Fitbit Alta HR Review: The Best All Round Fitness Tracker For Weight Loss


The Quick Model

The unique Fitbit Alta is a strong, trendy, slimline tracker that coated on a regular basis exercise and informal train slickly and precisely. Fitbit’s method with this new mannequin seems to be “if it ain’t broke, stick a coronary heart fee monitor on it” – and this has made an important tracker even larger. Now it’s higher at monitoring energy burned and sleep with out compromising the appears to be like that make it a really all-day tracker.

The one downside is that if the Alta HR lets you actually get into exercising you could remorse not spending that further £10 for the Fitbit Cost 2, or choosing the extra feature-packed Garmin Vivosmart Three for a similar value.

Someday, the value of the Alta HR will drop to £100 and we’ll give it that fifth star.

Ranking ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

Issues We Favored

  • Including a coronary heart fee monitor brings all method of advantages for simply £30 extra (than the usual Alta).
  • SmartTrack automated train recognition by no means places a step mistaken and saved us from forgetting to press cease on the finish of a session (occurs quite a bit).
  • Whereas there’s no marketed assisted GPS as on Fitbit’s Cost 2, there’s a workaround utilizing the Fitbit app that does just about the identical factor.
  • Aside from the Apple Watch 2, you received’t discover one other feature-packed tracker that appears so good.
  • Whereas that is true throughout all Fitbit fashions with a coronary heart fee monitor, the Cardio Health rating and sleep monitoring present important context that can assist you perceive your numbers. Lastly.

Issues We Didn’t Like

  • It’s so shut in value to the Cost 2 we will’t assist however really feel it’s price paying that bit extra, even when the Cost 2 is much less svelte.
  • SmartTrack is nice, however aside out of your coronary heart fee there’s no mid-exercise data displayed on the tracker’s display, which is very irritating when operating.
  • The display will be laborious to learn in daylight and there’s an artwork to getting the display to activate.

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Fitbit Alta HR In-Depth

Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR As A Coronary heart Charge Monitor

The unique Alta now prices £100 (though it may be discovered for even much less on-line), so is it price spending an additional £30 for an optical coronary heart fee monitor? Sure it completely is.

The addition of coronary heart fee monitoring means larger accuracy in monitoring the energy you burn and leads to a extra detailed breakdown of sleep (extra on that later). The Alta HR can now additionally give an estimate of your resting coronary heart fee, a superb indicator of basic health.

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Just a few months after launching, Fitbit upgraded the app to supply Alta HR customers Cardio Health Rating, a function that had beforehand solely been out there on the Cost 2 and Blaze. It’s an estimate of VO₂ max, or how effectively your physique can use oxygen, primarily based in your resting coronary heart fee and different bits from profile together with your weight. Whereas this might have been simply one other quantity, Fitbit cleverly locations you on a spectrum of individuals of the identical intercourse and age vary.

Subsequent screens within the app then counsel how a lot you might enhance the rating with train, particularly HIIT, or in case you drop 5lb (2.3kg) of weight. If there’s one grievance now we have with health trackers it’s that numbers are sometimes supplied with none context, so we give Fitbit a giant hand for including this function and explaining it.

After exercising you’ll discover a breakdown of your session within the app, which will provide you with a line graph of your coronary heart fee for the length and a breakdown of time spent in sure zones: fats burn (basically gentle train), cardio (average train) and peak.Reviewing the occasions spent in sure zones is very helpful in case you take a HIIT class the place, if correctly structured, you have to be hitting the height zone often, if briefly. It acted as a well timed reminder to us, a minimum of, that we should always put extra effort in.

One query with all wrist-based coronary heart fee screens is accuracy and the flexibility to reply rapidly to fast adjustments in coronary heart fee. We haven’t examined the Alta HR in opposition to a chest strap (that are inevitably extra correct), however we discovered it largely handed the “that’s cheap” check. Our resting coronary heart fee moved round appropriately in line with how healthily we have been behaving and there have been no outlandish readings once we seemed on the display throughout train.

Often, nevertheless, we did discover it didn’t show a coronary heart fee throughout train despite the fact that we have been carrying it in line with Fitbit’s pointers for train (tight and two finger-widths above the wrist bone). This was fairly uncommon, although.

