Friday, 30 September 2016

A new love for fitbit

As a long term user of a fitbit, I have had both the flex and the charge, so when my charge became defective recently I was offered the Alta as a replacement.

Admittedly I wasn't too happy as I enjoyed the charge and how it functioned but was promised by fitbit that this would soon fit in with me and when I received it I have to admit that they quite possibly were right!

WOW! Fitbit have seriously upped their game, the Alta arrived and the first thing I noticed was how much more luxurious the packaging looked compared to when I had received the Flex and Charge previously in simple packaging.

The Alta already looked much more stylish with the magnetic clasp on the box and the little booklets and tabs to remove them from the box, it appears a lot of thought had gone into the design and all the little touches had not gone unnoticed. It felt like Christmas.

What's Included?

  • Removable Fitbit Alta Tracker
  • Classic Wristband
  • Charging Cable
  • Wireless Sync Dongle

    I was surprised to lift out the fitbit and discover how much heavier it felt compared with the charge, although the narrower band appealed to me once more.

    The Alta looks a lot more like a premium product and finally looks like a product to warrant the expensive price tags that fitbits have always carried.

    A sleek design, I loved the charger how it acted as a bulldog clip to clip onto the Alta and charge via the USB cable.
    Adding the device to the app was simple enough as it is located via Bluetooth.

    It took just over an hour to charge via the USB and then it was ready to go.

    So what's different? 
    If you are reading this then you know what they are and are looking at deciding which one to opt for. Alta never figured as a choice for me as if I was to change from the Charge I was looking to opt for the Blaze however with the launch of the new Charge 2 that was now on the list to opt for.

    The Alta has a clear OLED Tap display, now this is the one thing I am not keen on, the tap display, call me old school I prefer to have a button to press or a touch screen, I always find the tap hit and miss.

    Fitbit appear to have listed to their customers with many wanting interchangeable straps, something only the flex really offered up until recently but now the blaze and the alta and the charge 2 offer interchangeable bands making it easier to use more often and to fit in with any occasion.

    The Alta looks stylish on and is a lot less bulky, and I just wished it did the heart rate as well and I would be truly happy.

    One of the key features that I like is the vibration to encourage you to get moving, something I think is an added bonus compared to the earlier versions, a slight vibration and you know you have been sedentary for too long and to get up and go for a walk.

    It is sweat proof, which is excellent for me as I sweat plenty when I work out and although it states you can wear the Alta in the shower, I don't think I will be trying this.
    The Alta is a stainless steel tracker and it does contain nickel so if you are allergic to this it is something to bear in mind if you are looking to choose this fitbit.

    As well as measuring steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned and sleep, it also will record workouts automatically. It also will display the time and your smartphone notifications.

    Overall I think fitbit are doing well, continuing to be innovative and offering what the customer wants and of course excellent customer service.

    Is this the one for me?
    If you want a fitbit to track steps and track sleep then the Alta ticks all the boxes, but there are alternatives such as the Flex 2 but bear in mind that this does not display the time, for me I find it much more motivation to have on screen display as there are times when it's not convenient to have your mobile on hand and I also like that you can receive your notifications via the Alta.

    The Flex 2 however is swim proof so if your main form of exercise is swimming you may want to look at this option.

    The fitbit Alta was provided to me as a replacement for the defective Charge which is now discontinued.
    RRP £99.99

    Listen to the Echo

    When it comes to gadgets, my husband is addicted and with us renovating downstairs into an open living space we wanted a speaker of some sort to play music in the kitchen and when my husband said he thought he had found something better, I wanted to know more....

    So what is Amazon Echo?

    If you have used Siri or Google's voice assist then the Amazon Echo is similar to this and more. A speaker that is voice activated and can play music, provide information and even order products if you are a prime customer.

    The speaker itself is a cylinder which is compact in size but it does offer great sound quality. It operates over a wireless connection and is easy to set up as it simply plugs into the mains and via the app, Alexa.

    Amazon Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify and TuneIn and you can also connect via Bluetooth so you can stream from your tablet, iTunes, google play and more.

    It has seven microphones so it can hear even in noisy environments, which as a mum of a 5 year old and an 8 month old baby is a must!

    Using Amazon Echo

    To communicate you simple use the word 'Alexa' to wake the speaker and it will respond with a light around the top of the speaker to let you know it is ready for your next command.
    As a Prime Customer we have access to Prime Music which has a set number of stations, if you are unsure what you want to listen to you can select a genre and 'Alexa' will choose this for you.

    As well as playing music you can set timers, find out the time, what the weather forecast is, catch up on the latest news and much more.

    Currently our speaker sits in the Living Room but it will be moved over to the Kitchen when completed and I think it will prove to be invaluable, being able to create shopping lists, set timers, connect with calendars and set reminders, you can even order from Just Eat.

    As a busy family home we think that Alexa will fit in well and our 5 year old son already enjoys asking various questions and finding out facts as well as asking for jokes!

    You can also connect with other wi-fi devices and we soon hope to connect to the Philips Hue system to control lighting and eventually upgrade to a Hive heating system and control the heating.

    So is it actually all that??

    Well yes, actually!
    Admittedly somethings I find can take a little time to get used to but with the Amazon Echo it was a simple as plugging in and running the app. We have only had it 48 hours but already we have enjoyed the freedom of voice activated music as well as the ability to port it to other areas in the house without the hassle of numerous cables and wires.

    I love how it can give you information without you having to pick up your phone or laptop or without turning on the tv.
    We do make use of Just Eat so am sure Alexa will soon be placing an order for us sooner rather than later.

    We also took advantage of pre-ordering this speaker and gained a £50 discount paying just £99.99 for this speaker, in terms of sound quality it is just as good as a blue tooth speaker we had been looking to purchase so all the added extras that Alexa offers we think it was a good investment and with the promise that this will continue to evolve we look forward to seeing what else the device will offer.

    RRP £149.99
    Available in Black or White.