About a year ago I purchased the Fitbit Charge HR wristband tracker. I enjoyed it very much, but thought I’d give this streamlined version a try too, the Fitbit Alta HR. My original Fitbit has been very helpful to me as I work on losing weight and practicing a regular fitness routine. For the most part I like the Alta HR better than the Charge HR. I like that the band is thinner, and you can replace the strap with other straps (purchased separately), changing up the color and/or material. My Charge HR strap was not replaceable, which proved to be a problem over time, as the strap would begin to deteriorate and separate from the product. I like that I have the freedom to replace the Alta HR’s strap.
The display on the Alta HR seems to be a bit more advanced than the Charge HR. I’ve enjoyed using the “remind to move” feature, where the Alta HR will vibrate at 10 minutes before the hour if I haven’t been active enough. If I haven’t covered 250 steps in that hour, it will inform me how far I’ve got to walk to achieve that goal within 10 minutes. When I do cross that line, it gives me a congratulatory message.
One thing that I’ve really enjoyed with the Fitbit products is the ability to track my workout energy expenditure. The Fitbit can track my steps taken, my heart rate and calories burned (which is customized based on my personal body stats). If I’ve had a really tough workout, but the Fitbit tells me that I’ve burned 500 calories, I feel a great sense of accomplishment.
One drawback to the Fitbit Alta HR is the lack of a workout button. On the Charge HR wristband, I could press and hold a workout button, and it would begin to specifically track my stats during that period of time. When the workout was over, I’d press the button again. I would know down to the second what my body was doing during that period. Yes, the Fitbit does track the same information over the course of the entire day, but it’s interesting to see what’s going on during a specified period of time. With the Fitbit Alta HR, there is no button, and the Alta merely “senses” when you’ve started your workout, and decides when you’ve stopped.
The problem with this feature is that I want to be the one to decide when my workout begins and ends. For example, some workouts that I do might be pilates-based, and at the beginning of the routine, there might actually be very little movement or increased heart rate. According to my Fitbit Alta HR, the workout hasn’t begun. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes when I finish a heavy cardio routine, my heartrate might be slightly elevated for several minutes after the workout. Technically the workout is “over”, but my body doesn’t know that. While this is helpful in my weight-loss efforts, it annoys the critical part of my brain that wants to look at a specified period of time.
I actually contacted the Fitbit company about this issue, hoping that they would have a work-around. Unfortunately, they do not at this time. They stated that they would pass my concern on to their engineers, so perhaps they will be able to employ a solution through product improvement, or perhaps through their smartphone app.
Overall I do like my Fitbit Alta HR. In general I find it to be an improvement on my Fitbit Charge HR. My main reservation is the lack of a specific, controllable workout tracking function.