Fitbit's latest wearable sticks a heart rate tracker in a tiny shell

Pulse-taking power that’s slimmer than a stethoscope

Oi oi, it’s another fit-thing from Fibit!

Now then, pipe down you cynical cockney. Yes, this is yet another activity tracking thing made by Fitbit, serial makers of, erm, activity tracking things - but this one is slimmer and smarter than ever before.

So it’s done a GCSE in nutrition, then?

When we say smarter, we mean it’ll track your heart rate. When we say slimmer, we mean it’s 25% slimmer than the Fitbit Charge 2 - which was no fat strap itself. If that’s what a GCSE in nutrition gets you then yes, yes indeed.

Hang about, so the only thing that’s new is a heart-rate tracker?

Pretty much - but don’t be so negative. Wearables only really make sense when they’ve got a pulse reader built-in, so the inclusion of Fitbit’s PurePulse tech on the Alta HR should make it a much more useful device over the original Alta.

It’ll count your calories with greater accuracy for starters, with continuous background tracking that can better optimise feedback and exercise zones. Combined with automatic activity recognition, that makes the Alta HR quite the consumate performer. 

In all honesty, I’m more ‘nap on the sofa’ than ‘scrum on the pitch’.

Not to worry, sleepy friend: heart rate data makes sleep sensing better, too. Slap on the Alta HR before you hit the sack and it’ll use a combination of accelerometer and pulse readings to figure out just how well you’re snoozing, including the stages of sleep you go through.

What’s more, it’ll channel the results into a magic mixer with your exercise logs to produce personalised recommendations (or ‘Sleep Insights’) and a solid schedule that’ll have you feeling properly perky.


This all sounds like it’ll cost a pretty penny…

Less than you’d think, actually. Sure, at US$150 it’s not pocket change - but that’s only $30 more than the original Alta, and you get all of its best bits as well as that heart-rate tracking kit - including multi-activity tracking and swappable straps. Nifty.