It is widely accepted that the average person should be taking 10,000 steps a day. Almost every healthy lifestyle organization promotes this number. But, do you know how many steps you take There are quite a few devices and gadgets out there to help you with the task of monitoring your steps. The fitbit is one of the biggest names in step counters, with multiple devices aimed to please any user.
The Alta (Amazon Affiliate Link) was released in March of 2016. It was just another trend setting device for this health minded company. The Alta was slim and operated as not only a step counter but it could also be used as a watch. I wanted one! I pondered this fitbit for quite some time. Would I even use it? Were there enough features for my lifestyles needs. Were there too many features for my needs? I debated back and forth for months. One minute I was ready to buy the Alta, the next minute I was saying "NO", Not yet.
Finally, during a celebration I was given some gifts. One of my gifts was the Fitbit Alta. I got the Plum colored arm band. I was so excited. I couldn't wait to try it out! The opinions listed below are solely my own and are totally unsolicited. I have received no compensation for choosing to write this review.
Easy to Use
Straight out of the box, this device worked perfectly! I did have to set up an account and download the application for my phone. But that took only a minute or two. Even better, the Bluetooth paired up with my phone immediately with no issues! The set up really was only a few minutes from start to finish! Before I knew it I was prancing around the room ecstatically counting my steps! The Alta is easy to use. The steps count automatically without having to reset the device each and every day, which really does make this a device that you put on your arm and forget about.
Syncing your Alta
The Alta is designed to automatically sync up with the online profile. (If you have it set to all day Sync.). I found this process to be a bit hit or miss. I could never find a rhyme or reason to when my Alta would automatically send the information over to my profile versus when I would need to onto my phone app to manually sync the device. Luckily, syncing the two together to upload the stored data is as simple as opening up the fitbit app on my phone. Whenever the application is opened, it prompts an automatic upload. If it hasn't been done in a few days it may take a bit longer, but usually it's only a matter of seconds for this information to be transferred. From me this is no inconvenience and has no effect on the usage of either the app of the Alta.
The Fitbit Alta Battery
I had absolutely no problem with the battery life when I first started using the Alta. It held it's charge for a week and a half. It wasn't until the Alta went over the two year old mark that I had to charge it more often. But even then, it only needed charged every 4-5 days. I definitely give the battery life two thumbs up!
The Phone App and Website
The phone app interface in which a user can interact with the gathered statistics is very easy to navigate. The stats that are gathered are informative and helpful. The sleep cycle is particularly interesting as it notes your sleep patterns....usually quite accurately! Navigation through the phone app is easy and very intuitive. The website allows for more information and details. Admittedly, I rarely went onto the website, simply because the phone app had everything I needed right at my fingertips!
A Fitbit comes with a ready made community. There are people, even random strangers that are willing to accept a challenge to step more. You can participate in a weekend step challenge, a daily step challenge or a work week step challenge in order to motivate you to walk a bit more. I was also pleased to see quite a few of my friends already within the FitBit community when I joined.
If you are more of the solo challenge type of person, there are adventures that you can embark upon. With each step you take counting as you virtually tour a location Fitbit will also reward you with a badge for each achievement you make as you progress through various predetermined goals. (I.E. your first time stepping more than 25000 steps in a day, etc.....) I never paid much attention to these......but they can be found on the online portal
The community and challenge area is very much designed to keep any and every type of person motivated to move more and to achieve step goals.
The Arm Band
I found that the arm band that arrived in the box with my FitBit Alta lasted about 6-8 months before needing to be replaced. It was fine but then the latch that holds the band on to the face of the Alta would not stay attached any longer. I purchased a replacement band. That one also only lasted about 6 -8 months. I switched to an after market (non Fitbit name brand) band....simply because I didn't want to be without my Alta (I do love it that much). The after market bands were the only ones I could find in stock at my local stores. They lasted about the same amount of time before they needed to be replaced. The cost was so much more affordable that from that point on, I used after market bands! (In fairness, I did take a tumble at one point..ok maybe two....over the handle bars of my bike and the wrist that I had the fitbit on took the brunt of the fall, so that could have affect one...or two of the bands!)
