Fitbit Inspire HR Review Facts
With more technology for a smaller price, the Fitbit Inspire HR combines the best aspects of previous Fitbit devices and brings us an affordable and enjoyable fitness tracker that covers all of the basics and then some. While the Inspire HR won’t knock your socks off in any category, it offers average-to-good performance across all metrics and functionalities, making it a new go-to wristband for people who are only beginning to explore the world of fitness watches.
While the Fitbit Inspire HR isn’t anywhere near the activity-tracking abilities of some more expensive watches on the market, it still offers more than enough activities you can track. The Inspire HR can track up to 15 different activities, both indoor and outdoor, ranging from running, biking, and elliptical, to activities such as weightlifting, HIIT, tennis
, and golf. This spectrum will be more than enough for an everyday sports enthusiast, and not a lot of people will find themselves needing additional activity tracking space. You can customize the activities you want to appear on the tracker and choose to use the audio signals or not. As the activities supported by the Inspire HR suggest, this is an entry-level fitness tracker that will suffice for fitness tracker beginners, as well as the fitness enthusiasts looking for a simple tracker that won’t overcomplicate things.
The Fitbit Inspire HR tracks all the usual metrics that most fitness trackers do: number of calories burned
, activities, as well as sleep. This device also comes with Fitbit’s SmartTrack functionality which allows for automatic recognition of activities as well as automatic tracking. This tracker also borrows some basic functionality of a smartwatch and has an option to show notifications about new calls, texts and calendar events, but unlike a smartwatch, this functionality is very limited. The Inspire HR allows you to see the first 200 characters of a message/email/alert and after you’ve read it, you can’t respond to it via the tracker; you can’t even reopen the message to re-read it, because the device doesn’t store the notifications. However, this functionality is somewhat useful because it will allow you to assess whether the new notification is worth pausing your workout for.
The Inspire HR doesn’t come with built-in GPS, which means that in order to, for example, track your outdoor run, you’ll have to sync the tracker with your phone and rely on the phone’s GPS information in order to track and get information on your run.
One of the features that isn’t offered in the Fitbit Inspire HR is the altimeter, which would allow you to track flights of stairs you’ve climbed. This could be a deal breaker only if a number of your workouts consist of climbing stairs or steep ascents; otherwise, it shouldn’t throw off the tracker significantly when measuring your results.
One of the best advanced features of the Fitbit Inspire HR activity tracker is precisely the heart rate monitor, which increases the precision and overall usefulness of the tracker, compared to the regular Inspire. The HRM will showcase all the relevant data, starting with your heart rate and heart rate zone, meaning that it can also be used for training based on HR zones. You can also see your time spent in various heart rate zones during a workout, with information such as cardio, fat burn and peak available in text as well as a graph. The heart-rate functionality will definitely help you make the most out of every exercise, as well as help you gain a better understanding of heart rate zones along the way. If you opt to wear the Inspire HR during the night as well, you’ll get a good grasp on your resting heart rate, which will allow you to track the possible changes in that field over time.
The Fitbit Inspire HR also features a guided breathing mode which encourages you to take 2-5 minutes of your day and guides you through alternate phases of inhaling deeply and exhaling, all with the help of mild buzzing on your wrist. Most people have commented on the feature being useful in relaxing them before sleep, but you can also use it in any stressful situation that allows you to take a two-minute break.
Another useful feature that people have grown to expect from Fitbit trackers is the sleep tracking functionality. This works really well with the watch’s miniature size because sleeping with the watch on won’t be a nuisance at all, especially compared to other watch sizes. The sleep tracking abilities of the Inspire HR are up to the standards set by the brand, and the watch does a good job at tracking all stages of sleep, which is more than can be said of some (way) more expensive fitness watches out there.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that the Inspire HR features a swim-proof build, allowing you to wear it under the shower and on the pool, which comes really useful if you’re not big on constantly taking off and putting various accessories back on. Keep in mind that the Inspire HR only has the basic swim tracking option though.
