Fitbit Alta HR
The Fitbit Alta HR is a pseudo-new product. It is the Fitbit Alta with a heart rate monitor. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the product; there just isn’t anything very new, crazy, or exciting to discuss. It is going to be a favorite item. The Alta HR is likely a person’s best bet if first and foremost the person wants a good activity tracker that gives the basics of what can be expected of a device in 2019. It is pretty sleek and comfortable to wear.
The device is a solid activity tracker that performs all the basics. It helps keep fitness front and center and helps keep it fun as the user competes with friends. Anything that requires muscle-flexing in the arms will affect accuracy. It will understate the heart rate and the calories burned. For fringe activities such as badminton, the device will categorize the activity as a sport. Daily alarms can be set in the mobile application. Move reminders are primarily hourly goals.
The goal is to hit 250 steps per hour. It will relay text messages, phone calls, and calendar reminders. The Alta HR is tiny and covert in terms of not shouting that an activity tracker is being worn. It is also very comfortable. Testers liked the watch style locking system that was missing on the original Alta. Not being waterproof is another unfavorable aspect. Those who are a bit more active will want something with a few more features.
- Comfortable and minimal
- Extended battery life
- Fitbit app
- Heart rate sensor
- Sleep tracking
- No GPS
- No manual activity start
- Not water resistant
- Screen tapping activate
Because it is so basic, a movement that looks like a step and feels like a step will register as a step. Think of steps more as a general barometer of activity level. Because it records as a step does not mean the device is terribly inaccurate.
The calories burned numbers are relatively accurate unless the user is working out all the time and does a lot of weightlifting and Crossfit. The calories will be understated because the wrist-based heart rate sensor works best for walking, running, or hiking.
Its SmartTrack feature automatically detects when an activity begins. If an activity is incorrectly classified, it can be changed in the Fitbit app. Unlike Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Charge, an activity cannot be manually started.
No timer is displayed when an activity begins. It tracks sleeping activity or inactivity. The device is not water resistant and can’t track swimming.
When the Alta HR is within 30 or 40 feet of a phone, the device connects and displays notifications, calendar reminders, calls, and text message. The feature functions but works better on other devices because of the display.
Every five seconds, the heart rate is read and displayed. The pedometer shows how close a user is to achieving the daily goals with a progress bar below the number of steps taken — testers like that the Fitbit breaks movement down into something digestible.
The 250 steps per hour reminder is perceived as better than movement reminders on other devices. Vibrations remind the wearer to move when inactive for a while and to congratulate when a goal is reached.
A fit of vibrations congratulates the wearer when a goal is reached. Silent alarms can be set to vibrate to wake the user without disturbing anyone else. The deep sleeper may want to have a backup plan.
The device is capable of detecting deep, light, or REM sleep through movement. A reminder to go to be can be set if a wearer finds bedtime getting later and later. It can be customized in the Fitbit app watch display. The heart rate sensor tracks the heart rate around the clock in five-second intervals.
Fitbit uses those numbers to estimate calories burned as well as the sleep metrics. The sleep metrics monitoring is new with the Alta HR. It now shows REM sleep which helps unwrapped and determine sleep data. The REM was not delineated or differentiated within the application on previous models. Now it breaks things down better within the app.
Connected to a phone via Bluetooth, the device automatically syncs data and activity. It also displays phone texts, calls, and notifications. The heart rate sensor cannot be connected to outside heart rate monitors. If a true performance device that connects to GPS or has running features is what a person wants, he or she will likely look elsewhere.
Without the Fitbit app, the Fitbit Alta HR is nearly useless. Everything syncs with the app to make everything clear. The app interface makes it easy to view activities and insights.
The device shows data over time and calculates helpful insights like suggesting fewer steps on certain days or the number of hours to sleep on a nightly average. Everyone can gain some insight into their lifestyle with the use of the Fitbit software.
The band is made of soft and flexible plastic that does not irritate the skin. Above the bump of the radius is the most comfortable place on the wrist to wear the device. It is not in the way when doing exercises that require bending the wrist such as yoga or weightlifting.
The interchangeable bands are easy to replace if they break. Alta HR is not indestructible. Excess water can damage the tracker. It cannot be worn when swimming or showering.
A little drizzle and sweat do not affect its function. It can chip or scratch, and the screen could break. There are screen protectors available for those who anticipate severe abuse of the device.
When not in use, the screen dims. The screen is activated by turning the wrist to enable ‘quick view’ or by tapping the face. It is responsive to taps but not touch sensitive. The device requires the user to tap the device to get access from screen to screen. To cycle through the screens by tapping can be tiresome. The app allows the display options to be customized.
The app is not the feature that lets users down. Consumer let downs are the display and the fact that the device does not have a button to cycle through data. The display is probably the most prominent let down of the Alta HR. The visibility in sunlight is horrible. It works fine indoors.
The design is an improvement over the original Fitbit Alta that had a ‘snap-on’ that was less reliable. The band is interchangeable. It can be made to look better in terms of being able to wear to the office. The device will look less like an activity tracker, particularly if the chosen band is rose gold or metal.
Ease of Use
Workouts do not have to be started on the wrist by pressing a button. It automatically recognizes the user is working out. Running, cycling or walking are auto-recognized and are categorized and data collected. It is convenient, but not perfect.
The activities sometimes register less or more time than occurred. This device functions as the simpler, the better. When the user wears the Alta HR, he or she does not have to think about registering a workout. Begin, and the device, for the most part, automatically recognizes the workouts and saves all the data.
It is recommended to charge every few days. A charging cable is included with the device. It clips on the watch and can be plugged into any USB port such as a computer or wall charger. Testers would prefer Micro USB.
Though it is pricey, the wearer may be paying for something that is likely to be worn a lot. The MSRP is $150. The prices on Amazon are in a constant state of change. Currently, the Fitbit Alta HR has been reduced from $129.95 to $103 or $122.95 based on the size. Testers would have priced the Alta HR at $130 rather than $150.
There is a band for anybody for any occasion. Those are the only accessories for the Fitness Alta HR. The simple design does not entertain any other gadgets.
* Connects to Fitbit app
* Links to a phone and displays notifications
* Heart rate sensor
* Silent alarms and reminders
* Sleep tracking
It is a health indicator. It should not be relied upon for specifics. The Fitbit Alta HR is a watch users want to wear. It is comfortable, durable, sleek, and makes exercising fun. It is a fitness tracker that covers the basics.
The most significant aspect is that it provides the basic activity tracker that incorporates a wrist-based heart rate monitor. Fitbit is a leading brand in fitness tracking.
Their products are easy to use, accessible to everyone, and make achieving fitness goals fun. Alta HR is the latest fitness tracker. It can be argued it is the best version yet.