Fitbit Alta HR Versus Garmin Vivosmart HR+
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- The Good
- Sleep stage tracking
- Silent alarm
- Activity recognition
- Sends reminders to move during times of idleness
- The Bad
- Touch screen is small
- No altimeter
- No GPS location
- Not water-resistant
Fitbit offers an array of fitness trackers, but if you’re looking for one that you may actually wear 24/7, the Fitbit Alta HR will probably fit the bill. This slender wristband lets you monitor your health from your wrist. The Fitbit Alta HR offers a large selection of wristband colors, which are available separately. This incarnation of the Fitbit follows the company’s trend of going smaller but better.
- The Good
- Display is readable in direct sunlight
- GPS capabilities
- Optical heart rate tracker
- The Bad
- High price point
- Bulky, unattractive design
- Lack of multisport modes
- Smart coaching not included
The new Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is being described as a “monster” of a fitness tracker. When you consider its included GPS capability and an optical heart rate tracking system, the word “monster” does seem to fit. The signature features of the Vivosmart HR+ make it most appealing to those who are all-in for physical fitness. The cost, however, makes it prohibitive for a large section of potential consumers.
- $128.95 to $149.95
The consistency in pricing across various vendors is refreshing. The Fitbit Alta HR is on the high end for similarly sized fitness trackers while coming in as an economical choice from a technological viewpoint. Included with purchase are a charging cable and wireless sync dongle. If you want to shop the selection of interchangeable band colors, you’ll pay a variety of prices for them, ranging from $5.99 to $19.99 each.
- $109.99 to $219.99
The price for the Vivosmart HR+ is at the high end of the fitness tracker market. One could argue that you’re paying for the brand in addition to the features, but that’s little consolation to those who would like the Garmin but must go with a lesser known brand to fit it into the budget.
- Calories burned
- Sleep time in stages: light, deep and REM
- Heart rate
The Fitbit Alta HR is up to speed with the standard features that any fitness tracker worth its weight in sweat includes. However, it goes further in displaying notifications for incoming calls, text messages and calendar events. For all its good features, the Fitbit Alta HR comes up lacking if you’re looking to track the number of floors climbed. And the Alta HR doesn’t have a “relax” mode for times when you’re just vegging out.
- Activity length
- Flights climbed
- Heart rate
There are three special features available on the Garmin Vivosmart HR+. The first is daily activity tracking; the second is a robust Smartphone notification system; the third is the GPS tracker for running. The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ also has a 24/7 heart rate tracker, which keeps a running record of your heart’s beats per minute. Comparing the data from the heart rate sensor during physical activity to numbers obtained during rest gives a more accurate picture of your health.
- Automatically recognizes your activity
- Syncs to Apple, Android and Windows devices
- Customizable features allow you to set goals and track your progress
- Connects with friends to share information
- Fitbit app gives you access to personalized fitness coaching
- Continuous, automatic heart rate tracking
The Fitbit Alta HR lacks the GPS of previous versions of Fitbit trackers and can’t check you out at the coffee shop with mobile pay features. But it does deliver a powerful fitness tracker in a sleek, compact design. The Alta HR incarnation of the popular Fitbit is prettier than its predecessors. And the wide selection of interchangeable bands makes it even more appealing.
- Charging/data clip to attach to clothing
- Sensitive touchscreen
- Syncs to select Apple and Android devices
- Vibration alert
- Smartphone notifications for call and text
- Inactivity alert
A fitting description for the Vivosmart HR+ is “part fitness tracker, part smartwatch.” It has all the standard features of a tracker while also offering Smartphone notifications. The moving bar to remind you not to veg out on the sofa is an interesting feature that has potential to motivate some to improve their mobility level. Others could find it annoying.
- 0.8 ounces
- 1.6 inches x 0.6 inches x 1.3 inches
- 7-day battery life
- Wrist measurements
- 5.5 inches to 6.7 inches in circumference
- OLED display
- One-year warranty on parts
The Fitbit Alta HR is lightweight and compact. It maintains its sleek, compact design without sacrificing the necessary features that keep it competitive in today’s market. The lack of water-resistance is a disappointment for some, but the overall quality tends to offset that.
- 8 ounces
- 7.7 inches x 4.6 inches x 3.2 inches
- Up to 5-day battery life
- Wrist dimensions
- 5 to 8 inches in circumference
- One year
The Vivosmart HR+ is not as light as some of the other trackers, but considering all of its extras, that is not surprising. The long battery life is a nice feature, and so is the one-year warranty.
