Customer Reviews: MIO Shape Elite Heart Rate Monitor Watch
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This makes a great casual watch in addition to a heart monitor. Don't expect too much though. Strapless HRMs are not able to provide continuous heart rate like those that require a chest strap... so decide if the comfort of not wearing a chest strap is worth having to put your fingers on the watch for about 5 seconds to achieve a heart rate. To me it is. This is MIO's latest model (at the time of this review) and I believe that it is improved over some of the older models with regard to accuracy and obtaining a HR. I would give this 3.5 stars. When someone comes out with a strapless continual displaying HRM, then I will give that one 5 stars.
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on June 6, 2007
I got my first Mio in 2001. I think I may have been one of the first in the world to get one. I read an article on it and when I saw it was a decent looking heart rate watch and you could find how many calories you burn and get an accurate heart rate, I knew I had to have it. I have to say that I wasn't too thrilled with that first model. It was HUGE and bulky and had this weird light feature that turned the light on and off when you shook your wrist. If you left the light on (which I did all the time), the battery ran out. Sadly it ended up in my night table. I got pumped up again when I saw the Mio on Dr. Phil a couple of years ago so I bought one and I really found a remarkable difference. Same great features. I noticed that I got my heart rate more quickly and they got rid of that annoying light feature! I got a SHAPE ELITE for my birthday and I can definitely say that Mio has hit a home run with this one. It has got timers that the other watches lacked. It even has one that matches a walk/run program they promote in the little book that comes with the watch. For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I can run 10km! It only took me 13 weeks to get there. I feel in the very best shape of my life at 44. I can say without hesitation it was the Mio SHAPE ELITE that got me there. Still the same great calorie burn info, even better uptake on the heart rate when you are in motion and, neat things like a heart rate recovery test that tells you how fit you are. It is a sleek, super looking watch (a far cry from the bulge on the wrist it used to be). I wear it all day and I absolutely love it.
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on January 23, 2008
I am a little surprised by some of the GREAT reviews that I have found on the internet regarding this unit. I received it for Christmas this year and have used it 10 times now while running and the P90X program I am doing. I have to say for ME, dead nuts accurate readings,(within 1%) I give it a "A-" for that. I never had a problem getting a quick accurate reading, The problem is can you read it??

For engineering and functionality it gets a "D". I'm an engineer so maybe I am a little tougher to impress, but I was VERY disappointed with the design.

To start with, I have 20/10 vision (better than average) and in normal light,lighting at the gym, or in my basement where I run the treadmill the numbers are almost impossible to read. The numbers on the LCD are too close together, for instance, a heart rate of 152 is easily mistaken for 162 ,even by my 13yo son who has eagle eyes. He said to me one day while wearing it "how do you read this thing?"

The display has a "Indiglo" type backlight, however, I found that if you turn on the light and then take a pulse reading, the light goes out before you can get a reading. And, if you take a pulse reading and then hit the light you might just be able to catch the reading before you lose the light. You are suppose to be able to extent the light by 2 secs by hitting any button while the light is on, that never worked for me.

The better design would be to have the pulse reading come full screen with another touch of a button, OR just a larger display period.

Being an engineer I know quite often they get locked into the one aspect of the product that they are working on without looking at the over all larger picture, that being "Is It Usable!" The other features seemed to work fine, but again, if you can't read it what good is it. I was very frustrated by the lack of forethought.

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on July 27, 2008
None of my expectations of this product were met except that tells the time of day. I find it IMPOSSIBLE to get readings when I'm running unless I actually stop (and not even then all the time). GREAT, huh? Also, it is such an awkward motion to try to get a reading when I'm running because I have to reach over to the other side of my body, make sure the watch is at a low a position as possible and hold the buttons down for anywhere from 4 to 15 seconds. I haven't even been able to get a reading then. If you think that doesn't throw your running continuity and form off, try it sometime (particularly when you're trying to check your pulse when your racing). I'll probably eat the $100 I paid because of shipping (they said it was free shipping, but NOT IF YOU'RE SHIPPING IT BACK. THEY WIND UP CHARGING YOU FOR SHIPPING BOTH WAYS) and restocking costs. What's my humorous reaction, 'Mama MIO', but believe me I'm not happy. Don't bother buying this one.
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on January 30, 2010
This was a very disapponting purchase.

The watch is not a replacement,by any means, to the strap continuous heart rate monitoring technology, such as the one used by Polar. You don't wear a strap, but you get a reading only when you press your fingers on the watch top plate. You can't run or bike for two long when your hands are in that heart rate sensing position - one over the other...

I wish a simple explanation like that would have been given as part of the technical explanation.

Anyhow, we have used the watch only once or twice and reverted back to the strap sensor/watch.
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on August 30, 2008
Got this because chest straps are irritating, and this is a much more convienent substitute. Only complaint is that it can take a few seconds to grab your HR - but well worth it for the convienence. Plus the other features (calorie measure etc.) are a nice bonus.
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on April 26, 2013
Do not expect to be refunded if you return this product. I purchased the MIO heart rate monitor in February 2013 for my wife. It did not meet her needs, so I emailed MIO for return instructions, which they immediately provided. I shipped the product back on March 7, 2013. As of today, April 26, 2013, they still have not refunded me. At first they claimed they did not receive the monitor. Then they claimed that a check had been cut and mailed. When I received nothing, they claimed they cancelled that check and reissued a new one. Even though I originally paid by credit card, they claim they cannot credit my card. They claimed that this issue had been "escalated" on April 12, but a lot of good that did. A good company would not let a situation like this go on and on.

Bottom line: If you buy from MIO, buyer beware. You will be dealing with an extremely unethical company that will string you along if you have any issues. Do not support this type of business practice which takes advantage of a faceless customer.
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on July 14, 2008
I loved this watch. I used it a lot last summer while training for my first 5k. The run/walk timer was perfect for me.

My husband used it at the gym a few times over the winter and now it's summer again and I am back into running outside. I stole it back from him and noticed it was dead. No biggie, replaced the battery and it worked just fine. Except a few hours later - it died again. Tried another battery and still nothing. Looks like it's garbage now as I am outside the 1 year warranty period by 3 months.

I am VERY disappointed.
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on February 10, 2010
This watch ran out of batteries within 4 months! It also isn't accurate, takes a really long time to register the heart rate. By the time it gives you a pulse, your heart rate is elevated due to stress.

It's now in my closet collecting dust.

I have the Nike heart rate monitor and that works much better.
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on March 21, 2010
This watch has a number of features which I use. I particularly like the interval timer. The heart rate monitor isn't perfect, but it works decently. If accuracy is important to you, then this may not be the best selection. But if you are wanting a good training watch which gives you a pretty close idea of your heart rate and has various training features and isn't super expensive, then this may be a good choice for you.
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