my thoughts on the Apple Watch vs. the Fitbit Alta

Hey hey! How are you? I hope you’re enjoying the day so far. Today, I’m re-sharing this post with updated info – comparing two fitness tools: the fitness alta and the apple watch. They no longer make the Alta, but the Luxe is similar here. 

Apple Watch vs. the Fitbit Alta

Something that has helped a lot with my motivation to get moving and stay active throughout the day has been my Apple Watch. I’m a huge fan of fitness trackers – I’ve used multiple Fitbit models, the Tom-Tom Spark 3, Garmins, Polars, I’m kind of a nerd about fitness trackers – and the latest fave is the Apple Watch. It’s sporty but cute enough to wear every day, and the stats and interface are amazing.

Apple watch review - How the the Apple Watch stacks up against the FitBit Alta | | #applewatch #applewatchreview #fitnesstrackers

When I switched over to the Apple Watch, I’d been wearing a Fitbit for the most part, and most recently the FitBit Alta. I like that the Alta is much smaller than other fitness trackers and it gave me similar stats (plus the heart rate model tracks your heart rate). I’ve been a Fitbit fan for years and have consistently used the Fitbit as an effective way to track my steps and workout stats. I’d been eyeing the Apple Watch for about a year, but wasn’t sure if the cost would be worth switching over.

When we first moved to Valdosta, we attended an auction for Liv’s new school, and on one of the tables was an Apple Watch. I decided to put it into destiny’s hands. A couple of mint juleps later, and lurking around the auction table, I was the proud new owner of an Apple Watch (and a pair of Prada sunglasses. Yolo. <— do people still stay that? hah)

Apple watch review

Here’s my review of the Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Alta:


The Fitbit interface is simple. It tells you everything you need to know (steps, distance, calories burned) without any extra bells and whistles. If you log into the app, you can also track data on sleep, which can be extremely insightful.

The Apple Watch takes things to the next level. Your goals for the day are split into little circles: move goals (calories burned), standing (I think it’s move for 5 minutes of every hour), and workout (30 minutes of activity per day). It’s SO satisfying to see the circles build throughout the day, and an easy way to glance and check how you’re doing.

Apple Watch movement goals

Since the Apple Watch is obviously…a watch…you can also change the face to a picture on your camera, or any from their gallery (some of them move, like the jellyfish and butterflies). It’s kind of fun to change the face to Minnie Mouse when we’re at Disney World. 😉

Sleep tracking:

To be totally honest, I haven’t used this feature on the Apple watch. I find that as a mom, sleep tracking is one of the most depressing things ever. Ignorance is bliss.

I did use this while I was wearing the Alta, and it was helpful to see how much deep sleep I was getting vs. light/interrupted sleep.

Battery life:

This is where Fitbit wins. My Alta would easily last a few days, and my Apple Watch lasts about a day and a half. This means I either have to charge it overnight or take a midday charge break, which is kind of annoying.

Workout mode:

The activity tracker is next-level stuff, and one of the reasons I LOVE the Apple Watch. You can select swim, indoor walk, outdoor walk, cycle, spin indoors, or quick start, and it will target your stats based on your activity. It also tracks heart rate, which I find to be pretty accurate. Sometimes when I get super sweaty it slides around my wrist and doesn’t read it quite as well. I like being able to tell it what I’m doing so it can provides more relevant info. For example, if I’m outside, it includes distance and pace on my stats.

Apple Watch review


The Fitbit Charge is much more limited in this aspect so it’s one of the huge perks of the Apple Watch. It displays the music I’m currently playing from my phone, and I can adjust the volume. This is SO AWESOME while I’m teaching a class because I can turn the music down for more thorough coaching and increase the volume for an intense part of the workout.

The Apple Watch also syncs my text messages and I can answer the phone from it (and speak into the watch). I find that with these features, I’m not on my phone nearly as much. I’m not constantly checking to see if I have any missed texts or calls.


They both have their advantages. The Alta (now Luxe) seems more indestructible and is still small and chic. You can swap out the Fitbit bands and make it as fancy as you like.

The Apple Watch looks a little more tech-y, but in the end, it just looks like a pretty watch. I like that you can swap out the wristbands and change the watch face.


I feel like with anything else, you have to find out what works for you and what you prefer. When I wear a fitness tracker, I feel more motivated to get in small bits of movement throughout the day and really aim to hit those 10k steps. The Alta is a great tracker (and is less expensive than the Apple Watch), and the Apple Watch provides a little more insight, settings, and options. They’re both awesome in their own way, but for now, I’m using and loving the Apple Watch.

Do you use a fitness tracker? What’s your very favorite? What movement goals do you set for yourself each day?