Fitbit Alta HR: User Reviews
Garmin Vivosmart HR+: User Reviews
With its Alta HR, Fitbit has incorporated a continuous heart rate sensor into a compact, slim, stylish fitness tracker. The design looks less like a computer and more like a fashion accessory. The touchscreen turns on and off based on wrist movements, so you’ll need to learn not to accidentally activate your screen. The slightly curved screen sits comfortably on the wrist, and the automated activation means you aren’t constantly hitting buttons.
You can see your activity stats and the time on the screen, and personalize other information displays using portrait or landscape clock face options. It is missing some of the features of other fitness trackers, but if you can get through the day without them, the Fitbit Alta HR is a good choice.
How Does Fitbit Alta HR Work?
The Fitbit Alta HR uses SmartTrack™ technology to log your activities automatically. The heart rate sensor tracks your heart rate in peak, cardio and “fat burn” zones. The device allows you to see this information in real time on the display.
If you prefer, you can go about your life during the day, then sync the band with your phone to look at your Fitbit dashboard. The Fitbit app will chart your activities so you can see how you’re doing.
What Makes Fitbit Alta HR Stand Out?
While it may not appeal to everyone, the sleep monitoring feature of the Fitbit Alta HR could be a boon for an insomniac. It uses the Alta’s continuous monitoring of the heart rate to track sleep cycles. It’s like Santa Claus – it sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake. It can even determine what stage of sleep you’re in, based on your heart rate.
When you sync the data, the Fitbit app will graph your sleep stages on your dashboard. It will display diagrams with percentages for each type of sleep you experienced. The app will also provide you information on what these percentages mean. It will tell you how your daily activities impact your sleep patterns.
Common Reviews of Fitbit Alta HR
The availability of various swappable bands is a popular feature with the Fitbit Alta HR. There are even stylish leather and metal options available. The Alta HR allows you to create fitness goals, such as boosting your daily step count or drinking more water. However, some users found it was less than reliable when it came to delivering the reminders to push them toward these goals.
The lack of an altimeter to track the number of stairs you take is a disappointment. The Alta HR is not water-resistant, presenting a problem for swimmers and those who sweat heavily when working out. Because it doesn’t recognize the difference in workout type, you’ll have to manually enter whether you’re doing a biking class or Zumba.
Is Fitbit Alta HR for Me?
Unless you’ve just got your heart set on tracking the floors you’ve climbed and a GPS locator when you’re running, the Fitbit Alta HR is a solid piece of fitness tracker technology that should take care of any health tracking needs you have. It is a stylish design that works well for men and women alike.
The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is clearly geared toward those who have active lifestyles and are meticulous about their health. It could be quite useful for anyone who wants to keep track of their health-related activities each day. The Vivosmart HR+ allows these people to go about their active lives without thinking about the smartphone tucked into their pocket or stuffed into their bag. They simply use the Vivosmart HR+ to monitor their incoming calls and texts.
How Does Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Work?
The Vivosmart HR+ hits all the right bases as a fitness tracker. It will measure daily activities for you, such as number of steps, floors climbed, etc. It monitors your heart rate throughout the day and will automatically track your sleep patterns.
You can find these features on other fitness trackers. Others will do it at a lower price, too. It will also display iPhone or Android phone notifications, and you don’t have to panic if you jump in the pool with it on.
What Makes the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ Stand Out?
The obvious icing on the cake is the GPS built into this wearable device. But it also has subtle perks that garner it the “monster” moniker in fitness tracking circles. It has a dedicated training mode especially geared for running. This includes a run/walk mode and a virtual pacer mode.
You can get a 4-hour history of your activity in the form of a graph, including your heart rate. It is a smart looking device, but it could be a bit on the big size for anyone with a small wrist. The touch screen is large enough to allow you to access your stats and smartphone functions, including music controls, with ease.
Common Reviews of Garmin Vivosmart HR+
A review of reviews for the Vivosmart HR+ finds many users comparing the size of the device to comparable products. The HR+ is bigger and thicker than its competition, it seems. While the screen is low resolution, it is still highly responsive when swiped or touched. The anti-glare feature of the screen makes it easy to read under direct sunlight.
The water-resistance is a popular feature with the physically active crowd. The accuracy of the unit in measuring steps, floors climbed, heart rate and sleep is almost universally praised. Most report that they do like the inactivity alert and the Move bar feature.
Is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ for Me?
You’ll find the Vivosmart HR+ on the wrists of people who are always on the go and active. This “monster” of the fitness trackers is for those who love intense activities – mountain climbing, swimming, running, etc. It lets them keep in touch with the normal world through calls and text while their phones are in their backpacks.
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