Fitbit Alta essential guide: Everything you need to know

The important spec, price and release date details on Fitbit's newest activity tracker
Fitbit Alta essential guide

The just-announced Fitbit Alta is a new style conscious fitness tracker launching in the US in March for $130 and April for everyone else.

After unveiling the, somewhat underwhelming, Fitbit Blaze, the wearable tech company has come out with a Misfit Ray rival which has custom wristband accessories and even satin and silver finish bangles.

Essential reading: Fitbit Charge 2 | Fitbit Flex 2

Update: We've now published our full and definitive Fitbit Alta review, so head over there to get the full details Fitbit's latest tracker.

Fitbit Alta: Design and style

Let's be honest, the Alta still looks very much like a fitness tracker; it's hardly breaking new ground. But, with a range of leather, metal-look and different coloured quick-release bands to make the stainless steel Alta look more like jewellery, it's definitely the most stylish Fitbit to date.

Fitbit Alta review

The Luxe models - pink leather, graphite leather an stainless steel - are the more premium models, the Classic models - black, blue, plumb and teal - are what you'll get at the lower end of the price spectrum.

Read this: Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch - battle of stylish smartwatches

Tory Burch Alta bands are also coming soon, hopefully similar to the gorgeous Fitbit Flex accessories we've already seen from the designer, and Public School are also getting involved too.

Don't worry if you can't decide exactly what model you want - additional bands can be purchased separately.

It comes in three sizes: to fit wrists 14 - 17cm, 17 - 20.6cm and 20.6 - 23.6cm. The band itself is 15mm wide.

Fitbit Alta: Activity tracking

Fitbit Alta review

With a 3-axis accelerometer, the Fitbit Alta tracks the usual steps, distance, calories burned and active time in minutes.

Select activities are auto detected, using Fitbit's SmartTrack tech, and are added as workouts within the Fitbit app, as usual. It automatically tracks sleep, too, and reminds you to move enough every hour with 250 step mini goals.

There's no extra features such as GPS or an optical heart rate monitor so it looks like Fitbit is very much looking to focus on the casual lifestyle tracking market it already seems to have cornered.

Fitbit Alta: Display and notifications

Fitbit Alta review

The Alta packs an OLED display that responds to your taps.

More room is given over to the screen than on say, the Charge HR, though with the Blaze, the display can show call, text and calendar alerts but not third party app alerts, from the looks of things. Again, a bit of a missed opportunity.

Essentially, this is Fitbit styling up what it already offers elsewhere and nothing more. That said, despite the somewhat basic tracking abilities, the price isn't too bad considering Fitbit's beginner friendly app.

Fitbit Alta: Battery life and water resistance

Battery life is five days and the device is sweat, rain and splash proof (though not if you choose leather).

As ever, it's compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone and connects via Bluetooth 4.0.

Fitbit Alta: Price and release date

The band accessory prices are as follows: classic bands for $29.95, premium hide leather bands in blush pink and graphite for $59.95 each (with camel coming soon) and finally a hand-polished stainless steel silver bangle for $99.99 with a shiny gold bangle due later in 2016.

Essential reading: Fitbit Blaze review

The Fitbit Alta is up for sale now in black, teal, purple and plum. Despite the fact we're not getting much new in the way of features, the customisation is really nice and - particularly with women - we predict the Alta will be a big, big wearable tech seller in 2016.

Stay tuned for our full Fitbit Alta review.

Shop for recommended fitness trackers on Amazon

Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Misfit Ray
Misfit Ray
Moov Now
Moov Now

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  • vicle says:

    Nope, not buying this one. Im waiting for the promised advanced sensors and coaching. And please let it be more then splash free. More of the same then in 2015 is just not good enough for me. 

    • alioon says:

      I have the Charge HR and I swim and shower with it all the time

    • IrenaZharkov says:

      Honestly Fitbit Alta hasn’t been a good wearable in my experience. It didn't provide anything more special than Fitbit's other products and just focused on fashion.However, I use Moov Now for, it’s the best wearable I’ve used for exercising. It also has a nice design that won multiple design awards. It motivates you with a coach unlike the other wearables.The swim tracking especially is much better for Moov Now, it breaks down the laps as well as recognize your strokes which Fitbit Alta do not.

  • Extraneus says:

    Much better looking the Surge or Charge, but without music controls it's not an option...

  • Sterojo says:

    I like it and would consider it as the Apple Watch just isn't quite as good at fitness tracking in my opinion. But if this charges in the same way as the flex with that godawful dock thing, I would not touch it with a bargepole.  It's not clear what the charger is yet but the picture on fitbit's website suggests another flex like dock - bad move!

