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When you finally decide to buy a fitness tracker, it’s hard to know which device deserves your hard-earned money.

Everyone has different needs from a fitness tracker (or maybe we should just call them health trackers with all the added features these days).

Not to mention, they’re a hefty investment – both in terms of money, time, and energy.

It makes sense that every person should do their research before choosing which model to purchase. That’s why we put together this Fitbit Alta HR Vs. Charge 2 to help you make an educated decision.

Now, let’s get to it!

Fitbit Alta HR, Black, Small (US Version)
  • Get the power of continuous heart rate in Fitbit's slimmest design yet all day, during workouts and beyond
  • With heart rate, you can better measure calorie burn, and use zones (Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak) to find the right...
  • See how working out more can improve your health by comparing your resting heart rate trends to your activity

Fitbit’s Alta HR essentially rendered the Alta obsolete because it has all the same features but with the added benefit of tracking heart rate. (Get it: Alta HR?)

Here’s what you get when you take the plunge and decide to sport the Alta HR:

  • Wireless Syncing and Notifications: Although Fitbit didn’t set out to make a communication device, you can receive texts and other basic notifications via your phone on the display screen. Plus, all your recorded information syncs automatically to almost any device you choose. The sync range tops out at 30 feet.
  • All-Day Smart Tracking: The Alta HR can accurately identify a number of common activities like cycling and jogging and log them into your personal files. You also get reminders to get up and move around if the device notices you’ve been stationary for too long.
  • Cardio and Optical Heart Rate Tracking: The device tracks your heart rate and cardio activity. It can identify target heart rate zones based on the information you provide and offer tips for boosting your cardio level.
  • Sleep Tracking: When it comes to overall health, sleep factors in big. The Alta HR monitors not only your sleep schedule but also stages. You also get a gentle silent alarm when it’s time to wake up.
  • Memory and Storage: The device itself stores minute-by-minute information for the last seven days. After seven days, it stores daily tallies for a total of 30 days.
  • Durability: You can easily swap out the wristband if it gets damaged or you’re just itching for a change. The Fitbit website claims that the Alta HR can hold up under rain and sweat but not submerged water like showers or swimming. From this description, it sounds like you should keep it out of heavy rain conditions.
  • Design: Fitbit’s Alta HR is one of their sleekest devices on the market. The tracker itself as well as the wristband are very thin. When it comes to Alta HR Vs. Charge 2, you have a few choices of colors in both devices – most of which are fairly neutral so they’re sure to match most of your wardrobe.

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Small...
  • Fitbit will not provide warranty on international version products sold in US
  • PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
  • Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak)

Do you have your heart set on the Alta HR already? Not so fast, let’s take a look at the Charge 2 and then see how they compare. After all, this is Fitbit’s bestselling tracker.

  • Notifications and GPS: The Charge 2 easily syncs to almost any device within 30 feet. You get the added bonus here though of GPS tracking based on your phone’s geolocation.
  • All-Day Multifaceted Tracking: Charge 2 gives real-time detailed tracking information for your hikes, bike rides, and other activities with an on-screen summary following your workout. Remember that mental health ties into physical health. Charge 2 offers guided breathing exercises throughout the day based on your heart rate.
  • Cardio and PurePulse Heart Rate Tracking: You get continuous and automatic tracking to stay in your target heart rate zones based on your physical health and fitness level. You can use this information to improve your cardiovascular activity and health.
  • Sleep Tracking: Fitbit’s Charge 2 gives you detailed sleep stage tracking to understand your nocturnal habits and silent alarms for a gentle wakeup call.
  • Memory and Storage: The device itself stores minute-by-minute information for the last seven days. After seven days, it stores daily tallies for a total of 30 days. Charge 2 also stores heart rate information in five-second intervals throughout the day and one-second intervals while you’re training.
  • Durability: The wristband and device are made of fairly durable materials like surgical-grade stainless steel, gold, and elastomer. Don’t stress to much over a damaged wristband because you can easily replace it.
  • Design: Fitbit’s Charge 2 looks a little more like a modern sports watch than a fitness tracker. You can choose between a handful of wristband color options and swap them out based on your look of the moment (casual or formal).

Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Keeping Your Information Safe

Alta HR
charge 2

It’s smart to be cautious of any device that tracks, stores, and syncs such personal information. Some people might enjoy sharing this information with their friends on social media, but others might want to keep an eye on how their information is stored.

Would you want entities like your employer or insurance company having access to your intimate health statistics? Would you want a Tinder stalker hacking your app and gaining access to your favorite jogging routes?

Here’s the good news: fitness trackers are more secure today than ever before. And the Alta HR or Charge 2? They’re some of the most secure of all trackers on the market (avoid choosing a Lenovo if security is a concern for you).

Like any online device, your fitness tracker poses some vulnerability to privacy.

Although the device might utilize encryption during transfer to devices, that doesn’t mean your wireless connection, apps, or devices themselves are secure. As always, use different passwords for all of your apps and platforms and don’t forget to turn on two-factor verification.

