Activity tracking company Fitbit announced Wednesday that it’s launching a new fitness wearable targeting consumers who want a gadget that more closely resembles traditional jewelry.
Fitbit’s new tracker, called the Alta, is slimmer and sleeker than most of the company’s other fitness bands, and can track wearers’ steps taken, calories burned and other health metrics. The Alta is compatible with Fitbit’s new high-end bands, including leather and stainless steel options. Wearers with multiple bands can swap the Alta’s internal tracker between them, using a sports watch-style band at the gym and a steel version at work, for instance.
The Alta features a larger screen than some of Fitbit’s other devices, making it easier to see activity progress as well as call and text notifications compared to wristbands like the Charge, Flex, and Charge HR. Fitbit’s newest device also encourages dormant wearers to get up and walk around, a feature also found in the Apple Watch and some other devices.
The Alta can automatically recognize some activity, meaning users don’t have to switch the band to exercise mode to get it to detect the difference between walking, running, outdoor biking, basketball, and other sports or activities. The same is true for sleep tracking as well.
Fitbit’s latest device lacks a heart rate sensor, however. That means Alta owners won’t be able to check their BPM during workouts or when climbing a flight of stairs.
Fitbit claims the Alta can last for five days on a single charge.
The Alta seems like a solid choice for wearers who want a general purpose fitness tracker that won’t feel bulky or burdensome. During a brief workout using the Alta, I could barely remember I was wearing a fitness tracker since it felt so lightweight. Jawbone’s fitness trackers are even more slender than the Alta, but they don’t feature a screen for keeping track of activity at a glance. Still, the lack of a heart rate monitor is a deal breaker for more dedicated athletes.
The Alta will hit store shelves in March for $129.95; preorders begin Wednesday. Leather bands for the device will sell for $59.95, while silver bangles will launch this summer at $99.95. A gold bangle is also coming later this year, as well as new accessories from Fitbit partner Tory Burch.
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