It’s not that it is any weaker something than it had been when it first released, just the Fitbit has bettered it many times over. Firstly, with the Fitbit Alta HR, and with its alternative to the series: the Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR.

Of the, the last may be the one to choose: you get far more value for £20 more, including more descriptive sleep tracking because of the heart-rate sensor, and the choice to track runs by piggybacking off your phone.

The Fitbit Alta can do the job, but if you don’t will get a bargain, the Inspire HR ought to be your first choice. For more facts on all our favourite fitness trackers, have a look at our best fitness trackers list.

Riyad’s original review continues below.

Recently we’ve seen several devices which aren’t sure if they are fitness trackers, fitness watches, smartwatches or all three. In comparison, the Fitbit Alta knows accurately what it really is and where it sits in the fitness tracker market. Actually, the Alta is among the finest trackers I’ve seen for some time, combining great design, intuitive usability and a decent feature set.

Yes, there are more feature rich trackers out there, just like the excellent Garmin Vivosmart HR, however the Fitbit Alta is targeted at a totally different user; the sort of user who’s not really a fitness fanatic, but wish to improve their degree of activity.

Specifications & accessories
The Alta continues the modular theme observed in previous devices, with these devices itself interchangeable with different strap colours and types. The Alta includes a rubber strap that’s obtainable in four different colours – black, blue, plum and teal. The strap will come in two parts, each which clicks securely in to the Alta – there’s a clip at each end of the Alta that will release it from each the main strap.

The Alta could be built with a leather strap (in pink or graphite), even though this does increase the look and feel, it doesn’t change it regarding aesthetics and comfort what sort of leather strap does on the recent Fitbit Blaze.

Quite simply, the Alta looks and feels very good with the typical rubber strap, so my advice is always to save the £40 a leather strap would cost, and perhaps choose second rubber strap in a different colour – those are just £20 after all.

Fitbit also sells a good metal bangle for the Alta, but considering that this will cost you yet another £80, it’s not remote the price tag on the Alta itself, and I came across it neither aesthetically pleasing or comfortable to wear, but I doubt I’m the mark market for that one accessory.

So, the typical Alta configuration may be the sweet spot – it looks good, wraps around the wrist nicely, and is comfortable to wear. The securing clasp has two teeth the push through the holes in the contrary section of the strap – there’s no secondary securing loop, however the Alta stayed safe and sound on my wrist irrespective of my activities.

The supplied USB charging cable clips to the lower of the Alta, allowing the metal contacts to meet up and the charge to initiate. You do need to make certain that you’re lining up the contacts on the cable with those on these devices, otherwise you’ll keep coming back and discover that it hasn’t charged at all, but you’ll only make that mistake once.

Fitbit also bundles among its USB wireless dongles in the box, that is a great feature – this enables you to sync the Alta wirelessly together with your computer whenever you’re near it. Okay, so you’ll probably sync most regularly together with your phone, but it’s still nice to have that option.

Features
The Alta is dominated by an OLED display. The display is a lot larger and better to read compared to the examples on the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR, not to mention the Flex doesn’t have a display at all. The display could be configured in a variety of formats to suit the average person – you might have the info displayed in portrait or landscape formats, according to which is easier so that you can read instantly.

Another nice touch is that the Alta has been built with the same programmed screen activation that the Blaze has – that signifies that although the screen is off by default, once you raise your wrist to check out the Alta, the screen will automatically activate. It’s not infallible, nonetheless it works almost all of the time.

The screen will display enough time of day, along with date and day by default. Tapping the screen will cycle through the info that the Alta is gathering – steps taken, estimated distance, estimated calories burned, active minutes and alarms set.

There’s no built-in heartrate monitor, but that’s not necessarily the sort of user that the Alta is targeted at. I’d have liked to have observed an altimeter included, because the Charge will count the flights of stairs you take every day, and that’s a terrific way to inspire you to ditch the lift.

The Alta may also try to ascertain when you begin any sort of exercise, automatically logging when you are for a walk or a run, while also logging those periods as active minutes.

