I have always wanted a Fitbit, for a whole bunch of reasons.
I feel like a Fitbit will inspire me to exercise more and to work more incidental activity into my day.
I like geeky things, so I (correctly) assumed that the novelty of the tech would inspire me to get off my butt a bit.
And, let’s face it… Fitbits just kind of look cool. People who wear Fitbits have their shit together. They exercise, they sleep well, they drink plenty of water. And even if they don’t, they look like they do. Because they are wearing a Fitbit. And we all know looking the part is half the battle.
Design, Comfort & Durability (Rating: 95%)
With the illusion of cool people wearing Fitbits firmly in mind, I was pretty stoked to get mine. Deep purple in colour, sleek, light, stylish. It was everything I’d dreamed it would be.
The Fitbit Alta is really comfy to wear, once you actually get it on. It’s incredibly difficult to do up the first few times – getting the hang on the button clasp with one hand is tricky.
It seems pretty durable, though. After a few months of constant use, it’s holding up well and I’ve got absolutely no issues to report. The battery life is quite impressive – it only needs charging every few days and charges up quickly.
One thing I adore about the Fitbit Alta is the sleep tracking function. Sleep is my guilty pleasure. I’d go so far as to call it a hobby. The Alta’s sleep tracker seems reasonably accurate and it’s been pretty interesting to see how many times a night I actually wake up and how much sleep I’m actually getting.
The interface on the Alta and the accompanying phone app are also pretty gorgeous in terms of design. They’re both so simple to use and display the data so beautifully. The Alta uses tap technology to change its display. That was a bit tricky to get used to at first – the Alta was unresponsive when tapped in a certain way- but, within a few days, I had learnt to tap it so it worked the first time, every time.
My only Fitbit complaint is that I’ve found a bit of a discrepancy in the number of steps I’ve actually done, compared to what the Fit Bit says I’ve done. Sometimes it seems to over-estimate my activity, telling me I’ve done 100 steps when really I’ve only walked to the bathroom and the coffee machine. Other times it seems to underestimate them (or maybe I’m just not doing as much exercise as I thought I was). A common complaint I’ve heard from mums who use FitBits is that they don’t work at all while you’re pushing a pram because there’s no movement in your arms. Not having a pram-sized child anymore (thank goodness), I can’t really attest to that. So take that one as anecdotal evidence only.
Having a play with my Fitbit settings – which way it was worn, and which arm I wore it on – seemed to have positive effects on how well it counted my steps. And if it overestimated them sometimes, then underestimated them at others… It seems like that would cancel itself out eventually. Right?
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 90%)
While the Alta doesn’t have a GPS function, it was still pretty great to have on a hike. Knowing the number of kilometres you’ve walked, plus your step count is pretty inspiring stuff. The Alta held up well with both heat and sweat, and the battery is so good you don’t need to worry about it dying on you half way through a day-hike (or even an overnight one).
I’ve actually never been so inspired to keep myself fit.
The Fitbit is a tangible way of adding up all the little things you do – the incremental exercise that we’re all aiming for every day. It feels like these devices gamify exercise – the more steps you do, the better at life you are. The elevator looks quick and easy. But if you take the stairs it will contribute to your step count. And hitting that optimal 10,000 steps a day feels like a huge achievement, every time.
What I Like
- The look – so pretty and understated.
- The sleep tracking. Because sleep is my favourite.
- The incredibly simple and elegant interface on both the Alta and the app.
- The ability to track different types of exercise, and to track your water intake via the app.
- The absolute sense of motivation that the Fitbit gives you to increase your incremental exercise – perfect for busy people who don’t have as much time to exercise as they’d like.
What I Don’t Like
- The tap function can be difficult to use.
- There’s no GPS on this model, so it’s not as effective for bushwalking as I’d like.
- The step discrepancy can be a little off-putting but I have faith that it averages out over a day.
The Fitbit Alta is available from many sources and, but many of them look a little dodgy. Shop around to find your best price, but make sure you read the product page and terms and conditions carefully. The only reputable retailer I could find that sells them online is Amazon, where they’re listed at around USD$130.
Disclaimer: I’ve been supplied with a Fibit Alta to review. The Amazon link above is an affiliate link. None of this has any influence on the opinions presented in my review.
Have you tried the Fitbit Alta? Got a better idea? Or any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.