Mio makes a wearable comeback with MioPod heart rate monitor armband

HR monitor dishes our Firstbeat-powered analytics for your training
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Mio, a wearable tech company we've not heard from in a while, is back with a heart rate monitor that lives on your arm.

The MiPod joins Wahoo, Polar and Scosche in launching a heart rate monitor that is worn on the upper arm or forearm. It aims to dish out more accurate (and reliable) heart rate data than a wrist-worn monitor.

Read this: Best heart rate monitors to buy now

Mio says its new optical-based heart rate monitor is designed for intense exercises such as HIIT training, body resistance, weight training and TRX. These are often the kind of exercises that wrist-based monitors falter due to the number of issues that can impact on a reliable reading.

So the MioPod moves that tracking to a place on the body Mio believes can generate that accurate data. “We set out to create a performance training tracker for those serious about personal training, delivering EKG-accurate heart rate data at performance-level speeds without the need for an uncomfortable chest strap,” said Marcelo Aller, vice president at Mio.

The Bluetooth and ANT+ supporting device works with a host of major fitness apps including Pear, Runkeeper, Strava and Zwift letting you stream heart rate data to those platforms. When paired with the MioApp companion app, the Pod also offers analytics and personalized training plans based on your data.

You can store up to 30 hours of workout data on the device, it has a 5ATM water resistance rating so you can take it swimming and promises up to 24 hours battery life off a single charge.

Beyond tracking your heart, Mio is introducing some additional training insights like a recovery time advisor along with training load and effect information to ensure you're in the best shape to take on your next workout. These additional insights come from heart rate analytics firm Firstbeat who offer similar features on watches from the likes of Garmin and Huawei.

The MioPod is available to buy now for $99, which means it's pricier than Polar's OH1+ and the Wahoo Tickr Fit heart rate monitoring armbands. The question will be whether those extra insights will be worth spending more on when those cheaper options deliver HR data comparable to a chest strap.

We haven't heard from Mio since it launched the Slice in 2017, a fitness tracker that focused its metrics around heart rate data. We've praised Mio's heart rate tech in the past, so it seems like a natural move to return to hardware with heart rate once again the headline feature.

We'll hopefully have one in soon to put it through the high intensity paces to see how it fares against Wahoo, Polar and Scosche's HR armbands.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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