Fitbit is the leading name in fitness tracker technology, with products such as the Charge 2, Blaze, Flex 2 and even the fashionable Alta range.
Just over a year after the original Fitbit Alta, the Alta HR is now here to add a few more features such as a heart rate tracker, new sleep monitoring tech and automatic fitness tracking too.
If you’re looking for a new Fitbit, our first impression is the Alta HR will be a great choice, but be sure to read on below to find out more about the latest Fitbit.
Fitbit Alta HR release date and price
The Fitbit Alta HR will be released in the UK in time for Mother’s Day, which is March 26 this year. For the US and Australia it’ll be coming out at some point in April.
The Fitbit Alta HR will cost £129.99 in the UK (about $160, AU$210) but there’s no word on how much it’ll cost in the US or Australia.
You’ll be able to buy the special edition version – with either Black Gunmetal or Rose Gold effect on the tracker itself – at £149.99 (roughly $180, AU$240). Extra bands will cost you £19.99, but you can also use bands from the original Fitbit Alta.
Fitbit Alta HR design
The design of the Fitbit Alta HR will be familiar to you if you know the Fitbit range well already. It’s much the same as the original Fitbit Alta, but with a slightly slimmer design, making it thinner than the Fitbit Charge 2 but not as thin as the Fitbit Flex 2.
There’s a screen in the center of the band that can be detached from the strap by pushing it through from the back.
Fitbit has shrunk the size of the Alta by 25% for this latest release and you’ll really appreciate this on your wrist – this is one of the most fashionable looking Fitbit devices and it may be the most attractive of the devices that has a screen.
It still doesn’t look as good as a watch such as the Withings Steel HR or even the Misfit Phase, but it’s not as unwieldy as say the Fitbit Surge.
The elastomer material on the strap included in the box feels premium like other Fitbit straps, and all of the uncomfortable issues of previous Fitbit straps have disappeared now.
This is going to be comfortable to exercise in, but there are also leather options if you want something a little more formal for a night out or your days at work.
The Alta HR is the most attractive of the Fitbit range, and you’ll feel comfortable wearing this in a work meeting as well as when you’re exercising.
Fitbit has also included a clasp for the strap this time. The original Fitbit Alta had you push two pins into little holes, which left the potential for it to fall off your wrist, while the new version feels very secure.
To cycle through the different fitness menus and see your stats on the Fitbit Alta HR you need to tap the screen, as there are no buttons on the sides of the device. This is something that feels a little missing on the Alta HR, as the display doesn’t always respond to your taps.
The advice is to tap just below the screen on the strap, but even then it sometimes took a few attempts to get it to work.
Fitbit Alta HR fitness features
Fitness features of the Alta HR are now a lot more expanded than on the original Alta.
One of the best features from the Fitbit Blaze – auto exercise tracking – is also on the Alta HR to make it even easier to record your workout.
We didn’t get the chance to try out the feature, but if it works properly it’ll mean it’s easier to pick up on your everyday exercise. If you go for a long walk, the Alta HR will notice it and you won’t need to manually log your routine.
It also means the Alta HR will pick up on other exercises such as cycling or running.
There’s also a heart rate tracker on the Fitbit Alta HR. It will take your pulse throughout the day as well as registering your heart rate while exercising.
This should give you a better insight into your overall health, with Fitbit using the data – alongside details of your weight and height – to give you recommendations on what you should improve upon.
For example, if you’re pushing yourself too hard it may be able to warn you to hold off doing certain forms of exercise as your heart rate is too high.
Fitbit Alta HR other features
The Alta HR also comes with new sleep tracking tech – different to the feature provided on the original Alta – that will monitor your heart rate throughout the night to give you a full look at your night’s sleep.
From this data, Fitbit is then able to show you the amount of time you’ve spent in REM, light sleep or heavy sleep, so you can monitor how good your night has been.
We’ll be sure take a look at these results in our full review to see whether it can give us a better night’s sleep than we’d usually expect to have.
Any tech designed to be worn both day and night needs a strong battery so you don’t need to keep taking it off to charge, and Fitbit is promising a seven day battery life on the Alta HR, which is theoretically two days longer than the original Alta lasts.
Whether Fitbit can make good on that promise, we’ll see when we get our device for a full review.
Notifications on the Fitbit Alta HR are also present, but it’s just restricted to calls, texts and calendar related notifications the moment.
Fitbit Alta HR app and compatibility
Fitbit’s Alta HR will work in tandem with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices. Whether your exact phone will be supported is currently unclear, but if you have some of the latest software from the last few years you should be covered.
You’ll be using the Fitbit app to see your stats in detail. The Fitbit app supplies all of the information clearly and gives you a full look at your current health and fitness – or as full a look as is possible based on what’s tracked anyway.
We’ve loved it in previous reviews and with the extra sleep tracking tech this should be a big help on the Fitbit Alta HR.
Fitbit wants the Alta HR to be the mainstream device you buy if you’re looking to get started with tracking your health, but aren’t a real fitness junkie.
Bringing heart rate tech to a more mainstream device is a great idea and so far this looks like it could be one of the best devices in the Fitbit range.
If you can get all of the main fitness features you’d expect from the Blaze and Charge 2 in a smaller design, why not go for the smaller and better looking Fitbit Alta HR?