Fitbit Flex 2 vs Fitbit Alta: Which is the Better Fitness Tracker

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Fitbit has been slowly stepping up their game and developing more smartwatches, but they did not forget their roots with the Alta and Flex 2. These two Fitbits are solely trackers, and you will still receive the necessary notifications from your phone, but their chief role is to help keep you fit. The company has always been known for their activity and fitness trackers, and these two models are some of their best.

Two Minimalist Wearables

The Fitbit Alta and the Flex 2 are some of the company’s most minimalist devices. They are small and lightweight, and you will not even notice them on your wrist. They are also the more popular options if you are looking for your first-ever tracker.

If you are not used to wearing fitness bands or even traditional watches, then these are the perfect starter devices for you. All you need to do is set them up, pair them with your phone, and wear them. It also helps that they can notify you if someone sent you a text or is calling you.

Fitbit Flex 2 vs Fitbit Alta

Let’s take a look at these two exceptional fitness trackers so you can determine which of these will be able to satisfy your needs. They have a lot of similarities in terms of features, but it is the way that they are different that will help you decide which one to get.

Design

Fitbit Alta

The first thing that sticks out with both the Fitbit Alta and Flex 2 is their size. For a fitness tracker, they do not take up a lot of wrist real estate. Both of these bands come with a curved design that neatly wraps around your wrist and not obstructs the other things you put on. They also do not take up a lot of visual space because of their simple and straightforward design.

The Fitbit Alta does come with a feature that the Flex 2 does not have, a built-in screen. You can consider it skinny by fitness tracker standards since it comes with a width of only 15mm, it does have a tendency to protrude more than the Flex 2. This makes the Alta look similar to your usual prototype of a fitness band thanks to its 128 x 36, 1.4-inch OLED screen right in the middle.

The Fitbit Flex 2, on the other hand, comes with a design that is a little different, it does not come with a screen. Instead, it has these five LEDs that light up when you get a text notification or a reminder to move. This design allows you to easily mask it among the other items you slap on your wrist, like watches and bangles.

One of the exciting design features of both these trackers is their highly customizable bands. The Alta, for instance, come in three different sizes to fit on wrists 14 to 17 cm, 17 to 20.6 cm, and 20.6 to 23.6 cm. Swapping out these bands is simple, and anyone can do it.

A feature that the Flex 2 has that the Alta does not have is its waterproof design. This allows you to wear it all the time, even in the shower or on a swim. This is something you want to avoid if you are using the Alta.

These two trackers have minimalist designs that can go with just about anything. Their sleekness definitely pairs up with just about any attire as you can easily camouflage them. Their added customization options also ensure that they look fresh in a lot of different situations.

The Fitbit Alta does have a slight advantage in this category thanks to its built-in display. The Flex 2’s notification LEDs can sometimes get confusing, and having the ability to read it off a screen with the Alta definitely helps.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
TypeFitness monitorFitness monitor
Weight29 g22.7 g
DisplayYESNO
WirelessYESYES
Fitness TrackingYESYES
Sensors3-axis accelerometer3-axis accelerometer
Min Operating Temp14 °F (-10 °C)14 °F (-10 °C)
Max Operating Temp113 °F (45 °C)113 °F (45 °C)
Max Operating Altitude29,990 feet29,990 feet

Our Pick: Fitbit Alta for its built-in display

Features

The clear design difference between the Fitbit Alta and the Flex 2 is the screen. This means that you will be interacting with both devices in different ways. Since the Alta is the tracker with the display, you will be able to check the time and your notifications just by flicking your wrist. The Alta’s screen also allows you to customize the watch face with ten horizontal and vertical options.

As a fitness tracker, the Alta also enables you to keep an eye on your fitness progress. All you need to do is tap on the screen, and everything you need to know about your current fitness levels will be shown.

Now, the Flex 2, without a screen is completely different. The way it handles notifications is unlike any fitness tracker you are used to. The first thing you will notice that in the place of an LCD screen, you get five LEDs. A downside of the Flex’s LED notification lights is that you will not be able to personalize it. Fitbit does have a default pattern to let you know the different notifications so you will have to learn that.

Progress tracking is also unique with the Flex 2. It shows it with the number of white lights, the more that gets illuminated, the close you are to your goals. The tracker also has the capability to vibrate to alert you of phone calls or text messages and may get a little confusing at times.

