Wearable Tech World Feature Article
February 03, 2016

Fitbit Alta Focuses on Fitness and Fashion First

While it’s true that fitness devices are definitely the most popular type of wearable right now—and will continue to be through until the end of 2019, according to Juniper Research—that doesn’t mean it’s enough to simply release a wearable fitness device and expect success, even for established names like Fitbit. Maybe that’s why the company has been releasing a broader selection of products lately.

Roughly a month after releasing the top-of-the-line Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit has followed up with something quite different: the Fitbit Alta. Priced at $129.95, the Fitbit Alta is aimed largely at women with a sleeker design and wide range of band options. Although the Alta comes with a black, blue or plus plastic band be default, there are also leather options—in gray, blush pink and camel—and a stainless steel link band. There are also gold and rose gold bangle options on the way.

Resembling a medium-thickness wristband, albeit one with a black display on it, the Alta also features a unique “tap” display that is a bit different from touchscreens you’ll find on most smartwatches. As you might expect from something called a tap display, the Alta’s colored touchscreen is meant to be tapped, not swiped. Taps allow you to cycle through notifications, stats and other menus. It might not be as intuitive as swiping, but this system is likely a large factor in keeping the Alta’s price point down.

As for its capabilities, the Fitbit Alta offers the standard selection of fitness-focused features—including activity tracking, automatic sleep monitoring and silent alarms—with an estimated five days of battery life. Its built-in SmartTrack feature automatically tracks workouts, recognizing activities such as biking, hiking and running without the need for users to manually start and stop a workout. This automatic detection also applies to sleep tracking.

As for notifications, the Fitbit Alta is somewhat barebones by design. Rather than sending a slew of notifications like a standard smartwatch, the device is meant to only pass on essential notifications like incoming calls, text alerts and calendar updates.

The Fitbit Alta is available for pre-sale now. It will officially launch in North America in March and will go worldwide in April.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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