This is just a quick review of the Fitbit Alta HR that I’ve been using for around a year.
What I like
- The looks – it’s small enough to wear 24/7, and it’s cool to wear, also in part due to the fact that you can easily switch straps to other colours and materials.
- Sleep tracking – It does a very decent job of tracking sleeping patterns, and has helped me fine tune my sleep in order to sleep in time and get better rest. I especially like the fact that it tracks afternoon siestas, which I can then add to the previous nights’ hours. This would be very difficult if I would be doing manually.
- Reports – they’re fantastic both within the app and on the Fitbit website.
What I don’t like
- Heart rate monitoring inaccuracy – the heart rate monitor will consistently show a lower heart rate when exercising, especially with certain types of sport it seems. Having done some research, I discovered that many others have experienced this.It can be dangerous and cause you to overwork your heart, if you’re trying to train within certain heart rate zones.
My Polar H10 sensor is almost 100% accurate and I have therefore switched exclusively to it while training. It’s a real pity as I love the Fitbit interface and its graphs that allow me to track heart rate evolution during padel matches and at rest over time.
I still use the Fitbit Alta HR, but not for its heart rate monitoring features. Mostly I use it for sleep monitoring, but if a similar device is created that can be easily switched to the Polar HR band when practicing sports, I would switch to it.
The problem with the Polar band is that it’s impractical to wear it 24/7, so ideally it would be a smartwatch or tracker that automatically switches to the Polar for heart rate recording whenever it is present.