Back in August 2014, Mio Global introduced the first tracker in its repertoire of wrist worn heart rate monitors to measure daily activity, the Mio Fuse. Featuring Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ with daily activity tracker in the form of step count, the Mio Fuse also sports a display in the form of LEDs. One of the final trackers to be released for the year 2014, I gave the Mio Fuse a week of attention and here’s my review.
LOOK AND FEEL
The Mio Fuse is a tracker more reserved for sports activities. Depending on the size of Mio Fuse you purchased, the colour on the back-strap is going to be Aqua or Crimson. Once worn, the colour peeks out from under the wrist strap.
There are minimal controls on the Mio Fuse save for 3 control touch points. The main control touch point affects the heart rate/timer functions; it is also the only toggle between “day” and “sports” mode. The other 2 control points are merely for scrolling.
The charger appears identical to the Mio Link charger save for the lack of 2 pins. I found it convenient that the charger came attached to a USB cord which is foldable.
The Mio Fuse wears like most watch strap. The multitude of sizing holes ensure there’s a snug fit for most wrists and adequate ventilation. The Mio Fuse tracker unit itself is pretty long so people with small wrists (like me) will end up having holes not that it will affect the accuracy.
The tracker is embedded within the silicon band so it’s not removable like the Mio Link W2HRM. Initial set up must be done via the Mio GO app which is available on both the Google Play store and the App Store.
To prevent accidental activation of the tracking modes, the Mio Fuse’s touch controls are only active when the tracker is in horizontal position.
This plus the screen lock function should suffice to prevent unnecessary battery wastage due to accidental toggling.
The Mio Fuse should be worn snugly and at least 1-3 inches above the wrist bone during heart rate tracking. For daily activity tracker, I tend to wear it loose fit near at the wrist bone like how I’d wear a watch.
The Mio GO app allows the user to customise the displayable, right down to whether the user is left or right handed; which affects the display.
To simplify HR training, Mio Global has added a HR indicator light. It’s a tiny blip that can be customised to flash every 1 or 2 seconds, or to stay lighted throughout a workout. The HR indicator light only comes on when sports mode is activated.
Touch controls are sensitive but getting the controls right takes practice, especially the main touch control that toggles between all-day and workout mode.
The Mio Fuse is vibration enabled so the user will get a buzz when:
- HR monitoring is commenced
- Starting, pausing, resuming, or ending a workout
- Entering a new heart rate zone in 5-Zone Mode
- outside target zone in 1-Zone Mode
FUNCTIONS AND DATA PRESENTATION
All day activity tracking
In “All-day-mode” the Mio Fuse functions as a wrist worn step counter that estimates calories burned based on the indicated age, height, weight and gender.
The Mio Fuse also tells time, distance, calories burned and provides a goal bar to tell the user how far away they are from hitting the daily step goal. Users can access and customise goals and what stats to be displayed on the Mio Fuse.
The Mio Fuse syncs wirelessly to compatible smartphone devices and the tracked stats, both daily activity and workouts, are summarised in the Mio GO app. Tapping on the daily activity row or the workout row will expand the tab to show more information. The dates of the workouts are ringed in colour corresponding to the average HR; so a red ring means a higher average HR than a blue ring.
The daily activity summary is spartan and highlights information which mostly is already available in the activity history. You will not find any weekly or monthly view.
The sleep mode was only enabled in 2016 and requires a firmware update to the Mio Fuse. In order to commence sleep tracking, place fingers on both left and right touch nodes, you’ll be asking if you would like to commence sleep mode. Tapping the central touch node initiates sleep tracking. To cease sleep tracking, again place fingers on both left and right touch nodes and you’ll be asked if you wish to wake up. Tap the central touch node to cease sleep tracking.
The tracked stats includes duration of light and deep sleep. What I particularly liked is the Resting HR which is tracked while the user is asleep; this is about the most accurate period you can measure your resting HR. The most alarming or lacking feature you’ll notice is that the vibration cannot be set to wake the user. Yep. It can’t.
The workout summary shows way more information than the daily activity summary. Users can also tag the workout session to a comprehensive list of activities.
