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Fitbit Alta vs. Fitbit Charge HR

Feb. 26, 2016
Product Comparisons, Shopping
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The Fitbit Alta is a sleek and stylish new fitness tracker on the block, joining the Charge HR among Fitbit’s latest offerings.

Before you buy, use our side-by-side comparison to find out if the new Fitbit Alta or the existing Fitbit Charge HR is your activity-wearable soul mate.

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The trackers: At a glance

What we found: The Fitbit Alta is more stylish and visually appealing than the Charge HR, but the Charge HR may be more functionally appealing.

What you’ll learn: The Charge HR costs $20 more than the Alta, but it boasts the heart rate monitoring that the Alta lacks, which may matter to the serious athlete.

 Fitbit AltaFitbit Charge HR
Price$129.95 from Fitbit$149.95 from Fitbit
ColorBlack, plum, blue, tealBlack, plum, blue, teal, tangerine
All-day activity trackingYesYes
Sleep monitoringYesYes
Call notificationsYesYes
Text notificationsYesNo
Heart rate monitoringNoYes
Battery lifeUp to 5 daysUp to 5 days
Buy on Amazon
Buy Fitbit Alta
Buy Charge HR

The trackers: Up close and personal


Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HR

On the outside, the Fitbit Alta is a stylish, thin, bracelet-like wearable. The Fitbit Charge HR has a thicker band and more closely resembles a traditional tracker.

The water-resistant Alta is 0.61 of an inch thick and features an OLED tap display. The band can be swapped out for one that’s leather or metal (sold separately).

The water-resistant Charge HR is 0.83 of an inch thick and also has an OLED display.

» COMPARE: Fitbit comparison guide


When it comes to standard activity-tracking features, the Alta and the Fitbit Charge HR are relatively evenly matched.

Both offer step tracking, calorie counting, sleep monitoring, a silent vibrating alarm, active minute tracking, auto recognition of exercise activities and caller ID alerts for incoming calls.

Both have a battery life of up to five days and can be synced to iOS, Android and Windows devices.

But there are some differences. While both models provide caller ID alerts, only the Alta shows text notifications for compatible synced devices. That makes it more than just a fitness tracker and closer to a smart accessory.

The Charge HR puts activity-centered metrics at the forefront. Unlike the Alta, it can calculate the number of floors you’ve climbed and can provide you with a continuous heart rate reading.


Fitbit Alta


These wearables are among of Fitbit’s more advanced models, and each has a price tag over $100.

The Fitbit Alta has a regular retail price of $129.95. The Fitbit Charge HR is priced $20 higher, at $149.95.

If you’re looking for a deal, try consulting online marketplace Amazon before you buy.

Find your fit

So which Fitbit is the right fit? That depends on your needs.

Put your best fitness foot forward in style with the Alta. It’s more affordable than the Charge HR and can even show text notifications. If you want to accessorize your Alta with the metal bracelet or leather band, you’ll have to shell out some extra cash.

But if you care less about style and more about function, for $20 more than the Alta, the Charge HR offers heart rate monitoring.

More from NerdWallet:
Fitbit Surge vs. Apple Watch Sport
Which activity tracker is right for you?
3 best activity trackers for runners
4 things to know before buying an activity tracker
How to get the best deal on an activity tracker

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.