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Review: Fitbit Inspire HR fitness & activity tracker

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Erin L

Erin L

fitbit, inspire HR, heart rate, tracker, fitness, activity, review, how to

Being able to track your activity and be accountable for your progress can give you the nudge you need to get moving, and get healthy. For many years, Fitbit has been pretty much the best when it comes to fitness and activity trackers. I’ve reviewed many of them and compared them to other trackers and smart watches and they’re consistently the best. There’s a Fitbit for nearly every need and for any style you want to wear. One of  the newest is the simple, sleek Fitbit Inspire HR. I had a chance to wear one for a week and report back. Here’s what I found.

What is What is Fitbit Inspire HR?

Fitbit Inspire HR is Fitbit’s newest budget activity and sleep tracker that you wear on your wrist.  Unlike the regular Inspire, this one adds the ability to track and monitor your heart rate too.

While the regular Inspire sells for about $99 CAD  the HR version is about $129, but either way these are the least expensive Fitbits you can get.

The Fitbit Inspire HR tracker comes with a basic silicone band and a simplified monochromatic touchscreen display, but you can also customize the different bands to add just the colours and styles you want to match either your workout or your wardrobe.

In the box, your Fitbit Inspire HR includes:
The Tracker with small wristband (color and material vary)
Charging cable
Additional large wristband

Setting up Fitbit Inspire HR

Usually, set up will be a simple process. Before you do it, make sure your Fitbit app is up to date, or download it fresh from the Apple store or Google Play.

fitbit, inspire HR, heart rate, tracker, fitness, activity, review, how to

If you already have a Fitbit tracker installed on your account, that could complicate your set up. The last couple of times I’ve added a new tracker, the app won’t ‘see’ the new device- the old one stick in there. You may want to unlink or remove it from your account.

To begin setup, plug your tracker in. Go to Settings> Add Device> and then choose Inspire.

The app will search for the device, so keep it close. You may also need to install a firmware update. It took quite a while to set up the device and install the update when I did it, so be prepared.

When it’s all ready, the app will tell you and you’ll see the current time displayed. Strap it on and get moving!

You can turn on ‘move reminders’ that will nudge you if you’e been sitting too long, and you can also set silent alarms that will buzz you at certain times too. There’s so many ways to get you moving.

Using either the touchscreen to swipe through the screens on the device, or the app you can see your progress at any time.

fitbit, inspire HR, heart rate, tracker, fitness, activity, review, how to

What does Fitbit Inspire HR do?

Fitbit Inspire HR will:

Track Activity, Track Sleep, Help you set and meet goals and give you extra motivation.

This Fitbit will not track your floors climbed, but unlike the regular Inspire it WILL track your Sleep Stages (REM, deep, Lite) it will also track Swimming and other activities, as well as your heart rate. The HR version will also track your pace and distance through your phone, something the regular Inspire also can’t do.

It will give you call, text and calendar alerts direct to your wrist, but you can’t reply to them or respond; you’ll need to go to your phone for that. It also doesn’t support Fitbit Pay.

How to get alerts to Fitbit

fitbit, inspire HR, heart rate, tracker, fitness, activity, review, how toTo get alerts you’ll need to make sure your Bluetooth is on on your phone, and you’ll need to turn on ‘All Day Sync’ in settings.

When I was testing it out, I got call alerts okay, though they wouldn’t display automatically; you’d get a short buzz and then you’d need to touch to see what it said. Initially, I wasn’t able to get it to receive texts. I tried shutting the device off and toggling the settings in the app, but no go for the first few hours I was wearing it. Oddly later in the day, I just started getting my messages after all. So although there was some initial weirdness, everything seemed fine in the end.

How to calibrate Fitbit? How to adjust stride length?

One final tip; you can calibrate your Fitbit Inspire HR to count your exact steps, not a universal average as many other fitness trackers do.
To calibrate your steps and adjust stride length go to Settings> Advanced Settings> Stride Length. You can choose to have it configured automatically or to input your specific stride length. I’ve found doing this makes Fitbit wildly accurate.

You can also change the clock face in Settings as well, choosing simple displays and fonts or the option of showing more data.

What does the Fitbit app do?

fitbit, inspire HR, heart rate, tracker, fitness, activity, review, how toThe Fitbit app is your command centre for all your stats. You can check your steps, sleep, and exercise at a glance. You can also sync it to a Fitbit scale like the Aria 2 (**read the review of Fitbit Aria 2 here) and have it automatically track your weight.

The Fitbit app launched female health tracking also not too long ago. It can track your periods and fertile days as well as other things like mood and any symptoms. Once you start adding your cycle, the app can give you an idea when your period will fall in the future.

In the app you can also add goals like how much sleep you want to get, and choose if you want your Fitbit to remind you it’s getting close to bed time.

Battery Life: Fitbit Inspire HR

A fully-charged Fitbit Inspire HR has a battery life of up to about 5 days. The battery is definitely long lasting and doesn’t need as much attention as something like a smart watch, which is nice. It charges up by clipping into a small cradle and plugging into a USB port. Charging fully takes about 1-2 hours. While the tracker charges, you can press the button to check the battery level.

While the screen on the Inspire HR is small, it’s easy enough to read. Plus you can change the font size somewhat to make it easier if you need to.

Swiping through the screens you can see your steps, calories, active minutes,  and total kilometres.

So Who is Fitbit Inspire HR for?

Inspire HR’s price tag makes it an entry level tracker. Plus, it doesn’t boast the colour display of some more expensive models. This version is definitely for those looking for something unobtrusive and not obvious to wear so they can keep tabs on fitness and heart rate in particular.

How accurate is Fitbit Inspire HR?

You can easily test it by counting your steps in your head and comparing that against the readout. If it’s off at all, just adjust your stride length inside the Fitbit app.

As for sleep, I found it also very accurate, calculating my sleep stages to match when I might have woken up in the night. I’ve tried numerous Fitbits and especially when calibrated, they’re the most accurate fitness and activity tracker (or smartwatch) I’ve ever used.

With Heart Rate, I guess it’s hard to tell how accurate it is on it’s own, since I don’t have an EKG or anything to check it against.

Overall review of Fitbit Inspire HR fitness & activity tracker

Overall Fitbit Inspire HR gives you most of the smart features you want and all of the heart rate monitoring and fitness and activity tracking you need. I’ve recommended Fitbits for a long time, because they’re easy to set up and use and they work well, have a long battery life and they’re accurate as all get out, so I can recommend this one too.

If there’s any downsides, it’s just what this one is missing because it’s a smaller, cheaper option; things like Fitbit Pay so you can leave the wallet at home. The screen is also pretty small, but again, these are all things you can get as you step up the Fitbit device ladder; this one is all about your budget.

It sells for about $129 CAD from places like Best Buy or Amazon.

*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using this link.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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  1. […] if you’d like to read more, you can check out the full review of the Fitbit Inspire and the review of Fitbit Inspire HR here […]

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