FitBit Alta HR Review. See if it’s right for you before buying

fitbit alta hr review

On the fence about buying a FitBit Alta HR? Or any type of fitness tracker? Then this blog post is for you.

I still remember my first fitness watch. It was a warm summer morning, I was wearing a bright green t-shirt and my new stylish pixie haircut. I was ready for a morning run and started the activity on my also brand new Microsoft Band. And then I waited… and waited… and then left the house and waited a bit more. Finding the satellites on that tracker was a pain, and it got worse over time. Other than that, the watch was a beautiful and useful piece of tech. However, two years later, I decided to go gadget free – or how we call it, naked running – and sold it on e-bay for just a bit more than nothing.

I loved naked running. Maybe because I was finally able to run when I was ready, not when the watch was ready. But that changed a few months ago when I got a FitBit Alta HR to wear for work. I only take it off for showers and charging, so I now have a good idea of how it works, how it can help and the most useful statistics you can get from it.

In the order of MY priorities, here it goes…

fitbit alta hr

Step counter

It counts your steps, and you can set daily goals to motivate you. My goal is 10k, but I almost always beat it. The only time I didn’t reach my goal was when I was sick for a couple of days.

The community

The next thing I do after checking my steps is going to my group of friends and check that I’m still first place. Obsessed much? If you already have a FitBit or getting one, please add me as a friend!

The app also has groups you can browse and join, post in and encourage other members. This is not a feature I use intensively, but I do like to go in and cheer on someone who posted about finishing a run or losing some weight. It can be good motivation and support.

fitbit alta hr groups

Resting HR

Your resting heart rate shows how much your heart is working while sleeping. The lower the number, the better. I’m constantly trying to bring the number down, and that happens through moderate to intense cardio. I had very good numbers when I was doing PIIT28 due to its high intensity. Then it went back up while I took a break and then the numbers got disappointingly high during the house move. Now I’m back to running, so it’s starting to recover.

Activity detection

I can go out for a run without having to wait for the GPS tracker. I can put my shoes on, go out the door and do my thing.

Since I enjoyed my naked running, I’m not that obsessed about this feature, so even if it fails sometimes, I couldn’t care less. For example, it doesn’t record short runs. I ran to the bank and back – 1.3km each time – and only one of the runs was detected. It also mistakenly detected lawn mowing as biking. Yes, FitBit, my hands were on some handles, but seriously, I’m not that slow of a biker! And ironically, it doesn’t detect my 15min bike rides to the train station.

For each activity, you get statistics like time, HR and number of calories.

fitbit alta hr activity detection

Auto sleep tracker

The number of hours of sleep and the number of hours of deep sleep are usually an indication of how good my day is going to be or how stressed I am. If I’m too restless, I try to identify why that happened and improve the situation (or drink less coffee).

Existing features I don’t use:

  • Weight tracker
  • Food tracker
  • Water tracker
  • Hourly activity reminders

Other important details of the FitBit Alta HR

  • The battery lasts for at least 4-5 days; I charge it when I remember to. My last watch needed charging every day, so imagine how happy I am with the FitBit!
  • The price point is fair for the available features
  • You have an online dashboard, as well as phone app
  • You can see previews of texts and calls, plus current HR, steps and time, right on the watch
  • I have to mention the touch screen is pretty stubborn; I’d call it “hit screen”
  • It’s slim, sits nicely on the wrist, and goes with different outfits.

The FitBit Alta HR is for you if you:

  • …are just starting out with health and fitness and want some support and motivation
  • …want to move more or sleep better
  • …want to have a single app to track food, sleep, water, calories, weight, active minutes and even periods (sorry, boys!)

The FitBit Alta HR is NOT for you if you:

  • …want more statistics for your runs, like pace per km or elevation; it also doesn’t display a map of your run
  • …want to track other sports than running, cycling or elliptical; it also has a general “aerobic workout” option

I hope this helped you make a decision. If you want to get one, check it out on Amazon UK or Amazon US. They are affiliate links, which means I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!



Now tell me, do you run “naked”? What fitness tracker do you use?

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