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Fitbit upgrades the Alta with a heart rate monitor, improved sleep tracking

Fitbit has just introduced the Alta HR, the company's slimmest activity tracker with a heart rate monitor.

Published onMarch 6, 2017

2016’s Fitbit Alta has been one of our favorite fitness trackers since launch, mainly due to the sleek, stylish design that many other Fitbit devices lack. But what if you’re looking for a device similar to the Alta, but can’t go without a heart rate sensor? Fitbit now has a solution for you.

Fitbit has just introduced the Alta HR, the company’s slimmest activity tracker with a heart rate monitor.

Retailing for around $150, the new Alta HR brings the company’s own PurePulse heart rate technology to a slimmer form factor. Fitbit supposedly developed a new chip for the Alta HR that reduced the size and number of components needed, allowing for a 25% slimmer design than the Charge 2. With a built-in heart rate sensor, you’ll be able to better track your calories burned, non-step exercises like yoga and spinning, and also see real-time heart rate zones on your wrist. Having a heart rate sensor on your activity tracker really does make a world of difference.

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A user starts Google Maps on their Fitbit Charge 6.
We're really happy to see a more watch-like clasp this time around

Other than the addition of a heart rate sensor, the Alta HR is very similar to the original Alta. It still includes all-day activity tracking, automatic exercise recognition with SmartTrack, as well as call, text and calendar notifications. On the design front, the Alta HR looks just like the original Alta, but with a few minor improvements. The only big change I’ve noticed on the Alta HR is the new strap, which features a more watch-like clasp (yay!). The strap on the Alta was incredibly difficult to put on at times, so I’m really happy to see a simpler locking mechanism this time around.

Axis band for Fitbit Alta HR by PUBLIC SCHOOL

If you’re not a fan of the standard silicone straps, you’ll of course be able to replace them with Luxe Leather, Luxe Stainless Steel bracelets, or Special Edition straps. Fitbit is also introducing a new bands designed in partnership with PUBLIC SCHOOL, Vera Wang and Tory Burch.

Alongside the Alta HR, Fitbit is also introducing two new sleeping features, Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights. Sleep Stages utilizes the heart rate sensor to estimate the amount of time you spend in light, deep and REM sleep, as well as the time you spend awake each night. Sleep Insights, on the other hand, uses all the data your Fitbit collects to provide personalized guidance on how to better improve your sleep. If you’re interested in learning more about Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights, more details can be found here.

Of course, these new sleeping features aren’t exclusive to the Alta HR; Sleep Stages will work with the Alta HR, Blaze and Charge 2, while Sleep Insights will be available with all Fitbit devices that track sleep. Both features are coming to the Fitbit app in Spring 2017.

If you’re looking to get your wrists on an Alta HR, you can pre-order one now on Fitbit’s website for $149.95. The devices will be available worldwide in April on retail channels such as Amazon, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target, REI and Verizon.

Special Edition models will run for $179.95, and you can buy extra classic bands for $29.95, Luxe Leather bands for $59.95, or Luxe Metal Bracelets for $99.95.

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