In general, Fitbit’s devices are fairly secure so you shouldn’t have anything new to worry about beyond someone carrying out a targeted hack on your wireless connection.

Fitbit Alta HR Vs. Charge 2 Comparison: Everything You Need To Know Before Buying

Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably thinking one of two things:

  • “I’m not an athlete – I just want to live a healthier life. Alta HR seems simple enough to meet my basic needs.”

Or

  • “I workout every day and I want detailed information about my activity so I really want those sweet features in the Charge 2.”

The truth is, newbies might benefit from the detailed features in the Charge 2 because they might not have a solid understanding of their own physical activity and health.

Meanwhile, someone who already works out every day and tracks their own health fairly well might feel overburdened by the added features they’ll never need to use.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Heart Rate And Motion Tracking

When it comes to Alta HR Vs. Charge 2, both devices can identify different activities like cycling, yoga, running, and hiking while monitoring your progress.

The big difference though is that the Charge 2 offers a multi-sport tracking mode to offer real-time statistics on the display as you’re completing the workout so you can focus on meeting and exceeding your own records.

The Alta HR doesn’t offer this feature. Instead, you can check your progress by logging into the app when you’re finished.

Someone with specific goals might appreciate the real-time tracking on the Charge 2. It could be very useful for anyone trying to lose weight or improve cardiovascular health. Fitness enthusiasts might also enjoy the detailed tracking on the larger Charge 2 screen.

Anyone who doesn’t care too much for detailed tracking is safe selecting the Alta HR.

In some cases, the overload of information with the Charge 2 might feel overwhelming – especially for those prone to compulsive or addictive behaviors.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Sleep Tracking

Both devices provide pretty much the same solid sleep tracking software which you can track on the app each morning – and they’re pretty accurate.

All fitness trackers have an accelerometer which – in the case of the Alta HR Vs. Charge 2 – bounces information around with the heart rate tracker to provide solid information about your REM and deep sleep as well as other sleeping habits.

So if tracking sleep is important to you, both devices have you covered just fine.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Stand-Out Features

When you’re comparing the Alta HR Vs. Charge 2, it’s easier to think of things this way: the Charge 2 has all the same features of the Alta HR – and then some.

With the Charge 2, you also get GPS tracking. This is a big plus if you want to track the routes you cycle, walk, or hike. For others, this might not be a major selling point. The device pulls GPS coordinates from your phone so if you already use a running app to track your routes the Charger 2 can smoothly eliminate the middle man.

The Charge 2 also offers guided breathing exercises based on your resting heart rate. The breathing exercises are completely personalized and popup throughout the day as you need a break. This is a really nice feature if you suffer from high blood pressure or negative effects of stress like ulcers and heart disease.

Guided breathing is also helpful for promoting mindfulness throughout the day. It might be useful for someone trying to lose weight who’s having trouble managing their cravings or impulse behavior associated with overeating or binge eating.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Aesthetic

This is the first huge difference that stands out between the two devices: the Charge 2 is 25 percent larger than the Alta HR.

Some wearers might not mind the larger size of the Charge 2 because it doesn’t look much different than an average watch you’d see. Others, especially those with small frames, might appreciate the slimmer Alta HR.

You still get interchangeable wristbands and a durable stainless-steel design with both devices. Plenty of third party retailers offer a variety of stylish and slick bands to fit the devices.

The Charge 2 has a button to turn the screen on and off while the Alta HR relies on touchscreen technology to accomplish this task.

If reading detailed stats immediately following a workout is important to you, you might want to go with the Charge 2 for the larger screen. Plus, it makes it easier to read your text notifications.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2: Durability And Battery

Both devices are made of the same materials. The trackers are made from surgical-grade stainless steel while special editions offer a 22k rose gold finish.

The Alta HR lasts a full week on a single charge and takes one or two hours to charge. Meanwhile, the Charger 2 last five days on a single charge and, like the Alta HR, takes just one or two hours to charge.

Remember that your battery life will depend on the amount of tracking you have turned on and your personal settings. To put it bluntly: there’s really no need to factor battery life into your choice – go with the other factors instead.

Try to keep your device out of the water as much as possible.

Fitbit Alta HR VS. Charge 2 Comparison: Bottom Line

How do you anticipate you’ll use the fitness tracker?

Many reviewers recommend the Charge 2 for fitness enthusiasts and the Alta HR for wearers casually interested in keeping up with their health. However, your choice shouldn’t be so cut and dry.

If you’re trying to lose weight and are prepared to invest the time and attention to tracking details about your progress and workout, you might find the added features in the Charge 2 useful.

The Alta HR is perfect if you want to monitor your progress but you don’t want the tracker to consume your attention. Although, it still gives you a nudge to get up if you sit for too long. Even people who workout every day might not be interested in tracking real-time details as they go about their day.

When it comes to Alta HR Vs. Charge 2, the choice really depends how you plan to use the tracker and what you want to get out of it.

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