The Alta’s built-in screen is definitely an advantage as you will not need to keep on looking at your phone all the time. Although the Flex 2’s screen-less design has its own set of followers, it is really not for everybody who is used to the typical fitness tracker or other wearable styles.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
Text Message NotificationYESYES
Incoming Call AlertYESYES
Calendar ReminderYESNO

Our Pick: Fitbit Alta for its extra display features like goal tracking and notification alerts

Activity Tracking

Fitbit Flex 2

Both the Fitbit Alta and the Flex 2 offer pretty much your basic suite of fitness tracking. Robust high-end smartwatches could provide you with a bit more data, but if you are really not into the nitty-gritty, these two should be enough.

These two trackers are capable of logging your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, hourly activity, and sleep through Fitbit’s SmartTrack feature. Your device will be able to determine whether you are running, walking, on a bike, playing a sport, and other activities. You can get a lot more activity types with more feature-packed trackers, but these are the basics that a lot of similar fitness bands have.

These two tracks the same activities. However, there are some differences between how their sensors work. The Flex 2 is the device that is a little more reliable in terms of the data that it logs. The Alta, on the other hand, is a bit more sensitive at counting steps. In terms of the activities these two devices track, they can surely match what higher-end smartwatches like the Apple Watch do.

Sleep tracking is a bit tricky, and both these devices offer the most basic features, but they sometimes seem to miss the mark with what the data that they save. The Alta’s LCD can also mess with your sleep if it lights up at odd hours.

The Flex 2 has the advantage of being waterproof over the Alta. It is the only device between the two that can track your swimming exercises. You can wear it while you swim, and the tracker can detect different swim strokes like freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.

Both of these trackers do not have GPS, so they will not be able to offer you more advanced data. They also do not have heart rate monitors or stair climbing, so there are some metrics that you will not have access to.

The Fitbit Flex 2 easily takes the lead over Alta in this category since it is waterproof and can track your swimming workouts. Apart from that, you will be able to use the Flex 2 in the rain or even while you shower, that is definitely a plus.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
Activity/Inactivity TrackingYESYES
Calories BurnedYESYES
Sleep QualityYESYES
Hours SleptYESYES
Active MinutesYESYES
Steps TakenYESYES
Distance TraveledYESYES
Heart RateNONO
Stair ClimbingNONO

Our Pick: Fitbit Flex 2 for its waterproof features and swim tracking

Connectivity

There is only one way to connect with any of these fitness trackers, and that is through Bluetooth. This connection is crucial since this is the link where either your Fitbit Flex 2 or the Alta will communicate with your smartphone, and ultimately the Fitbit companion app.

Having this connection allows the device to save all that data and give you a rundown of your daily activity when you open your app. Other notifications also take advantage of the Bluetooth connection, so you will know when someone is calling or texting you, or if you just need to be active.

There is no USB connectivity on either the Flex 2 or the Alta, so you will not be able to link it to an external device. The Bluetooth connection is definitely more than enough to get everything working and get your data logged, so you have a clear snapshot of your fitness levels.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE)
USB ConnectivityNONENONE

Our Pick: It’s a Tie

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, your fitness tracker must have a lot. Both the Fitbit Flex 2 and the Alta come with up to 5 days of juice. You can consider this a lot, but for wearables, this is a bit off the mark. It is recommended that a device have at least 7 days worth of power. So, even when you forget to charge it, you can be sure that it continues tracking.

The concern for the Flex 2 is that since it does not have a screen, it should come with more battery life than the Alta. LCDs generally eat up more power, and with both devices a close match in terms of battery life, it seems like the Flex 2 compromised a bit here.
Charging time is quick at two hours, so you should typically be charging once a week, depending on your usage levels.

Even though the battery life is the same, it seems like the Fitbit Alta does come with a bit more capacity. Still, these are decent numbers, but a bit more would have been a lot better.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
Rechargeable BatteryYESYES
Battery LifeUp to 5 daysUp to 5 days
Battery TypeLithium polymerLithium polymer
Recharge Time2 hours2 hours

Our Pick: Fitbit Alta since it lasts just as long as the Flex 2, and it has an LCD screen

Durability

Fitness trackers are designed to take a beating. They are meant to be worn when you are working out whether you are indoors or outdoors. It is going to be a bit tough breaking them on purpose, and they will seldom fall since they are strapped on to your wrist most of the time.

