Fitbit Alta essential guide: Everything you need to know

The important spec, price and release date details on Fitbit's newest activity tracker
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The just-announced Fitbit Alta is a new style conscious fitness tracker launching in the US in March for 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 essential guide: Everything you need to know

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 essential guide: Everything you need to know

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 essential guide: Everything you need to know

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 , premium hide leather bands in blush pink and graphite for each (with camel coming soon) and finally a hand-polished stainless steel silver bangle for 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.

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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