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Fitbit Crammed Heart Rate Into Superslim Tracker

Fitbit has announced its new Fitbit Alta HR fitness tracker ($149), with a new heart rate monitor that should result in better calorie burn estimates and more accurate sleep tracking.

And the company has squeezed all this tech into a design it's calling the world's slimmest fitness wristband with continuous heart rate tracking. Fitbit's first version of the Alta lacks heart rate monitoring.

The Fitbit Alta HR is 25 percent smaller than the Charge 2. Photo: Fitbit

The Fitbit Alta HR is 25 percent smaller than the Charge 2. Photo: Fitbit


The new Fitbit's heart rate monitor is a shrunken version of what exists in the Fitbit Charge 2, and Fitbit says the Alta HR is 25 percent smaller than the Charge 2. The smaller heart rate monitor is just the beginning of what could be a series of better and slimmer Fitbit devices on the way.

MORE: Best Fitbit: What Model Should You Choose?

“The miniaturization of our PurePulse heart rate technology opens up exciting opportunities for future generations of devices and new form factors," said James Park, Fitbit's CEO and co-founder in a press release.


New Fitbit Alta HR leather bands on display. Credit: Althea Chang/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: New Fitbit Alta HR leather bands on display. Credit: Althea Chang/Tom's Guide)


The new Alta HR's sleep technology was developed with a team of sleep experts to bring more attention to the importance of tracking sleep as an indicator of overall health.

Unlike the Charge 2, which allows users to scroll through their stats with a button on the left side of the device, the Alta requires users to tap on the device.

The Alta HR is available for pre-sale today (March 6) on Fitbit.com, but won't make it to consumers' hands and major retailers until sometime in early April.

Fitbit shows off its \

(Image credit: Fitbit shows off its "Public School" line of bands for its Alta HR. Credit: Althea Chang/Tom's Guide)


As Fitbit fans might expect, fancy new bands will be available for the new Alta HR as well, including a leather band for $59.95 and a metal bracelet for $99.95. Replacements for the traditional bands will cost $29.95.
 
Although it's still early, we still haven't heard how Fitbit expects to incorporate the technology it acquired when it bought fitness tracker company Pebble.