2016 is less than five weeks old, and Fitbit already revealed two new products. The Fitbit Blaze, a smartwatch focused on fitness tracking and notifications, was the company’s first product announcement of the year. Now it’s being joined by the Fitbit Alta, a fitness band that’s aiming for looks as much as function. For Fitbit, it’s yet another attempt to broaden its product line and maintain its status as the top brand in the wearable space, even as rumors of an updated Apple Watch continue to swirl.
Working out with the Alta
Fitbit invited journalists to a hotel in New York’s swanky SoHo neighborhood to try the Alta in a real-world workout environment. During a 25 minute aerobic workout, the Alta correctly and automatically recognized the exercise time. It credited estimated calories, too.
The band feels good to wear. It’s both flexible and slim. There are also no buttons, which gives the Alta a clean look. The display will turn on when you lift your wrist, as well as if you tap the screen or band, allowing you to browse through the different activity screens.
Detailed information on workouts and activity progress can be found in the Fitbit app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). Here you can also compete with friends on daily challenges, which is the real advantage of wearing a Fitbit. Fitness tracking is more fun (and motivating) with friends, and you likely know another person who owns a Fitbit.
Battery life is said to last up five days on a single charge. While that would be epic for a smartwatch, in the world of dedicated fitness trackers, it’s a bit short — it’s the same as the Fitbit Charge HR, and competitors like the Garmin Vivosmart HR last longer.
Preorders begin today
The Fitbit Alta will ultimately replace the Fitbit Charge (the one without heart rate) when it arrives in the US in March, with global availability set for April. The band is available now for preorder.
The Fitbit Alta feels good and looks good.