Does the Fitbit Alta Live Up to Its Expectations?

Does the Fitbit Alta Live Up to Its Expectations?

2016 has been a big year for Fitbit. Not only did they make a splash into the smartwatch market, they also released the Alta- the classy activity tracker with smart notifications. This review will take a deep dive into the Fitbit Alta’s pros and cons to help you decide if the Alta is the right device for you.

Easy Setup

Setting up your device can make or break your experience. It’s your first impression, and if it’s not right, it’ll leave you wondering if this device is up to par with your expectations.

fitbit alta setup

On the bright side,  like all Fitbit devices, the setup process was effortless and filled with fun designs guiding you through the process- making something that’s normally tedious actually entertaining. It’s intuitive, simple and quick. 

Fitbit Alta Features

The Alta is compact with features perfect for everyday usage. It’s comparable to the Fitbit Flex but with the addition of an OLED visual display that depicts steps, time and smartphone notifications. It has all the standard Fitbit tracking capabilities including steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned, activity recognition and sleep. Unfortunately, the Alta doesn’t have heart rate monitoring or elevation tracking and isn’t waterproof, but it is sweat proof and splash proof.

On top that they’ve added a new move/idle alert aimed at keeping you moving throughout the entire day. If you decide to turn this feature on it will keep you accountable for at least 250 steps each hour. If you have not hit your 250 step goal by the time it reaches 10 minutes before the hour, you will receive a vibration alert notifying you to get up and moving.

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fitbit alta move reminders 250 steps

Tracking Accuracy

To test the accuracy of the Alta I went for a quick run (Step counts may seem a bit high, but I’m on the shorter side which means more strides per mile). For comparison I wore the Jawbone UP2 on the same wrist as the Alta. I also google mapped the route before running and it said the journey was a total of 2.2 miles.

While taking a look at both devices’ stats after the run, there were noticeable discrepancies. The Alta successfully auto-recognized running and counted 4,705 and 2.19 miles, which was pretty close to the google maps estimate.

fitbit alta jawbone up2 run comparison

On the other hand, the Jawbone UP2 recorded 4,621 steps and 2.9 miles. It’s definite that the Jawbone overestimated the distance, but there was only a less than 85 step discrepancy between the two. Overall, the Alta seems to be pretty accurate.

Alta Sleek Design

The Alta’s design has a certain flare compared to it’s fellow Fitbit devices. It may just be the most attractive Fitbit device on the market and will look great on any wrist- even smaller wrists that tend to wash out with bulky trackers. It’s slim structure, sleek look and large display are perfect for everyday wear. Complete with quick release bands it’s easily personalized for the wearer. It comes in black, plum, blue, and teal rubber band options or you can upgrade to the metal or leather options for an additional fee (which are on the pricier side).

fitbit alta wrist matchup

The band comes in small, large and x-large options leaving no Alta lovers behind. If you’re not sure which size is right for you, Fitbit has a handy cut-out that helps you to choose the right size. Quite a bit of pressure is required to get the Alta clasped. It took the help of a coworker at first and a little getting used, but over time clasping the device became easier (on the plus side it ensures security on your wrist).

Display and Notifications

For a slim device this OLED display is pretty large. Choose from a variety of horizontal and vertical display options for optimum viewing. Connect your smartphone to receive text, call and calendar notifications 24/7 from your wrist. Keep in mind the text display is a bit small and can be difficult to read at times.

fitbit alta display phone number

Turn your wrist inward towards yourself or double tap the display to turn it on. Eight times out of ten the display will light up when you turn it towards yourself and the double tap does take a bit of force compared to the light touch that an Apple Watch requires.

Battery Life and Charging

The Alta has a pretty great battery life. They advertise a 5 day battery life, but it’s seemed to last anywhere between five and seven days, of course, depending on how often I’m interacting with the device– how many workouts each week or notifications viewed from the device. The charger is bulky and unique which makes replacing difficult if lost.

fitbit alta charger

The Alta is a beautiful tracker with accurate tracking capabilities and even though we weren’t as impressed as we thought we’d be, we still believe it meets the expectations of a great everyday activity tracker. The design truly makes it stand above the rest. Take a look at our detailed feature review of the Fitbit Alta here.

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We’d love to hear your opinions on the Fitbit Alta! Share in the comments below.

Looking for the perfect tracker? Take a look at our wearables guide!

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