Fitbit Alta HR Features Explained In An Epic Review (+ Free Walking Journal)!

Fitbit Alta HR Features Explained

I know why you’re here.

You know you’re sitting too much.

You feel like you’re glued to your office chair at work or the couch at home for far too much of your day.

You heard that sitting was the new smoking (yikes!) and you’re up to 3 packs a day.

So you decided to take action and do something about.

You’re going to get a Fitbit…But with so many choices which one should you get?

Well, I had all of these same thoughts when I first decided to get a Fitbit.

I did my research and chose the Fitbit Alta HR and now I’m going to give you an epic review of it!

I have not regretted the choice I made over 2 years and I will share with you why in this post.

Although it hasn’t been all smooth sailing…I’ll tell you about that too.

Here’s what I’ll cover today: 

  • We’re going to go over some basic stuff first, like what a fitness tracker and fitbit are, if you can still buy the Fitbit Alta HR and more
  • I’m going to break each Fitbit feature down and rate them all individually. That way, if there is a certain feature that you are wondering about, you will get an idea of how well that one works.
  • Then I will give you an overall rating to tie it all together.

Oh yeah, and this post contains affiliate links to great products that will help you in your health journey. I will get a commission if you decide to buy from these links but I’m only recommending products that I feel confident about and from companies that I trust like Amazon and others. Please let me know if you have any questions.

First, let’s get these basics out of the way…

What Is A Fitness Tracker?

So what is a fitness tracker anyway?

Well they go by several names: fitness tracker, activity tracker, fitness watch but they all do at least one major thing: they digitally record how much activity or movement you get throughout the day.

They do this in several ways.

They almost all (I say almost in case there’s one strange activity tracker that doesn’t) track how many steps you get a day.

It’s basically like when someone says do you want a coke and they just mean any kind of soda and not necessarily a Coca-Cola. Click To Tweet

Most of the trackers you put on your wrist like a watch and that’s how it tracks how many steps you have.

There are also fitness trackers you wear on your finger like a ring and some you can wear on other body parts but the wrist is most common.

What Is A Fitbit? Well It’s Kinda Like A Coke…

So what is a Fitbit?

A Fitbit is like the most famous VIP activity tracker of all.

It’s an A-list fitness tracker that has basically become synonymous with “activity tracker”.

It’s basically like when someone says do you want a coke and they just mean any kind of soda and not necessarily a Coca-Cola.

There are other name brands of fitness trackers but Fitbits are by far the most well known and are considered to be the most high quality (I’m not saying whether or not that’s true but that is the general consensus).

What Is The Fitbit Alta HR? And The Main Problem With It Now…

The Fitbit Alta HR is one kind of Fitbit in their long line of Fitbits.

There are a wide variety of different types of Fitbits and the Alta HR is just one of many.

It also happens to be the one that I personally own and have worn daily for years.

So I’m well acquainted with it.

But there’s a slight problem with the Fitbit Alta HR which I will address now…

Is the Fitbit Alta HR Discontinued?

Sadly, yes. I mean really Fitbit? Really?

For some reason they thought it was a good idea to do this…but if you were really interested in the Fitbit Alta, you shouldn’t worry and I’ll tell you why later.

What Replaced The Alta HR?

The Fitbit Inspire replaced the Fitbit Alta.

I will probably do a comparison review on these two activity trackers later so you can see the similarities and the differences between them.

 

Why Are You Reviewing The Alta HR Then, Because, Like, I Can’t Even Buy One, Right?

Wrong.

The Alta HR is still available. It’s not hard to get at all and Fitbit (as of this writing) will still give you customer support on it (and their customer support is amazing, truly)

And I’m reviewing it because it’s the one I have, it’s the one that’s lasted me the longest (I’ve had others), and it’s the one that has helped me get up and get moving.

So yes it’s discontinued but you can still buy it which I will show you later.

Now To The Fitbit Alta HR Ultimate Review!


review of fitbit alta hr

Epic Feature By Feature Review Of The Fitbit Alta HR (What features does the Fitbit Alta have?)

