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Mio Heart Rate Monitor

Mio heart rate monitorMIO makes a range of popular heart rate monitors that do not use chest straps. It has aimed at the cheaper end of the market, and few of its models retail for more than $100. In fact, if you check out an online retailer like Amazon.com you will often find that some of its products are on sale at discounts of 60% or 70% or more.

The company has also worked to achieve an image for fashion, including a line of stylish Italian-designed monitors. At the company's own website you can find details of MIO appearance on "The View," and on "Dr Phil," as well as many other media appearances.

One of the company's most popualar models is the Mio Sport Select Heart Rate Watch (picture). The list price is $129.99, but in late-2009 it was selling at Amazon.com for an amazing $29.95, and consequently was on the list of Amazon.com's top selling heart monitors.

According to a product description it boasts an impressive range of features:

* ECG accurate heart rate without a chest strap
* Displays percentage of maximum heart rate while working out

* Ability to customize using age, gender, weight, and resting heart rate to provide personalized feedback
* Tracks calories burned during exercise
* Times how quickly a heart rate returns to resting rate after a workout
* 43 beats per minute minimum readable heart rate
* 199 beats per minute maximum readable heart rate
* 99:59.59 maximum stopwatch/chronometer reading
* Water resistant to 10 meters
* CR2032 battery
* One-year average battery life
* Clear acrylic display lens
* Polished stainless steel sensors
* Stainless steel back cover and buckle
* Polyurethane strap
* Bright backlight with 7-second display
* LCD easy-to-read format
* Keys include light, set/start, stop and mode
* Membership to ClubMio included to chart your progress, keep a personal diary, access a personal trainer, create fitness reminders, receive a fitness newsletter and personalize your weight management program
* Ability to customize with personal data

I have not been able to find any online independent reviews of the monitor. However, here is a very good assessment from a reviewer at Amazon.com, who awarded it three stars (out of five):

I read many reviews on this watch, and the one thing that I saw over and over was the complaint that the HR wouldn't display during an activity, such as running. The runner had to stop to get a reading. I took a chance since I would either be walking or on an exercise bike, but lo! I'm even having the problem while walking and while simply sitting on my exercise bike with my legs pushing the pedals. I rarely get a reading while still exercising at a very moderate rate. It seems the watch only cooperates when I'm still.

Despite this problem, I like the watch. All the features work well, aren't too hard to program, and work well for me. The watch is bulky and quite large on a smaller wrist, but there is a lady's version available. I made sure to buy the Mio that offers the interchangeable strap, which is a good thing. One other reviewer complained about the strap breaking on another Mio with no way to replace it. I can see how that would happen over time. The plastic used on the band is rigid and with the bending of putting the watch on every day, it appears it won't take long for the plastic to break.

Overall, I find it to be an acceptable HR monitor with limitations that some, however, might find unacceptable.

* Get the Latest Price on the Mio Heart Rate Monitor.

See also my Guide to Buying the Best Heart Rate Monitor. And check out the heart rate monitor bestseller rankings at Amazon.com to see what people are currently buying.

November 13th, 2009

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