Fitbit Alta HR vs Charge 3: What is the Difference?

Fitbit Alta HR vs Charge 3 -
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Fitness trackers have become so popular that there are a lot of choices out there. However, you can’t go wrong sticking to one of the brands that made these health monitors a household name. Fitbit has been around for decades now and has many excellent models to choose from.

Two of the most popular are the Alta HR and the Charge 3. Both have their unique features and design. In this article, the two go head to head, and we will take a look at just which one is the right choice for you. Let’s get started, shall we?


The first thing to tackle is the design of each of these models. In regards to the size, the Alta HR has a leg up over the Charge 3. The Alta HR comes in at just 15mm and is designed with a lightweight material. This makes it very easy to wear, especially if you like to wear other pieces of wrist jewelry, like bracelets. The Charge 3, on the other hand, measures 18mm. The aluminum case also makes this tracker lightweight.

In regards to the style of each of these units, each affords the wearer a sleek and stylish option, especially if you invest in interchangeable bands. Not only does Fitbit collaborate with major designers, but there is also a whole world of third-party designers that make bands that work with either of the two options.

Another design feature that many people look at is the water-resistance of the unit. No one wants to continually have to take their watch off when they are washing their hands or hopping in the shower after a long run. In this aspect of the design, the Charge 3 is probably the best bet.

It is crafted to be good up to 50 meters under the water. This allows the wearer to swim with it and still be able to track their progress. The Alta HR does not have this option but should be okay with a little sweat. Just remember to take it off when you hop in the shower.


Fitbit shines when it comes to tracking features, and both units are built with the basics. Both can count steps, distance walked, how many calories you have burned, and the time it took you to do all those activities. On top of that, each is fitted with the ability to track your sleep.

Each model is fitted with Fitbit’s patented PurePulse heart rate sensor, but each uses the data differently. With the Alta HR, the unit is designed to pay attention to continual monitoring. It also uses simplified heart rate zones and shows you your average rate information.

It uses this data to help with breathing features that can help you decrease your daily stress. The Charge 3 is capable of all that, plus it is fitted with more sensors to be used during working out. It also has real-time heart rates and VO2 readings.

The main difference is that the Alta HR is a simplified model. It has most of the same features, just with less customization. For instance, it is fitted with a SmartTrack system, but it can not start a workout manually from the device. Also, there is no GPS. The Charge 3 doesn’t have GPS, either, and it needs to be synced with your phone to be able to map routes.

Both units have sleep tracking capabilities. When it comes to sensors, though, the Charge 3 has an additional capacity, as it has a SpO2 sensor. This can help track a range of sleep disorders, as well as your heart health.

Smart Features

Once again, the difference is in the number of abilities each has. The Alta HR sticks with its simplified build by only offering the wearer the ability to be notified of calls, texts, and alerts. There is no access to get notifications other than these, and there is no way to set alarms.

The Charge 3, however, does all of that and expands the notification capability by allowing you to receive notifications through social media and other third-party apps. You can pair your Charge 3 with your phone, and if you are working with an Android, you will be able to have access to quick replies to those messages, as well.

There is one other smart feature that could be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing between these two options. Fitbit Pay is available when you choose the Charge 3. This is only available on a special edition of this model, but if that is something you have to have, you may want to go with the Charge 3.


No one wants to have to charge their tracker every day, so the battery life really does play a crucial part in your overall decision. Both of these options have an amazing battery life, lasting up to one week on a single charge. Thus, no clear winner in this category can be found.

Final Thoughts

Which one should you go with – the Alta HR or the Charge 3? If you are looking for a slim model that doesn’t interfere with your outfit but still has all the basic fitness tracker capabilities, the Alta HR is your Fitbit.

However, if you need a model that can stand up to a deep dive into a pool or is capable of offering a higher level of exercise tracking, you should definitely go with the Charge 3. This unit offers more smart features. Neither is too far away from each other as far as price goes, so you won’t be breaking the bank by going with the fully loaded model.

Each has its merits and special design features, so you can’t go wrong with either option. In the end, the decision is yours and should be made according to your daily needs. We hope that, by taking a look at the features and differences, we have made this choice a little easier for you.

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