 

How Long Have I Had The Fitbit Alta HR? Are You Qualified To Speak On It?

Why, yes I am.

I’ve had it about 2 years so I’ve had it long enough to have a well informed opinion on it.

Where Can You Buy The Alta HR?

Your best bet would be to buy it from Amazon…. I know shocking right? But it’s true.

I’ve already explained that the Alta HR has been discontinued so it’s not on every store shelf.

It is still available but it may be a little harder to find than others. I would just make my life easy and go to Amazon and get it delivered. Plus they have the best price.

Click here to see the Fitbit Alta HR on Amazon!

How Much Does The Alta HR Cost?

Although I can’t tell you exactly how much the Alta is because the price will change before I even publish this post, I can tell you that you can typically get it for under $160.

Considering everything it does in conjunction with the app, that truly is a steal!

Click here to see the Fitbit Alta on Amazon!


What Are The Main Features Of The Fitbit Alta HR?

So this is what I’m going to do. As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to list all of the features of the Fitbit Alta HR and then give you my opinion and rating on them on a scale of 1 to 5.

Later on, I’ll give you my overall rating and I’ll link to Alta’s reviews on Amazon so you can look at those too.


Feature By Feature Review Of Fitbit Alta HR

How Accurate Is The Step Count?

Fitbit’s Claim: It automatically records and tracks how many steps you get, how “far” you’ve walked figuratively speaking, calories burned, and active minutes.

My experience: This is of course the main draw of a Fitbit.

You buy it to track how much activity or how many steps you get each day.

So how accurate is the Alta HR?

I have no idea. Really, I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter.

I know you’re shaking your head but hear me out.

Of course it matters somewhat. You don’t want to think that you have gotten 10,000 steps and you only got 4,000.

How I use a Fitbit is like this: I use it to measure my steps and try and beat or maintain my previous amount of steps.

What I mean by this is that if I normally get 5,000 steps a day and I’m trying to increase my daily amount, I would then go for 6,000 steps and so on.

It is estimated that Fitbits are accurate about 50% of the time. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107736/

This is what I use the Fitbit for. I use to try and maintain or improve my activity over time.

I love looking over my steps from months ago and seeing how much more movement I get throughout the day now.

It shows me my growth and tracks my progress without me having to write or type anything. 

The Alta takes this off of my plate. I get the benefits of tracking without having to think and I’m always grateful for that.

Then I use that data to see where I need to challenge myself in order to reach my goals. 

So how accurate is the Alta HR? I have no idea. Really, I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter.

Now, there has been only one time that I can remember the Fitbit being inaccurate in counting my steps.

One time I was dancing on the couch (ummm don’t ask lol) and then all of a sudden I got the congratulatory buzzing on my arm signifying that I had reached my 10,000 steps.

What I believe happened was the movement of my arm and my body made the Fitbit think I was up walking when I actually wasn’t.

However, it will not track you sitting and pointing the remote at the tv or when you’re typing. It has to be more vigorous than that.

Fitbit is not stupid.

I also love being able to see how many minutes of the day I’ve been active. It serves as another metric that I can use to continually improve my fitness.

Alta HR’s Step Count Accuracy Rating: 4.3 stars


Alta HR’s Heart Rate Feature…Is It Worth The Extra Money?

There is another Fitbit Alta without the HR (heart rate monitor) and it does cost less than the HR version.

So is it worth it to pay more money for the Alta HR?

Let’s look and see…

Fitbit’s Claim: The Alta HR monitor’s your heart rate to better measure how many calories you’ve burned.

And it uses zones (Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak) to help you find the best level of intensity for you to reach your fitness goals.

Fitbit is not stupid.

My Experience With Alta’s HR Monitor: Ok, so in my opinion this works fairly well.

I’ve had a Fitbit without this feature and I regretted it.

The heart rate monitor is something you will rely on when you’re doing those hardcore workouts and you want to check your heart rate to make sure you haven’t gone too far.

It’s especially important for athletes or those with heart conditions (like me) to be able to track their heart rate during a workout or throughout the day.