  • Storm8 says:

    Waiting for it to have the HRM together before getting it.

  • PBC says:

    Why do people expect a $130 fitness tracker to have the same features as a $300+ smartwatch? Only thing I'll miss will be the lack of floor tracking, but with the addition of a move reminder it's a sacrifice I'll be willing to make.

  • JeremyW says:

    not for me as its a toy, needs to cover walk, gym, run, bike and swim ... but the marketing guys will not that as it would compete with other products in their range. Fitbit are not alone even at the top of the pile Garmin have the Fenix 3 which does everything but suffers from lousy software and a useless display. So there is room for a Lord of the fit watch range that has a great display, great software, waterproof and logical simple user interface. but I am not holding my breath.

  • rw4001 says:

    this is great for women with small wrists -- I had a fitbit for years - hated it, but wanted to count steps, etc.   now using a jawbone up3 which is great, but you cant read the band - if there is a small wrist reader counting steps etc thatcan be read real time - it will be a huge hit!! mark my words

  • Lise says:

    The Garmin Vivosmart HR beats this without a doubt, its waterproof and you can go swimming, wash dishes, take a shower.. never have to worry, Control music. Sync it with Samsung active 5 and its a winner winner.. fit bit is too concerned with style instead of function. 

    • fandang says:

      looked at this and thought great - but they seem to break after 3 months, real pixel / screen issues. If they fixed that, I would agree the Garmin would get my vote

      • LadyR says:

        I've had to exchange mine 3 times alread over the course of 2.5 months? I had Bluetooth issues with the first 2. I'm planning to return my 3rd one now because I noticed for all 3 trackers the stairs climbed is extremely inaccurate! I will miss the music and heart rate features though...

        • GoPadge says:

          I've had several issues with my Garmin Vivosmart and have exchanged it one already for the failing OLED issue.  But having said that... I applaud Garmin for continuing the service it's customers.  I bought my Vivosmart in December 2014, had it replaced under warranty (no cost) in January 2015 and now they're STILL helping me.  I called for support for the failing OLED and they gave me three options.  Swap it out for another Vivosmart,  I could get a full refund with my receipt (which Best Buy could get me) or $150 in credit towards another device.   I opted for the redesigned Vivosmart HR.

          That's not bad at all for a device that came with a 1 year warranty.

  • JFC1 says:

    Can this (or any other tracker) be worn on the foot? I wear a "real" watch, and really would prefer not to wear this under a dress shirt. 

  • 1JC1 says:

    Is it wearable on the foot? I'd prefer to wear a real watch on the wrist. 

    • rhodaw57 says:

      The Fitbit one is available. It is a clip on.!you can wear it on your shoe or clothing.

    • kateou14 says:

      Personally, I'll put mine on my ankle when I do stairmaster or don't want it on my wrist. I have a surge. But...that said... I have small ankles. My boyfriend can't do the same. Measure your ankle and see if it'll fit. 

  • Sonja says:

    I like the look of this one, as well as the move reminders. It's nothing new or spectacular, but it's the kind of thing I'd probably buy if I didn't already have a fitness tracker. I don't need a ton of extra features, just something to keep me moving throughout the day.

  • rhodaw57 says:

    When in March will it be released? First, middle last of March? I have pre ordered and can't wait for it to get here!!

    • Doo says:

      it's out now. I picked one up at Walmart today 3/15/16

  • kristineyohe says:

    I love my Fitbit One, as I don't always want to wear an armband (though I do at night). I am hoping for one of two options down the road: EITHER the opportunity to use more than one device (though happy to make it one at a time, but want to be able to swap day by day), so that I can sometimes wear an armband and sometimes a clip (WHY wouldn't Fitbit want to sell me two devices??)--OR a device that can easily be either clip or armband. I was hoping that the Alta had the option of popping out of its band and becoming a clip, but it appears not. While I have armbands for the One, they're clunky and not great. I also want to continue to measure floors and would like to add heart rate. HOWEVER, I do not need texts, calls, etc; those can stay on my phone. Is this too much to ask?

    • BertaB33 says:

      Hi there! You can actually connect multiple fitbits now. Works pretty well. I get skin irritation with the charge hr so I mostly use my one, but I still like to use the charge hr for workouts. You can swap them out at will. I'm so glad that's a feature now too! If you update your app go into account, then you can add another device. That feature is a win for me too!!

  • kiley says:

    When is the exact release date.

