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Hands-on review: Fitbit Inspire HR - A beginner's gateway into fitness trackers

By Lama Farhat
Mon 15 Apr 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

For a beginner in the world of fitness trackers, the Fitbit Inspire HR is a great place to start. The tracker is priced at $189.95 and comes in black, lilac and white and black. Fitbit launched this model on March 15 alongside the Versa Lite. 

Design: 

The Inspire HR doesn’t look or feel like a new Fitbit. It looks really similar to the Alta HR Fitbit that is now considered to be its predecessor. The Inspire HR model has a slim, lightweight vertical display. It feels natural around the wrist and is easy to wear - it is no more noticeable than a wristband. 

The Inspire’s bands can be easily removed and swapped out with different designs. The Fitbit site has a range of regular bands for everyday use, leather and double leather wraps as well as stainless steel mesh bands and print bands. 

The Tracker has one physical button located on the left side that basically turns the display off and on and acts as a “return” or “exit” button if you are deep inside the menu. The button also functions as a “pause” and “end” button in the middle of exercises. This feature is useful considering the screen is very small. 

A long press on the side button also takes you to a screen that shows you the battery percentage as well as allows you to turn “screen wake” and “notifications” on and off. I find this useful at night before I go to bed as it is a quick easy way to check on the battery and turn everything off for the night in one single click. 

Tracking: 

Fitness tracking is the selling point of which Fitbit as a company stands on. So as expected of it, the Inspire HR can be used to track many health aspects. It can accurately track the daily step count which is a great feature for anyone who needs a reminder to hit their daily steps goal. It is funny how having a small screen on your wrist can make you walk 250+ steps around the office every hour. 

The tracker also has continuous heart rate tracking which means you can check your heart rate at any time. Once synced with the app, you can check on your heart health with the different reports the app provides. 

The tracker also recognises and records various exercises like walking, running, biking, swimming, etc… All of these exercises can also be accessed by swiping down on the watch. Unfortunately, the Inspire HR doesn’t have a built-in GPS, however, once connected to your smartphone the app will pull that data from your phone. 

The Inspire HR has one of Fitbit's winning features: sleep tracking. There is something satisfying about waking up every morning and checking how well you slept. The tracker uses both the accelerometer and the heart rate monitor to gather data and analyse the quality of sleep. The application shows a breakdown of all the sleep stages: light, deep, RRM and awake. It then shows all of this data in a well-presented graph that clearly shows the time spent in each stage daily as well as the monthly average. The app also gives you suggestions about how you can improve your sleep. 

Battery: 

The Fitbit site claims that the Inspire’s battery is meant to last five days on a single charge. However, I found it hard to get more than three days out of the device even when the Bluetooth and notifications are off. 

Like all other Fitbits, the inspire comes with a proprietary charger that magnetically attaches to the back. The charger for the Inspire HR is different than the docks that come with the Charge 3, the Versa and Versa lite. 

For regular people who only have one tracker, therefore, one charger and not a full box under the bed that would not be an issue. The charger cable is short but it’s not a huge issue.

The verdict: 

The Inspire HR is a great product for anyone who is a beginner and wants to be introduced into the fitness tracking world. It has everything you need to track your health and to help get motivated to take better care of yourself. It offers great value for the price and it looks really good as well. 

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