With Alta, Fitbit sooner or later made a fashionable health band

With Alta, Fitbit sooner or later made a fashionable health band

‘The Fitbit Alta is what happens when Fitbit sits down and makes a decision to make a health tracker thatisn’t ugly. in the end, the newness of fitness trackers is wearing thin, so the agency desires a newmethod to tackle increasingly flashy competition. We noticed tips of a new design course with the Surge in 2015, but it truly came into awareness this yr with the debut of the Blaze smartwatch and Alta band.they’re now not as stylish as different health devices from the likes of Jawbone and Misfit, but they’re abegin. The Alta especially is Fitbit’s maximum styleforward devicesomething you can wear on a run or a date. it really is the hope, at least.

Cons
No stair or coronary heart charge tracking
a few bands are hard to put on
summary
The Alta indicates Fitbit has found out enough approximately design to compete with greater elegantcompetitors. it’s also a lesson in how fewer functions can occasionally lead to a better product.
hardware
The nice component about the Alta is that it does not appearance some thing like Fitbit’s previous fewgenerations of wristbands. long past are the wide straps, chunky builds and skinny shows (the Flex could not even display text, simply dots). as an alternative, the Alta is dominated via a huge, touchtouchyOLED display screen. It has a swish metallic core unit and its straps are all a lot thinner. it’s still apparentyou’re sporting a fitness band, however as a minimum it would not appear to be a low-price range-sci-fifilm prop.

exceedingly, there aren’t any buttons at the Alta. it’s because you don’t really want them; it routinelytracks your activities and sleep. You engage with it through elevating your wrist, or by means of double-tapping the show. Tapping on the lowest of the display cycles thru your fundamental health stats,inclusive of your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and active time.

The Alta ships with both small or big popular bands, which are built out of the equal elastomer fabric as Fitbit’s different straps. they are rubbery and truly stiff — the kind of element you won’t must fuss with if they get moist or sweaty. lookwise, the bands are simply good enough. They don’t call tons attentionto themselves, but they’re now not exactly elegant (although i am simply digging the plum one).

Fitbit also has a slew of accessories handy this time round, consisting of purple and graphite leather-based bands for $60 and a stainless-steel one for $100. you can additionally select up additionalgeneral straps in black, blue, plum and teal for $30. The idea is that you may be capable of customize your Alta and dress it up and down as necessary. Swapping the bands is fairly clean: You simply want topreserve down two buttons at the Alta’s underside and slide within the replacement straps.

there is no coronary heart charge monitor on the Alta, which speaks to how Fitbit is positioning it. most of the people do not really need that capability and for lots, having a barely sleeker device is greatercritical.

software

if you‘ve seen the Fitbit rate in movement, the Alta isn’t a whole lot extraordinary. in addition todisplaying the health stats I mentioned earlier, its display screen may even alert you to incoming calls and texts. you could switch among vertical and horizontal text display from the Fitbit app, whichadditionally has a few specific watch faces to pick out from. All of those watch faces basically look theidentical, though; you can most effective count on so much from a monochrome display screen.

beyond that, there may be now not much to customize with the Alta. you may pick to show off positivestats from the tool‘s display screen, or rearrange the order in which they appear. but it truly isapproximately it.

evidently, you will be counting on Fitbit’s cellular apps maximum of the time for distinct records aboutyour health stats. The Alta routinely syncs with those apps at some point of the day, or you couldprovoke guide syncs in your personal. it’s been a few years when you consider that i have reviewed a Fitbit wearable, so its colourful, more consumerpleasant apps have been a welcome sight (they wasexcessively dull).

