With all these additional bells and whistles available, heart rate is something we at the shop take very seriously. If your speed is off, your map doesn't quite nail down the mileage or your watts are slightly inaccurate, it's easy to calibrate or compensate to correct. One's heart rate is a constant. There is no inaccurate heart rate, only inaccurate readings. Not to mention it is often a matter of staying healthy or pushing one's body too hard. Needless to say, it needs to be dead on.
|Polar RC3 and sensor|
Polar has been a long time standard of the store due to its medical grade heart rate. Instead of relying on algorithms from every third recorded thump, Polar records every up, down and valley in between of one's heart rate.
|Mio Alpha Sport Watch|
The only controversy of the strapless method that Mio promotes is that it has only been proven accurate at a resting heart rate. Due to the faster pace and sporadic nature of cardio, the more exertion the body is put under, the more inaccurate it becomes.
The Show Down
We wanted to check for ourselves. So we sent Neal to do his normal work out with a Polar RC3 featuring medical-grade heart rate and a Mio Alpha to see how close they were. The idea being that the Polar is completely correct, and how well does the Mio hold up? The results were impressive.
Clearly the Mio didn't quite match up to Neal's needs. Over 50 bpm off of medical grade readings. If you need to monitor your heart rate while watching a movie or reading I'm sure the Mio will be more than adequate. However, most people interested in heart rate need to know it during physical exertion which just happens to be the weakest point for Mio. If you want to listen to your body, get a product that can really listen.