- Sleek, comfortable, & accurate alternative to heart rate monitor chest straps
- 5 heart rate zones with easy-to-read colored LED light
- Transmits heart rate to smartphone fitness apps, GPS watches & bike computers via Bluetooth Smart & ANT+
- Water resistant up to 30m (3 ATM / 100 ft.)
- For Mio product support, please contact 1-877-770-1116 (Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm PST). Please review the User Manual for more information
Discover the freedom of running, cycling and swimming without the discomfort of a heart rate monitor chest strap. Mio LINK tracks your heart rate with precision from the wrist, so you can train with heart and train in comfort. Picture the beat of your heart on the screen of your favorite fitness app, alongside your speed and cadence sensors. With built-in Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ connectivity, Mio LINK frees you to connect and share your fitness data in real-time with dozens of popular iPhone and Android fitness apps, GPS watches, and bike computers.
Mio 56P-GRY-L Link Continuous Strapless Heart Rate Wrist Band
Lose the chest strap. Keep the accuracy.
Discover the freedom of running, cycling and swimming without the discomfort of a heart rate monitor chest strap. Mio LINK tracks your heart rate with precision from the wrist, so you can train with heart and train in comfort.
With a soft silicone band and rugged, waterproof design, Link can endure even your toughest workouts.
Mio Link transmits heart rate with both Bluetooth Smart (4.0) and ANT+, so you can display and store heart rate data with your smartphone, bike computer, GPS watch, or any other compatible device.
Link is easy to use: press and hold the button to begin transmitting your heart rate, and press and hold again to stop. Use the Mio GO app to set up your custom heart rate zones, and the LED will flash to display your current heart rate zone.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+
Sensors: Optical heart rate
Battery: Rechargeable Li-Poly
Battery Life: 7-8 hours
Water Resistance: 3 ATM (30m)
Mio LINK is available in two sizes. Regular (S/M) Strap: fits wrists 121-175mm / 4.8-6.9 inches Long (L) Strap: fits wrists 149-208mm / 5.9-8.2 inches.
You’re probably wondering what could make me outright say I am ditching my heart-rate strap, and also why I am giving this 4 instead of 5 stars with such a statement. To give some background, I started running in April 2013, so it’s been just over a year (this review is written in April of 2014). I have used my Garmin Forerunner 410 for every run, uploading training plans to get me ready for my first 5k last May, 10k in July, Half Marathon in October, and ultimately leading up to my first Marathon in April 2014, finishing in 3:55. So I still consider myself a relative newbie, but I have been figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
I was using the Garmin HRM2 chest strap for awhile, but found that on dry days I would get errant readings for the first 1-2 miles of my run until I started to sweat. The Garmin HRM3 was a bit better, but it’s still not the most comfortable to wear a strap around your chest, and I still had issues with accuracy when I wasn’t soaked in sweat. Chest strap monitors have been around for years, and they function by picking up the electrical impulse across your chest from your heart. The advantage is that once you are sweaty, they tend to be fairly accurate. The disadvantage is they can be uncomfortable on the chest (a wet strap that doesn’t dry quickly) and can chafe.
My first optical HRM was my Basis B1 activity tracker. The problem with that one is that it is good at getting an occasional heart rate for monitoring activity, but it fails to pick it up during strenuous exercise. It also didn’t work with my GPS watch or my iPhone. Other optical HRM’s have similar limitations.
When I read on DCRainmaker’s blog about the new Mio Link, I knew I just had to try it. The new Mio Link is just awesome and worked amazingly as I will describe. First, I measured my wrist as they recommend. My wrist just above my wrist bone is 6.25″. The small/medium band fit with 5 holes to spare. The strap actually snaps down onto itself as well so there is nothing loose. I hardly notice it on my wrist. I turned it on (simple push button on the top) and the LED flashed cyan to let me know it was on. I took my Garmin Forerunner 410, told it scan for ANT+ devices, and it came up instantly with my resting heart rate. Wow. I was up and going in no time.