But I did say it works fairly well as opposed to very well and here’s why.

It does monitor my resting heart rate well. It’s consistently in the same range.

However, without any proof whatsoever, I don’t feel like the monitor is completely accurate when you’re exercising

(But are any of them, tho?).

There have been times during a workout when I was hardly out of breath and my Fitbit would say my heart rate was at 117.

Then there would be times when I could barely stand upright because I had worn myself out in that last HIIT session and the Fitbit heart rate would read like 107.

Hmmm something seemed fishy…

Perhaps in both of those particular workouts, the Fitbit was accurate.

Maybe my seemingly rapid heart beat wasn’t as rapid as it felt.

Perhaps my mild heart rate was stronger than it seemed.

Not sure but it seemed suspect at the time.

What research says: Buzzfeed has done a comparison between the Applewatch, Alta HR, and the most accurate of the three, a chest strap monitor called the Polar H7.

It found that when you are doing an especially vigorous workout with a lot of wrist movement, the Alta HR is not as accurate as it is during other workouts.

It’s especially important for athletes or those with heart conditions (like me) to be able to track their heart rate during a workout or throughout the day. But I did say it works fairly well as opposed to very well and here’s why.

The Alta HR is accurate for resting heart rate readings and for less intense workouts. It would usually fall within a 6 beat margin of the Polar H7.

But the higher the intensity of the activity and the more rapid the heart beat, the less accurate the HR was on the Alta HR.

So is it worth it to spend a little more and get the Alta HR as opposed to just the Alta?

Yes, ya’ll it is worth it to spend more.

I love this feature and refer to it all the time!

Even though it is possibly inaccurate, the heart rate tracker is one of the main reasons why I wanted the Alta and I am pleased with it overall.

I would rather have it than not have it, even if it’s slightly inaccurate.

It’s especially important like I mentioned for those with heart conditions.

I have a heart murmur and I would rather have the HR feature so I can at least have an idea of what my heart is doing.

It’s better than being in the dark.

Alta HR’s Heart Rate Tracker Rating: 4.1 Stars

comparison chart of life before and after owning fitbit alta hr


Fitbit Alta HR’s Look & Feel

Fitbit’s Claim: Fitbit Alta has a slim design with an adjustable strap and comfortable feel.

My Thoughts On Alta HR’s Look:Yes, it is slim and chic and I love that. I did not want a big bulky looking tracker on my wrist weighing it down.

However, you do sacrifice data when your Fitbit has a slimmer screen.

For instance, if you want your exact step count after you’ve reached 1,000 steps, you’ll have to look at your Fitbit app.

That’s because you only get numbers like 1.1K or 3.5K whereas before you reach 1,000 steps you can get numbers like 754 or 899.

When you reach 10,000 or more steps, you get even less data.

Once you get up to five figures you only get to see 10k, 11k and so on.

If having these numbers are a big deal to you, then you should opt for a watch with a wider face.

Rating On Alta HR’s Look: 4.3 Stars

But let’s talk about that band, tho.

My Thoughts On Fitbit Alta’s Band: I like that it has a secure buckle similar to that of a watch.

I’ve owned a Fitbit that did not have a buckle with notches to secure it to your wrist.

And do you know where that Fitbit is?

No?

Me neither.

It was last seen in a Target never to be heard of again. Can’t lie. That put me off Fitbits for a while.

Fortunately, the Fitbit Alta HR stays safely wrapped around my wrist just like it should.

However, this is only while the band itself is actually intact.

More than likely the band won’t break so badly that it falls into the sink while you’re washing dishes.

But you probably will look at the enclosure one day and realize that the loop is broken (true story).  

It was last seen in a Target never to be heard of again. Can’t lie. That put me off Fitbits for a while.

Luckily the replacement bands on Amazon are fairly cheap and you can find ones that are cuter or more fashionable than the original band.

bands for fitbit alta hr

blue black and purple bands for fitbit alta

Unfortunately, I believe broken bands are a common problem with Fitbits so this isn’t unique to the Alta HR.

