When it comes to fitness wearables, Fitbit fitness trackers are arguably the best in the market right now, not just in terms of features and precision but also in terms of design and battery life. But they are also a tad bit costly and hence meant only for those who take keen interest in keeping a track of their fitness. At Rs 13,990, the Fitbit Charge 3 that was launched in January this year was the company’s cheapest fitness tracker, until the company launched the Fitbit Inspire HR in India.
The Fitbit Inspire HR was launched alongside its younger sibling – the Fitbit Inspire that costs just Rs 6,999 — last month at a modest price of Rs 8,999. Together, the two devices are designed to cater to the users who are new to the entire fitness tracking universe and hence don’t want to spend much on a fitness wearable. Additionally, the two devices are also aimed at those who don’t want to replace their expensive analog watches with digital watches and are looking for a relatively low-cost device that helps them keep a track of their fitness levels. The Fitbit Inspire HR, which is the star of today’s review, fills this void well.
The newly launched Fitbit Inspire HR comes with some of the best features such as 24/7 heart rate tracking, goal-based exercise modes, relax guided breathing, goal celebrations and a swim-proof design that Fitbit has to offer.
When it comes to performance, it performs spectacularly well in all those aspects and it leaves no room for question or concern at all. And with a battery that lasts for almost a week, there is little left to complain about. But there are bits and pieces here and there that can be concerning to some.
Comfortable, light and bright
Fitness wearables, whether you are a fitness enthusiast who has recently gotten cautious about his health or a gym freak or an athlete, are meant to be worn not as an accessory but as an extension to one’s body part. They track our vitals and inform us if we need to turn the things a notch up in order to live a healthier lifestyle. And so it is imperative that they not just come with a battery that needs to be charged less often but also possess a comfort level that would make it easy for the users to sleep in them – quite literally. The Fitbit Inspire HR fits this bill perfectly.
Inspire HR is slim and uniformly built, somewhat similar to the Fitbit Alta but with softer edges. It sports a backlit OLED display that attaches itself to a soft silicone band, which makes it both pleasing to the eyes and comfortable to wear at all times.
Now, the Fitbit Inspire HR, like all other fitness trackers available in the market right now, is meant to be worn at all times. Its sleep-tracking feature and swim-proof design make it particularly suitable for long-term. Point being, you can wear it outside, you can wear it when you are asleep and you can wear it when you are in shower – like your second skin – without any apprehensions. And while this is true, even Fitbit advises you to take it off time to time, to let some air in.
As far as the display is concerned, the Fitbit Inspire HR comes with a slim OLED display that can be customised to show information that includes the time, the heart rate, step count, distance travelled, calories burnt and date on screen. The clock faces that can be changed from within the Fitbit app, allows users to display their preferred information on screen in their desired style with ease. Tap once to activate the screen and tap twice to turn the screen off. You can also turn the screen off using the side button, which also serves as the one stop destination to check the battery and turn the screen wake and notifications on or off.
You can wear it when you are asleep and you can wear it when you are in shower like your second skin without any apprehensions.
The display overall works splendidly. Admittedly, absence of colours does make it a bit boring. But it does display information, even in the bright sunlight, without straining the eyes. What helps is the touchscreen that works without a hitch. Pull it down to access features such as exercise modes, alarms, timers and relaxation exercises among others and pull it up to see your latest set of stats.
Serving with a smile
Inspire HR offers the best of what Fitbit has to offer at a comparatively low cost. But there are bits and pieces here and there that need attention. But first, the good parts. The Fitbit Inspire HR can do almost everything that the Fitbit Charge 3 can. It can automatically detect which exercise – including swimming, weight-lifting and running on a treadmill — you are on to, which means that you don’t have select the kind of workout you are busy with as the tracker would automatically detect it using its sensors. It can help you relax using its guided breathing sessions. You can track your sleeping patterns and you can even use it to set alarms and timers natively on the watch, all of which work accurately without a hitch.
You can also get notifications – both messages and calls – on the tiny display of Inspire HR. However, you cannot respond to any of those messages or answer a call on the fitness tracker. And it doesn’t help that you cannot see the message notifications again once you have dismissed it. It’s quite similar to the old adage – out of sight and out of mind.
To add on to it, it doesn’t feature native support for GPS, which means you will have to keep your phone nearby if you want it to track some of the more nuanced features that require calculations pertaining to distance. Admittedly, not being able to get rid of your smartphone evening run is somewhat annoying, however, the shear precision of the device makes up for it. It also matters that the Inspire HR is priced under Rs 10,000.
Additionally, Inspire HR also pushes you towards your daily goal and nudges you to walk a few steps every time it senses that you have been stationary for long. Completing the daily goal or superseding it definitely feels rewarding.
It took less than a minute for Inspire HR to turn on automatically and charge 3 per cent and approximately two hours to juice up completely.
Apart from this, Inspire HR comes short of a feature that we saw in Charge 3 – Fitbit Pay. It also cannot count the floors that you have climbed, but perhaps that is because floor count is not for amateurs but for serious health freaks.
Long lasting battery life
A fitness tracker without a decent battery life is like a car with an exceptionally small fuel tank that needs to re-filled every other day. In order to sustain a long drive you need a fuel tank that can hold a substantial amount of fuel in it. You also need a powerful engine that can utilize that fuel efficiently. It is the same in case of the battery life in fitness wearables. They need to last long enough for a person to be able to use them 24×7. The Fitbit Inspire HR does this and much more with ease.
Fitbit claims that under optimum usage conditions, the newly launched Inspire HR can provide up to 5 days of battery life. And true to its words, Inspire HR can last five whole days after which it demands a re-fill. In my 10-12 days of usage, I charged Inspire HR twice and each time when the battery dipped to 15 per cent Fitbit sent me an email-notification requesting me to charge the fitness tracker.
Another thing I liked about Inspire HR is its charge time. During my time with the fitness tracker I let the battery drain out completely to see how long it took to get the device up and running on 100 per cent power. And to my surprise, it took less than a minute for Inspire HR to turn on automatically and charge 3 per cent and approximately two hours to juice up completely.
One thing that I didn’t like about the entire charging setup is the charger itself. Fitbit ships a proprietary charger along with all its wearables and Inspire HR is no exception to that rule. The problem, however, lies in the length of the charging cable, which in case of Inspire HR is pretty short I mean really short. This makes charging it a bit difficult as you need to find the right spot in your house to place, which in my experience is not easy to come by.
Should you buy the Fitbit Inspire HR?
Yes. The Fitbit Inspire HR as I mentioned before offers the best of Fitbit at a marginally low cost. It has some great fitness tracking features and a long battery life that takes no time to juice up. It also has a swim-proof design and the sleep tracking functionality that add on to its overall allure.
Sure it has a couple of areas where it could perform better but at a price of Rs 8,999 and a list of features to its credit, the Fitbit Inspire HR is one of the best that there is in the market right now.
Fitbit Inspire HR review
- Long lasting battery
- Comfortable design
- Swim-proof design
- No Fitbit pay
- Boring Display