Mio Alpha2 Watch 

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This arrived shortly after the Mio Fuse, for something that uses the same App it works in quite a different way often to achieve the same goals. However its obvious differences are unlikely to matter to the user just getting the results.

Mio Alpha 2 Heart Rate Monitor
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A black rubberised band that has some stretch at 26cm long with a solid watch type device at 4.5x4cm in the centre. It has a bright yellow surround to the watch area that is controlled by two press areas on either side and the initial setup although straightforward will take a while as with one area to change setting such as year time and weight etc. has only the other button to increase the setting such as 3 to 4 etc. and if you require 2 you have to go up to 0 then 1 to find 2.

For a more expensive device than the Fuse that sets time etc. automatically the Alpha does not take advantage of this feature.

However once set things become easier as turning off say the pulse (heart rate) reading it’s easier to do than with the Fuse.

The display itself is quite dim but it does stay on permanently and two taps on the screen turn on the backlight.

The yellow surround could be useful if you drop it while underwater as it is waterproof.  

Just like the recently reviewed Fuse there is a colour that flashes on the lower part of the watch from light blue though other colours to dark red according to your heart rate.

As with all devices that need Bluetooth 4 the normal statement is Android 4.3 or later, my own tests found with a range of devices they work find with Android 5 so if you have yet to upgrade I suggest you find out if it works with your SmartPhone before purchase. I am told that almost all fairly recent iOS devices have Bluetooth 4 so should work.

On the rear of the watch are four contacts which link magnetically to the proprietary USB cable dock.

Before staring any exercise or group of exercises start the heart rate monitor by running through the option screens.

Linking the device uses the same App as the same Fuse. Once linked the download of information takes place this can be daily or even less often as the watch can store quite a bit of information without overflowing.

I like a permanent display so I can check the unit for rate or distance or even just the time. The display is not the brightest and when outside you may need two taps on the screen to get the backlight on to enable it to be checked.

The light below the screen gives colour information of your heart rate as described above and is not dependant on whatever else is showing on the face.

You will need to RTFM once you have downloaded it in PDF format to get the best out of your Alpha and to facilitate making changes easily. I note the manual says you can let it set the basics after docking for the first time but as I did what the watch said I had to this manually.

The Mio Alpha2 is available from the link below for £139 with free delivery. 

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