The Alta as a Watch
This fitbit doubles as a watch. The watch face actually remains dark for most of the day. To ccess the time or your steps, it requires a light tap on either end of te face of the device or a certain movement that will wake up the face. The movement is described as just turning your wrist toward you to wake it up.
After a while I was an expert at awakening my Alta. However, when I first started to ear this fitbit, I could be seen tapping the watch rather uncontrollably and with increasing frustration. OR I would be moving my arm up and down trying to awaken it...to no avail. But as I said, with time, I did become adept. I find that it takes a bit more of a swooping motion to get the Alta to awaken and as for the tapping...well, it just took some time to learn the quirkiness needed in my 'tap tap'. Once again, minor issues and honestly, mostly user issues and not any issue with the Alta.
I didn't think I would like this feature. Oh, I thought I would have fun with it as a novelty. But I didn't think it would ever be a huge feature that I would never want to live without. Boy was I wrong! This became my most favored feature about this fitbit. I LOVE that I can see y incoming texts and phone calls without having to find and pick up my phone. It very quickly became something I relied on All. The. Time! In fact THAT is the reason that I was also so desperate to get a new arm band when they broke....sadly not because I was desperate to count my steps. But no, I was desperate for the convenience of my smart notifications! Is this a necessary feature? Of course not. Is it a totally convenient and much appreciated feature? Absolutely! I'm hooked!
Overally, the Fitbit Alta (Amazon Affiliate Link) is a great purchase. You get a lot of bang for your buck! It is the perfect purchase for someone interested in taking steps to more closely monitor and improve their fitness. The quality of the product has been amazing! I have absolutely no complaints and I have actually recommended this product to quite a few of my friends.
If you are interested in my other reviews of fitness watches, you can check out the Sportline Duo review or the Garmin Instinct Review.
I had long been using a Fitbit to count my steps...but it was slowly starting to wither away and die out. In less dramatic terms, the fitbit battery was starting to slowly die. It still worked but I was having to charge it more and more often. I knew that it was only a matter of time before it needed to be replaced. I knew that I didn't want to be without a watch/step counter so I started to shop.
I seriously considered another fitbit. The fitbit is a great watch and step counter. But I didn't know if it would have enough features for the lifestyle that I live. I seriously considered buying an Apple Watch. But once again, while the features are great, I didn't know if it had the features that I needed for an active lifestyle.
Enter the Garmin line of watches. The first Garmin watch that I looked at was the Garmin Fenix. This looked to be an amazing watch! But it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Unfortunately, I just didn't want to spend that kind of money. I looked at other Garmin watches and came across the Garmin Instinct. Ohhh yeah!
This watch is priced at $299.99 and is a great deal. (however I do see it on sale on Amazon for $199 at the time of writing this review) It has many of the features that the Fenix has. The main difference that I found was the maps. With this watch I will not be able to use my watch to help me if I am lost in the woods. Well.....I have never been lost in the woods yet! I pretty much stick to the trails! I didn't see this as a huge selling point anyway....so to knock the price by more than $300 was a no brainer for me! Sure there are a few other features that the instinct doesn't have. But once again, all of them are negatable when I compared the price!
I couldn't' wait to get my watch! I ordered it and waited! It arrived and I pulled it out of the box.
It was easy to set up. It seamlessly paired with my phone and I had it on my arm in mere moments!
I loved the watch! It was everything I needed. Until a few weeks later when the watch stopped holding a charge. It is supposed to hold a charge for 14 days and I was having to charge it every other day! I turned off every extra feature and only used it as a watch and it made no difference! I called Garmin Support and I couldn't have been happier. They answered the phone immediately and took care of my issues. They did a return on the old watch and sent me a new watch! Voila! Easy peasy!
The new watch arrived and I never had another problem with the battery.. The new watch only has to be charged every other week (unless I am using the activity tracker a lot...then it's every week which is exactly how the watch is supposed to work!)
