Fitbit Alta HR : best fitness tracker
7-day battery life,sleep-tracking, , and a heart rate sensor make Fitbit’s latest fitness band Great.
For people that really like fitness trackers, it’s been difficult to find one that is the right blend of features, functionality, and aesthetics. Last year, Fitbit released the Fitbit Charge 2, and I called it “the best fitness tracker, period.”
In terms of functionality and features, I still think this is the case, it’s got GPS built in, and altimeter for tracking climbing distances. But the Fitbit Charge 2 is still bulkier than some people might like.
That’s why I was excited to see the new Fitbit Alta HR, another fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor, that actually looks good on your wrist.
The Alta HR looks nearly identical to the original Alta, and its symmetry is one of its biggest selling points. Fitbit managed to shrink the internal tech by 25 percent to make room for an optical heart rate monitor inside the Alta’s svelte frame.
Coming in small, large, and extra large sizes, all Alta HR models are just 0.61 inches (1.6 cm) wide. That makes the device .23 inches (0.6 cm) thinner than the $150 Fitbit Charge 2. It also has the same tappable display as the original device and the Charge 2, but the HR responds to taps much better than the Alta did.
There are no physical buttons on the Alta HR, so you can only tap the display to scroll through activity data screens. Waking the Alta HR’s display rarely took more than one tap, whereas the Alta often needed three to five taps to wake up at all.
The most noticeable difference is in the Alta HR’s bands: instead of the Alta’s snap closure, the Alta HR has a more watch-like band made of flexible elastomer and features a simple, semi-flexible buckle. Not only does the new band make the device easier to strap on, it also lets you get the perfect fit for measuring heart rate.
As with any wrist-bound optical heart-rate monitor, the one in the Alta HR can interfere with blood flow and provide an inaccurate pulse reading if the device is strapped too tightly. On the flip side, it shouldn’t be so loose that air gets between the wrist and the monitor. While the original Alta’s snap closure is perfectly adequate for that device, the more secure band on the Alta HR is necessary.
If you’re looking to get your wrists on an Alta HR, you can pre-order one now on Fitbit’s website for $149.95. The devices will be available worldwide in April on retail channels such as Amazon, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, REI and Verizon.Special Edition models will run for $179.95, and you can buy extra classic bands for $29.95, Luxe Leather bands for $59.95, or Luxe Metal Bracelets for $99.95.