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Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Step Counting

The 10,000 steps purpose took a little bit of kicking earlier this yr, though Fitbit can fortunately level to its 2017 deal with coronary heart fee and sleep to keep away from a few of the warmth. The step purpose remains to be entrance and centre once you open the Fitbit app, however we’re high-quality with that – 10,000 steps is a wonderfully respectable marker and don’t let anybody inform you in any other case.

There’s additionally the choice within the app to vary the step goal up or down, relying in your place to begin and progress.

We discovered ourselves hitting the 10,000-step purpose slightly earlier within the day than traditional (we’re very a lot creatures of behavior) so the Alta HR could also be a bit extra delicate to motion, however not outrageously so, and now we have no approach of understanding if our earlier tracker was roughly correct.

With all issues tracker-related, it’s not likely absolutely the quantity that counts, it’s the way it adjustments over time. Fitbit appears to know that and presents breakdowns of your steps over a day, per week, a month, three months or a yr.

One function that may be present in different fashions on this value bracket, however isn’t current on the Alta HR, is an altimeter to rely stairs climbed. Within the Fitbit vary, that’s current within the Cost 2 and above, however Fitbit will be forgiven the omission on the Alta HR. They’ve already managed to suit a coronary heart fee monitor into the Alta’s svelte body.

Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Working

The Alta HR routinely recognises and categorises 15 minutes or extra of operating as an train occasion (though you may scale back this time restrict within the settings). Afterwards it offers you with the time spent operating, a graph of your coronary heart fee and the time spent within the three coronary heart fee zones, energy burned and steps taken.

Surprisingly, Fitbit doesn’t take a stab at estimating the gap you ran (one thing Garmin’s Vivosmart Three does an honest job of), though it will provide you with the gap travelled within the day.

However, in case you’re blissful to run together with your telephone, you’re in a position to monitor distance (and due to this fact tempo) utilizing your telephone’s GPS. When you’re performed and verify your train log, you’ll see the app’s married the GPS knowledge with the guts fee SmartTrack famous.

Contemplating assisted GPS is among the major variations between the Alta HR and the Cost 2, it’s shocking Fitbit left this workaround in.

The place the Alta HR does fall down, nevertheless, is that it will probably’t see any of the GPS data (time, distance or tempo knowledge) in your wrist as you run. The truth is, as a result of SmartTrack isn’t proven on the display in any respect you may’t even see a timer of how lengthy you’ve been operating for. You possibly can hold tabs in your coronary heart fee, which is beneficial in case you’re following a coaching plan and like to make use of coronary heart fee zones as a substitute of phrases like simple, regular and tempo, or in case you’re trying to run intervals. However if you’re that into your operating that you simply’re planning on intervals, we’d suggest the Cost 2 – which has a function devoted to only that.

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Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Biking

Though there’s no biking possibility when beginning GPS monitoring within the app, it’ll nonetheless match itself as much as a SmartTrack biking occasion. In any other case the Alta HR tracks precisely the identical issues for biking because it does for operating. It really works in case you’re an informal bicycle owner – maybe a commuter like us – and need the exercise to rely in the direction of your targets, however in case you’re in any respect into biking the Alta HR will really feel feature-light fairly rapidly.

Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Swimming

The Alta HR isn’t waterproof so don’t take it into the pool or the bathe. Fitbit solely presents swim monitoring on the cheaper Flex 2 – it appears to be one space that Fitbit’s blissful to depart to the competitors for now.

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Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Calorie Counting

The addition of coronary heart fee knowledge ought to make the estimates of energy burned extra correct, though we will’t check whether or not that’s true or not. It’s helpful that Fitbit tracks complete calorie rely, together with these burned at relaxation, which is important in case you’re counting energy to drop a few pounds.

The Fitbit app units a energy burned goal primarily based in your profile data, though you may edit this. For those who log meals within the Fitbit app, it’ll additionally provide you with a dynamic calorie rely in addition to a breakdown of macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein).

For those who eat loads of processed meals this might be very helpful as a result of there’s a barcode scanner that’ll herald all the data. It’s much less helpful if, like us, you prepare dinner wholefoods and have little thought of the load of meals you’re consuming. You would spend per week diligently measuring and recording the common objects you make, however we couldn’t deliver ourselves to carry out such a soul-sucking activity.

Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR As A Sleep Tracker

The Alta HR is the most cost effective wearable in Fitbit’s line-up that provides Sleep Levels, which makes use of the guts fee monitor so as to add REM monitoring to the breakdown of awake, gentle and deep sleep that’s frequent throughout manufacturers.

Large whoop, you could say, however drill down into an evening’s monitoring and Fitbit will clarify what every stage means and, crucially, benchmark you in opposition to the everyday figures on your intercourse and age vary. That’s genuinely helpful.

Sleep Insights is much more helpful, which make use of the mass of knowledge Fitbit has entry to. This would possibly imply you’re handled to fascinating titbits (Fitbit customers sleep on common 15 minutes longer through the winter) or a comparability of your common time spent asleep to that of your demographic.

Tapping into this data might be an actual recreation changer, and the educating of customers about sleep is an actual benefit of going with Fitbit.

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Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR As A Smartwatch

With such a small display the Alta HR can’t match the smartwatch pretensions of the Blaze, its older, larger brother, but it surely makes full use of the true property out there by providing easy notifications.

The gadget will buzz with calls, texts and calendar alerts (which will be turned off). When the display’s activated the sender and, with texts, the primary 40 characters of the message will scroll throughout the display (40 characters, by the best way, is lots. If it’s greater than that it’s in all probability your mum and it is best to simply name her).

It’s a helpful addition and nicely executed, though we discovered it tough to learn the Alta HR’s display throughout daylight, and we sometimes activated the display by chance and couldn’t deliver the message again once more.

What the Alta HR can’t do is present notifications from third-party apps like WhatsApp, a function that’s current on one of many Alta HR’s largest opponents, the Garmin Vivoactive HR and Vivosmart 3. Whether or not that’s an issue depends upon you – if we have been buzzed each time somebody posts in our fantasy soccer group our hand can be completely numb.

The Fitbit App

Syncing with the app couldn’t be simpler. The Alta HR pairs over Bluetooth in a matter of seconds each time you open the app or you may pull down the house display to manually activate a sync.

The Fitbit app is among the best to make use of, hanging the proper stability between a manageable format at first look and enough depth that you simply proceed to come across new screens and particulars a good whereas after first downloading it.

The Challenges tab presents a spread of gamified competitions with buddies (if you already know any fellow Fitbit customers) and solo challenges that can help you just about full a route – just like the New York Marathon – via your step rely. Each are good additions which will present that little little bit of impetus wanted to vary your routine and up your step rely.

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How Usually Am I Going To Have To Cost It?

Fitbit claims a seven-day battery life which might be a strong effort for a tool with fixed coronary heart fee monitoring – however we discovered it will probably go so long as ten days. It takes about two hours to completely cost from lifeless.

The place Can I Put on It With out Folks Laughing At Me?

Wherever – it’s slim sufficient and, in black, discreet sufficient to go unnoticed, however there are many choices to vary its fashion. The usual band is out there in 4 colors – black, blue gray, fuschia and coral (£19.99 every), with the latter a shiny assertion orange that’s simply the proper facet of cool.

Leather-based bands in brown (our favorite), indigo or lavender (£39.99 every) are the go-to in case you’re planning on carrying it with a go well with. There’s additionally a steel bracelet in stainless-steel (£69.99) or 22okay gold-plated (£109.99), and whereas Fitbit’s promotional photographs appear to counsel these are just for ladies we’d be tempted by the metal model if we moved in fancier circles.

RRP £129, purchase on | Verify value on

Ought to I Take into account Shopping for One thing Else?

Completely, as a result of there’s quite a bit out there for £130 or thereabouts. There’s the essential TomTom Spark Three at £120 which lacks a coronary heart fee monitor however does add built-in GPS – in case you’re into operating, go for this as a substitute.

There’s the Garmin Vivosmart 3 (£130) which is packed stuffed with options, however sacrifices the Alta HR’s ease of use and magnificence and falls down on the biking entrance by providing no data after rides.

Or there’s Fitbit’s personal vastly standard Cost 2 (£140) which may be very comparable, however presents just a few further options and a bigger, extra interactive display. However to make it as stylistically unobtrusive because the Alta HR you’d need to pony up £60 for the leather-based band.