Vibration alerts are also on the menu, and the Alta will buzz after one hour of inactivity to motivate you to get a walk. A lot more useful may be the silent alarm feature that may wake you up each day without disturbing your lover – a vibrating alarm on your own wrist is a surprisingly effective yet gentle way to wake.

Of course the Alta may also automatically track your sleep – there’s you don’t need to manually activate a sleep mode – and it’s pretty accurate with regards to logging when you wake in the night time, or whether you’ve been particularly restless. As always, though, I’m uncertain what you’re likely to do with this data, because you can’t act onto it directly. However, you can ascertain whether your brand-new, more vigorous lifestyle is leading to better sleeping habits, too.

The Alta will relay basic notifications from your own phone, too – you’ll get your texts, calendar reminders and call notifications. It’s well short of everything you could easily get on a fully-fledged smartphone, nonetheless it covers the basics and that is all that a lot of people need.

Fitbit quotes five days of battery life for the Alta and I’d say that’s pessimistic. I charged these devices on a Thursday and realised on Friday evening that I’d forgotten to bring the charging cable home – I needn’t have worried though, because the Alta ploughed on through the weekend, and in to the middle of the next week. I’d advise that you’ll be looking at between six and a week from a complete charge, which is pretty decent for a tracker with an integral display.

App and web portal
While great hardware is important, a tracker’s supporting ecosystem is merely as, or even more, important. A well-designed, easy-to-use iphone app is imperative, while a good web portal enables you to check your progress from a browser without having to dig your phone out of your pocket or handbag.

Fitbit has both those bases covered, with an iphone app that’s clear and simple to navigate, putting all of the important data front-and-centre, while also providing you substantially more to dig into.

There’s a food journal included in the app, even though Fitbit’s food database used to be much too US focused for my liking, the business has made a good effort to increase the UK database, and the barcode scan option helps it be incredibly simple to log what goes into your tummy.

If you already use MyFitnessPal to track your meal intake – as much folks do – worry not, because you can link both software together, allowing the Fitbit software to pull in your data from MyFitnessPal and base your dynamic calorie depend on the MFP data, offset with the Fitbit activity data.

There’s a decent collection of other software to pair with – if you are using Strava for your bike rides and runs, you can pull all that activity into your Fitbit stream. Unfortunately if you are using a Withings smart scale to track your bodyweight – as I really do – then you’ll need to manually enter your computer data, since the Fitbit iphone app won’t pair with the Withings app, unlike the Jawbone app, which is pleased to play with every other platform out there.

The web portal is excellent, with your data presented as dynamic tiles – you can move the tiles around to fit your preference, letting you concentrate on the info that matters most for you. Here you’ll see your leaderboard – a set of Fitbit friends you follow, and a log of most activity – this will either cause you to feel great about topping the table, or provide you with the incentive to push yourself that bit harder.

There is no point in using the portal if the info isn’t updated. That must not be a problem here though, because of the bundled wireless dongle – whenever you open the net page, your Alta will automatically sync its data.

Conclusion
The Fitbit Alta is an excellent fitness tracker for the normal user. While it’s much less feature-packed as the wonderful Garmin Vivosmart HR, it’s not necessarily trying to compete on that level. The Alta is targeted at someone who’s either seeking to become more active, or simply upgrading from a far more basic device just like the Fitbit Flex.

With a cost of £100 there are cheaper devices available, but none of these have the total amount of design, functionality and overall flexibility that the Alta has. The display is bright and simple to read, the battery life is impressive, the bundled wireless dongle is a genuine advantage, and the interchangeable straps will surely please the fashion-conscious.

While I’d still prefer to see Fitbit play nicely with a wider selection of third-party programs (Withings HealthMate for just one), that’s not really a deal breaker with a device as of this level. Having less altimeter functionality is a disappointment, though, and had Fitbit included the opportunity to track the flights of stairs you’re climbing – since you can with so {a great m