Fitbit brings heart rate monitoring to its super-slim Alta band

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Alta is now even greater.
Photo: Fitbit

The Fitbit Alta band, by far the most attractive option in the Fitbit lineup, just got a nice upgrade that makes it an even greater fitness tracker.

The new Alta HR has a built-in heart rate monitor and new sleep tracking features that will help you better understand your quality of sleep.

Despite its good looks, the original Alta left a lot to be desired, thanks mostly to Fitbit’s decision to go with form over function. But with the Alta HR, users get the best of both worlds; a super-sleep wearable that won’t weigh you down, and everything you’d want in a fitness tracker.

The biggest improvement is the heart rate monitor located in the back of the device. It works continuously to give you the most accurate data without sacrificing the Alta’s five-day battery life. It also helps provide more in-depth sleep monitoring.

Instead of just telling you how long you slept, Alta HR can also combine motion data and heart rate variability to show how long you spent in light, deep, and REM sleep stages. This helps you get a better understanding of the quality of your sleep, rather than the duration.

“Everyone’s sleep cycle is different, but by better knowing your sleep quality and patterns, and realizing the impact they have on your day, you can make lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep over time,” Fitbit says.

“Tracking sleep patterns could also help identify variations that can be indicative of other issues. For example, it has been shown that irregularities in sleep patterns could be a sign of a sleep condition that should be discussed with a doctor.”

Alta HR retains the tap-sensitive OLED display from the original, and still offers notifications, a silent alarm clock, interchangeable bands, and more. It’s also 25 percent thinner than the Charge 2.

It’s priced at $150 — just $20 more than the Alta — and you’ll be able to get it in early April. Pre-orders are available now through retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and more.