Mio Motiva Petite Heart Rate Monitor Review

by Annie on March 31, 2009 · 7 comments

in Product Reviews


This post is a review of the Mio Motiva Petite heart rate monitor.

At the beginning of the month, I complained about having to replace the battery pretty soon on my old Acumen Eon Basix Plus heart rate monitor.  My procrastination paid off when my Mio Motiva Petite heart rate monitor arrived within a couple weeks.

Having spent the last week familiarizing myself with all the features of my new heart rate monitor, I can honestly say that I am happy with this strapless heart rate monitor.  Actually more than just happy.  I am ecstatic.

Heart Rate Monitor Lunch Table Discussion

After receiving a few compliments from co-workers about my “new watch,” I finally let on that it is actually a heart rate monitor at our daily lunch table discussions.  Everyone was interested and wanted to test their resting heart rates.  Jubilantly I gave the directions of pressing the two center buttons while the back plate touches the wrist for a few seconds to test for their resting heart rates.

In theory, it sounded like a good idea to measure everyone”s heart rate around the lunch table.  But in reality, it agitated most of the overweight older men in my office, especially since they started making joking predictions of who would need a heart bypass first.

Word of advice -  when you work mostly with older overweight men, this might not be a good idea unless you enjoy hearing the crickets in the uncomfortable silence after the initial jokes fell away and the no eye contact quick shuffle to clear the lunch table.

Strapless Features of the Mio Motiva Petite

The Mio brand is known for the strapless feature of their heart rate monitors.  Initially I was a little wary that the reading might be way off, but my Acumen proved that the Mio is only off by a couple of beats (probably due to the delay of a few seconds in getting a reading with my fingers on the sensors).

Since I like to wear my watch loose, I sometimes forget to make sure that the back plate of the watch is touching my wrist when I am trying to get a reading.  Also, I need to make sure that I am still moving, such as marching in place, when I take a reading because of the delay.  Though my heart is not as efficient as Lance Armstrong, once I stop moving, my heart could drop 30-35 beats in a one minute period (as measured from the heart rate recovery feature in this heart rate monitor).

I like how the Mio Motiva Petite gives the percentage of max heart rate in addition to the beats per minute (bpm).  Everyone”s bmp means something different because of our physical make up.  With my old Acumen, I had to calculate my high and low bmp and enter that information in the watch.  And even then, I do not know what percentage is 143 bpm in terms of my max heart.  I just know that it is somewhere in the middle between my high bpm setting (80%) and my low bpm setting (50%).

Calorie Management System Feature of the Mio Motiva Petite

mio-motiva-calorie-counting-performance-barI believe calorie counting is a wonderful tool to help control our portion size and for weight loss.  The Mio Motiva Petite allows me to enter the amount of calories that I have consumed for the day.  The performance bar at the top allows me to see instantaneously whether I am in the “red.”

At the time of the photo, I have only eaten 550 calories after two meals (normally I eat 5-6 times a day).  When I initially setup the heart rate monitor, it recommended daily calorie target based upon my weight, activity level, and weight loss/gain/maintenance goal.  For me, I know that if I eat 1500-1600 calories I would start dropping weight at about 1-2 pounds/month.

The heart rate monitor also subtract calories I burn during a workout from my daily calorie target.  That is a great visual motivation for me to keep walking up and down my staircase for an extra 5-10 minutes to get below the “red” in the performance bar.

There is also the option of using Mio”s 3500 calorie countdown vs. the net calorie counting.  I like to use the net calorie counting and making sure that it falls within 1500-1600 calories.  Others might find the count down to zero to be more motivating since zero signifies that you burned off one pound.

With Mio, you can also take advantage of their 3500 Calorie Club to take ask questions in the forums and chart your progress.  This kind of support is invaluable when it comes to weight loss.  Though there might be other sites such as Spark People for weight loss, the 3500 Calorie Club is designed for the Mio heart monitors.

Heart Rate Recovery Feature of the Mio Motiva Petite

This is a test to determine your cardiovascular fitness.  It compares your heart rate when you stop exercising and one minute later to see how fast your heart rate drops.  As I mention before, the more efficient your heart is, the quicker you have to take your heart rate reading after exercising.  Even just waiting a few seconds can throw this test off.

Mio Sense Mini Book

mio-sense-mini-bookThis 3″ x 3″ mini book packs an abundance of information in 181 pages.  There are chapters discussing the food pyramid, tips for dieting and exercising, an exercise routine, stress management, aging, and even a list of common food calories.  It is a nice little freebie to include with the heart rate monitor to add more “value” to this product.

My Feature Wishlist

I wish the Mio Motiva Petite have a memory storage for a week”s worth of data.  My pedometer stores my steps, mileage, calorie burn, etc. for the entire week.  It is a pleasant diversion to click thru my week to see if the amount of steps are increasing or decreasing.

The memory storage capability would make tracking my net calories and exercise time much easier too, since I do not always enter it into my workout log in my Excel spreadsheet right away (I am an engineer; is it really that surprising that I like numbers?).

Is the Mio Motiva Petite Heart Rate Monitor Worth Buying?

For the price and the features you get with the Mio Motiva Petite heart rate monitor, the Mio Motiva Petite is a good deal.  If you want instantaneous heart rate readings on the watch, this is not the heart rate monitor for you.  Since I am tired of wearing a strap (skin irritation from wearing a 2 year old transmitter), this is just what I need to keep me motivated with my exercising.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

Ready to buy the Mio Motiva Petite?


Related Posts:

Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!

Subscribe in a Reader
Enter your email address:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz Dickinson; CEO and FOUNDER MIO April 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hello Asithi,

Thank you for the thorough review of the MIO. It is always very gratifying when someone takes the time to fully understand the product and benefits of it. I am so glad it is working for you and meeting your needs.

In terms of the accuracy – the couple of beats off you refer to – this actually represents greater accuracy of the Mio than products with a continuous read. Mio takes your heart rate immediately and displays the reading exactly as it is at that moment. On those products with continuous reads and chest straps they utilize averaging software to smooth out what can seem like erratic heart beat fluctuations (but in reality is how your heart works). Additionally, there is a delay between the time the heart rate reading is taken and the time before it is displayed on the watch (via a 5.3KHz comms protocol) so the display on those watches is actually lagging behind your true heart rate by a couple of seconds.


asithi April 2, 2009 at 8:24 am

@Liz Dickinson – Thank you taking the time to comment. Hopefully this would answer any remaining question readers might have of the difference in the reading with a strap vs. strapless heart rate monitor.


Sagan April 2, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Wow, that’s so cool. I’ve never tried using a heart rate monitor before but I’m really interested in trying one out. I have a feeling it would be rivaling my pedometer for my love ;)

Thanks for such an in-depth review! Giggled about the old men coworkers.


asithi April 6, 2009 at 7:38 am

@Sagan – my new heart rate monitor is rivaling my pedometer for my attention. Actually most days I will have my “watch” on my wrist and my pedometer in my pocket. I keep forgetting that it is faux pas to mention health at the workplace, but it is okay to talk about retirement. Thanks for the comment Sagan.


{ 3 trackbacks }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: