency of the heart monitoring function. The added features and improvements have been well received too.
However, as is the nature of these devices, no one device does everything. Some are designed primarily as heart rate monitors, others are designed as fitness trackers.
Sadly, the way things are, the accurate heart rate monitors don’t have all the features of the fitness trackers, and the all day activity trackers don’t have the pinpoint accuracy of the heart rate monitors. Although many fitness trackers do have heart rate monitoring, the accuracy level is not great.
Choosing the right device for you depends on whether you are more interested in accurate heart rate monitoring to get the most out of your activity or whether you want an all day fitness tracker.
If accurate heart rate monitor is what you are after, the Mio Alpha 2 watch has the same continuous heart rate reading as the original Mio Alpha, but with some very useful additional tracking features and enhancements. It is compatible with multiple devices and fitness apps.
Sporty modern looks, reliable accuracy, consistency and added trackers, together with the convenience of not having a chest strap make the Mio Alpha 2 sports watch a great buy for the fitness pros, those wanting to lose weight, regular gym goers, runners, cyclists, hikers, weight lifters, swimmers, joggers, crossfit enthusiasts, exercise classes, or HIIT or whatever exercise you’re into.
The Mio Alpha 2 continuous heart rate monitor watch will serve you well for a long time. If you don’t care for the added features then the original Mio Alpha 1 is still a good option and it is now cheaper than Alpha 2.
Where to buy Mio Alpha 2 watch?
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