Mio Breeze Heart Rate Monitor Watch vs the Polar FT60M

There is a wide selection of heart rate monitor watches without chest straps on the market, so choosing the best one can be tricky. You’re looking for an accurate method of measuring and recording your heart rate during exercise, but you don’t want the hassle of a cumbersome chest strap.

I’m an active member of a weekly running club and myself and many of my fellow runners use heart rate monitors on a regular basis to determine the progress of our fitness levels. When I was deciding on which device to purchase, my considerations were affordability, durability and ease of use. What I found was that many of the top sellers offered similar features. Some of the big name brands include Mio, Garmin, Timex, and Bowflex.

Because they provide reliable and continuous monitoring of your heart rate,  I considered investing in another chest band monitor after my previous device died. However, I decided I would prefer the convenience of a heart rate monitor watch without a chest strap. The main difference is that these devices check and determine your heart rate or pulse at various intervals during your training, rather than give a constant measurement; a small sacrifice for the inconvenience of wearing a chest strap every time you run.

In this article I’ll offer a review of the device I have personal experience of; the Mio Breeze heart rate monitor watch. I’ll also share with you a friend from my running club’s opinion of their choice: the Polar FT60M.

Why I bought a heart rate monitor watch without a chest strap

I’m an avid runner and have taken part in 10 kilometre runs, as well as half and full marathons. I’ve been training on and off for many years, but found that the times I was most disciplined were the times I set myself strict goals and recorded my results after every training session. Of course, there are many variants to monitor, distance and time being two of the most popular. But these are what I call vanity results. I wanted to keep track of the improvement of my actual fitness. One of the best ways of doing this is recording your heart rate.

Mio Breeze Heart Rate MonitorWhy I chose the Mio Breeze Heart Rate Monitor Watch

After careful consideration, I chose this device for three main reasons.

  1. It retails at around $50 which I think is a great price.
  2. Mio is a trusted brand in our household. My sat nav is a Mio and it’s been fantastic in terms of reliability and simplicity of use.
  3. I was attracted to the features on offer.


  • Very simple watch which can be worn during exercise
  • Gives on demand heart rate readings
  • No need for a chest strap
  • Tracks heart rate, percentage of maximum heart rate and level of exertion
  • User accessible battery hatch
  • Two exercise timers – one counts up, one counts down
  • 1 year warranty

Mio Breeze Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review

I have been using the Mio Breeze heart rate monitor for around two years now and I couldn’t be happier.

The device has a really straightforward user interface, the batteries were really easy to insert, and it was very simple to set up; you don’t need any knowledge of technology.

I used to rely on a similar device, but got bored of using a chest strap every time I ran. The Mio Breeze doesn’t need a chest strap, which is the main bonus for me. I’ve been using it for around two years now and it’s been super-reliable. All you do is apply two fingers to the watch for a few seconds and you are provided with an accurate ECG heart rate recording. The display is easy to read, even when in motion.

A great feature is that you can time your run at the same time with one of the two exercise timers. You can set a target time and the alarm will let you know when you’ve reached it or you can simply measure the amount of time it takes you to run a certain distance.

I also really like the look of this device and often wear it as a normal watch during the day.

Although my main sport is running, I like to swim too; the bonus with this heart rate monitor watch without chest strap is that it is waterproof. You can wear it in the pool, the Jacuzzi and the sauna if you like. This also makes it extremely good at working through sweat during other forms of exercise.

I also think, at around $50, it offers great value for money. In comparison to other monitors it is affordable and doesn’t scrimp on reliability and durability.

If I had any niggles at all, it would be that the Mio Breeze heart rate monitor takes a short while to kick in when you use the two-finger function to take a recording. Occasionally I have to pause during training to measure my pulse.

But that is a small quibble. In general I have no complaints about the Mio Breeze heart rate monitor watch.

Polar FT60MThe Polar FT60M Review

My mate at our running club swears by one of the top-sellers to monitor his training efforts; the Polar FT60M. Here’s his opinion:

‘The Polar FT60M is brilliant for monitoring your heart rate over a defined amount of time, because it offers a graphical display. This is ideal for helping you judge the right intensity for your work-out.

It also gives you the advanced option of visual and audible alarms should your pulse rate move outside the set zones. You can also record calories burned and check your fitness levels with the popular Polar fitness test.

At over $140 it is slightly more expensive than some of the other options, but the Polar FT60M will not disappoint. In my opinion it’s the only option for serious athletes in search of a reliable and advanced heart rate monitor watch without a chest strap.’

The Final Week of Marathon Training: Part One
The first part of this guide

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Your guide to the commitments you'll need to make when training for a marathon.

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Making it to the Finish Line
A guide to keeping your stamina and focus during a marathon