This watch monitors my heart rate and can track my exercise. I have used it to monitor my runs. I have used it to monitor mountain bike rides. I have actually also used it to monitor time swimming in a pool! It really has worked wonderfully in each setting.
I wear the watch 24 hours a day. For this reason I chose a more neutral colored band. But they have amazingly fun colors to chose from! I was so tempted to get a colorful one! But I just didn't think that would look good when I was wearing somber clothes at work!
The band is comfortable. The watch face is easy to read at a glance. The step count feature works perfectly. This watch is everything that Garmin claims it to be. It is the perfect addition to any active life! Garmin hit the nail on the head when they developed the Garmin Instinct! The lower price point makes it a watch that anyone can strap on their arm and use with pride and consistency!
FThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for details.
A few years ago I was interested in a watch that would monitor my heart rate and my physical fitness levels. I was in a stage of my life where I didn’t have a lot of extra money. I researched and found an alternative that would fit in my budget and give me the statistics that I wanted at that time. I found the Sportline watch and heart rate monitor chest strap heart rate monitor. (Affiliate link)
Following you will find a copy of a review that I posted on my personal blog a while back. You can visit that blog at www.beliefinmyself.com.
Over the weekend I purchased a heart rate monitor. I had been contemplating this purchase for quite some time. I had a watch that I can touch and it will give me my heart rate (well, when it has batteries that are not dead) and I did use it somewhat regularly way back when….but I wanted something more. I have frequently perused the heart rate monitors online and had always steered clear of anything other than Garmin or Polar when I looked. I mean, after all, those are the names that you hear about. So I never really looked too much at anything else. I also tended to look at the granddaddy heart rate monitors, those heart rate monitors that had GPS and all sorts of other information that would be tracked during my workout. I mean, how cool would that be? I knew that I didn’t NEED to have the GPS, I use a sweet little app on my phone that will allow me to track my runs/bike rides and give me the speed, elevation and all that data. But seriously, to not have to have my phone running would be fabulous. (and thereby sucking the battery life from it each time I use it). So I wanted one with a GPS. I also knew I wanted one with a chest strap. So I was looking at GPS enabled heart rate monitors. The price was honestly more than I wanted to spend and thus every time I looked I tended to stop the search and say “I’ll wait.”
Last week I decided that this was the time. I was doing it. I knew I wanted a GPS model but I finally decided to buy an introductory model that didn’t have the GPS and see how much I used it and how much I liked it. Part of me hated the fact that I was going to sink between 50 and 100 dollars on a heart rate monitor and still not have what I REALLY wanted. (They are currently running about $50). But I decided to invest in my health and go for this cheaper options. I knew that if I used it a lot I could eventually upgrade to one with more features. (And let me say that a heart rate monitor is NOT necessary for running.)
I walked into Dick’s Sporting Good’s store on Friday afternoon. It took me a while to find the heart rate monitors (duh, I only walked by them 4 times). I was looking at the pretty pink Polar FT4. That is the heart rate that I had basically decided to get online. It was $89.99, a little more than I wanted to pay…but the next level down seemed like a pretty big drop down in quality and features! So I was pretty unsettled. Then along comes the sales man. He asked what I was looking for and I said “A basic heart rate monitor. Nothing with lots of bells and whistles, I don’t need that at this time.” He immediately picked up the Sport line Women’s Duo I glanced at it….$69.99. Hmm 20 bucks cheaper. I looked at him and said “I was looking at the Polar” He actually talked me out of the more expensive one. I was worried about going with a brand that I don’t readily recognize. He told me that he sees returns and hardly ever sees the return of the sportline. So I went with that. The features seemed really similar. The only feature that the sportline doesn’t have that the Polar does is saving 10 workouts in it’s memory. I logged my workouts religiously anyway into other apps, so that was not an issue.
