The Quick Model

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

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

At some point, the worth 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 price monitor brings all method of advantages for simply £30 extra (than the usual Alta).
  • SmartTrack computerized train recognition by no means places a step flawed and saved us from forgetting to press cease on the finish of a session (occurs lots).
  • 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.
  • Other than 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 price 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 worth to the Cost 2 we will’t assist however really feel it’s value paying that bit extra, even when the Cost 2 is much less svelte.
  • SmartTrack is nice, however aside out of your coronary heart price there’s no mid-exercise information displayed on the tracker’s display, which is particularly irritating when working.
  • The display might 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 value spending an additional £30 for an optical coronary heart price monitor? Sure it completely is.

The addition of coronary heart price monitoring means better 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 price, a superb indicator of basic health.

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A couple of months after launching, Fitbit upgraded the app to supply Alta HR customers Cardio Health Rating, a characteristic that had beforehand solely been accessible on the Cost 2 and Blaze. It’s an estimate of VO₂ max, or how effectively your physique can use oxygen, based mostly in your resting coronary heart price 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 recommend how a lot you might enhance the rating with train, particularly HIIT, or if you happen to drop 5lb (2.3kg) of weight. If there’s one criticism we’ve with health trackers it’s that numbers are sometimes offered with none context, so we give Fitbit a giant hand for including this characteristic and explaining it.

After exercising you’ll discover a breakdown of your session within the app, which provides you with a line graph of your coronary heart price for the period and a breakdown of time spent in sure zones: fats burn (primarily gentle train), cardio (average train) and peak.Reviewing the instances spent in sure zones is particularly helpful if you happen to take a HIIT class the place, if correctly structured, you have to be hitting the height zone commonly, if briefly. It acted as a well timed reminder to us, not less than, that we should always put extra effort in.

One query with all wrist-based coronary heart price screens is accuracy and the flexibility to reply shortly to fast adjustments in coronary heart price. 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 affordable” take a look at. Our resting coronary heart price moved round appropriately based on how healthily we had been behaving and there have been no outlandish readings after we seemed on the display throughout train.

Sometimes, nonetheless, we did discover it didn’t show a coronary heart price throughout train regardless that we had been sporting it based on 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 price and sleep to keep away from among the warmth. The step purpose continues to be entrance and centre while you open the Fitbit app, however we’re superb with that – 10,000 steps is a wonderfully professional 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 start line and progress.

We discovered ourselves hitting the 10,000-step purpose a little bit earlier within the day than regular (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 we’ve no manner of realizing if our earlier tracker was kind of 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 gives breakdowns of your steps over a day, every week, a month, three months or a yr.

One characteristic that may be present in different fashions on this worth 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 might be forgiven the omission on the Alta HR. They’ve already managed to suit a coronary heart price 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 working as an train occasion (though you’ll be able to cut back this time restrict within the settings). Afterwards it supplies you with the time spent working, a graph of your coronary heart price and the time spent within the three coronary heart price zones, energy burned and steps taken.

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

However, if you happen to’re blissful to run together with your telephone, you’re capable of monitor distance (and due to this fact tempo) utilizing your telephone’s GPS. When you’re executed and verify your train log, you’ll see the app’s married the GPS information with the center price SmartTrack famous.

Contemplating assisted GPS is without doubt one of the foremost 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, nonetheless, is that it may’t see any of the GPS information (time, distance or tempo information) in your wrist as you run. In truth, as a result of SmartTrack isn’t proven on the display in any respect you’ll be able to’t even see a timer of how lengthy you’ve been working for. You may hold tabs in your coronary heart price, which is helpful if you happen to’re following a coaching plan and like to make use of coronary heart price zones as an alternative of phrases like straightforward, regular and tempo, or if you happen to’re seeking to run intervals. However in case you are that into your working that you simply’re planning on intervals, we’d suggest the Cost 2 – which has a characteristic devoted to simply 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 working. It really works if you happen to’re an informal bike owner – maybe a commuter like us – and wish the exercise to rely in direction of your targets, however if you happen to’re in any respect into biking the Alta HR will really feel feature-light fairly shortly.

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 gives swim monitoring on the cheaper Flex 2 – it appears to be one space that Fitbit’s blissful to go away to the competitors for now.

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Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR For Calorie Counting

The addition of coronary heart price information ought to make the estimates of energy burned extra correct, though we will’t take a look at 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 if you happen to’re counting energy to shed some pounds.

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

For those who eat a variety of processed meals this may very well 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 cook dinner wholefoods and have little thought of the load of meals you’re consuming. You may spend every week diligently measuring and recording the common gadgets you make, however we couldn’t deliver ourselves to carry out such a soul-sucking job.

Utilizing The Fitbit Alta HR As A Sleep Tracker

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

Huge whoop, it’s possible you’ll 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 standard figures to 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 may 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 may very well be an actual sport 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 accessible by providing easy notifications.

The system will buzz with calls, texts and calendar alerts (which might 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 way in which, is a lot. If it’s greater than that it’s in all probability your mum and it’s best to simply name her).

It’s a helpful addition and effectively executed, though we discovered it troublesome to learn the Alta HR’s display throughout daylight, and we often 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 characteristic that’s current on one of many Alta HR’s largest rivals, the Garmin Vivoactive HR and Vivosmart 3. Whether or not that’s an issue will depend on you – if we had 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’ll be able to pull down the house display to manually activate a sync.

The Fitbit app is without doubt one of the best to make use of, hanging the appropriate steadiness 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 gives a variety of gamified competitions with pals (if you realize any fellow Fitbit customers) and solo challenges that help you nearly full a route – just like the New York Marathon – by way of your step rely. Each are good additions that 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 price monitoring – however we discovered it may go so long as ten days. It takes about two hours to completely cost from useless.

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

Anyplace – 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 vivid assertion orange that’s simply the appropriate aspect of cool.

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

RRP £129, purchase on fitbit.com | Examine worth on amazon.co.uk

Ought to I Contemplate Shopping for One thing Else?

Completely, as a result of there’s lots accessible for £130 or thereabouts. There’s the fundamental TomTom Spark Three at £120 which lacks a coronary heart price monitor however does add built-in GPS – if you happen to’re into working, go for this as an alternative.

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

Or there’s Fitbit’s personal vastly in style Cost 2 (£140) which could be very related, however gives a couple of further options and a bigger, extra interactive display. However to make it as stylistically unobtrusive because the Alta HR you’d should pony up £60 for the leather-based band.