Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker

The technology business loves a good game. There have even been suggestions that the global smash-hit Pokemon GO could assist with obesity levels in the young. Perhaps, but the phenomenon of gamification is now part of our technology lives. Reaching fitness or exercise goals is a challenge to our human nature, so wearing a device that gently reminds us to move more, or sharing our results with friends and family online helps reduce some of the pain, whilst helping us to make the gain.

Fitbit are one of the dominant players in the fitness tracker business. Their new device, the wrist-worn Alta is a mid-priced device that will monitor steps, calories burned, distance covered, active minutes and sleep. Your stats and progress will displayed on your wrist, and in the free Fitbit app for smartphones.

Fitbit-Alta_Family_GoldWhen I unpacked the device the first striking feature is how beautifully designed this tracker is. It’s the best looking fitness tracker I’ve seen and is roughly the same size as bracelet and available in four colours and three sizes. In the box there was also a charging cable and Bluetooth adapter dongle that would let you connect the device to your laptop or PC if you don’t have a compatible smartphone.

After downloading the Fitbit app to my phone and creating a Fitbit account, I put the device on my wrist. The band pairs via Bluetooth with your mobile phone so they can communicate and exchange information. The Alta has a good sized easy and easy to read OLED screen that will relay notifications from your phone. The screen can be oriented horizontally or vertically and you’ll receive notifications of Phone calls, texts, and calendar reminders. It’s a useful feature, but only as a quick reference so the device doesn’t really double as a second screen for your phone.

There is no button on the device, so you interact with it by tapping the device. This should be a clever idea, but I found it occasionally didn’t respond but that may have been due to my strap being a little large.  Once on, you forget about the device and get on with your day. The device is monitoring all the time and you do find yourself checking after a few hours how you’re doing.

Fitbit-Alta_Night-Out-1After a few days of use you begin to get a feel for how much activity you do ordinarily as you review the activity charts on your phone or laptop. The Fitbit app is exceptionally good with data presented in an easy to read form with numbers and charts that make sense. After a few days I set some activity alerts that prompt you to move more, in my case every hour, in order to get me towards a personal goal.

Fitbit say the Alta recognises some exercises automatically, using a new feature called SmartTrack, and it recognised my running but it seemed to have trouble with some weight exercises. The alarm functionality of the device works well and I found the gentle morning alarm feature really useful.

The sleep tracking feature worked well and gives a good overview of how much, and how well, you slept measuring not just sleep-time but quality of sleep by indicating the number of times you were awake during the night as well as how restless you were. I found this as useful as the activity tracking features and by the end of a week I had started to retire a little earlier to bed.

There is no heart-rate monitor on the device, which probably rules it out for those who do an amount of cardio activity.  It’s also not waterproof but will resist the sweat and splashes during ordinary use.

More info:

Related Posts
Read More

Review: 3DRobotics Solo

The maker says that the smart element of the Solo is not just that the drone does more and it certainly does, but it allows you, the pilot to do less. By giving you less to do they make it easier for you to focus on what this drone was really designed for, aerial photography. It’s designed to work best with a GoPro camera that you mount under the drone with the pictures from that camera sent wirelessly from the sky to your controller, where you mount your smart-phone or tablet. And it’s that footage that makes the whole drone experience worthwhile.
Read More

Netatmo Weather Station

Netatmo is a Paris based company who make lifestyle products for the smart-home. They make smart wireless cameras and thermostats but their best known product is the Weather Station for Smartphone.
Read More

Alcatel OneTouch 2004

Smart-phones changed the world. Some people would debate how much for the better, but they’re here to stay and I admit to relying upon mine daily, for everything from shopping lists to nudging me to take the stairs and burn a few extra calories.
Read More

Noke Bluetooth Padlock

Even though the lock and key has been with us for thousands of years, it was the industrial revolution of the 18th century that saw technology advance sufficiently so that a simple key could provide reliable and convenient security for business and home owners. From high-street shops to garden-sheds we still rely on an ancient invention to keep our belongings secure. It seems a natural evolution then, that it is the technological revolution of this century that may well be changing how we keep our valuables safe

Subscribe for the free weekly newsletter with the latest reviews and any current offers.