Fitness

Fitness On Trial: Fitbit Alta Review

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I have now been using the Fibit Alta for the past six months, so I thought it was about time to do a review on it so you can see from a user whether it’s worth investing or not.

Please be aware, this is a long, in-depth review, but I feel like if you’re going to shell out over £50 for anything, you should know what you’re getting for your dollar dollar bill y’alls.

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Design

I was bought the Plum/ Silver design and I love the colour. It’s a deep purple/ grape colour and I really like it, I feel like the colour options make them a bit more feminine looking, whereas the previous Fitbit Charge was very bulky and masculine. Additional colour bands, and premium leather bands, are also available to purchase at a separate cost. I’ve just seen that they’ve added a special edition pink/gold version which I love the look of, I’m hoping they’ll release the pink band separately.

The design of this particular model is much more streamlined. It features touch controls, allowing you to tap twice to view the clock, and continue tapping to scroll through all the measurements you are recording. The touchscreen is easy to read and digest. Once you hit your daily goal step the Fitbit Alta screen shows a display of fireworks, which is a really nice touch.

To secure the device, it features about eight (can’t remember exactly) holes, so you can tighten or loosen, as you need to. The Alta also comes in a range of sizes, depending on your wrist size. I bought the ‘small’.

Features

For features, I’m going to address each one that is listed on the website and talk about what I think of each of them.

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All Day Activity – This tracks all the movement throughout the day. It’s good, but I would say that if you work in an active job, such as operating machinery or driving a lot, the hand movements are tracked on the Fitbit. For example, if I drive, it adds about 50 steps onto my day, even though I haven’t actually moved. Tracking is also affected if you’re carrying bags etc and not able to move your hands for the Fitbit to monitor it.

Reminder To Move – I hate this feature. Every hour, it reminds you to move 250 steps. I have a really busy job, and I don’t think my work colleagues or boss would appreciate me getting up and walking up and down the steps for 5 minutes whilst I get my steps up. I get why it’s a good feature, we should all be moving throughout the day, but damn I wish you could turn it off sometimes.

Long Battery Life – I do like the fact you can charge the Fitbit and it keeps going for fiveish days. I would say that when it’s newly charged, it does monitor more precisely, but it’s still really decent. When the app syncs it also shows you battery life, so you know when you need to charge before it runs out.

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SmartTrack – When you’re active for a while, the SmartTrack features automatically picks up on different exercises (cross trainer, treadmill etc). The only thing it doesn’t track properly is spin. I actually put my Fitbit Alta on my laces to track spin otherwise it doesn’t acknowledge it.

Smart Notifications – Really handy to have, you can view who is ringing you and how is texting you, and if you tap when a text comes up it will also display the message.

Water Resistant – Not waterproof, but water-resistant. Means you can sweat away on it without the worry that it’s going to break or stop working. Also means you can run or workout even if it’s a bit drizzle-y outside. One day they’ll make them waterproof though so we can use them for swimming like the Misfit!

Auto Sleep Tracking & Silent Alarms – This is a blessing and a curse, I’m a really light sleeper so it’s interesting to see how much ‘disturbed’ and ‘deep’ sleep I have. However when I know I’ve slept badly and my app tells me I have it’s one of those moments where you’re a bit like ‘yup, I know, I don’t need the details’!

Wireless Syncing – So easy to use, the app syncs to the monitor automatically and updates throughout the day. Alternatively, you can ‘pull down’ on the home page of the app and it will sync too.

App

I love the app. It’s so easy to use and it’s great for keeping track throughout the day. I’ll go through each ‘page’ of the app and describe what they are and what they do.

Dashboard – Shows steps taken, mileage for the day, calories burnt and minutes spent exercising. It showcases sleep, amount of exercise (depending on your settings, mine is set to exercise five times per week), hourly movement (bleurgh), weight loss, water and food intake. For the water, food and exercise, the Fitbit Alta app is compatible with most popular fitness apps, and they’re easy to sync together.

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Challenges – With the Fitbit Alta, you can set yourself, and invite friends, to daily and weekly challenges. It’s all about encouraging yourself with your fitness and pushing that little bit further. You have a choice about whether you want to do them or not, too. It’s not a must-do.

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Friends – If one of your friends on Facebook or in your phone book is linked up to a Fitbit, you can see the progress they’re making. Not in detail, but it lists how many steps they’ve done in a week, trophies they’ve received, badges they’ve got, and it also allows your to ‘cheer’, ‘taunt’ (why would you do this?!) and ‘message’ them too.

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Account – Allows you to amend all your personal goals – activity, exercise, nutrition & body and sleep. You are also able to sync compatible apps, and go through to advance settings. This is also the part where you can customise your display, so you can add or take away any measurements if you don’t want to view them.

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There is also a ‘quick add’ button on the main screen. This allows you to quickly and easily access ‘track exercise’, ‘log food’, ‘log sleep’, ‘log water’, ‘add friend’, ‘scan barcode’, ‘log weight’ or ‘set alarm’.

Functionality

Personally, I think the Fitbit Alta is incredibly easy to use. Obviously it doesn’t track weights or anything like that but for cardio, and for those who want to up the amount they do on a daily basis, it’s a great device.

You are able to set your own goals, whether it’s distance, amount of calories, time spent exercise, amount of steps and more. You are also able to input your weight to track this if you want to.

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For those who are looking to use the device for cardio, the track exercise is very easy to use, and it’s one of my favourite things about this device. Simply click the ‘track exercise’ button, amend your details to whether you’re walking, running or hiking, pick your cues (I use distance, time and average pace) and then click ‘start’. When you start running, depending on your cues, you will be notified when you have done a mile, your pace, and your average pace if you do more than one. I love the cardio tracking on the Fitbit Alta. When you finish your run, it gives you average pace, mileage split and it also gives you a map of where you’re run. It’s a really great device for this.

Overall

This is one of my favourite fitness trackers that I’ve used, and I’ve used a lot. I’ve had the Mistfit, the Nike Fuelband, the Fitbit Charge and I’ve used apps on my iPhone, and this beats them all.

It’s in the mid-range in terms of fitness tracker pricing, retailing at £99.99, which isn’t too bad for a fitness monitor, and I genuinely think it’s well worth the money.

The simplicity of set up and overall useage makes it a great essential for working out and setting yourself fitness goals.

As mentioned in my post yesterday, I haven’t been able to do any HIIT or weights for the past four weeks (one more to go!), so have been relying on my Fitbit to ensure I hit my 10,000 step goal per day. It’s helped me to be active and get moving when I’ve been still for a while. I’ve definitely found it’s a motivation for when I’ve been off.

Have you ever used a fitness tracker? Do you own a Fitbit Alta? Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading,

S x

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