Alta HR’s Band Rating: 3 stars


Interruption: Why I Had To Replace My Fitbit Alta HR…It’s Covid’s Fault

I take full responsibility for the death of my first Fitbit Alta. It truly was my fault.

You may have heard of this virus that’s infecting large parts of the globe’s population that starts with a C.

Well this virus forces you to wash your hands, over and over and over.

I got a little overzealous in my handwashing and started washing my forearms as well like I’ve seen doctors do preparing for surgery.

If you were wondering how well the Alta HR plays with water, I’m here to tell you.

Not very well. After weeks and weeks (perhaps months) or washing my hands/wrists/forearms my Alta HR drowned to death and could not be resuscitated.

I sheepishly contacted Fitbit’s customer support and ya’ll I couldn’t even believe it.

I take full responsibility for the death of my first Fitbit Alta. It truly was my fault.

They sent me another Fitbit free of charge because it was still under warranty.

Now, if that isn’t amazing customer service I don’t know what is.

I didn’t even buy it directly from the Fitbit website but they still replaced it because I bought it from a licensed

seller.

That is the story of why I had to replace my Alta HR. It’s not the company’s fault. This does not speak to the quality of the Alta.

It just tells you that the Alta HR is not waterproof nor does it claim to be. I found that out the hard way so you don’t have to.

Okay, let’s get back to the regularly scheduled review 🙂


My Thoughts On Fitbit Alta HR’s Comfort

It is super comfortable.

There have been several times where I panicked for a nanosecond thinking I’d either forgotten to put it on or thought it had slipped off.

Luckily I was wrong. The Fitbit Alta is just so light that you can’t feel it

It will fit comfortably on wrists 6.7” to 8.1”

Alta HR’s Comfort Rating: 5 Stars


Fitbit Alta Sleep Tracker Feature

Fitbit’s Claim: Using PurePulse technology, track your sleep quality including light, deep, and REM sleep. It also tells you how long you’ve slept and when you fell asleep.

What Research Says: Ethan from No Sleepless Nights wore the Fitbit Alta HR for a month to test the accuracy of its sleep tracking technology.

You can read the full post here.

Here are some highlights of his study:

  • There were 3 days when he felt the accuracy of the Alta HR was off specifically in the waking and falling asleep times and he was able to change it manually in the app.
  • Other than those 3 days he felt that the Alta HR tracked his sleep accurately
  • He says that he liked being able to compare his sleep to other men his age so that he could get an idea of where he fell on the spectrum.
  • The metrics on the REM, deep, and light sleep were helpful but more information is required to know whether or not those metrics are good, normal, or need improvement.

My Experience: This feature probably works fine but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t want anything on me when I’m sleeping so I’ve never worn my Fitbit to bed

My Sleep Tracker Rating: Not applicable but based on my research I would give it a 4.5 inaccuracy.


How Well Does The Alta HR Record & Sync Stats?

Fitbit’s Claim: Sync stats wirelessly to laptops and 200 plus other devices

My Experience With The Syncing Feature: Yes this feature works well even on my old iPhone 6.

I just went into my app to check out my stats and it keeps records all the way back to 2017 and beyond (I stopped scrolling).

It’s like wait…it’s 7 pm and I only have 3,000 steps! Dude, I need to get up ASAP 🙂

It was really cool to see how much more activity I get now compared to last year around this time. 

Last year I was only getting about 30,000 to 40,000 steps per week.

Now I’m averaging 60,000 or more. Still not where I want to be but getting there 😊.

And there’s no telling how many (or few) steps I was getting before I got my Fitbit Alta HR.

Activity trackers no doubt motivate you to get up when you get to see the raw data in black and white!

It’s like wait…it’s 7 pm and I only have 3,000 steps! Dude, I need to get up ASAP 🙂

This is a wonderful way to keep track of your progress and goals over time.

Syncing Stats Rating: 4.5 Stars


Battery Life & Charging…How Long Does It Last

Fitbit’s Claim: Up to 7 days of battery life

My Experience With The Battery Life: 7 days of battery life is perhaps a bit conservative. I usually charge mine from Friday to Friday but it still isn’t necessarily dying at this point.