The iOS app shows the HR graph which is also available on Android version of the Mio GO app.
The list of displayable during workout mode:
- Current time
- Step count
Distance and speed is estimated from the acelerometer within the Mio Fuse so that’d come in handy for those who are not in favour of lugging the smartphone devices for runs. Pace is basically how long Mio Fuse estimates you’d take to run a km or mile depending whether you’re on the metric or imperial system.
The other feature of the Mio Fuse is tracking of daily activity in terms of step count. I was able to compare the step count versus 3 other activity trackers on the market. Slightly on the lower side but still acceptable in providing an estimate of daily activity.
The HR indicator LED is a small blip on the Mio Fuse that indicates the HR zone which the user is in. It’s blinks either light blue, blue, green, yellow, pink or red with each colour corresponding to a more intense HR zone. Though small, the HR indicator is surprisingly viewable.
The other tracker on the market with a HR indicator LED is the Adidas FIT SMART which also utilises Mio Global’s optical sensor technology. That has a much bigger LED strip, something I’d prefer.
Mio Fuse shines not in the activity tracking aspect but in HR monitoring and the functions involved.
There are 2 modes the user can select. The 5 zone setting will allow the Mio Fuse to display the user’s HR at that moment on the HR indicator. SO seeing a green LED HR indicator would imply the user is in zone 2 or between 60-70% of maximum HR.
In 1 zone setting or target HR training, the user can preset a target zone and the Mio Fuse will monitor and double vibrate periodically when the user is not in the zone.
Users can also choose to have the LED display always-on during workout mode which I thought would be exceptionally helpful during those high intensity workouts.
The Mio Fuse functions like a normal HRM when Bluetooth-linked to 3rd party apps such as Polar Beat, Strava or Endomondo and connection is hassle free.
I was able to compare the HR data versus a Polar H7 chest worn HRM. Data was tracked on Polar Beat app. The HR trend seemed comparable and should be more then good enough for the regular joe.
The limited Mio GO app is the Achilles heels forcing users to tap on more comprehensive 3rd party apps thus reducing the Mio Fuse to a subdued wrist worn HRM and discounting the activity tracking. I personally found the Mio GO app presentation lacking and wished it could do more.
Battery life is advertised as 6-7 days use with an hour of HR recording daily. That’s about right.
“Heart rate calculation of the Mio FUSE is not based on instant R-R interval, and will not work for apps and devices that require heart rate variability (HRV) data.”
IN A NUTSHELL
- Tracks steps, calories, distance, pace, speed, sleep
- Tells time
- Wrist worn HRM
- Connects to 3rd party apps as a HR monitor
- Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled
- Waterproof to 30m.
- Vibration enabled
- HR indicator LED
- Touch enabled
- 7 days battery life
- Stores 14 days daily activity data and 30 hours workout data
- Connects to 3rd party apps as a heart rate monitor
- Mio GO app available for both iOS and Android devices
- Mediocre app
Barring the aesthetics, the Mio Fuse is actually an excellent wrist worn HRM. It boasts accurate HR monitoring, throws in step counting, has a vibration function ,is waterproof to 30m and is both Bluetooth 4.0 ad ANT+ enabled. What I particularly like is the ease of linking to 3rd party apps on both iOS and Android devices, and the zone training functions. Unfortunately that’s where the good stuff ends.
While the Mio Fuse tracks all day activity including sleep, I can’t fathom anyone wearing it on an extended basis beyond workouts; it’s a thick black band with screaming red LEDs and worn 3 inches from the wrist bone.
There’s 30m water resistance but the touch controls are useless under water and HR tracking via optical means is not recommended due to reduced accuracy. Granted there have been reports of users who’ve successfully recorded their HR under water to a certain level of accuracy, I want to personally hear the endorsement from Mio Global before deciding if it’s indeed designed and tested for water activities.
At present, the Mio Fuse is an excellent wrist worn heart rate monitor; great for workouts. Period. Reviews.com has selected the Mio Fuse as their best basic use fitness tracker money can buy.
Depending on where you reside, you can usually get the Mio Fuse at a discount from Amazon with free shipping.
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