The Fitbit Alta does come with a built-in LCD screen, which is great as an added feature since you have easy access to your notifications, but it is also an additional point of failure. There is a tendency where you might hit it hard on the wall, which can cause the screen to crack. The Flex 2 does not have a screen that you can break.

The most promising feature of the Flex 2 that boosts its durability is its waterproof capabilities. This allows you to wear it anywhere and at all times. You will be able to use it in the rain, whether you are running or on a bike. The best part of all is you can use it to track your swim workouts, and this is something that the Fitbit Alta is not capable of doing.

Overall, these fitness trackers are robust devices. This is definitely true with the Fitbit Alta and the Flex 2. However, the Flex 2 just has that added set of features that make it more durable than the Alta.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
WaterproofNOYES
Max DepthN/A3.3 ft
ProtectionN/A5 ATM Waterproof

Our Pick: Fitbit Flex 2 for its impressive waterproof capabilities

The Better Fitness Tracker

Both the Fitbit Alta and Flex 2 are exceptional fitness trackers. Yes, they may only offer basic tracking features, but they certainly do it well. These devices do an excellent job at what they are designed to do.

With these features, you can consider these as entry-level fitness trackers. There are others out there that are going to provide you with more features and data like GPS, but those cost a lot more than these two.

Both of these trackers are minimalist, stylish, and customizable, allowing you to use any of these in just about any situation, including formal events where you might need to dress up.

There is a significant price difference between the two, and this is probably due to the fact that the Fitbit Flex 2 is waterproof. That is definitely a factor at why it is priced much higher. Because of this, the Flex 2 is an obvious choice here since it gives you a lot more flexibility.

Apart from allowing you to use it outdoors without fear of the rain, you can also opt to not take it off when you shower. Most of all, you can use it to track all your swimming activities if you are an avid swimmer or if you rely on it to achieve your fitness goals.

The Fitbit Alta, on the other hand, comes with a built-in LCD screen and is more affordable than the Flex 2. You will be able to check your notifications and keep you away from your phone whenever you are active. The Alta is more like the traditional fitness tracker, and you can definitely spend a bit more to get the features that it offers over other brands.

Fitbit AltaFitbit Flex 2
Retail Price$129
CHECK PRICE
$219
CHECK PRICE

Which Offers the Most Value

Looking at the prices of these devices, it is safe to say that the Alta is the one that offers the better value between the two. However, there are some caveats, as well. If you are only looking at the specs and tracking features of the two, then the Alta is definitely a value choice since they are pretty much the same.

The only time where you will consider the Fitbit Flex 2 as a value choice is when you prioritize its waterproof capabilities. If you are a swimmer and want a way to track your workouts reliably, then the Flex 2 is your activity tracker of choice.

The Perfect Tracker for Your Needs

This ultimately depends on your needs and how you want to use your activity tracker. Remember that both the Fitbit Alta and the Flex 2 are of the entry-level sort, so if you are after the most basic features, then these are going to be in your top choices.

If you are looking for a device that could potentially act as a mini-screen for your smartphone where you will be able to access your notifications, then the Alta is the one you are looking for. The Flex 2 does not have an LCD screen but instead comes with LED bulbs as its notification alert mechanism. However, this design allows it to be waterproof.

The Flex 2 is the device to get if you are active all the time. Its waterproof capabilities allow you to use it in a lot of outdoor situations and if you love to swim.

Final Thoughts

There are two questions that you need to answer before you can decide which of these two amazing devices are you going to get. Are you particularly looking for a wearable with a screen that can act as an extension of your phone? Or do you want the Flex 2’s waterproof capabilities so you can closely track your swim workouts?

Both of these devices will do an excellent job of tracking your fitness goals. They are outstanding entry-level bands that will surely get you hooked on collecting your exercise and activity data.

The choice ultimately lies in what you want with your tracker. If it is the screen you are after, then the Fitbit Alta is an excellent choice. If you are looking for a more discreet band that does not shout fitness tracker and waterproofing, then the Fitbit Flex 2 is for you.