Fitbit Inspire HR is the brand’s latest offering which packs in a lot of features one can expect from a fitness tracker. Right from the display to Heart Rate sensor to sleep tracking, and one which can be used while swimming. But then, it doesn’t end here. The product has storytelling of its own, and one can know if they had been using Fitbit products.
I started with Fitbit Flex, and moved to Surge, Blaze, Ionic, and have used products like Charge in between. There has been a lot of design changes since then, right from led lights to black and white to the color displays. The Fitbit bands have evolved from being a silicon carry bag to replaceable bands. Let’s go ahead with the Fitbit Inspire HR review.
Design, Build and Display
One of the best things about Inspire is its design and build. Not that it looks futuristic, but it is lightweight, and the width is just right. Anything smaller might have seemed out of place. The curved display sits well on the wrist, while the bands are replaceable. The rear houses the always-on HR sensor, and the battery which is not very thick.
Quality of the bands look good, and it feels great to wear as it is soft on the skin. I have used it for almost two months now, and I can tell sweat is not a problem during a workout or normally.
Coming to the display, it offers a backlit display, auto wakeup, and an on-screen dashboard to monitor your daily activity. The screen works well inside, but it’s not that great when you are in broad daylight. Apart from this issue, there is no problem with touch, and the dashboard offers a lot of things which are usually provided in a premium product.
Fitness tracking is a charm on the Inspire. Raise your wrist to activate the display, and then tap to cycle to view step count, active minutes, HR, and so on. It’s similar to the UI on the Charge 3. Swipe up to see all the vital stats, including steps, sleep, calories burnt, etc. Swipe down to access Exercise mode, timer, alarms, and settings.
The settings section allows one to turn off HR, Phone GPS, precise data, and view device info. Long press the button on the left to view battery status, toggle screen wake, and notifications.
Exercise mode offers to select and start one of the workouts. Tap, and start is as simple as it gets. When you choose a workout mode, you can swipe up to configure the goal in terms of time, distance, or calories. You can add or remove exercise modes from the Fitbit app.
Customizing Inspire HR
When I said it has its own story to tell, I wasn’t putting it to sound good. Through the generation of devices and software improvement, Fitbit is now offering software customization even on their budget trackers with a display.
You can change watch faces to start with. You can switch to Stats Heavy, Retro digital, Shifted and there are seven more to choose from.
Fitbit also offers to install apps, but right now, there are none apart from the system apps. In the future, we should see more apps just like how its there for Versa and Ionic. If you want to customize the fitness tracker further, the bands can be replaced. You can choose leather, stainless steel, classic or even a clip if that works for you.
Step Tracking and Exercises
It came close to what I had seen with other Fitbit fitness tracking. I had used it in the Gym, during my regular walks, and other activities. It uses on-Phone GPS, so make sure to keep your phone around, especially when walking or running. The step counts, and HR tracking is at par with my stats.
In case you miss enabling the exercise mode, it can automatically track them for you just like how Sleep tracking works in the background.
Notifications are probably the most annoying part of Fitbit Inspire HR. It works fine and gives you prompt notifications for apps, emails, SMS, and calls. However, there is no way to access the notifications back. Once the notification screen disappears, there is no way to recheck them.
I workout for 1 hour every day where I track walking, running on a treadmill, and usually exercises. All of them are tracked. Apart from that, I chose selected apps for notifications. Keeping this in mind, it lasts for 5-6 days on an average, which is excellent.
Charging takes 1 to 1.5 hours. Fitbit offers a custom magnetic charger packed in the box. You can use any standard charger head to charge it. I would suggest using a lightweight charger which charges it slowly.
Value for Money
Fitbit Inspire HR is selling for approximately Rs 7,999 in India ($145 in the US). It’s not cheap, especially keeping in mind the competition. However keeping mind all aspects including HR mode, exercise modes including swimming, watch face customizable bands, community support and so on, it is probably the best budget Fitbit Fitness tracker I have used till now which can appeal to many.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Great battery life
- Waterproof & HR tracking
- The display isn't great in broad daylight
- Notifications are messed up