Fitbit's latest features help you get a handle on your sleep cycle

I've largely avoided the spin craze until now, but on this particular day I was front and center as class instructor Julianne Hough, professional dancer/singer/Fitbit spokeswoman/cardio queen, cheerfully encouraged the class to pedal along to the blaring pop soundtrack.

Fitbit's new sleep tracking features will help it catch up to some of its rivals. The original Alta was, however, missing out on a couple of features one of which is becoming fairly standard these days - heart rate tracking.

We didn't love the original Fitbit Alta, calling it a "limited offering" and noting the tap-sensitive screen wasn't good enough, so we'll be sure to let you know whether the Alta HR is enough of an improvement in our upcoming review. The wearable device will also display a target heart rate during exercise, and monitor your resting heart rate. It looks exactly like the original Alta, but with a better band clasp that uses the traditional buckle style instead of the hard to close snap-in clasp. According to the company's R&D team, Fitbit has been working with Texas Instruments to reduce the size of the heart rate monitor, and thus the result is 25% smaller than what was packed into the Fitbit Charge 2. The new wearable tech was the company's first try to launch an attractive and thin fitness tracker. Now they can have both.

Additionally, Fitbit is also improving sleep tracking on several of its devices, along with the Alta HR. A new feature called Sleep Stages in the Fitbit app uses your pulse to break down your light, deep, and REM sleep. The company adds that it will also be harnessing the three billion hours of sleep its logged from users to better tailor sleep recommendations in much the way it does with fitness goals. Or spend the same money for more features in a bigger package, with Charge 2.

Fitbit has revealed a new version of its slimmest fitness tracker - the Alta - which has continuous heart-rate tracking capabilities for the first time. Fitbit will then offer up suggestions on how to improve sleep based on that data. This makes the Alta HR the fourth Fitbit product line to include heart rate sensors after the Charge, Blaze, and Surge. Today, Fitbit announced the new Alta HR, a almost identical version of the original wristband that now includes a heart rate monitor inside of it. From 01-15 April 2017, Alta HR will be on sale on and from 16 April 2017 onwards, you will be able to purchase across major India retailers including Reliance Digital, Croma, Helios, Jumbo and Vijay Sales.

  • Tracy Ferguson