If you’re planning on going down the fitness path, a good place to start would be to invest in a fitness tracker. These basic wearables give you just the right amount of data to help you get started on the journey to fitness. But these days, the sheer amount of trackers available in India has everyone spoilt for choice. A basic wearable can be bought for a few thousand bucks, and in this crowded segment, Fitbit launched two new trackers – Inspire and Inspire HR. Having spent the last few weeks with it, here’s my Fitbit Inspire HR review.

Fitbit Inspire HR Design and display

At first glance, the Fitbit Inspire HR looks like any other fitness tracker. The overall design of such trackers hasn’t evolved much, and there’s a good reason for that. Having said that, the Inspire HR does feel well built, and the materials used, feel better than most affordable trackers.

The overall size and form factor is another plus, especially for someone with smaller wrists. While the Inspire HR looked a tad small on me, it fit perfectly on my wife’s wrists. This is a big plus in my books, since I’ve had a hard time finding a tracker for her that doesn’t look gigantic.

The wearable is also comfortable to wear for long periods at a stretch without feeling any manner of fatigue. The overall design is quite sober, which is another plus, since it goes effortlessly with most attire. While you get a basic plastic strap out-of-the-box, you can customize your tracker by buying a separate band. Fitbit offers different colors as well as metallic bands that can be effortlessly attached to the module.

The Inspire HR features an OLED touchscreen, which is among its highlights. Though the display itself is a bit small, it is quite bright and legible even under direct sunlight. You can tap or swipe up/down to cycle through different settings and fitness metrics. There’s also a physical button on the side, which you can press to go back or press and hold to access quick settings.

Fitness Tracking and more

Moving on to what’s considered bread and butter for the Inspire HR – fitness tracking. This is one aspect where I believe Fitbit’s wearable trumps, other affordable trackers. A couple of times during the Fitbit Inspire HR review, I tested its data with the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 I borrowed from my dad. As expected, the readings do differ a bit. Fitbit’s readings were about 3-5 percent off from being 100 percent accurate. But the discrepancy is still less than the Mi Band.

The Inspire HR, as the name suggests, continuously monitors your heart-rate. It tells you both, your current heart-rate and your resting heart-rate. Both these readings are quite accurate and are on the mark when compared to an Apple Watch.

Besides logging in your number of steps, the Fitbit can also track up to 15 different indoor and outdoor exercises. These include running, elliptical, swimming, pilates, weightlifting and more. To start tracking a workout, simply swipe up, select exercise, and then tap on the precise workout. The Inspire HR is not only waterproof, but it can also track swimming workouts.

One glaring omission, however, is a built-in GPS. In other words, it relies on your synced smartphone to track outdoor running or cycling. It may not sound like much, but GPS does help track more accurately. It is also worth noting that products such as the Amazfit Bip are available at a lower price in India, and come with GPS.

Another important feature on the Inspire HR is the slight nudge to move on the hour mark. If you’ve been less active, the wearable will give a slight nudge to remind you to get out of your seat and move about a bit. This is quite an important feature when you consider how our lifestyle has become dangerously sedentary. Lastly, the Fitbit tracker also comes with period tracking for women.

Fitbit App and battery life

There’s a companion Fitbit app on iOS and Android platforms. It is among the best designed and detailed fitness apps around. You get easy access to your data on one screen. You can also log in your food and water intake via the app. The app also lets you customize the layout, so you can choose what data is more easily visible than others. The app lets you choose which of your smartphone apps send notifications to the tracker. If you hate constant buzzing, it would be advisable to only opt for notifications from the most important apps.

Battery life on Fitbit products are good, and Inspire HR is no different. During the weeks where I hit the gym every day, the tracker’s battery lasted three full days. During less active weeks, I could get by nearly five days without having to charge. My only grouch was with the proprietary charger cable that is bundled in the box. It is way too short, and you sometimes are worried for the tracker dangling from the wall socket.

Fitbit Inspire HR Review: Should you buy it?

As mentioned, there are way too many fitness trackers available today in India. Most of these won’t even burn a hole in your pockets. Then there’s also a case of affordable smartwatches entering the market that offer much more.

In such a scenario, a Rs 8,999 Fitbit Inspire HR seems a tad too expensive in comparison. But for that price what you’re getting is a really well-built wearable that is feature-rich, and capable of accurately tracking your fitness activities.