Review of the Fitbit Alta HR

New HR Alta from Fitbit

Fitbit Add Heart Rate Monitor to Alta Range

Fitbit are the leaders in wearables and trackers – and have announced some news which will be music to the ears of Fitness Review readers. This is the addition of a heart rate monitor in their flagship Alta range.

Not only will this be able to accurately track your workout sessions, dividing your pulse rate into peak, mid and resting zones, it now has improved sleep tracking capabilities too.

If you are not already familiar with the Alta range, these are great looking wristbands with simple displays. They are what I’d call ‘high end trackers’, rather than sports watches. Fitbit does face some stiff competition from Chinese companies which dominate the cheaper end of the market. Where Fitbit are different is in style, extras and integration with their apps (and through these communities).

Fitbit Alta HR Activity & Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate, 7 Day Battery & Sleep Tracking - Black, Large (6.7-8.1 in)
Automatically recognizes select activities and records them in the exercise section of the Fitbit app
Battery life up to 7 days so you can track all day and night without needing a charge….. more

Fitbit Heart Rate Monitor – Video from TechCrunch

The video below was made by Technology news site TechCrunch – you can get a preview of the new tracker, plus a look at some of the connected smartphone apps.

New Alta Heart Rate – What Are the Alternatives?

If you are deciding between the different categories of fitness tracker, you’ll need to compare the capabilities with the price (and not forgetting the design!).

For me, there are 4 levels:

  • Pedometers (basic, step counters with calorie count etc)
  • Value Fitness Trackers (Often Chinese made, basic wristbands with displays, good value for what they do).
  • Upper End Fitness Trackers: This is where Fitbit fit in. Top quality, app compatible and stylish, though the price is higher.
  • Sports Watches: Everything from the Polar range to Garmin. Some people would include the Apple Watch here, though I think of this more as a general / fashion item.

The upper end fitness trackers from Fitbit have carved out their own niche. These look great and are backed by a well-known brand. When you add in the apps / community, you’ll start to see extra value that the competition do not bring to the table.

Spec – What the Alta HR (Heart Rate) Does

The addition of a heart rate monitor was said to be the number one request for the Alta range. This has led to several improvements to this already very capable device.

Fitbit Alta HR#1 – Insights into your Cardiovascular Health. This is more than just simple monitoring. Charting the difference between resting heart rate and the rates for workouts can give insights into your fitness, and track progress too.

#2 – Improved Tracking of Calorie Burn: Your heart rate gives important information on how your workout impacts calorie burn rates. Armed with more accurate information, you can adjust your workouts (and / or diet) for better results.

#3 – Auto-HR: The new monitor allows your Alta to automatically detect when you begin to exercise (this is known as SmartTracking).

#4 – Enhanced Sleep Tracking: This is a big plus for me, by adding heart-rate data this wristband will be able to track your sleep better. Compared with many simple ‘on pillow’ type sleep trackers, this is a big plus.

I could go on, this is a big addition for only a small price increase. With up to 7 days battery life you can wear it all day too.

The Alta HR was made available for pre-order on the 6th March.

Mark’s Tip: For discounts on many trackers in the Fitbit range, check out their listings at – this is usually cheaper than going direct! Check out the Fitbit Store at now!

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