Apple Watch heart rate data vs. Mio dedicated heart rate monitor

“iOS developer Brad Larson has taken heart rate data from the Apple Watch and compared it to a dedicated Mio Alpha heart rate monitor he also had on during a run,” Gary Ng reports for iPhone in Canada.

“Larson was able to compare the data as he made a quick iPhone app ‘that ran a query for all recent samples and generated CSV output from that,’ which we see in the chart below,” Ng reports. “Essentially, Apple Watch performs exactly like a dedicated heart rate monitor (which costs $169) with very accurate results, by using photoplethysmography.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Spot on!

For the heavily-inked fitness fanatic, it’s still a chest strap for you.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff.L” for the heads up.]


  1. My Mio heart rate monitor only cost $66, and unlike the Apple Watch, it can communicate using ANT+, so it works with my Garmin Edge cycling computer.

      1. Well bereanbob, the reason why I posted this in the first place was because the article said that the Mio heart rate monitor cost $169, which is more than $100 over what mine cost. So, I just wanted to set the record straight. Thanks for asking.

        1. MSRP on Mio’s site is $169 (includes freight0. Google search reveals retailers asking $199.

          If you truly paid $69 (not suggesting you didn’t) then you got an inventory clearance/sale price. You did not get what one would expect from the manufacturer.

          There was nothing misleading about the reviewer’s stated price point.

            1. You bought the Mio Link, which isn’t even a watch like the Mio Alpha. It may work just fine, but it’s not the same thing as the $169 Mio Alpha.

            2. Brad Larsen based his comparison to the MIO Alpha. You MIO device is not an Alpha. That explains the difference between the pricing of the comparison device, and the one you bought. I have no idea what the feature differences between the 2 are, but for $100 i would expect them to be significant, as are the feature differences between the Alpha and the Apple Watch.

            3. The Alpha has a screen. The Link, as seen above does not, and the Alpha has some other features including calorie tracking, distance and pace.

              It’s the same heart rate measuring tech however as in the Mio Link. I have the Mio Link, (and no wrist tattoos), and I recently switched back to a chest strap as I found the Link too inconsistent unless it was really tight on my wrist. Hoping my Apple Watch will be better.

      1. Sorry Jolly. I made an error. I didn’t notice that the author was taking about the Mio Alpha. I thought he was talking about the Mio Link.

      1. The Garmin Edge 1000 cost me a whole lot. It was $600. But maps for my country are stored locally on the device. It enables me to follow courses that I plan in advance. It has a barometric altimeter which calculates my elevation, grade of my climbs and descents and also accurately computes the elevation gain of my rides. It shows me my cadence and of course it tells me what speed I am traveling. Friends who use just their iPhones to track their bike rides have very inaccurate elevation calculations (because apps like Strava and MapMyRide only approximate elevation from a geological survey database). They’re not able to see the display during their rides because as good as the iPhone display is and even though there are bike mounts for iPhones, it is just not intended to be left out in the sun all day long.

    1. >My Mio heart rate monitor only cost $66

      And yet it only does one thing. My Apple Watch cost $400 but it does a lot more than keep track of my heartbeat.

      1. You’re right. Actually, I made a mistake. The author of this article was taking about a Mio Alpha, which is a watch that has a heart rate monitor in it. I have a Mio Link, which is nothing more than a heart rate monitor that support ANT+, so it works as an accessory to my Garmin Edge bike computer.

        It’s my error and I apologize. I didn’t notice that the author was talking about the Mio Alpha watch. I thought he was talking about the Mio Link heart rate monitor.

        1. It’s OK, BJB. Everyone makes mistakes and you owned up to it. I am curious about the Mio Link and whether or not it contains the same technology as the Mio Alpha, but fewer additional features.

          Even if the Mio Link provides the same heart rate technology and performance as the Alpha and the AW, I find it interesting that this single function of the AW replaces a dedicated $69 product. I believe that AW owners are going to receive a lot of value in their purchase over time, especially as 3rd party apps become native rather than iPhone extensions.

      1. Sharon, the Apple Watch does not speak ANT+, which is required to work with my Garmin Edge cycling computer. The Apple Watch in “workout mode” only holds a charge for 6.5 hours, which means it will die before I finish riding a century (100 miles). So, although the Apple Watch does do 999 things that my Mio Link does not do, it is unfortunately not suitable for how I want to use it.

  2. Boy, I wish I could ‘make a quick iPhone app’. I have to take a class or something. The learning curve (for me) is like the crest of a wave that has already broken.

  3. I bought a Mio Alpha on eBay a few months back for well under msrp. It will do the job very well until my Apple Watch arrives, and probably afterwards too.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.