Fitbit Alta vs. Fitbit Blaze: Fitbit’s latest two activity trackers go head-to-head
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As Fitbit’s line of activity trackers expands, it might be harder than ever for fitness enthusiasts to choose the right model. Two of their most popular bands – the Alta and the Blaze – are very similar, but the Blaze has a few more features compared to the Alta.
Do you feel torn between the two? We’ve done the research to help you decide which activity tracker would best suit your needs.
In one look
What we found: The Blaze is considerably more expensive than the Alta, but it comes equipped with heart rate monitoring, music control, and a few other extras that the Alta lacks.
What you will learn: The sleek and sleek Alta is more of a standard activity tracker, while the Blaze is more similar to a smartwatch.
The most noticeable difference between the Alta and the Blaze is their appearance. The Alta looks like a thin strap with a sleek touchscreen, while the Blaze looks like a traditional watch with an adjustable dial and strap.
The Alta is sold in black, plum, blue, teal, black and gold, or rose and gold; the Blaze is only available in black, plum, blue, bronze or rose and gold. The Alta is also noticeably thinner; it’s 0.61 inch wide, compared to the Blaze’s 1.58 inch width. The face of the Blaze watch measures 1.25 inches diagonally.
The Alta has an OLED touchscreen that can display phone notifications. The Blaze has a color LCD touchscreen. Both bands are sweat, rain and splash resistant, but should be removed before swimming or showering.
” MORE: Fitbit Comparison Guide
Their packaging may be different, but these two Fitbits are largely neck-and-neck when it comes to their features. Both models offer users:
- Track activities including steps, calories, distance, and active minutes.
- Sleep tracking, automatic sleep detection and silent (vibrating) wake-up alarm.
- Calls, texts and calendar alerts from a synced iOS, Android or Windows phone.
But there are differences. The Fitbit Blaze has two features that might make your decision easier: continuous heart rate readings and music control.
Blaze users can view their average beats per minute and use the device’s PurePulse heart rate feature to analyze their workout based on heart rate zones, including peak, cardio, and fat burning. And Blaze users don’t need to touch their smartphones to adjust their music while exercising – they can use the music control to play, pause, and change volume right from their wrist.
Both bands have automatic exercise recognition, but only the floors of the Blaze tracks have climbed. It also has a “multisport” mode that allows users to select the activity in which they participate, such as weight lifting or cycling.
The Blaze does not have a built-in GPS, but it can connect to a phone’s GPS via Bluetooth. It can also provide on-screen training summaries. The Alta can’t.
The Alta costs $ 129.95 at Fitbit; the Blaze sells for $ 199.95.
If the price is a bit too high, try shopping on Amazon, which often reduces activity trackers.
Fitbit also sells replacement rubber bands and more avant-garde metal or leather bands. These are sold separately from the standard models. Replacement rubber bands for both models cost $ 29.95 each.
Find your fit
If you’re a casual athlete who can do without sophisticated music control and heart rate monitoring, we recommend saving $ 70 and going for the Alta. It is particularly well suited to beginners in the activity tracking space.
For more serious fitness enthusiasts, the Blaze is a winning combination of watch and activity tracker at a fairly reasonable price. Plus, you won’t need to wear a chest strap to get heart rate readings while you exercise.
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Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. E-mail: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.