This basic device gets the job done tracking heart rate and workouts without getting bogged down in a lot of peripheral offerings.
The Mio FUSE is a basic fitness tracking device that doesn’t offer a lot of the bells and whistles featured on many other more expensive devices. For $99, the FUSE sticks to the basics and stakes its reputation on its “award-winning optical heart rate technology.” The band measures your daily activity — sleep, resting heart rate, steps, and distance — and also tracks pace and heart rate during workouts.
The FUSE also comes with a substantial amount of memory. You can save up to two weeks’ worth of daily activity data and up to 30 hours of workout data right on the band until you’re ready to sync it with your smartphone (iOS or Android) and dig into the data.
Although the list of features offered on the band itself is short, the FUSE is compatible with many other apps and devices, so there are plenty of ways to get additional data. FUSE connects and shares data with dozens of fitness apps, bike computers, and GPS watches. The FUSE doesn’t have GPS, so it makes sense that you’d want to connect with something that does (like your phone) if you’re going for a bike ride or a long run.
Unless you’re actively engaging with the device, it looks like a pretty basic black band. There isn’t a watch face (although the FUSE does show the time) or other continual display. Data disappears and the face goes black when you’re not using it. When you are interacting with the FUSE, data is shown in large, easy-to-read letters and numbers. Navigation is accomplished by pressing the band’s “touchpoints,” small raised bumps on the face, and swiping through the screens. The device’s touchpoints are only active when your arm is parallel to the ground to avoid accidental triggering of the touchpoints, but you can set the display to “always on” while you are working out.
If you want to see how close you are to achieving your daily goals, simply open the Mio Go app on your smartphone. The app will automatically update (within a range of 30 feet) and show you how many steps you’ve taken, how many more are needed to meet your goal, distance, active calories, and total calories.
Sleep tracking isn’t automatic; you have to tell the FUSE when to start and stop tracking your Zs (just like other activities).
Comfort and wearability
As is true with all fitness trackers that monitor your heart rate, the device needs to be snugly fastened to your arm for the sensors to work as designed. As much as I don’t like the confining feeling of having anything tight around my arm, the FUSE was one of the more comfortable heart-rate trackers I’ve worn. It was a little difficult to get on. The rubbery band has a lot of holes, making it easy to get just the right fit, and it’s pliable enough to easily get it through the buckle, but there are two prongs to secure the loose end of the strap, and those aren’t as easy to fasten.
The FUSE comes in only one style, which clearly states “I’m a fitness tracker.” Although it’s primarily black (which goes with everything, right?), it’s all one piece so there aren’t options for choosing different bands. For the heart-rate tracker to function properly, the band needs to be snug on your arm, so there aren’t alternative ways to wear it (for example, in your pocket on a clasp).
The inside of the FUSE band is a different color depending on the size — regular or large. Both come in cobalt. Regular is also offered in aqua, and large is also offered in red.
What it lacks in tracking features of its own, the FUSE makes up for by playing nicely with others. FUSE is compatible with many third-party lifestyle and fitness apps. When used this way, the FUSE plays more of a supporting role rather than a driving force in helping you achieve your goals. For example, PEAR training is an app with hundreds of training plans. Using your data tracked by your FUSE, PEAR measures your body’s response to exercise and makes sure you’re in your optimal heart-rate zone.
Strava, MapMyRide, Endomondo, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, and MyFitnessPal are a few of the more popular apps, but the site states that if you don’t see your favorite on the list, it may still be compatible, “just give it a try.”
Although the FUSE doesn’t support notifications from your paired phone, you can engage socially by joining groups and participating in workout challenges from within the compatible apps.
The battery life is long, lasting nearly a week before needing a charge. This assumes a daily workout of one hour. To recharge the band, simply connect it to the magnetic dock and plug it into a USB port on your computer.
For a workout, you’ll want to switch from all-day tracking to workout mode. The Mio Go app enables you to customize your optimal heart-rate zones based on the activity. The band then vibrates to let you know what zone you’re in, keeping you on track during your workout, or maybe providing that extra nudge you need to push yourself to the next level.
FUSE tracks a wide variety of activities, such as running, biking, walking, swimming, cardio, interval training, weight training, yoga, and others. You can choose the metrics you want to see when you scroll through the screens in workout mode, creating a custom display for your workout. Options include average and maximum readings for heart rate, speed, and pace. You’ll also see what heart-rate zone you were in most frequently during your workout and how long you stayed there.
Software ease of use
The Mio Go app doesn’t have an option for viewing on your computer, so data compiled by the band can only be viewed on your paired device. Navigating the screens is fairly intuitive, but there aren’t a lot of options given the somewhat limited options of the band itself.
If you are looking for a basic fitness tracker and are most interested in heart-rate monitoring, the FUSE may be a good option for you, especially if you have other devices you use regularly that are compatible.
January 03, 2017