Fitbit's updated Alta adds a better strap and includes a heart-rate monitor.

What is it?

Fitbit's Alta HR adds a heart rate monitor and a few other bells and whistles to one of its signature fitness trackers. It calls this its "slimmest, most stylish heart rate tracker" and with its wiry strap and sleek, modern face, it's hard to disagree. But not everything about the Alta HR's improvements are great.

How does it work: If you're new to Fitbits, it's pretty simple: download the app, charge up the watch, strap it to your wrist and get to work. The Alta will count your steps, track your distance, monitor your heart rate, and if you want it to, spy on your sleep. This model includes a proper watch strap instead of those silly press-on buttons, which is a good thing.

What are its best bits:


If you don't like watches, but want to monitor your fitness levels, the Alta HR is so small it barely feels like you're wearing one. I often forgot I had it on. And you can colour coordinate its straps to suit your outfits. If that's something you feel like doing, you probably train at Les Mills.

Any downsides? It's thin and lightweight, so if you're used to wearing either Fitbit's Blaze or Surge - as I am - swapping to something so small takes some getting used to. I also found tapping the screen to scroll through my stats didn't work as well as other models with push buttons, leaving me hammering my wrist like a crazy person. And it doesn't count naps as sleep. Naps totally count, Fitbit. They count.

Okay, so how much is it?

The Fitbit Alta HR retails for about $269.95, so it's a more affordable investment for those looking for their first fitness watch than some of those bigger and bulkier options. But if you want those extra straps - the coral is nice - they'll set you back anywhere from $54.95 for plastic options to $119.95 for leather and a whopping $189.95 for a metal one. That quickly turns an affordable fitness watch into quite an expensive one.