I just don’t want to run the risk of it dying in the middle of the day and my precious steps not counting (I mean does a step really count if you’re not wearing your Fitbit?) 

It was really cool to see how much more activity I get now compared to last year around this time.

It also charges really quickly.

Like I said, I normally charge mine on Fridays.

It’s Saturday and I forgot to charge it last night so I did this morning.

I only had one bar left and the Alta charged to full capacity in less than 2 hours.

It may have been way less than that but I didn’t think to time it and see the exact length.

Alta Battery Rating: 5 stars


Tap & Lift To Wake Features: How Well Do They Work?

Fitbit’s Claim: Tap the Alta’s face to see your stats, time & notifications on the display

My Experience With The Tap Feature: Overall, it works well.

However, there have been more than a few times where I had to tap the face of the tracker more than once to activate the display.

Was I not hitting it just right? Was I not tapping it hard enough?

Not sure.

(I mean does a step really count if you’re not wearing your Fitbit?) 

It’s not a daily occurrence but it’s happened enough to be a mild annoyance.

Alta HR’s Tap Feature Rating: 3.9 Stars


My Experience With Lift To Wake: Umm this feature needs a little work honestly.

Is it a big deal that the display doesn’t activate every time I lift my wrist?

No of course not.

But it is one of their claims to fame and well it can be a little diva-ish.

I would say it works 90% of the time, as long as you perform the proper wrist flourish.

Alta HR’s Lift To Wake Rating: 4 stars


Alta HR’s OLED Screen Not Bright Enough?

Fitbit’s Claim: Easy to read, bright OLED face

My Experience With The Display: The Fitbit Alta has received some flack for its display not being visible in bright light.

I suppose that’s true so if you plan on hiking or using your Alta outside a lot where it might be sunny, this could be a concern for you.

For my kind of lifestyle, which consists of being indoors most of the time, the display has been easy to read with some exceptions.

However, I did decide to test this out and see if these complaints were based in reality or if they were tripping.

I went to the brightest sunniest spot I could find at work (a library with floor to ceiling windows) and held up my Alta in the brightest ray of sun to see if I could read.

I could read it without much difficulty. It truly wasn’t a big deal.

Alta HR’s Display Rating: 4.5 Stars


Smartphone Notifications…Here’s My Take

Fitbit’s Claim: Gives you instant access to stats, the time and smartphone notifications.

My Experience Alta’s Smartphone Notifications: The smartphone notifications are a nice touch when your distant phone rings and you want to know if it’s worth walking across the room to answer it or if it’s just a telemarketer who you can ignore.

Your phone does have to be in the general vicinity in order to get the notification.

I went to the brightest sunniest spot I could find at work (a library with floor to ceiling windows) and held up my Alta in the brightest ray of sun to see if I could read.

Your iPhone can’t be 2 rooms away and have the notifications pop up.

But they also claim that they will give you calendar notifications. I mean, okay…maybe mine isn’t set up properly but, I’ve never gotten these so yeah…I have to ding them a little for that.

Alta HR’s Notifications Rating: 4.5 stars


Reminders to move…will they motivate you to get up?

Tracker sends you friendly reminders to move that encourage you to stay active and help you fit more movement into your day. ( These reminders are a fine idea and they are somewhat motivational. But I’m more likely to ignore them.

But for someone else who needs the encouragement it’s a cool feature.

It’ll send you messages like “ Get moving?” Or tell you how many steps you need to win the hour which means how many steps you need to get to the next 1,000 steps I believe.

Movement Messages Rating: 4.5 stars


What Are The Benefits To Having A Fitbit Alta HR?

What Problems Does It Really Solve?

The benefits to owning a Fitbit Alta HR or any Fitbit are legion.

For years I’ve had the fitbit but it’s only until a few days ago that I dove deeper into all of its features, the Fitbit app, and how you can use them both to get your entire life together, health wise.

