Fitbit Inspire HR (quick) review

I am persevering with Fitbit despite the many problems I, and others, have experienced with the recent trackers and smartwatches from the company. Up until the Fitbit Charge 3 everything was OK with fairly accurate step tracking and flights recorded as they should be.

And then the newer devices appeared and things started to go wrong. Some people experience steps and flights recorded while driving to the point that the flight tracking has become meaningless. There are multiple threads on this at the Fitbit Community and despite the occasional interaction from moderators telling people to reset their device to return it, the problems carry on.

These little tips continue, but by and large the threads are ignored by the company despite multiple examples of real-world evidence confirming the problems. Obviously this should put anyone off buying another Fitbit, but for me there is a problem and it is the software.

I don’t wear an Apple Watch, or any smartwatch, because I love me real watch. I won’t use Garmin because the related phone app is garbage and it is a hassle to enter calories consumed. So I am left with Fitbit because it covers everything and I have the Aria scales which also connect to the same app; everything in one place makes for an efficient and usable experience.

Also, I can go by trends and (to a point) trust that a device saying I got 10,000 steps yesterday should be able to be relatively accurate, or inaccurate, to the same level consistently.

So, I decided to give the Inspire HR a try. It is cheap at £89, non-HR version is £20 less, but offers almost all of the same functionality as the Charge 3.

It sits somewhere in between the Charge 3 and Alta in terms of width, but offers a very strange design which shouldn’t work the way it does. The Alta HR is not as wide yet manages to sit higher on the wrist because it is longer and for such a small tracker does not use its size well at all. The Inspire, however, wraps around the wrist thanks to the strap design and the way it attaches to the device itself. There is no extra width at all and this makes for a surprisingly pleasing effect when on the wrist.

In terms of features you get all that you would expect; step tracking, sleep etc etc, but it is in the ease of use that it works so well. You can start an exercise on the Inspire without needing to touch your phone and there is a decent amount of information available on the tiny screen at any one time. It feels much more like the Charge 3 software-wise than it does the Alta which is an advantage.

Some aspects of the tracking are superb. I believe that Fitbit has nailed sleep tracking and calorie tracking is exceptionally easy in the phone app. If it included a UK food database for food barcode scanning that would tick the final box for me.

Battery life is slightly short at 5 days and this is noticeable if you are coming from something like the Alta which offers 7 days, but if you are coming from an Apple Watch you will notice it in a much more positive light.

Overall I have been impressed with the Inspire HR. It is a no nonsense tracker that never gets in the way, that offers a decent amount of information on screen at any time and just enough battery life to feel practical on every level. If I could trust the accuracy of the exercise and step tracking it would be close to perfect, but to be fair there doesn’t seem to be a tracker available today, including the Apple Watch, that tracks with what could be described as very good accuracy.

Is this the best value Fitbit tracker on the market today? Yes, it probably is.

Categories: Fitness, Fitness Trackers, Product Reviews

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