When it comes to its basic features of counting steps, calories burned and the distance you’ve covered, the Inspire HR does a good enough job in accurately assessing those numbers, although it usually overrates your workout by around 10%. Unless you’re a professional athlete, this shouldn’t be an issue. If, however, you are an athlete, then you should consider getting a more accurate and athlete-oriented device, given that the Inspire HR is aimed and built for the people who enjoy fitness and sports activities in a more casual way.
The heart rate monitor works really well, especially if you’re engaging in an endurance-type of training. The HRM takes reading less frequently than some other fitness trackers, meaning that the heart rate measurements while doing activities such as High-Intensity Interval Training
probably won’t be on-point because this device won’t be able to keep up with the fast-switching heart rates these types of activities call for. However, it’s not unusual for most fitness trackers to encounter issues when measuring heart rate during HR zone training, precisely because this type of training calls for a very sophisticated heart rate monitor. For a more accurate HR reading, Fitbit advises its customers to wear the tracker higher on the wrist during exercise, as opposed to wearing it lower when you’re not doing any workouts.
The accuracy of the SmartTrack functionality is also satisfactory, especially when you’re engaging in a steady, consistent activity. Again, it’s somewhat usual for a fitness watch to get a few activities wrong and confuse one activity for the other, but the thing about the Inspire HR is that it recognizes and records your workouts on its own, so you can’t tell the device not to track it or to record a different type of workout. That being said, if you’re interested in getting a Fitbit for the purpose of tracking your walks, jogs, runs
, and biking, the SmartTrack functionality will make the whole fitness tracking experience a lot easier.
Fitbit Inspire HR is able to connect to over 200 Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices, meaning that it will almost certainly connect to your phone as well. You have the option of connecting the Inspire HR with your other devices via Bluetooth 4.0 radio transceiver. Additionally, this tracker will show you calls, texts, emails, and other app alerts, and you can customize in-app which notifications you receive on the tracker.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to connect your tracker to the smartphone in order to enable GPS tracking. As soon as the tracker is connected to your phone, it will vibrate and let you know you’re good to go.
The main app to use with the Inspire HR is the Fitbit mobile app that is available for iOS and Android alike. This app also allows you to log food and water intake, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of your overall fitness and health. You can choose to leave the tracker to sync to the app throughout the day, but if you opt to turn off the all-day sync, it’s still best to sync your data at least once a day. The Fitbit app offers a deeper insight into your sleep tracking, and it will recommend you to change your sleep schedule to get more sleep without affecting your daily schedule.
The Inspire HR itself won’t run any apps on the device, and it doesn’t have the option of playing music, which is a traditional smartwatch feature that people are expecting to see in fitness trackers more and more as time goes by.
Thanks to the curved build and small size of the Inspire HR, this fitness tracker is among the more comfortable ones to wear throughout the day and forget you’re even wearing it. This level of comfort is especially useful if you’re planning to wear the Fitbit to bed and track your sleeping patterns and resting heart rate.
The Fitbit Inspire HR features one of the brand’s narrowest and sleekest shapes, even though the face of the watch remains on the thicker side. However, this is one of the most stylish, attractive Fitbit activity trackers on the market, especially given the vast amount of band options to choose from that let you customize the look and feel of the watch. There are three default color choices to choose from: black, white and lilac, with the last one looking surprisingly elegant, seeing how it features a silicone band.
The Fitbit Inspire HR features a quality-build that is water-resistant
up to 5ATM, and it feels durable despite looking small and supple. You can expect it to last anywhere from a year and a half to two years, and even more if you treat it with care.
The Fitbit Inspire HR features plastic housing with an OLED touchscreen that is brighter than on some previous versions of the brand’s fitness tracker. The screen isn’t on the level of performance you’d expect from a mobile phone, and it is prone to flickering and lagging from time to time. There is one elongated button on the left of the screen, which is used to navigate the device, wake it up, as well as take you back to the home screen. The responsiveness of the touchscreen isn’t too bad and won’t hinder your general experience when using the tracker. The font sizes on the screen can’t be changed, except for the home screen watch, but the rest of the letters remain very small, which could be a nuisance to people who have impaired vision.
