REVIEW | Fitbit Inspire HR


Tracking your activity has become a default for those that want to get fitter or healthier or both. Fitbit has been at the forefront of wearable trackers for many years and their latest the Fitbit Inspire HR combines all the best of Fitbit technology in a slim light and unobtrusive package.

Fitbit is not pushing the technology or art of fitness trackers much forward with their new Inspire range. Mostly they have packaged all the technology from their older generation fitness trackers into a slick well priced and well-made product. Fitbit has stuck to the basics of fitness tracking, and this is a good thing, making the Inspire HR one of the most comprehensive and comfortable to wear fitness trackers currently available.

The hardware

The Fitbit Inspire HR is a lightweight small all plastic tracker with removable and replaceable bands. The front is dominated by an OLED screen, which is a big step up on the Fitbit Alta. It is also a touch screen, so interaction is much more intuitive than the previous generations where interaction depended on tapping and button pushing.

The screen is Black and white and is visible in most lighting conditions especially outdoors. You swipe up and down to move through the various displays and exercise modes. The single side button allows you to exit activities and turn notifications on and off.

The bands that come in the box are good quality silicone and feel softer and smoother than previous models. The Fitbit Inspire HR slimness helps to make this one of the most comfortable to wear Fitbit I have used.

The curve of the body, as well as its lightweight construction, also make the Fitbit Inspire HR easy to wear and forget. As sleep tracking is an essential feature, the comfort when wearing the Inspire HR is important.

The Fitbit Inspire HR offers a solid 4 to 5 days of battery life and charges quickly with the magnetically attached charging cable. The only comment here is that the cable itself is very short and often the Inspire HR popped off the charger when the cable was curled.

There is no built-in GPS so keen runners will need to link this device with their phones for outdoor runs and keep the Inspire HR synced.

The Fitbit Inspire HR is waterproof and can be used to track swimming and other water sports. Wearing it in the shower or bath is also not an issue

The software

The Fitbit Inspire HR has all the functionality, from a fitness tracking point of view of the more expensive Fitbit Versa smartwatches. I found the gentle buzz reminding you to move hourly is really motivating. These notifications can be turned off should you wish.

All the other metrics from sleep, steps, and heart rate, are well managed together with the companion IOS and Android app. Notifications from your smartphone are available once the Inspire HR is paired with your smartphone, though unlike its more expensive siblings such as the Fitbit Versa, you can’t respond from the device itself. This only works in any event with Android, so many Apple users will not find this to be a drawback at all.

The companion app is easy to understand and use, it is customizable in terms of what info you want to show in the main screen. The food tracking app is excellent. There is a comprehensive and locally relevant food database, and the ability to link your activity to your calorie goals on usage daily is one of the best I have tried.

Many stand-alone calorie tracker apps do a similar job, but the link to activity and the slick interface of the Fitbit app make it one of the best.

The Fitbit Inspire HR tracks around 15 different indoor activities, many automatically, though I found this a little hit and miss. Activities include running, elliptical, swimming and even doing weights. The breathing app is also useful and can guide you through a short 5-minute session, which can bring a little calm to a crazy schedule.

The automatic sleep tracking was handy and via the app shows the various sleep stages and offers insights into what these mean and how to improve your sleep. Fitbit is continuously enhancing this aspect of their app. The Fitbit Inspire HR is barely noticeable when wearing it to bed due to its light weight and size.


Fitbit has created a robust fitness tracker with the Inspire HR. No ground has been broken, but the Fitbit Inspire HR is a clever combination of all the necessary fitness tracking metrics and sensors along with a lightweight construction that make this the easiest Fitbit to wear.

In my time testing the Fitbit Inspire HR, I found it comfortable to wear and forget and combined with up to 5-day battery life and great sleep tracking it comes close to the perfect activity tracker.

If the price size and or functionality of other fitness trackers or smartwatches have been a barrier to tracking your activity, then the Fitbit Inspire HR may be the perfect combination of price, functionality and size. Sometimes sticking to the basics may be an ideal choice.

Available from Fitbit stockists countrywide for R1,999.00

Steven Ambrose | Techhuman | @ambio | mail me |

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