Introducing Mio Slice
In 2017 Mio Global announced the launch of its SLICE device that records standard metrics we’ve all come to expect in a fitness tracker. This Mio heart rate monitor includes step count, calories burned, distance covered, all day heart rate and sleep. Smartphone notifications are sent with ease and the Slice provides vibrating alarms when needed. So, what’s makes the Slice unique? Let me tell you.
In 2017 Mio Global announced the launch of its SLICE device that records standard metrics we’ve all come to expect in a fitness tracker.
This Mio heart rate monitor includes step count, calories burned, distance covered, all day heart rate and sleep. Smartphone notifications are sent with ease and the Slice provides vibrating alarms when needed. So, what’s makes the Slice unique? Let me tell you.
New Fitness Training Matrix
Mio added a new feature to this device which, used as directed, can help you live a longer, healthier life and reduce your risk of lifestyle-related diseases. This device records your activities using Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI)and provides you with a personalized target score which reflects your body’s response to physical activity based on heart rate.
What does PAI do? When you use this Mio heart rate monitor, wearers are encouraged to reach a target PAI score of at least 100, which is calculated over a seven-day period. As a result, the amount of activity and intensity level required to achieve that goal is personalized for you, based on your personal profile.
To create your profile, you simply input your stats, such as weight, age, height and gender and your goals are then established for you. As you work out, you are given a PAI score. And here is the newest feature; SLICE is the only Mio product to display the PAI score directly on the band itself. Having an instant score lets you know if you are working hard enough during workouts. Or if you need to push harder. However, people who use other Mio devices must use the PAI mobile app on their phone to access their progress. The Slice makes this step unnecessary.
As a company, Mio has been through some interesting changes. Mio began operation in 1999, and in 2013 used a kick-start program to launch it’s wrist wearable Mio heart rate monitor. Mio then transitioned itself into the Mio Global company, and re branded themselves again as PAI Health. PAI Health transitioned to concentrate on the PAI software. Due to this change, they partnered with Accuro to produce the Mio heart rate monitor devices. Accuro has been charged with integration of the PAI technology into the wearables and is now the distributor of Mio’s Slice and other activity trackers.
Mio Slice Features
The Slice can be considered a combination of the Fitbit Charge 2 which I used regularly and a Garmin Vivosmart HR I just took for a test drive. The design is not groundbreaking, but this is a sports watch. It is not meant to be a fashion accessory. That said, the SLICE is quite distinctive in comparison to all the other trackers in the Mio inventory. The design is sleek and comes in four colors; navy, stone, black and sienna. Best of all, this Mio heart rate monitor has a display that very easy to read.
The display features an OLED which lights up when you move your wrist. The large size fonts make it easy to read, even without my glasses. All your stats can be seen on the device itself. Therefore, you can scroll through the individual screens (time, PAI, PAI today, heart rate, steps, calories, distance, sleep), by repeatedly pressing the single physical button on the tracker.
These screens can all be customized to suit your needs. To view more detailed stats, you simply use your smartphone app. Unfortunately, the screen is harder to see once you step out into the daylight. No amount of tweaking can improve this feature.
Mio Slice Functions
Like other Mio products, the Slice uses an optical heart rate tracker, 3-axis accelerometer and vibration motor. The optical heart rate sensor is used to capture your stats and then calculate your PAI score. You can connect SLICE to share data via both Ant+ and Bluetooth Low Energy.
The Slice data tells us you can get about 5 days of battery life out of the Slice tracker, with a single hour of high activity time per day. Although this was said, it has proven to be optimistic as I discovered. Most of the current users report 4 days to be about average. That still okay, but a few more days would have been nice. Any device that is monitoring your heart rate continuously no doubt drains the battery.
The Slice Mio heart rate monitor is quick to charge, it comes with its own charger and is ready to go in an hour or so by plugging it into any standard USB port. In wear-ability, Slice ranks high with a 3ATM (three meter) water-resistance rating. It’s safe to wear in the shower or bath, or even take a dip in the pool with it on, just stay above the 3 meters depth limit.
- Simplifies fitness tracking
- Uses scientifically validated fitness metric PAI
- Displays the PAI score on the band
- Provides accurate heart rate measurements
- Connects to Ant+ and Bluetooth Low Energy
- Water resistance up to 3 meters
- Screen visibility is poor in daylight
- Mediocre design
- App needs to add more features to be competitive
Having used a Fitbit Charge 2, I was used to having step counts as a measure of my fitness level, but the Mio Slice has expanded their fitness model beyond this stat alone. For Example, unless I did a moderate workout or took a run to raise my heart rate, I couldn’t budge the PAI into the optimum 100 range. This supports the basis for thinking beyond the 10k steps to achieve fitness.
With the score displayed right on my wrist, I was able to immediately commit to harder workouts and put out serious effort to raise my heart rate. As a result, my fitness score went go up as my fitness improved. I now know and understand the real benefits of using a Mio heart rate monitor. You can do the same with a Mio Slice.
What I would have really loved to see in the Slice app was a record of my improvement over an extended period of time. That is to say, I would have been more motivated and been given some comparative information to use for future fitness goals. Currently, the app provides seven days of individual daily snap shots using pie charts. Additionally, Slice could benefit from adding a community connectivity feature down the road.
Fitness is an individual journey, each person uses personal information, workouts and training to reach their target goals. As the pioneer of the first of a series of wearables, the Mio heart rate monitor has proven to be a reliable and accurate device. In addition, new technology aside, the new PAI metric for setting and then achieving your personal fitness goals is a great step into the future.
Overall fitness is about more than a step count. The Hunt Study conducted by Mio is well-documented and creating PAI for fitness training has been a very positive move. Besides, with Slice, you can read the PAI score right on your wrist while you work out and know when and how hard to push yourself. This great feature is so easy to access. In one glance, you have your weekly chart and you know what it takes to achieve a PAI score over 100.
If you want more data, Mio Slice uses an app to give you detailed stats and easily connects o smartphones. This device is not perfect, and as I mentioned above, there are some minor improvements that would make it an even better product. But if you want an affordable, straightforward device with a wrist readout to help you reach your fitness goals, the Mio Slice is absolutely worth your consideration.