Fitbit Alta Review – Sleek, Cool, Fashionable
This is Fitbit Alta Review after 30 days of usage.
Let me start this review by giving you a piece of advice; never trust a review of a device, be that a smartwatch, a fitness tracker or even a mobile phone that was written and published the day when the device was unveiled to media or launched.
A real review takes a lot of time to make. Sometimes, even a week after the launch is not always sufficient. You need to test the device. You have to use it and abuse it. Charge it, discharge it. Different weather, different environments.
Only then, you have the material for a real, genuine review. Otherwise, what you write as a review is just a tiny porky pie. A made-up story. So, you, my dear reader, next time you see “the review” of a just announced device, you know what you’re going to read. That being said, let’s see what Fitbit’s been up to since we checked them out last time.
Fitbit, the undisputable leader in fitness trackers, has a problem when it comes to making its devices look good. It has been the case for several years now.
It is true, the Fitbit Charge HR or Surge are not the worst looking devices out there. Still, the company never put the accent on the design side of its trackers. However, with the launch of the Blaze and the Alta gadgets, Fitbit things started to change.
The Fitbit Alta, in particular, is a class apart with its thin, stylish and smooth finish. So, who wants to know how the Fitbit Alta performs?
Fitbit Alta Review – Design And Specs
The design of the Fitbit Alta highlights, more than any other devices before, the direction the company has taken; Fitbit is making a play for the fashion accessories market, just like Misfit with its Shine 2.
The Fitbit Alta is slim, measuring just 15 mm wide, and light enough to make you forget you’re wearing it, most of the time. On the top, the device has a scratch-resistant OLED display. The screen is quite large; just as a comparison, it is bigger than what you’d find on the Fitbit Charge.
There are no buttons on the Alta, and that is thanks to Fitbit’s decision to include a touch sensitive display this time around. It is important to remark that this is not a touch screen, it is just touch-sensitive.
The tracker also features a quick-release mechanism that makes it easy to swap out the bands and it comes in three sizes to fit all types of wrists:
• Small (fits wrists 14 – 17 cm in circumference)
• Large (17 cm – 20.6 cm)
• XL (20.6 cm – 23.6 cm)
Fitbit offers multiple options that help you personalise the Alta. You can choose from a basic rubber strap in a variety of colours, or you can go for a leather one to add some extra style, for a special night out. A metallic strap is also available.
It took these companies quite some time to get the idea that if their fitness trackers don’t look good, the customers won’t buy and wear them.
Fitbit Alta Review – Features And Activity Tracking
The Alta runs on Fitbit’s software and it differs beyond comparison to most wearables and smartwatches I’ve tried so far.
I have to say that to me, Fitbit Alta’s touch sensitive display is not up to the overall quality of the device. The screen lets you see the daily progress without opening the app on your mobile, but to achieve that you are going to need a lot of patience. The screen is far from responsive and you’ll have to tap two or three times before it turns on.
On the positive side, Fitbit Alta comes on almost every time I flip my wrist in that “checking-the-time” type of motion, without fail.
Moving to the tracking features, the Fitbit Alta has all the basics covered. It can track your daily activity, your sleep, and your exercise sessions.
It is unfortunate that it does not have a GPS or an HR sensor, but it does come with a few extra functions that make this device more attractive than its predecessors.
Fitbit’s SmartTrack feature, able to recognise different exercises and automatically record them via the app on your mobile, is one of my favourites. It worked well for me, over the past few weeks, and not for once recorded the wrong type of exercises.
Another significant omission is Fitbit Alta’s lack of waterproofing. I am quite obsessed with swimming at the moment and for that, I would love to see a Fitbit that is waterproof, not just splash proof.
Fitbit Alta Review – Sleep Tracking
Just like any Fitbits we have tried here before, Alta can measure and monitor your sleep too. A good night rest is as important to your health as the activity, and making sure you get enough hours of sleep should be one of your fitness priorities.
Even though the Fitbit Alta can record your sleep patterns such as the time asleep, restless and sleep duration, most “data nerds” still prefer the Jawbone UP trackers. That’s the case with me as Jawbone always gave me that extra stats, such as the REM or the light sleep levels over time. Still, Alta’s auto sleep detection is perfect and should be enough for most of us.
Fitbit Alta Review – Alarms And Notifications
The Alta can notify you of any text, incoming or missed calls and calendar appointments. The notifications are fine, but the feature is not complete as the messages “cut off” and there is no way to scroll to view the whole message. Other than that, the Fitbit Alta does an excellent job at informing you of your daily schedule. Moreover, I have not experienced any connectivity issues whatsoever as it was the case with the Blaze.
Fitbit has also included movement reminders on the Alta. It will remind you to move every hour for at least 250 steps. You can adjust the time when these notifications are turned on, and even turn them off for a particular day of the week.
Fitbit Alta – App
The Alta is using the same excellent app as its predecessors. It is a simple ecosystem, full of social challenges with badges to earn, well designed and easy to use. You can also log food and water, and track your weight loss with a custom plan as per your needs. Each day is displayed on the main screen, and you can tap a metric to get an extensive look at your performance.
Similar Read: Fitbit Blaze Review – The First Fitness Watch With Style
Overall, the app is one of Fitbit Alta’s strongest points. Easy to use and precise, it offers you sufficient data without making you feel overwhelmed at any point.
Fitbit Alta – Battery Life
Depending on how many times you access the screen or the number of notifications you receive during the day, the Fitbit Alta can go on for up to six days between charges.
The exclusive charger is different from every other Fitbit we’ve tried before. The idea is great but is stops you from keeping a spare charger away from home, at the office for instance.
With my previous devices, I always used to have an extra charger at the office just in case as – I am sure you can relate to this – it is an absolute nightmare when the battery gives up on you while you are still on the move or in the middle of a training session.
Fitbit Alta – Verdict
Considering that Fitbit has been focusing just on features for the past few years, the Alta tracker is a “breath of fresh air” thanks to its new design. It is not the most powerful fitness tracker out there, but it does not have to be. It is smart enough, cheap, comfortable and it looks good.
Price wise, given its capabilities and most important, its fashionable look, the Alta will set you back only $129, if you order it from Amazon. It is a good price and, if you want an affordable, attractive tracker that can handle your fitness activities without any problems, then Fitbit Alta is the device for you.
Fitbit Alta Gallery
- A week long battery life
- Excellent app
- Beautiful design
- No HR sensor
- Not waterproof
- Unresponsive display