Fitbit Inspire HR Review: Just the Basics

You must give Fitbit some credit score. The maker of health trackers manages to frequently repackage its know-how right into a barely differentiated model of the identical wristband or smartwatch, slap a brand new title on it, and ship one thing that’s made for the lots.

That’s true for the Inspire HR, the Fitbit I’ve been carrying for just below per week now. It’s additionally true for the Versa Lite smartwatch, which my Wired colleague Adrienne So has been testing, and it’s possible true for all the Fitbits to return, at the very least within the yr 2019.

The Inspire HR doesn’t really feel dramatically completely different from another Fitbit wristband I’ve worn up to now couple of years. Most individuals wouldn’t even assume the Inspire HR is a “new” Fitbit; it seems to be that much like the Alta HR, its predecessor. If something, the Inspire HR’s small, vertical show makes an amazing case for why you must critically think about a smartwatch as a substitute of a wristband.

That doesn’t imply the Inspire HR is a unhealthy product. If something, it nonetheless has loads of enchantment for individuals who simply need a easy activity-tracking wristband, with coronary heart charge, and with out destroying financial institution accounts.

The Inspire HR prices $100, considerably lower than the worth tag on the $160 Versa Lite smartwatch, the $200 Versa, and the $230 Versa particular version. If you wish to go even cheaper, you should buy the brand new Fitbit Inspire for $70. The Inspire doesn’t have coronary heart charge sensors, and because it’s successfully changing all the essential, non-smartwatch Fitbits earlier than it, it’s the least costly product in the entire Fitbit lineup. The Inspire additionally morphs right into a clip-on tracker, so you may put on it in your wrist or hooked up to a bit of clothes.

Watch Your Steps

The Inspire HR is fabricated from a plastic module and a versatile, silicone band that may be swapped out for different types, like a metallic mesh band. The plastic module has the identical, light slope of the outdated Fitbit Alta HR. The Inspire HR matches comfortable in opposition to my wrist, and doesn’t have any huge lugs that make it ill-fitting or ugly.

One of the most important updates on this Fitbit is that it now has a correct touchscreen. You can swipe your method by way of menu objects, as a substitute of getting to faucet on the display such as you did with the Alta HR. You may press your palm to the display to make it go darkish, a useful gesture for these mornings while you forgot to deactivate the Fitbit’s “auto-wake” mode earlier than mattress and its show lights up with each toss and switch. A single button on the Inspire HR serves as each a wake and a again button.

As with any Fitbit, you may obsessively observe your each day step rely proper out of your wrist. And, because it has steady coronary heart charge monitoring, you may examine your coronary heart charge any time too. The Inspire HR additionally data greater than 15 completely different outlined workout routines, together with strolling, working (treadmill or open air), biking, swimming, mountain climbing, weight lifting, interval coaching, golf, and tennis.

It will auto-record most of those should you overlook to place the wristband into train mode. But you may as well retailer as much as six shortcuts throughout the train class on the band itself. Swipe down from the house display, faucet the train tile you need, and hit go. The Inspire HR doesn’t have built-in GPS for monitoring distance, however it would pull that knowledge out of your smartphone when you have your smartphone with you, because it did this weekend after I hiked and ran open air.

Just the Basics

The Inspire HR was snug to put on to mattress, which is a crucial design issue should you plan on utilizing this to trace your sleep. As with all client exercise trackers, it’s exhausting to totally belief the sleep knowledge. But Fitbit has put a variety of sources into its sleep monitoring tech, and has created an app dashboard for sleep that’s simple to parse and likewise insightful. The morning after I consumed a particularly average quantity of alcohol final week, Fitbit’s appropriate cell app confirmed me an “insight” about alcohol consumption. I’m guessing it sample matched with a higher-than-usual resting coronary heart charge.

Other than that, Fitbit tries each which strategy to remind you that it’s there. Really, it’s attempting to be helpful and inspiring. You’ve been sitting for awhile? The wristband will vibrate and nudge you to maneuver. Another 157 steps to go earlier than hitting your purpose? Move! Completed a brisk, 10-minute stroll to the practice station? Way to go! Your associates who seemingly have extra free time than you do are lighting up your group textual content message thread? Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz, in your wrist.

Again, this isn’t new for Fitbit. Neither is the Inspire HR’s four-to-five day battery life declare. I began carrying the Inspire HR final Wednesday, by no means took it off, labored out with it just a few occasions, and it wasn’t depleted till Sunday morning. Fitbit’s cell app remains to be as accessible because it at all times was, working on each iOS and Android. It nonetheless provides meals and water consumption monitoring, and it now has a piece during which girls can log their intervals, too.

But maybe as a result of smartwatches are getting extra mainstream—Fitbit itself will get partial credit score for that—the Inspire HR’s limitations at the moment are that rather more apparent. It reveals snippets of your textual content messages on its show, however the textual content is impossibly tiny and messages are minimize off. (The show seems to be a lot larger at first look of the plastic module, however there are giant bezels round it should you look intently.) While the Inspire HR has quite a lot of “watch” faces you may select from, it doesn’t run apps, together with Fitbit’s personal personalised teaching app. It doesn’t help onboard music or podcast storage, which is a kind of options individuals are discovering increasingly more helpful on smartwatches.

The Fitbit Inspire HR is a wristband, and it’s a great wristband, however it’s additionally launching at a time when activity-tracking wristbands within the US are shedding floor to extra succesful, technologically-advanced smartwatches. While carrying the Inspire HR, I saved wishing it did just a bit bit extra. If I used to be going to surrender the actual property of my wrist once more, I anticipated extra in return.

Other individuals could gravitate in the direction of one thing just like the Inspire HR for that precise motive: It’s the simplicity they discover inspiring. And for that, it’s high-quality.

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