The wristband of the Fitbit Inspire HR is made out of silicon which is reminiscent of some other sports watches on the market, while the buckle is done in anodized aluminum for increased durability, as well as stylishness.
At 37mm in length and 16mm in width, the Fitbit Inspire HR is small, which comes as no surprise given that the Fitbit has decided to use the same body for this fitness tracker as the kid-friendly Ace 2, blending together adult-features with child-size for a seamless, unobtrusive fitness tracker. The small wristband measures 140-180 mm in circumference and is made to fit wrists between 5.5 - 7.1 inches, while the large wristband measures 180-220 mm and is made to fit wrists between 7.1 - 8.7 inches.
Ease of Use
The Inspire HR features a swipe-based menu system that will take you a few times to go through before you can memorize where the features such as Guided breathing or Exercises are, but the system is essentially easy to use. You can swipe up for your daily health and fitness information, and swipe down to access different apps like the alarm clock, timer, or settings.
Moving onto the more intuitive and practical part of the user interface, there is the handy feature that allows you to press your palm to the screen to turn it off, which can come very useful if you forgot to deactivate the device’s “auto-wake” mode. Also, the wristband will occasionally nudge and try to, let’s say, Inspire you to move with encouraging messages and countdown until your fitness goals for the day. You can customize the time of day when the Fitbit is allowed to nudge you (or turn it off completely), but even if you skip that part, the vibration is still mild enough not to be irritating.
The Fitbit Inspire HR makes good use of the rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, which gives it a great lifetime of 5 days with average use. This is mostly due to the fact that the screen is small, and black and white also, which doesn’t leave much room for the device to spend a lot of battery, especially if you turn off or limit the nudging and other vibrations. The recharge time lasts for up to two hours and it’s done via the USB magnetic stand. However, if you’re set on using all the options the Inspire HR has to give, including connected GPS, lots of notifications, nudging, 24-hour heart rate monitoring
and sleep tracking, expect your battery to last up to three days.
The price of the Inspire HR is indicative of the brand’s attempt to get every single last fitness enthusiast on-board when it comes to fitness tracking. For the price you’re paying, the Inspire HR is one of the best fitness trackers
on the market, given its price-to-quality ratio. That being said, there are cheaper options for you to choose from, with more or less the same capabilities, but without the strong and recognizable brand name.
The only accessories available for Fitbit Inspire HR are the creative and stylish straps that you can purchase from Fitbit
or different third-party options that are Fitbit-compatible. The replaceable silicone straps that come with the device are sleek-looking, but nor as elegant and modern as some of the accessories that are sold separately. It’s worth noting that the Fitbit Inspire clips that allowed you to wear the device attached to your belt or pocket aren’s compatible with the Fitbit Inspire HR.
● 15 different activities
● SmartTrack functionality
● No built-in GPS or altimeter
● Heart rate monitor
● Guided breathing mode
● Sleep tracking functionality
● Bluetooth 4.0 radio transceiver
● Compatible with over 200 Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices
● OLED touchscreen
● Comfortable, lightweight, small size
● Rechargeable lithium-polymer battery provides 3-5 days of performance
● Replaceable straps
● Fantastic responsiveness
The Fitbit Inspire line is aimed at people who want to start using their new fitness tracker and learn the simple, yet useful interface on the go. The Inspire HR reaps all the good things that the previous generations of Fitbits had while keeping things straight and simple and, most importantly, fairly affordable. While the Fitbit Inspire HR isn’t made to revolutionize the wristband industry, there are some basic smartwatch
functionalities that this fitness tracker lacks – functionalities that will probably become a fitness tracker standard in two years’ time.