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Fitbit has decided to update its smallest and possibly most beautiful bracelet: The Alta, then now becomes the Alta HR (Check on Amazon.com), and thanks to space-saving design, the company has also been able to cram a heart rate sensor into its body.
In the package, in addition to the bracelet, you will find the “clip-on” power supply.
Design and Fit
Alta HR is one of the most pleasant bracelets to the eye. Its narrow and firm form gives the impression of a standard bracelet when on the wrist. It’s fitted with a small display, and now, on the back, a heart rate sensor. The plastic strap is rugged and has a very elegant striped pattern. It is available in two sizes: S and L. The small one is really small so be careful when ordering online. The bands are also interchangeable. The band is not very thin and given its square form, it can get caught to the clothes or bother you when trying to get some work done.
The only things work mentioning are Bluetooth connectivity and the new heart rate sensor. There are, of course, various other sensors that track your activity, but there is no GPS. However, the thing we miss the most is a physical button.
The screen is small and stretched. It can be switched on with a double tap at the bottom of the display (directly above the Fitbit logo) or by twisting your wrist. In either case, the procedure is hit and miss. The information that is shown is the time, the steps were taken during the day, your current heartbeat, the distance traveled, the calories burned and the minutes of activity. You’ll have to give a hard tap to the screen to cycle through all these options. But watch out for the display. It’s fairly delicate and ours has already some scratch marks on it.
There is very little to say about the software of the band itself, other than that it is not possible to manually start a workout session. All options and data are displayed in full only on the companion app for Android, iOS or Windows. Launching the app starts the sync between smart band and smartphone a process that we must admit has always been fast and very precise. We haven’t detected any disconnections and the application shows your heart rate in real-time.
Here you can then examine all of your data in detail even those of the previous days. Then there is the automatic detection of any type of activity, or you can begin a workout session directly from the app, thus getting GPS tracking info directly from your phone. We can also find specific menus for each type of exercise (the aim is to exercise at least 5 days a week) and your sleep patterns. This is one of those features that gained the most from the introduction of the heart rate sensor. Your sleeping activity is automatically logged and you can browse over very precise records of your different sleep phases: deep, light and REM. You will then be able to compare your results with your average and those of people of your gender and age.
You can also activate the motion reminder (in order to take at least 250 steps every hour) and review your heart rate data, with a full graph of the day (the sensor is always active) and your average daily rest. You can then integrate all this data by inputting personalized information about your body like how much you weigh or what you’re eating. The application has proved functional, quick to browse and rich with data that is very important for those who do not require particular information for various training regiments.
It supports notifications, but only for calls, calendar, and a messaging app of your choice between Hangouts, Messaging, Facebook Messenger, Skype or WhatsApp.
The autonomy of this Fitbit was a nice shock. We managed to achieve a complete week with a single charge. Given the always active heart rate sensor, it is a very good result.
The Fitbit Alta HR is being sold for (Check on Amazon.com), a price in line with the Fitbit product lineup.
The Fitbit Alta HR is definitely an interesting product and one of the most aesthetically pleasing smart bands out there. It provides a good number of information and for those who like stats, it will be a great mate. But don’t think of it as a professional fitness tracker, because it’s not.