If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I swapped my Garmin Vivosmart fitness tracker for the newer Fitbit Alta about a week ago.
I’ve never used a Fitbit before but I figured there must be a reason everyone else loves them so much so why not give them a try.
My main reason for switching was that the display screen on my Garmin was scratched, I have no idea how it happened but it meant that some of the information on display was not visiable, this made it hard to tell the time and read messages which is kind of the whole point of having a display on the device.
So I’ve been living the my Fitbit Alta for just over a week now and I thought I let you know how it’s going…a little disclaimer here, being 33 weeks pregnant I have not taken Alta for a run or played any sort of sports. In fact all I’m able to do it walk, mostly around baby and department stores but hey it’s still walking.
Ok here goes… my first impression is that I bloody well love it! There are loads of reasons why and none them are more important that the other for me.
I love that the display is more digital, more like a phone screen display than the one I had on the Garmin which makes the Fitbit so much easier to read. I don’t have to squint at it or really even adjust it in the light. Big plus considering this was my reason for changing in the first place.
Another element I love it that it’s smart, smarter than I thought it would be. It knows when I go to sleep. I read this online in the features but I was skeptical and didn’t think it would be very accurate but it really is. Alta knows exactly what time I settle for sleep based on my movements, it knows what time I got up to pee (there’s quite a few of those in the night) and even knows what time I get up in the morning. Alta can tell me how many hours I was asleep, how many times I was restless (again, this happens a lot) and how many times I was awake and moving about.
As well as auto recording my sleep, Alta can also detect certain activities such as walking, running, cycling and general sports. As I said above I’ve not tested this thoroughly but I’ve been super impressed with it’s accuracy when walking. At the moment I have it set to the default 15 minutes or more but you can edit this. Anytime Alta detects I have been walking for longer than 15 minutes it will count this as exercise towards my daily goal. It’s so nice not to have to tell my tracker that I am going for a walk, it just knows!
The ‘friendly’ move reminders are great too, if you haven’t achieved 250 steps within a one hour window Alta will give you a little nudge to get off your arse. These come in various messages on the screen such as “Fancy a stroll?” “Wanna take me for a walk?” “10 mins to get to 250 steps” “150 steps needed in 10 mins” and so on. I quite like these little messages, it’s a little like having a personal trainer who doesn’t shout at you, and if you achieve 250 steps in the hour Alta doesn’t bother you.
Now, to the app. Everyone raves about the Fitbit App and I finally understand why. It’s so simple but has everything you need. It’s super fast to sync so it’s always up to date and it even allows you to track your water and food intake. I haven’t used the food tracking side of things as I would put myself to shame with all these pregnancy cravings but it’s great to have this option for later.
Here’s a snap shot of my day, spent strolling around Ikea for hours on end but only actually 18 minutes of continuous walking. Lots of stopping and starting to look at things which doesn’t count as exercise for the Alta. I’m happy anyway as I’ve achieved my first 5 out of 5 days for exercise, go me!
Another very cool feature is that the straps are removable and can be changed, I chose the plum coloured strap because I wanted a change from black which is what I had with my Garmin but also something that wouldn’t show up dirt and everyday scuffs. Fitbit sell other coloured silicon straps as well as leather ones which look really nice. I’ve also read that you can buy replica straps on Ebay for a fraction of the price and they work just as well. So good to have the option to change things up to match your outfit.
Let me just mention the issue of Alta being waterproof, or not. I got mixed information when researching online as theSpecs page of the Fitbit website claims the Alta is waterproof and is fine to shower with but not swim whereas the guidebook that comes in the box says it’s not recommended to shower in as the band can irritate your skin when wet.
I chose to read this as, there’s nothing wrong with getting Alta wet, it won’t affect it working but you might not want to if you have sensitive skin and then band causes an irritation. I rely quite heavily on my tracker to check the time in the shower in the mornings to make sure I am not running late for work so it was a big deal to me to still be able to do this. I decided to risk it…Alta has been just fine in the shower. It still works perfectly well and I haven’t had any problems from the band getting wet. I make sure to dry straight away but so far so good… Don’t take it swimming though, Fitbit have definitely said it won’t survive this level of submersion.
So, those are the things I love about the Alta but there are two things I don’t love…
Firstly, the charging cable, it connects very easily and charges within about 2 hours which is great but I just don’t know why the cable has to be so short? I won’t even reach from the plug to my bedside table which means Alta is left on the floor whilst charging. Some people might love this small wire as it’s easy to store but for me it’s a bit of a pain.
Secondly, I can not for the life of me work out how to stop the light from coming on in the middle of the night when I turn over. The band is set to activate the screen when I raise my arm which is perfect during the day for checking the time but it’s a shock at 3am when I turn over and the bright light hits me in the eyes.
Does any one if there is a way to stop this happening? Can I tell Alta not to light up automatically between certain hours? I would love to know…
So there you have it, I’ve spent a week permanently attached to my Alta and we’re the best of friends. It’s comfortable, surprisingly accurate with steps and sleep and the app is quite possibly the best out there at the moment.
The two things I am not loving are very minor in comparison to all the things I love about it and I would recommend the Fitbit Alta to anyone who was looking for a mid range everyday fitness tracker.
Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on trackers or if you have a Fitbit, do you love yours as much as I do?
This post first appeared on Lifeasthree.