Fitbit intros iPhone-connected Alta HR, plans sleep tracking updates for current wearables...

in iPhone
Fitbit on Monday revealed the Alta HR, an upgrade of its more fashion-oriented fitness tracker, plus plans to update the software on two of its other devices with better sleep tracking.

The Alta HR introduces a continuous heart rate monitor, using a specially-designed chip to keep the device thin, Fitbit said. The technology should provide more accurate measurements of calorie burn, particularly when doing exercises that don't involve steps -- two given examples being yoga and stationary biking.

Notably the Alta HR still relies on automatic rather than manual exercise detection, making it less suitable for activities like weightlifting. It also appears to lack full waterproofing, though it should be sweat- and shower-resistant if it follows its predecessor.

Owners will also be able to see heart zones on the device and in the iPhone app's exercise summaries. The app should likewise offer resting heart rate data and trends.

New sleep tracking abilities enabled by the heart rate technology include estimates of time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep. The mobile app is simultaneously getting Sleep Insights, which will coach people on how to get better rest. It may for instance suggest more exercise, or warn people if they're sleeping too much on the weekend to compensate for short hours during the work week.

The Alta HR should ship in early April for $149.95, $20 more than the previous Alta. Two special-edition color combinations will cost $179.95.

Later in March, meanwhile, Fitbit will be releasing software updates for two other HR-equipped devices -- the Blaze and Charge 2 -- bringing them the same sleep stage detection.

While still the world leader in wearables, Fitbit has suffered major setbacks in shipments in recent months. The company is expected to more directly compete with the Apple Watch in the near future by releasing a true smartwatch.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,696member
    Still no support for HealthKit. 

    I'll pass. 
  • Reply 2 of 8
    GBannisGBannis Posts: 12member

    What's the hit on battery life when the heart rate monitor is on?

  • Reply 3 of 8
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 378member
    I like my Fitbit. It is much cheaper than Apple watch, and it can last multiple days, which helps with sleep tracking (you can leave it on while sleeping). To me Apple watch is much too expensive. Does too many things I don't need.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,397member
    sog35 said:
    Fitbit sells cheap Chinese trash.

    About 2 years ago my friend mocked me when I bought an Apple watch instead of a $99 Fitbit. Two years latter he's on his 4th Fitbit because they keep breaking. He finally gave in and bought an Apple Watch last week.

    While Apple sells expensive Chinese trash?

    I got my fitbit two years ago, still on my original one, still working fine.  Maybe your "friend" shouldn't be so rough with their stuff.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    AI_lias said:
    I like my Fitbit. It is much cheaper than Apple watch, and it can last multiple days, which helps with sleep tracking (you can leave it on while sleeping). To me Apple watch is much too expensive. Does too many things I don't need.
    It looks much cheaper too. My son had a Fitbit for Christmas a year ago. It is not very good. it can't keep accurate time, it freezes up sometimes and synchro is always poor taking many minutes. Part of the strap is not flexible so the Fitbit does not fit around my son's arm properly. I am not sure how accurate  this makes the heart rate monitoring. As you say, it is a  cheap product. We will not get another Fitbit. Meanwhile my Apple Watch is coming up for 2 year old, works fine, is very accurate and I keep finding more uses for it. The screen is much clearer, in colour and a whole lot larger than the screen on the Fitbit. 
  • Reply 6 of 8
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,002member
    My wife went through two Fitbit Charge HRs in 16 months. The first after about 8 months when the c-clip that is essential to keeping the charger connected fell off (warranty replacement) and the second went the exact same way without the warranty replacement. The face of the second one also got a significant ugly scratch when she bumped it against a wall.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,397member
    sog35 said:

    Yes there is expensive Chinese goods, and trash Chinese goods. Just look at iPhone/Watch/iPad and tell me its trash.

    Maybe you had a good experience but most people I know who bought Fitbit had theirs broken after a year.

    And is this a surprise? Fitbit is made out of cheap plastic while the Apple Watch is made of strong aluminum, steel, superhard glass, and sapphire.
    All the people I know have also had good experiences with their fitbits, I can't compare to an Apple Watch I don't know anyone with one, but know a lot of people with fitbits.

    Just because you've had a bad experience that everyone else has as well
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