The Fitbit Inspire HR Tracker is one of the company’s flagship models when it comes to wearables. It is an improved and slightly more expensive version of the Fitbit Charge HR and the Fitbit Flex. Its main selling point is the bigger display and slightly improved tracking features over the rest of the models in Fitbit’s line-up. The HR version of the Inspire series is also set apart by its 24/7 heart rate tracking and real-time showing of your heart rate zones.
My verdict: If you are looking for a very well-rounded fitness tracker that will monitor your heart rate on a daily basis, keep track of your sleep stages, and have a ton of additional functionality within its app, then the Inspire HR is definitely something you should consider. It is priced perfectly and is a bargain considering its features, although there are a few downsides such as the common battery life issues and failing to properly pair with certain smartphones.
If you want to find out more about fitness trackers in general and see which are the best waterproof models for this year, head over to my full Buyer’s guide on the topic, where I’ve gone through everything you need to know before buying your first wearable tracker. Now, let’s go through this model’s most important features and see why it is so well-received in the fitness community…
Overview & Features
What stands out the most about this tracker for me is the fact that it is so well-balanced when it comes to its price. It packs all the essential features as well as some advanced training programs and improved tracking capabilities. Still, it is one of the budget options out there and for that reason alone I rank it among my favorites.
Right off the bat, if you don’t want to spend the extra money for the HR and have a few extra features, I really recommend getting the base Inspire model which is cheaper and has the same design and basic functionality.
Let’s begin with its tracking features…
The tracking capabilities of the Fitbit Inspire series is by far its best feature. The standard version comes with basic activity and sleep tracking, while the HR version has 24/7 heart rate tracking and can give you real-time information on your heart rate zones.
The basic tracking consists of steps taken, distance travelled, active minutes, and calories burned throughout your day. The SmartTrack technology allows the Inspire HR to immediately recognize that you are starting to work out whenever it is just a simple walk or a bike ride. Once it starts recording it will give your the live data on the screen and if you’ve paired it to your phone it will record and store the information on the Fitbit app.
The HR version also gives you real-time distance and pace information when you’ve paired it with your phone. It uses the phone GPS signal, as it doesn’t have a built-in GPS system.
There are more than 15 exercise models from which you can choose at the start of your workout. Some of those are bike riding, yoga, running, walking, interval training, etc. You can set calorie-burning, distance, or time targets which the tracker will let you know once you’ve reached.
There are a few things that I want to discuss about the heart rate sensor here. First of all, it is easily one of the best for a sub-100$ tracker. It doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the premium smartwatches but it does an otherwise good job at constantly keep an eye on your heart rate.
It has a 24/7 tracking function, meaning you have access to constant live data for your HR and can see the live heart rate zones, as well as sleep stages. It can recognize your fat-burning, cardio, or peak-intensity heart rate stages by taking into account your personal information that you’ve put into the app.
The sensor also gives you information on your average resting heart rate, once it has tracked it over the necessary amount of days.
One rather unique feature here is the fact that you can gauge your cardio fitness level by using the Fitbit app. It will provide you with a summary of how fit your cardiovascular system is and give you tips for further improvement.
The sleep tracking option is available on both the Inspire and the Inspire HR and does an okay job at detecting your body’s movements while you go through the various stages of your sleep.
The tracker also includes a silent alarm that will wake you up when you are in your lightest stage and will prevent you from feeling tired for the rest of the day. Inside the app, there are bedtime reminders and other helpful tips to help you improve your sleep quality.
The basic Inspire tracker, however, doesn’t provide you with detailed information on your stages inside the app. Only the HR version shows you how much REM, deep, or light sleep you’ve gotten through the night. It will also give you points of improvement on which you can work.
Design and build quality
The design here is pretty common to what we’re already used to in this market saturated with similarly looking trackers. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? The wristband is really comfortable. It is made of silicone and is also quite durable. The sensors give a little bulk to the body of the tracker but it isn’t too bulky like some other watches out there.
There is a multitude of accessories to change the appearance of the Inspire HR, though. You can choose between premium hand-crafted Horween leather, stainless steel, the classic bands, or two print ones (deco print and bloom print). There is also a clip-styled case which you can attach to your clothes if you don’t want it to stay on your wrist all day.
The racker itself comes in four main color schemes – all-black, black and white, red, and lilac.
The construction is water-resistant up to 50 meters so it is perfectly fine to take the Inspire swimming or running in the rain.
The build quality is actually what sets this tracker apart from its competition. Everything you touch feels nice and solid and the strap buckle is really well-designed and comfortable. The single button on the left side is tactile and clicky and can be felt even if you’re wearing gloves.
This Fitbit tracker has an OLED display with touchscreen capabilities. It has a dashboard laid out on it by default which gives you all the general information about your activity.
The display responds well even in wet or moist conditions but can feel too small for some people. Still, it is far easier to use as a standalone wearable compared to other Fitbit models that don’t have any display at all.
Software & App
The app for all Fitbit devices is amazing, I won’t hold back from that. It gives you so much information and in such a well-condensed manner, that it really makes tracking your activity a breeze. It also constantly gives you tips on how to improve various aspects of your daily routines and workouts and has a ton of other quirks and features. It can be used across all Fitbit devices and pairs really fast.
The battery is maybe the biggest disadvantage of this model. It really came as a shock to me when I found out that such a well-rounded tracker had so many complaints about this singular feature.
It has a li-polymer battery on the inside which takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge. The battery is claimed to last 5 days on a single charge but most users get a maximum of just a few days even when using it lightly. If you constantly use the pairing and GPS functions, you will drain it much faster.
Some of the more interesting additional features to this tracker are:
- Female health tracking
- Clock faces
- Move reminder
- Food logging
- Guided breathing sessions
These are all great and quite unique to the Fitbit brand. Most of them are App-specific and are present across other Fitbit devices as well.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Excellent price-to-value ratio
- Fits well on most wrists
- Very accurate heart-rate sensor
- Good amount of tracking functionality
- Display is easily visible and responsive
- Water-resistant up to 50 meters
- Comes with sleep tracking capabilities
- Battery life can use an improvement
- Doesn’t pair well with Huawei phones
- To use the GPS tracking you have to pair the Inspire HR to your phone
If you want to learn how to get the most out of your fitness tracker, click here to go to my detailed article on the topic!
Conclusion and Rating
As a conclusion, I should say that the Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate & Fitness Tracker really struck me as one of the most well-rounded models on the market. It is priced perfectly and has a ton of functionality. For people that are searching for an accurate heart rate tracker for a bargain price, this is one of the best solutions currently. It doesn’t have the best battery life but everything else more than makes up for that.