Mio Alpha Sports Watch: Heart Rate Sans Chest Strap

There are a lot of fitness accessories that monitor your heart rate, but many require the use of a chest strap. The Mio Alpha wristband looks to cut out this technological middle man using sensors built right into the watch-like device itself.

Mio Alpha's wristband monitors your heart rate using two light sensors, which "see" how quickly your blood is flowing. It then displays that info on the front. The watch is designed for runners who want to make sure that their heart rate remains in an optimal zone. To that end, the watch can alert you via a small LED to whether you're in the zone. It also has Bluetooth built in, and can work with any number of Android and iOS apps, including Runkeeper, MapMyRun, MapMyRide and Wahoo Fitness.

The watch was fairly comfortable to wear, although it has to be fairly snug against your wrist so the sensors remain in contact with your skin at all times. The band is made of a soft-touch silicone, and is adjustable for almost all wrist sizes. A Mio representative said its battery should last for 10 hours with the light sensors on, and 20 with them off, and it can accurately track you up to 12 miles per hour. 

The Mio Alpha comes in either black or white, and is available for $199. 

LAPTOP Reviews Editor