The smartphone notifications are a nice touch when your distant phone rings and you want to know if it’s worth walking across the room to answer it or if it’s just a telemarketer who you can ignore.

 

Let’s think about the major aspects of healthy living:

  • It’s what you eat
  • It’s how much you move
  • It’s how much water you drink
  • It’s about how much you sleep
  • It’s about your weight
  • It’s about de-stressing
  • It’s about your hormones being regulated (if you get a period)

I used to either not track any of these metrics or track them all on different apps not realizing that I can track all of them in the fitbit app.

I know… duh right? But I just never looked at the Fitbit app that much before or was much for tracking my health stats.

I mean I love the idea of it but it seemed like too much work.

But now I completely get why it’s important to mark my daily progress towards my goals.

And the Fitbit Alta along with the app allow you to do this and do it easily.

The benefits to owning a Fitbit Alta HR or any Fitbit are legion.

I’m especially excited about the food log where you can just scan the barcode label on your food packages and quickly add your meals to your tracker.

Being able to do this will make me far more likely to log my meals into the app as this is not a natural thing for me. (In fact I’m going to stop writing right now and go track my breakfast… be right back…)


My Overall Rating Of The Fitbit Alta HR

In order to rate the Alta overall, I have to consider the features that are most important to me.

  • Step count accuracy (4.8 stars)
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Sleek and comfortable and stylish
  • Syncs with an app that will help me get healthy and seamlessly track my progress over time all in one place (I didn’t rate this but I give it a 5)

So considering all of these factors, I would give the Alta HR 4.5 stars overall!

I really love and am truly sad when I leave it at home or can’t wear it. I feel naked without it and would gladly go get another one if for some reason I didn’t have it anymore.


Ok, Great But What Do Other People Think?

Want to see other people’s reviews on the Fitbit Alta HR?

Click the link below to read thousands of them. I think you’ll be impressed.

Click here to read the Fitbit Alta’s reviews on Amazon!

 

Final Thoughts On The Fitbit Alta HR & It’s Features

Okay, so this review was waaay long… I hope it helped you make your decision on whether or not to get the Fitbit Alta HR.

It was exhausting to write not gonna lie but I wanted to do it like this because I know how much it can help you improve your health.

Just in the past few weeks, I’ve lost 2 inches off my thighs just from walking more and I know having the Alta helped motivate me to move.

So if you know you need to make some changes in your health, the Fitbit Alta HR is a great place to start!

Click here to buy the Fitbit Alta HR on Amazon!

 

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woman in red looking at her fitbit on a post about Fitbit Alta HR

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Medical Disclaimer: While Healthy As You Can strives to provide the most accurate information, anything you read on this site is purely for informational or entertainment purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice or as a replacement for a doctor’s care, diagnosis, appointment, advice, etc. I am not a medical professional at all. Any information, tips, or ideas that you try as a result of reading this blog is tried at your, the reader’s, own risk.

Health Disclaimer: The owner of Healthy As You Can is not a physician, nutritionist, or medical professional. Any tips or ideas that you implement as a result of reading the information on this blog are done at your own risk. The results that may be discussed are not typical or guaranteed. Please talk to your doctor before starting any workout, exercises, diet or nutrition plan. Please stop any workout if you start to feel any pain. Healthy As You Can is not entering into a Doctor-Patient relationship with any reader and is not responsible for any errors or omissions of information.

Nicky

Angela Johnson is the owner and creator of Healthy As You Can (HAYC) and Christian Blogging Academy (CBA). She is also an author and certified life coach. She started this blog to help support other Christians who want to live a healthy and natural lifestyle but don't know where to start because it can be oh so confusing. She's still trying to figure it all out and as she does, she'll let you know!

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Nicky

Angela Johnson is the owner and creator of Healthy As You Can (HAYC) and Christian Blogging Academy (CBA). She is also an author and certified life coach. She started this blog to help support other Christians who want to live a healthy and natural lifestyle but don't know where to start because it can be oh so confusing. She's still trying to figure it all out and as she does, she'll let you know!

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