The New Fitbit Alta HR Is Super Functional and Actually Cute
Get a tracker that can do all three: kill it in the office, gym, and bed.
There are a lot of activity trackers out there-and, specifically, a lot that can track your heart rate and your sleep. What's hard to find, however, is one that 1) isn't so clunky it looks like a house-arrest bracelet, and 2) isn't so massive and annoying on your wrist that you can't sleep through the night with it on your arm anyway. Fitbit has heard our complaints (TY tracker gods) and created what just might be most under-the-radar do-it-all tracker yet.
Fitbit revamped their Alta (the high-fashion teenage sister of the Fitbit fam) to include heart-rate tracking-something only previously available in the Charge 2 (their best-selling tracker), the Surge (a GPS-enabled model), and the Blaze (like the Apple watch, but Fitbit style). (Related: Find the Best Fitness Tracker for Your Personality) Now called the Alta HR, this still-slim tracker can (automatically!) monitor your heart rate during HIIT class, keep tabs on calories burned and steps taken, and alert you to incoming calls, text, and calendar entries.
Plus, since it has HR tracking, it can tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about your sleep cycle (except, well, if you snore). Unlike some other trackers (not going to name names) the Alta HR might actually be small enough that you can deal with it on your wrist while you sleep. (And if you're one of those magical unicorn humans who could always handle sleeping with a tracker on your wrist? Good for you.) This is all extra useful, considering Fitbit is introducing new sleep software called Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights.
Sleep Stages uses your heart-rate variability to estimate the amount of time you spend awake and in light, deep, and REM sleep to help you better understand your sleep quality. Sleep Insights uses all the data your Fitbit collects to provide personalized guidance on how to improve your snooze. Some ~great~ news if you already have a Fitbit: This Sleep Stages will also work with the Blaze and Charge 2 devices, and Sleep Insights will work with all Fitbit devices that track sleep (right now, the Flex, Alta, Alta HR, Charge 2, Surge, and Blaze).
Now for the only bad news: You can snag an Alta HR right now on the Fitbit site (priced at $150), but it's only for pre-order. The new trackers won't be shipped or available in stores in until early April. (Need to improve you bed hours, stat? Try these cool sleep tech products in the meantime.)