I brought it home and set it all up on Friday evening. It was very easy to set up. Within a matter of a few minutes I had set the time, entered in my personal stats (height, weight age) and even set up the heart rate zone that I want to work within. It came with a chest strap but also has the dual function of being able to test it manually. This watch has two touch sensors. In case I’m not wearing the chest belt I can touch the sensor and it will give me my heart rate at that moment. I like having this feature, because it makes it a bit more versatile. That said, I immediately turned this feature off because I knew that I would be mostly using the chest strap. I tried the chest strap on. It fit. This may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve been obese most of my life, it was a real worry! It immediately picked up my heart rate! I felt comfortable and was ready to roll!
Saturday morning dawned and I got dressed for my run. I remembered to put the chest strap around my body. I wore it right under my bra line. I could barely feel it. (I felt it on Sunday, but since I was somewhat injured on Saturday, that is not too surprising). I started running. All of a sudden I heard a beep. I panicked for a moment, until I glanced at my watch and realized that I had set it to notify me when I had reached my target heart rate zone. I smiled to myself and continued running. My mind of course never quits. I wanted to know what it would do when I reached the top end of my zone. I pushed it full throttle. It beeped again. Yup…it let me know when I was maxing out. Other than that, wearing the heart rate monitor was pretty anticlimactic. I could hit the lap button when I wanted (at each mile or landmark or whatever). It did beep every once in a while, and I'm not quite sure why. lol
After my run, I stopped the watch from recording. When I got home I looked at my stats. To do this you simply cycle through the different settings by pressing one button. This watch gave me how many minutes I worked out below my zone. It gave me how many minutes I worked out in my zone. It gave me an average heart rate. I was also able to see how many calories I really burned. Those are the main ones I looked at. As I said, when I reset the watch for my next run, all the stats from my previous run was gone and gone for good. That is the drawback.
On Sunday I ran again using the heart rate monitor. This was the day that I could feel the chest strap (once again also most likely due to the bruising and soreness from a kersplat fall on Saturday). But even though I could feel it, it wasn’t painful, I just knew it was there. Once again, it worked like a champ! I was impressed. My heart rate registered pretty consistently with Saturdays, and each run was a ‘comfortable’ run so that makes sense and actually made me feel better about the reliability of the heart rate monitor. On Sunday I got back to the car and flipped through the settings on the watch and wrote down the numbers that I was monitoring (calories and average heart rate at that point) and then reset the watch. I had a walk to do that morning also. I monitored my stats through the walk also. I watched the heart rate and saw it rise exponentially with inclines and then fall back to a normal walking heart rate while walking on flats.
I decided to give this heart rate monitor a total test, so when I got dressed to go to zumba on Monday evening, I put on the heart rate monitor. Being a nervous nelly, I tried to start the heart rate monitor in the car and it wouldn't set to a consistent reading and the readings I was getting was with my heart rate up at 226. Uhhh, that is definitely NOT right. I was panicked and continued to fiddle with it the whole ride but it never regulated and didn't start working. (yeah, not good whilst driving). I arrived, parked and set about trying to figure out immediately it picked up a true reading (at least more where I expected the reading to be) and worked perfectly. Could the vibrations of the car and road messed it up. I'm not sure. The watch then worked perfectly throughout zumba (although I need to remember to turn off the beeping notifications if wear it to an exercise class...that got annoying during zumba). During songs that were more intense, I saw my heart rate rise, and I saw it lower on songs that were less intense. (I was amazed at how fast my heart rate dropped back to normal between songs.
I am happy with this heart rate monitor. An upgrade would definitely be nice just to have everything all in one place. It would be nice to have a watch keep track of best times, personal records, my runs/bike rides, etc. But at that time, with the money that I had and my current level of fitness, this watch was perfect for me. In fact, I can guarantee that anything with more bells and whistles would have caused me to drown in the technology. I probably would not have even used all those bells and whistles for a while.
This is a fabulous purchase for anyone looking to monitor their heart rate while exercising! For $50 it is a perfect entry level watch and heart rate monitor!
Read my review of the Garmin Instinct.