Fitbit Alta vs Flex

Fitbit Alta vs Flex comparison. While the market for smartwatches is dominated by phone manufacturers, the same thing does not apply to fitness trackers. Companies like Fitbit and Garmin are still pretty much taking huge portions of the entire industry, making the market more competitive and beneficial for consumers.

Introduction

Unlike smartwatches which often suffer from battery life, fitness trackers are more specialized devices and therefore equipped with specific features only, hence more efficient power. Some of them do offer smartphone notifications feature, but it is an addition to step counter, sleep monitor, and calories calculator.

The Fitbit Alta and Fitbit  Flex, fit into the category well; they offer basic activity tracking functions with some additional features.

Fitbit Alta

Released less than a year ago, Fitbit Alta is a relatively new device. It does all basic functionalities of a modern activity tracker such as auto calculation of steps taken, distance covered, sleeping time, inactivity period with reminder to move, auto exercise recognition, and smartphone notifications.

It uses the same app as other Fitbit trackers do, and now it has a newly added feature called Sleep Schedule. Besides measuring steps, calories, and distance, the sleep monitoring is enhanced for better accuracy with the following options:

  •  Sleep Goal: based on activity statistics recorded on the device, the app recommends target sleep hours, so users can adjust (increase or decrease) resting time for healthier lifestyle.
  • Wake up Target: Fitbit Alta analyze past sleeping patterns to determine ideal bedtime and wake up time schedules. Users still have options to override the recommendation and do manual settings in accordance to their daily routines.
  • -Reminders: the option to set silent wake alarm on the tracker or notifications on smartphones for the sleeping/waking up schedule. It reminds you to sleep and wake up every day.
  • Sleep Schedule Chart: a history of bedtime and waking up time consistency to see whether or not users meet their goals.

Because all Fitbit activity trackers use the same apps, Sleep Schedule function is available for all of them. The Alta is a user-friendly device with straightforward interface. It also has modular design, allowing users to swap the band with fashionable designer accessories.

Fitbit Flex

Announced at CES 2013, Fitbit Flex is a much older device than the Alta. In fact, the original Flex has been replaced by Flex 2. Unlike today’s modern activity trackers, Fitbit Flex comes only with a handful of features and it does not have a screen for alphanumeric display. You can consider this a traditional activity tracker equipped with bare minimum requirements by today’s standards.

Fitbit Flex is a simple device that tracks steps, calories, distance, sleep, and that’s about it. The device does not have smartphone notification function. However, there is Bluetooth syncing that automatically updates statistics to a connected smartphone. It will update your statistics on regular basis even when you are still wearing it.

Although it is no longer a new device in the company’s lineup, Fitbit Flex is still a capable device compared to many later models in the market. It relies on internal accelerometer to count the number of steps and calories you burn.

Since you are required to sync the device with an online Fitbit account, all measurements are based on personal perimeters such as weight, age, and height. These are necessary when registering an account.

It also monitors sleep quality by comparing length of sleep and how many times you wake up. You have to manually activate and deactivate sleep monitoring feature by tapping the screen until the device vibrates.

Instead of using a screen, Fitbit Flex comes with a line of five small LED lights that blink to indicate status or how far behind you are behind the goal.

For example, the daily step count goal for one day is 10,000 and the tracker shows progress by lighting up the LEDs one by one. When all lights illuminate, it means goal has been achieved. As soon as the goal is reached, all lights blink in random pattern and the tracker itself gives a haptic feedback. You can also set your own goal in Fitbit website.

One of the best features of Fitbit Flex is the fact that it is water-resistant. As an activity tracker, it must be on your wrist all day long even while you are asleep and in the shower. It makes sure that all steps and calories are all put into the calculation for better accuracy.

Fitbit Alta vs Flex comparison Pricing

  • Fitbit Alta pricing and product details at Jet.com
  • Fitbit Flex pricing and product details at bestbuy.com

Fitbit Blaze vs Fitbit Surge

A comparison chart between Fitbit Blaze vs Fitbit Surge Fitness Watch.

Note: This comparison by GPSCompared is a basic guide based on Fitbit published specifications and features at their official website. And by no means that this comparison is definitive. There might be other similarities and differences which are not covered here.