In use

The Alta makes a very good first influence when you see it, though placing it on is every other story. Even after using it for weeks now, it nevertheless takes some distance extra attempt than i’d like with the bundled strap. The large issue is Fitbit’s clasp implementation, which relies on getting prongs to in shapeinto two holes, all at the same time as balancing the Alta and making sure it fits tightly enough. whenever Iattempt to placed it on, the Alta’s trendy strap inevitably slips out of my fingers or i have problem gettingthose prongs into the holes. necessarily, i’m left annoyed and with a barely bruised wrist. (It become a good deal less difficult to position the Alta on with the leather band.)

once it changed into on, the Alta worked as promised. It correctly counted my steps and distance, as Fitbits have executed for years (unluckily, it does not count stairs like the rate did). And i was surprised that itdidn’t have any trouble mechanically tracking my sports, be it a 30-minute run or a long stroll. as soon as it begins tracking an activity, the Alta additionally introduced such things as my pace and timing out loud (you could disable those notifications within the app). in addition, it was capable of song my sleepbehavior without any extra prodding, even though I frequently had to pass in and delete a few entries in which it mistook my overdue night time/early morning writing as more sleep time. (We tech writers sure dohold unusual operating hours.)

automated activity tracking is not anything new for Fitbit, but the Alta’s implementation adds some otherlayer of refinement. health devices are recognized for having a totally low retention rate; plenty of clientshave tried them only to give up after some weeks or months. Automating the most rote responsibilities is one way to probably help users get over that hump. They just ought to positioned the Alta on, with outtraumatic approximately urgent buttons or twiddling with settings.

i’ve worn plenty of health trackers over the years, and the Alta is one of the most cozy (aside from the frustration of really placing it on). the same old wrist band isn’t always some thing unique, but i used to be capable of put on it for days without any problems. The Alta’s leather strap is even better: it is as softand smooth as you’ll anticipate a premium band to be. It ended up turning into my cross-to, though Ineeded to be a piece more careful given that Fitbit recommends retaining it faraway from water, oils andsomething that could potentially damage it. The massive takeaway: if you‘re getting an Alta, you mustsincerely plan on picking up a leather band.

Fitbit claims that the Alta ought to ultimate around five days on a fee, and that is quite close to what Isaw in practice. once in a while i’d must price it at the fourth day if I exercised plenty, however for themaximum element it reached five days with out difficulty. this is on par with the battery existence you’llget from Fitbit’s fee HR band, though the apparent rate can final seven to ten days.

at the same time as it is secure and easy to apply overall, the Alta doesn’t pass far past thefundamental abilties of a fitness tracker. It does precisely what you’ll expect, and nothing extra.certainly, though, that just is probably a signal of the health machine market stabilizing a bit. positive, itwould not have a coronary heart price screen, however this is something only hardcore fitness centerrats want anyway. maximum wrist-based totally innovation in recent times is focused on smartwatches, so it makes experience for Fitbit to attention more on layout with the Alta. (although our evaluation of the Fitbit Blaze shows, it nonetheless has loads to study inside the smartwatch realm.)

The opposition

At $a hundred thirty, the Alta is the same price as final year‘s price, which has a much clunkier designhowever additionally has the introduced benefit of stair monitoring. (I assume the charge to get a pricecut quickly.) in case you‘re more of a fitness hound, you may get the charge HR with coronary heartprice monitoring for $one hundred fifty, or step as much as the Blaze for $two hundred.

The Alta’s closest competition is different designfocused fitness bands just like the Jawbone Up3 ($a hundred) and the Misfit Ray ($100). even as cheaper, neither of these options have monitors in theirvery own, rather they depend upon their cell apps to show stats. We observed the Up3 to be relativelycomplicated when it launched, however it’s worth noting that Jawbone become able to encompass afundamental coronary heartrate screen. The Up3 is likewise tons cheaper now than its unique $180fee, which partially factored into our assessment whilst it got here out.

Wrap-up

ultimately, the Alta is a huge jump forward for Fitbit in phrases of design, yet it is in a few methods a stepback in functionality. but for a enterprise it truly is commonly been centered on era over looks for thepast few years, it’s likely a sensible compromise.

fitness trackers are now not the hot new issue: You want a piece of flash to stay inside the race. it’s alsoa reminder that maximum clients won’t want the capabilities system businesses had been pushing on us. in relation to some thing I put on all day, i’ll usually take a slim and attractive fitness tracker over abulky one which simply happens to song my heart charge.