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The Mio Alpha 2 is Your Heart Rate Exercise Companion

LAS VEGAS - Continuous heart rate tracking is highly coveted by athletes, and Mio continues to provide the feature in its new Mio Alpha 2 while adding some neat capabilities. Building on its predecessor, the Alpha 2 packs more memory, a new accelerometer and a backlit screen, and is available now for $199.

The most exciting of those updates is the accelerometer, which lets you track pace, distance, speed and calories. Combine that with heart rate monitoring, and you now have a much more comprehensive picture of your training sessions. Also, the Alpha 2 lets you train to target certain heart rate zones, which is convenient if you’re looking to challenge yourself and push to the next intensity level.

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I got to try Mio’s Alpha 2 at CES 2015, and while it’s not the most svelte device, its silicon band felt comfortable and secure on my wrist. In theory, you could wear the Alpha 2 all day to track steps, calories and distance, but, considering how bulky it is, I would stick to wearing this one while active.

With its improved memory, the Alpha 2 gets up to 30 hours of data storage before you need to sync it to the companion app on your iOS or Android device. Mio is also trying to expand how the Alpha 2 interacts with apps other than its own: all of the wristband’s data will be able to sync to other popular fitness apps like MapMyRun and RunKeeper, and vice versa. This will come in handy if, say, you want to use your preferred running app and have all the Alpha 2’s data available in it.

We’re interested to see how well the Mio Alpha 2 stands up against other dedicated exercise trackers like the Adidas miCoach FitSmart, so stay tuned for our full review.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.

Valentina Palladino

Valentina is Commerce Editor at Engadget and has covered consumer electronics for a number of publications including Tom's Guide, Wired, Laptop Mag and Ars Technica, with a particular focus on wearables, PCs and other mobile tech.