Fitbit Fitness Watch
Fitbit BlazeFitbit Surge
Modelsfitbit-blaze
Fitbit Blaze
fitbit-surge
Fitbit Surge
Check PriceFitbit Blaze at bestbuy.comDeal $189 Fitbit Surge at Groupon.com
Specifiations & Features
Sensors & Components
Built-In GPSNoYes
Digital compassNoYes
3-axis accelerometersYesYes
3-axis gyroscopeYesYes
Optical heart rate monitorYesYes
AltimeterYesYes
Ambient light sensorYesYes
Vibration motorYesYes
DisplayTouchscreen
Color LCD
Touch screen
Monochrome LCD
Backlight for low light visibility
Battery and Power
Battery life:up to 5 dayslast up to 7 days
GPS Battery life:Nolast up to 10 hours
Battery type:Lithium-polymerLithium-polymer
Charge time:One to two hoursOne to two hours
Radio transceiver:Bluetooth 4.0Bluetooth 4.0
Memory
MemorySaves 7 days of detailed motion data – minute by minute.

Saves daily totals for past 30 days

Stores heart rate data at 1 second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5 second intervals all other times
Tracks 7 days of detailed motion data – minute by minute.

Tracks daily totals for past 30 days

Stores heart rate data at 1 second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5 second intervals all other times

Sample rate for GPS is 1 Hz
Water ResistanceFitbit Blaze is sweat, rain and splash proof, but is not swim proof.Fitbit Surge is sweat, rain and splash proof. However, the device is not swim proof or shower proof.
BASIC FEATURES
Steps, Calories & DistanceYesYes
Floors ClimbedYesYes
Clock/TimeYesYes
Sleep Tracking & Silent AlarmYesYes
EXERCISE FEATURES
Reminders to MoveYesNo
On-Screen WorkoutsYesNo
GPSNo Built-in GPS. With Connected GPS ( (Connect Fitbit Blaze with the GPS on your phone)Built-in GPS
SmartTrack™YesYes
Multi-SportYesYes
PurePulse® Heart RateYesYes
SMART FEATURES
Call & Text NotificationsYesYes
Calendar AlertsYesYes
Music ControlYesYes
INTERCHANGEABLE ACCESSORIES
Fitbit AccessoriesYesNo
Check PriceFitbit Blaze at bestbuy.comDeal $189 Fitbit Surge at Groupon.com

Introduction To Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Surge

Fitbit may not be the first brand that comes to mind when people think about smartwatch, but the company has strong consumer base for its sport-centric wearables including running watch and activity trackers.

The Blaze and Surge are among the brand’s advanced multi-sport watches featuring optical heart rate monitor, touchscreen, smartphone connectivity and auto exercise recognition. Currently sitting at the top of the range in Fitbit’s trackers lineup, Blaze and Surge also offer everyday-watch form factor rather than sport-inspired design.

Fitbit Blaze

Unlike most sport watches, Fitbit Blaze is not entirely cased in plastic. It has a stainless steel frame attached to the band; there are 5 colors available including Black, Black/Silver, Blue/Silver, Plum Silver, and Pink/Gold.

Built-In Optical Heart Rate Monitor

The frame on the Black version is PVD coated. There is built-in optical heart rate monitor for 24/7 monitoring, even when you are sleeping. The color LCD screen is small, but it is touch sensitive. It has accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, vibration motor, and ambient light sensor as well. Despite its multiple features, the watch can last for about 5 days before it needs a recharge.

FitStar

Intended mainly as an activity tracker, Fitbit Blaze actually does more than just counting steps and calories. One thing that makes the Blaze stand out from the crowd is the FitStar. Once activated, the screen displays simple workout regimen completed with step-by-step instruction and visual guidance.

There is an animation depicting the movements of a fitness trainer; the idea behind FitStar is that you can follow the guidance, do simple yet effective exercise, and see the results directly on your wrist.

Statistics For Other Exercise

Although the Blaze fall under Tracker category in Fitbit products line, this watch is capable of measuring statistics for other exercises as well, for examples running, biking, and weights.

However, to use GPS–based functions on the Blaze (such as distance and speed – Blaze does not have built-in GPS), you must rely on your smartphone GPS. In case you forget to switch modes, the watch can automatically recognize the current exercise and do the computing accordingly.

Because it has accelerometer, you can wear this during indoor running on a treadmill, too. The on-board optical heart rate monitor analyzes your pulse and generates calorie computation data even when you are not moving, thanks to PurePulse technology. It divides training intensity into three heart rate zones including:

– Fat Burn: this is a moderate intensity zone in which your heart beat indicates that your body converts fat into energy. You can enter the zone simply by walking for few minutes.

– Cardio: commonly active during running or elliptical training, the zone represents medium intensity exercise that increases muscle and cardio strength.

– Peak: during interval or endurance training, Fitbit Blaze will display Peak heart rate zone. It means you are doing intense exercise to improve performance.

