LAS VEGAS -- One trend that has become increasingly popular in the wearable space is heart rate. Many of the new activity trackers from companies like Fitbit, Jawbone and Microsoft offer some form of tracking for your heart. Mio's Alpha watch was early to the party,. The watch, however, didn't include any other tracking features.
Mio at the 2015 International CES trade show on Monday announced the Alpha 2. The watch has the same continuous wireless heart-rate monitoring as the original, but also adds improved software, a backlight, an improved stopwatch and a built-in accelerometer. The company notes that the watch can track your calories, pace, speed and distance without a smartphone connection, but I wouldn't call the Alpha 2 an activity tracker per se. There's no sleep tracking or step count, and it's unclear how the watch will accurately track pace and speed without a GPS signal.
It can, however, be paired with many of the popular fitness apps available for Android and iOS, such as MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Strava and Mio Go. The heart rate data that is recorded on your wrist will be transmitted to the mobile app, while pace and distance information from the app is sent to your wrist.
The Alpha 2 can store up to 25 hours of workout data locally and is waterproof up to 30 meters. The battery is charged using a special dock that connects to four pins on the back of the device. Battery life is said to be around 20 to 24 hours with continuous heart-rate monitoring turned on, or up to three months without it.
Despite the added hardware, the Mio Alpha 2 is available now in black or yellow for $200, which is the same price as the original model. International pricing and availability wasn't announced, but that price converts to about £130 and AU$250.
We expect to see a lot more activity trackers this week at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. Follow CNET's ongoing coverage of CES 2015 here.