Fitbit Alta essential guide

Fitbit’s new Alta tracker has apparently started shipping in the US. For those outside of the US, they can expect the new device to be made available sometime in April.

As people wait for the eventual arrival of the Fitbit Alta, they can learn more about what the device is actually capable of.

Essential reading: This is how you voted: the best fitness tracker of 2015 is…


Design

fitbit alta review

The Alta tracker has a slim stylish design, a major step up in the looks department from the retro look of its 2015 line of fitness trackers. 2016 definitely looks like is going to be the year when wearables develop a fashion sense. This is a device that can directly compete with stylish offerings from Misfit, Withings and Jawbone.

The Alta features a discreet, slightly curved, touch-screen, OLED display. It’ll automatically turn on or off based on your wrist movements. Like most companies, Fitbit does this to save battery. You can switch the screen on by lifting your wrist or by lightly tapping on the display.

The screen shows your activity stats and the time, and can be personalized using a variety of portrait or landscape clock face options. The device doesn’t have any buttons. By tapping on the sides of the display, you can navigate your way through the various metrics as well as notifications.


Collections

fitbit alta review

The Alta comes in a bunch of colours and is designed with a satin finish, stainless steel body. It features a line of interchangeable bands so you can find the one to fit your personal style. You simply pop the bands on and off. In terms of size, the bands are much smaller compared to the Fitbit Charge or Charge HR.

  • Classic ($30) in black, blue, teal, and plum colors. The classic band is made of a flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches, and includes a surgical-grade stainless steel clasp. Classic accessory bands have been tested up to 5 ATM meaning they are sweat, rain and splash proof, but not swim proof. The bands comes in three sizes – small, large and extra large.
  • Leather ($60) in pink and graphite colours. The leather band is made of soft, genuine leather and includes a stainless steel clasp. Leather bands are not intended for high intensity workouts as they are not sweat or water-resistant. They come in two sizes – small and large.
  • Metal ($100). The metal band is made from premium stainless steel. Metal bands are also not sweat or water-resistant. Fitbit recommends limited or no contact with moisture to reduce tarnishing or damage. And there is only one size – small/medium.

Available at launch in silver stainless steel, the tracker will soon be available in gold stainless steel. Also coming soon, Fitbit and Tory Burch will introduce new styles, providing unique ways to accessorize the device.


Hardware

fitbit alta review

Retailing for $130, the Alta is one of the cheapest trackers sold by Fitbit. The company has not included a heart rate sensor, which has allowed it to lower the price as compared to its other wearables. It also does not contain a GPS or an altimetre for counting floors climbed.

What it does contain is a 3-axis accelerometer and a vibration motor. This means the device is able to track steps, distance, calories burned & active minutes. It is also equipped with reminders to move, nudging you to stay active throughout the day, while providing visual feedback on your progress and keeping you connected with smart notifications. Detailed information on workouts and activity progress can be found in the Fitbit app.


Features

fitbit alta review

The full feature-set is as follows:

  • All-day activity:  Tracks steps, distance, calories burned & active minutes.
  • SmartTrack: Automatically recognizes and records continuous movement activities including walking, running, outdoor biking, elliptical, as well as general categories of aerobic workouts (such as dance classes and cardio-kickboxing) and sports (including basketball, soccer and tennis).
  • Auto sleep tracking & silent alarms: Monitors your sleep automatically & features a silent alarm.
  • Reminders to move: Moving for a few minutes every hour can help you keep your metabolism up and help reduce the negative impacts of sitting. Using short, positive prompts, Fitbit Alta will encourage you to meet a mini-step goal of 250 steps each hour (approximately 2-3 minutes of walking), and will congratulate you when you achieve the goal. These prompts can be personalized to your schedule and can easily be put on “Do Not Disturb” during long meetings or appointments, ensuring that you only get reminders when wanted.
  • Weekly exercise goals through the app: The Alta will encourage you to find and embrace a more consistent fitness routine. These goals are tracked and displayed in the app on a daily basis, with a weekly goal for the number of days you plan to exercise to help keep you accountable. Weekly goals can easily be personalized to your fitness routine, allowing you to choose your target number of exercise days and the SmartTrack activities you want to count toward your goals.
  • Smart notifications: Using Bluetooth Smart connectivity, Fitbit Alta delivers call, text and calendar notifications right on your wrist when your phone is nearby through on-screen messages and a gentle vibrating alert.
  • 5 day battery life: on a single charge.
  • Water resistant: Sweat, rain and splash proof (depending on the band).
  • Syncs wirelessly: Sync stats wirelessly & automatically to leading smartphones and computers

Have a look at the official product video.


Summary

Essentially, with the Alta Fitbit is styling up what it already offers. There is no ground-breaking new technology on board. But if you’re looking for a stylish fitness tracker that does the essentials from a recognised brand, this could be the device for you. Think of the Alta as a much better looking, revamped cousin of the Flex, but with a screen.

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Fitbit Alta
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Fitbit’s new tracker might actually be the best-looking fitness tracker the company has released so far. We think this will be a big seller, particularly with women and the high-fashion crowd.


Technical specifications

Display: OLED tab display | Weight: 29g | Colour: Classic (Black, Blue, Plum, Peal); Leather (Bluish Pink, Graphite); Metal (Stainless Steal) | Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor | Metrics: steps, calories, distance, exercise, sleep, notifications | Water resistance: 5 ATM (sweat, rain and splash proof – depending on the type of band) | Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, OS X, Windows | Battery: 5 days | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

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