Fitbit has been having some issues lately. Last month they were finally acquitted by Consumer Reports of providing inaccurate heart rate readings, although the class action lawsuit is still going. Their most recent foray, despite being pretty well received at first, will most likely start getting criticism soon enough. And that’s why I’m here, so buckle up as I tell you why the new Fitbit Alta is a step down despite positive reception.
Now, it does look better than previous iterations of the device, but that’s pretty much all it has going for it – well, that and the ability to automatically recognize the exercise you’re engaged in, so that you don’t have to manually select what you’re doing.
Remember the Fitbit Blaze released in January at CES? It was more focused on appearance than on functionality, and it would seem that the company has selected the same route with the Alta.
The company made the poor choice of giving up some pretty important features of their previous models when making the Blaze, and they kept with their choices when it came to their new product; so, you can say goodbye to the heart monitor and to the GPS, arguably the most important features of the device.
The new OLED display is much more simplistic and small, making it kind of a chore to actually use the device, so the company had to improvise. Thus, they just took the Blaze’s feature of recognizing the type of exercise you’re performing, so that you don’t have to spend a few minutes trying to select it yourself.
And now we’ve come to the most important feature of the new Fitbit tracker – the device’s ability to get switched onto another band. Bands come in a multitude of colors and materials, from leather ($60), to stainless steel ($100) and even to the default colored plastic ($30) which comes in teal, blue, black, and plum.
Actually a pretty nice feature is the battery life, which keeps your tracker alive for 5 days straight. Of course, when you stop and consider that the Blaze model had the same battery life, only a bigger screen, it stops being so nice and it becomes pretty much the same as the rest of the new device – pointless.
Oh, and it goes for $130.
As a conclusion, sure, go ahead and buy the new Fitbit Alta as soon as it’s out; or you can even pre-order it now. But do that only if you want a pointless device, more expensive than older versions and lacking some of the same older versions’ key features.
Boy, things really aren’t looking good for Fitbit, are they?
Image source: Flickr