  • Nikki2521 says:

    does the fitbit also monitor ur weight via the app?

    • KarenInTX says:

      yes, you can track your weight on the app. If you have the Fitbit Aria scale, it automatically logs it for you. 

  • Blackie says:

    can't wait for the Alta . Hoping it's an improvement on the others . I've had 2 of their other devices & they lasted between 6-9 months & then wouldn't charge . Never got them wet etc . 

  • gymbunnie says:

    My charge HR lasted 7 months then refused to sync. It lost all-day sync coz its bluetooth blew up. The iPhone 5 can only find the "HR" on set up if it is plugged into USB power despite a full charge and even then will only connect once then within 30 mins will lose everything. Half the dashboard disappears and the a/c shows no more "HR". Contacting customer services is merely like talking to a computerised tickbox with political answers.  On the other hand my Fitbit One is still working perfectly, and will all-day sync with the iPhone without any problems at all; at least 3 years old.

  • Lucace says:

    can you use Fitbit Alta as a watch ?

    • Shotwell says:

      absolutely. It makes a great watch. The display comes on when you lift your wrist. 

  • Aunny says:

    Already got my Alta. But I'm wondering if anyone knows when the stainless bracelet will come out?  That is a big reason for my purchase.  I have to dress up a lot and always hated the way my charge looked.

    • sabbrown84 says:

      I am hoping the silver bangle will be released soon also! Though the pink and grey leather bands are nice too.

      I love the Alta, but the only other thing I would like to have for my basic everyday use is the HR monitor. I am always curious, especially when working out, so having that function without a bulky device would be nice!

  • Acarey says:

    Is it possible to do dishes at a restaurant and wear the Alta without ruining the device? My Flex has been doing fine for a year and my hands, up to my wrists are constantly in water.

  • Mandy721 says:

    I have a question, 

    I was advised to purchase a fit bit by my PCP. I was looking at the charge HR due to needing to know my heart rate as well as steps per day. I am a dental assistant so it would be covered most of the time but would need the band to be able to be wiped down at the end of the day. Is there one model better then the other? 

    • AdidasDMD says:

      I work in a dental office and i will say that the charge HR was a pain in the rear to wear during work. Pulling the gloves over that bulky thing just didn't feel good! Started to hurt my wrist--but I have small hands and wear XS gloves.  So, anyway, I went and got the slimmer fitbit ALTA. It feels a lot better; however, it does not have the heartrate monitor. :( 
      Keep in mind that you cannot change the band on the charge HR. You can buy new bands for the Blaze, Alta and Flex. Blaze is the only one of those three that gives you heart rate.

      • niffa says:

        The Surge does HR as well but you cannot change the band.  I work as an MA and for the dental field I would say the Surge would be too big.  I would definitely say go with something smaller like the Alta

  • Carol348 says:

    This new Fitbit Alta does not work at all for me.  Having to tap it dozen times just to get date and time and then not able to tap to get anything other than steps and kilometers is really frustrating.  This is far too pricey not to have the convenience of pushing a button like the old Fitbit that came loose and flew off my arm while I was walking the dog.  This new gadget looks good but doesn't work worth a hoot.  I'm taking it back for a refund.  I am really disgusted with all the hype for a gadget that doesn't work worth a hoot!

  • sarah29 says:

    just wondering I have recently purchased the fitbit flex and wanting to know as the tracker comes out of the wristband is it possible to change to a Alta wristband or is the tracker different? 

    • mlf says:

      The Alta and the flex are no compatible band wise.

  • Arly says:

    my husbands charge HR was put on my phone since he doesn't have a phone now I have a Fitbit Alta and would like to set it up how do I do this?

  • heloisa says:

    Hello everyone, if you have a chance, please check some designs i did of the Fitbit at Would love to hear your comments.

  • Annkahn says:

    had to return a broken Fitbit and now whenever I try to set up my new one, I get the message that there's already one under my email address.  Help!! This is very frustrating!!

  • Luckyablue says:

    I just got my Alta. I'm wondering if I can change the reminder to move to 6pm- 9am I have tried and it won't let me. I work noc shift and don't want to get reminders to move when I'm sleeping. 

  • snave says:

    I am unable to set up my fit bit alto.    I find no specific instructions.    I cont want to sign in using Facebook or Google+, but when I try it tells me that mu username is incorrect or my password and used name don't match.   I am quite frustrated.   The item is completely charged.    I've tried using wih my iMac and with my iPhone.....just the same response.

  • Phyllisaj60 says:

    very nice learning something new each day. 

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