Because calorie computation is based on heart rate, you can do stationary training (such as with elliptical exercise equipment or weight lifting) without losing measurement accuracy.

PurePulse helps you achieve fitness goal or weight loss target by providing information about the correlation between certain physical activities and the amount of calories you burn.

When used as an activity tracker, Fitbit Blaze has a good range of features to help you stay healthy every day. It measures steps, calories, distance, and inactivity time. To prevent you from being inactive, the watch sends reminder for you to take at least 250 steps every hour.

Thanks to the altimeter, it also measures the number of stairs you climb. With Auto Sleep Tracking, Blaze monitors your sleep to figure out the total time you spend in deep sleep and restlessness.

Another important feature is smartphone connectivity. If you pair the watch with a compatible smartphone, you can check alerts for texts, emails, incoming calls, and calendar alerts directly on your wrists. While the screen is small, the texts are readable under most lighting conditions. You can also control your smartphone’s music player using the watch.

Fitbit Surge

Unlike the Blaze, Fitbit Surge is not modular but it comes in three sizes: small, large, and extra large. In terms of functionality, both devices are basically the same. In fact, you can find almost all the features available from Blaze in Surge, except FitStar.

With Built-In GPS

As a multi-sport watch, Surge is better with built-in GPS and a battery life that lasts for about 7 days between recharge. Another big difference comes from the screen department as the Surge is equipped only with touchscreen monochrome LCD.

Without differences in FitStar, GPS and screen specification, Blaze and Surge have the same functions as activity tracker and running watch. Form factor is also different, with the Surge leans toward sport-inspired design while the Blaze tends to be casual/formal everyday wearable.

Check Price

Fitbit Blaze at bestbuy.com
Fitbit Surge at Groupon.com

Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 235

A comparison chart between Garmin Forerunner 35 vs Forerunner 235 GPS Running Watch.

Note: This comparison by GPSCompared is a basic guide based on Garmin published specifications and features at their official website. And by no means that this comparison is definitive. There might be other similarities and differences which are not covered here.

Garmin GPS Running Watch
Garmin Forerunner 35Garmin Forerunner 235
Models
garmin-forerunner-35
Garmin Forerunner 35
garmin-forerunner-235
Garmin Forerunner 235
Introduction DateGarmin introduced the Garmin Forerunner 35 model on August 31, 2016Garmin Forerunner 235 was announced by Garmin on October 21, 2015
View the model availability and current price at AmazonGarmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch at AmazonGarmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch at Amazon
View the model availability and current price (more marketplace)
$161.99 Garmin Forerunner 35 at Groupon.com
What's Difference
Physical & Performance
Physical dimensions1.4” x 1.6” x 0.5" (35.5 x 40.7 x 13.3 mm)1.77" x 1.77" x 0.46" (45.0 x 45.0 x 11.7 mm)
Display size, WxH0.93” x 0.93” (23.5 x 23.5 mm)1.23" (31.1 mm) diameter
Display resolution, WxH128 x 128 pixels215 x 180 pixels
Color displayNoYes
Weight37.3 g (1.3 oz)1.5 oz (42 g)
Battery lifeup to 9 days, watch mode; up to 13 hours in training mode11 hours training, 9 days watch + activity tracking + notifications + heart rate
GLONASSNoYes
VIRB® controlNoYes
Maps & Memory
History7 activities200 hours of activity data
Running Features
Virtual Pacer™ (compares current pace to target)YesNo
V02 max estimateNoYes
Recovery advisorNoYes
Race predictorNoYes
Performance Features
Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)NoYes
Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)NoYes
Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)NoYes
Training Effect (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness)NoYes
What's Common
BatteryRechargeable lithium-ionRechargeable lithium-ion
Water rating5 ATM5 ATM
GPS-enabledYesYes
High-sensitivity receiverYesYes
Smart notifications (displays email, text and other alerts when paired with your compatible phone)YesYes
Vibration alertYesYes
Music controlYesYes
Find my phoneYesYes
Watch functionsIncludes date and alarmIncludes date and alarm
Running Features
Accelerometer (calculates distance for indoor workouts, without need for a foot pod)YesYes
Personal recordsYesYes
Cycling Features
Bike speed/cadence sensorYesYes (optional)
Performance Features
Heart rate monitorYes (wrist-based)Yes (wrist-based)
Foot podYes (optional)Yes (optional)
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)YesYes
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)YesYes
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)YesYes
Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)YesYes
Heart rate-based calorie computationYesYes
Calculates calories burnedYesYes
Customizable screen(s)YesYes
Shock ResistantYesYes
Activity Tracking Features
Step counterYesYes
Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)YesYes
Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)YesYes
Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)YesYes
Garmin Connect
Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)YesYes
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)YesYes
Official Specs and Features
Learn more from the manufacturer site.Read more about Garmin Forerunner 35 at garmin.comRead more about Garmin Forerunner 235 at garmin.com
Amazon Customer Reviews
Read all the reviews inclusive of the most helpful favorable review and the most helpful critical review (if applicable)
Click here to read Garmin Forerunner 35 reviews from Amazon customersClick here to read the reviews on Garmin Forerunner 235
Check Price
View the model availability and current price at AmazonGarmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch at AmazonGarmin Forerunner 235 GPS Watch at Amazon
View the model availability and current price (more marketplace)
$161.99 Garmin Forerunner 35 at Groupon.com