One of the best parts about the Mio Link is that they have removed the display and dropped the price below $100, but they kept a really cool piece of visual feedback. There is a 6 state LED color code for your heart rate from Cyan to Blue (50%-60% of Max Heart Rate) to Green (60%-70% ) to Yellow (70%-80%) to Magenta (80%-90%) to Red (90%+). These zones can be configured with your smart phone, but you don’t need the smart phone to use them once configured. That means you can use the wrist strap by itself for heart rate training without any other device.
The phone app was simple enough to use. Low power Bluetooth devices aren’t always paired under “Settings” on the iPhone – you need to use the Mio app. The Mio App found the wristband quickly and suggested heart rate settings based on my age. I tweaked them since I know my max heart rate runs a bit lower, and I know my zones from experience. The app permits this customization and then it programs the wrist band. One really cool feature – the Mio Link simultaneously broadcasts ANT+ and Bluetooth, so you can use both your phone and your ANT+ compatible workout device at the same time. I didn’t use the Mio app for runs, but did find the strap worked fine with both Strava and Wahoo Fitness.
The real test was my marathon. I started the marathon and had a good read on my heart rate. I had the Garmin Forerunner 410 on my wrist and the Mio Link just a bit higher on the same arm. My heart rate was rock solid. Unfortunately, at Mile 1.3 my heart rate dove from 158BPM to 101 BPM. I tightened the band 1 notch and it came right back up and stayed all the way to the end of 26.2 miles. Thanks to the Mio, I avoided going too strong up hills and I knew when I could push it harder on the downhills.
The Mio Link comes with a magnetic charger that charges via USB. The cable is built into the charger. It’s a little short and might be tough to use with a wall charger. Unlike the chest straps whose batteries last over a year, this one lasts 10 hours so it will need to be charged occasionally. Before a marathon, you definitely want to charge it fully.
Overall I give it a strong 4 stars. I might even say 5 stars. I only have 2 issues. First, the heart rate update seemed slightly more lagged compared to my chest strap, by about 10 seconds. I’d start up a hill but it would take a bit longer to register with my wrist monitor. Second, it would be nice to get some sort of feedback on remaining battery life, perhaps via the LED. But given the chafing, adjusting, and inaccuracies associated with a chest strap, I’d say the optical technology is now ready for prime time. Neither the chest strap nor the Mio Link are perfect, but I’d say that the Mio Link is good enough that this new marathoner is ditching his chest strap happily.
UPDATE 2 MONTHS LATER – 6/1/2014
Just to add to my review, I have now been using this wristband for 2 months and literally haven’t gone back for my chest strap once. After my marathon I did some recovery weeks of 20-30 miles, and am now working myself back up to 40-50 miles to prepare for a fall 50k. Since that time, I have had to deal with a few blistering mid-Atlantic days of 90+ weather, days when the sweat combined with the long run would have made chest straps near unbearable. The MioLink just keeps working and I forget I am even wearing it. The Bluetooth and ANT+ functionality is surprisingly useful because on days when I don’t want to bring my Garmin watch, it pairs to my phone. This has been one of the best pieces of running tech I have purchased and I am quite happy with it.
UPDATE – 7/11/2014
Although I am a runner, I decided to add cycling to the mix this summer. I have used my MioLink with both the Strava app on my phone (bluetooth smart) and my Garmin Edge 500 (ANT+). Since there is far less movement of the arms while on a bike compared to running, I was wondering if I would still get a good heart reading. I used it in conjunction with the Garmin Speed and Cadence sensors as well. Just like with running, it is pretty consistent. As another reviewer noted, you need to make the band tight. Not so tight you cut off circulation in your hand, but snug. It also helps to put it a bit higher than a wristwatch. I generally put the Forerunner in normal watch position and the MioLink in the next spot higher up my arm. If I’m not wearing the ForeRunner (like on my bike), I just make sure to keep the MioLink in the same spot.
UPDATE – 10/29/2014
I just ran my first ultramarathon. 32.5 miles of running over 4000 feet of elevation gain. I used my Fenix 2 for tracking and MioLink for heart rate. I was a middle-of-the-pack runner, so I was out there for just under 8 hours. Given I started the MioLink early and forgot to turn it off immediately, I’d say that the battery lasted comfortably for 8 hours, and likely the 10 hours of battery life is fairly accurate. It worked great for my race and is a nice tool for ultramarathons.