I aim to hit 10k steps – some days it’s super easy and others it’s challenging – and get in my 30 minutes of movement.



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  1. Leigh on January 5, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I’ve never had a fitness tracker but have always wanted one. I’ve been eyeing a Fitbit forever*

  2. Lauren Juan on January 6, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for this great post! Very helpful as a comparison tool*

  3. Margot on January 6, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I have an original Fitbit but have been very interested in transitioning to the Apple Watch*. Thanks for the deets!

  4. Amanda L on January 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I currently use my phone for a fitness tracker, would love to switch to a watch*

  5. SarahB on January 6, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    I used to have a Fitbit but it fell by the wayside. Would love to try the Apple Watch!*

  6. Jill on January 7, 2018 at 6:11 am

    I used to have a Fitbit but after baby #2 I kind of forgot about it (a little busy with other things). Now that she is 1 I would love to start tracking again with a new apple watch.* I always aim for 10,000 steps a day.

  7. Amie S on January 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    I like the Apple Watch and how the circles close once they are completed. Even though it’s super simple, it’s motivating! 10,000* steps is my usual goal, but since I’m being honest, it’s usually only on the days/nights I work (I’m a RN).

  8. Caitriona on January 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    I had my second baby 5 months ago and I’m ready to get back into shape. I would LOVE to have the Apple Watch to help keep me on track & motivate me *

  9. Amanda on January 7, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks for the comparison! Very helpful info!*

  10. Carin on January 7, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you for the review! I currently use a Fitbit, but the Apple Watch is on my wish list!*

  11. Alicia on January 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I’m so afraid of learning more about my sleep patterns! :\ interesting review!

  12. Jamie Peterson on January 8, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I currently have a Fitbit and love tracking but I feel the Apple Watch would give you more insight into more things at a quick glance. I’ve been eyeing the Apple Watch as well*

  13. Briana on January 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve never tried a fitness tracker, but would love to in the new year. The Apple Watch is on my wish list! Seems small, comfortable and user friendly!

    • Briana on January 8, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks for the review! *

  14. Lisa on January 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I would love to have more insight into the classes I teach – and having the ability to control my music from my wrist would be amazing! Thanks Gina!*

  15. Erin on February 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for the review! I have an Alta HR and I do like it, but I’ve been thinking about switching to an Apple Watch for the added features. My big question about it though – do you find the heart rate to be accurate?


    • Fitnessista on February 26, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      i think it’s a little off sometimes but it balances out to be pretty accurate

  16. Carol on October 3, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Loved reading this comparison as I’ve just gone from an Alta to Apple Watch too. I loved my sleek little Alta, loved the prompts to get up and move every hour and was OCD about 10,000 steps. It was cool looking and motivating. The bad…I could not read it outside in the sun and I live in a very sunny climate, then the little vibrations stopped that remind you to move every hour, or tell you when you’ve hit 10,000, and couldn’t fix it no matter what I tried. It’s probably close to 2 years old so beginning its natural death spiral I believe. The worst though was not being able to read it in the sun.

    Have other Apple products, (love them all) so began seriously thinking of switching to apple or going one step up in fitbit to Fitbit Charge. My husband has that and it’s easier to read outside. Series 4 watch came out…and I went to look, and see how I’d like that big watch face on my wrist. Hmmm….not too bad, and lucky me, tho sold out most places, the apple store had gotten a new shipment that morning and I came home with one.

    The bad first…battery life. No more wearing it to bed and being able to check the time if I woke up in the night. It goes onto my night stand with it’s charger…BUT…I can check the time still as it has nightstand mode or something like that. All I have to do is lightly bump the nightstand and it lights up with the time in big numerals. The exercise ring isn’t adjustable and I’d like to be able to bump it up…that ring is easy to close daily. Thats all the bad. The good: fabulously easy to read outside, and simple to check steps and heart rate and mileage with the flick of a wrist. Sharp looking, tho perhaps a bit clunkier than Alta, but it’d be impossible to be that sleek and have all that info at a glance. 10,000 steps is easy for me to get, but the watch with it’s “move” ring motivates me to keep going further for more active calorie burn. To close that I have to be more active than with fitbit for certain! Mine is set at 640 and I have to work to get it, no more sitting for hours at the computer playing (as I am now, LOL). It can be adjusted down, but I need a little push and it gives it to me.

    Sorry for the length, but I loved reading your comparison and a week into mine, I am enthusiastic and can’t write otherwise. Alta was great and at a great price point, but this is a big step up in motivation to move throughout the day, and my gosh, being able to read it in the sun is FABULOUS!!

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