Introduction To  Garmin Forerunner 35 and  235 GPS Watch

Garmin has been recently busy since last May with the release of at least five new wearables in the past several months. Forerunner 35 is one of the latest iterations in the popular running watch series released in August 31, 2016.

Earlier this year, the company also launched Forerunner 235, the more sophisticated model compared to the latest one. Both watches have shock resistant structure, activity tracking, running metrics, accelerometer for indoor training, and additional features such as smartphone connectivity for notification and rechargeable battery.

Garmin Forerunner 35

Designed to be a straightforward running watch, Forerunner 35 serves well in Garmin’s range of affordable wearables. In fact, you can consider this the natural successor for Forerunner 25 which sits at the bottom of the series. The biggest improvement over its predecessor is the built-in heart rate monitor, eliminating the needs to use chest strap during exercise.

Overall dimension measures at 35.5 mm X 40.7 mm x 13.3 mm, and it weighs slightly more than 37 grams. The square screen is small yet capable of producing a readable 128 x 128 pixels resolution. Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the watch can stay on for about 9 days in watch mode or 13 hours in training mode.

Equipped with GPS, Forerunner 35 measures distance, pace, intervals, and speed of your run. The combination of wrist-based heart sensor and on-board GPS allows you to measure and review your statistics without additional accessory of any sort, not even a connected smartphone to see your statistics and progress.

Nearly all basic performance features are available including Virtual Pacer, Personal Records, Interval Training, Auto Lap, Auto Pause, and heart rate-based calorie computation.

Forerunner 35’s main functions do not require a connected smartphone to work, but you can pair them to make use of Smartphone Notification and Live Tracking features.

Smartphone Notification displays alerts for email, texts, incoming calls, and push notifications on the watch screen, so it provides the functionality of a smartwatch as well.

Live Tracking requires Garmin Connect Mobile app to work; as the name suggests, you can let your friends and families know your whereabouts in real time while you are running.

In addition, Forerunner 35 comes equipped with activity tracking to measure steps and sleep quality. Garmin also provides auto goal feature and inactivity alert to motivate you to be physically active on daily basis.

The watch features Garmin Move IQ which automatically recognizes different activities for examples running, walking, cycling (it requires bike/cadence sensor for accurate metric analysis).

Garmin Forerunner 235

For more serious runners, the Forerunner 235 is probably a better choice. Compared to the Forerunner 35, it has better screen resolution and more detailed running metrics. It comes with GPS, GLONASS, and compatibility with Garmin Connect IQ.

Forerunner 235 measures at 45.0 mm x 45.0 mm x 11.7 mm; it weighs 42 grams. Its round-shaped screen produces 215 x 180 pixels resolution. The rechargeable battery lasts for about 9 days in watch mode (with activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and smartphone notifications) or 11 hours in training mode between recharge.

Connect IQ is Garmin’s official applications store to give users the option to customize or add functions to select devices including Forerunner 235. From the store, you can download additional apps such as hiker, maps and watch face. You can also use any photo from your phone as background with free Garmin Face-It app, available for iOS and Android devices.

Apart from hardware specification, the biggest difference between Forerunner 35 and Forerunner 235 is that the latter has an advanced running feature called VO2 Max. It estimates your body capacity to use oxygen based on heart rate during an exercise.

Forerunner 235 is one of few wearables by Garmin that can utilize this function without chest strap, but Garmin recommends using external chest strap for more accurate results. VO2 Max helps determine estimated Recovery Time, available on board as well.

Another addition is Training Effect, given as a scale from 1.0 to 5.0. The idea behind this feature is to help you learn how certain physical activity with different intensity affects your fitness level. Scale 1.0 – 1.9 indicates endurance improvement, while the maximum 5.0 scale suggests high improvement but with the risk of temporary tiredness.Training Effect data is available from the History page on the device. 

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