Price (RRP): $179.95
Want something less than a full-blown smart watch with multiple functions and a $400+ price tag to track your fitness? But also something more than a “dumb” band which does nothing else? The new Fitbit Inspire HR might be just the thing for the job.
The Fitbit Inspire HR provides the full suite of tracking. It uses a three-axis accelerometer to sense its movement. Fitbit’s algorithms convert this into things like the number of steps you’ve taken. It has an optical sensor on the back that is able to determine your heart rate by means of subtle colour changes. If you’re not interested in your heart rate, you can save $50 with the standard Fitbit Inspire. But the heart rate data does provide addition date to the Fitbit app so it can better determine the actual amount of work you’re doing.
The body of the device is 16.1mm wide, 37.4mm long and 12.4mm deep. The display is a greyscale OLED touchscreen. Its operating area is a millimetre or two narrower than the body of the device. On the left is a single control button.
The standard band is silicon and is available in black, white or mauve (the non-HR version comes in black or “Sangria”).
Its lithium-polymer battery is rated at up to five days of operation and takes no more than two hours to charge. The Fitbit Inspire HR can hold up to seven days of minute-by-minute tracking data, and five-second-by-five-second heart rate data. It holds daily stats for up to a month. Normally you’d sync with the app on your phone at reasonable intervals.
When you do sync, your data is uploaded to your account which is maintained on Fitbit servers. You can log onto it via the Web or sync the Fitbit app installed on several different phones and tablets. You can also use the Fitbit Inspire HR with a Bluetooth-capable Windows computer. Or purchase an optical dongle for a non-Bluetooth Windows computer.
Beyond tracking your movement and heartrate, some of the things that the Fitbit Inspire HR can do (in conjunction with the app) are:
- Show the time.
- Track your route using your phone’s GPS and show it on a map.
- Determine your sleep cycles and effectiveness.
- Change watch faces to one of ten, some of them showing different information.
- Track your swimming – the Fitbit Inspire HR is rated at depths of up to fifty metres.
- Display notifications from your phone for the apps you choose, including displaying short text messages from suitable apps.
- Operate as a timer or stopwatch.
Setting up the Fitbit Inspire HR
As usual with Fitbit devices, you set up the Fitbit Inspire HR by installing the Fitbit app on your phone – iOS and Android both supported – and following the instructions. It will present you with a list of Fitbit devices to choose from. An animation shows you how to “plug” the Inspire HR to its charger cradle. Then it searches the Bluetooth airwaves for the device. In short order the app found the Fitbit Inspire HR, which responded by showing a four-digital code.
I messed up entering that into the app, but that was fine. It presented a new code a second later and all went well.
The Fitbit logo on the app pulsed for a couple of minutes, and then it was done. The app resynced to the device and we were good to go.
Apparently, you can have some Fitbit trackers connected to your app at the same time as some other Fitbit trackers. But that doesn’t work with Fitbit’s smarter devices, such as the Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Versa. I was hoping it would with the Fitbit Inspire HR, but no. It’s another exclusive device.
So, as part of setting up I had to say goodbye to the Fitbit Ionic I normally wear. Once again, I do wish it were possible to have both connected at a time. There are times when a smaller, lighter device like the Fitbit Inspire HR is appropriate, and other times when something more stylish like the Fitbit Versa is fitting.
My wife suggested, one morning as we were preparing to go out, that she’d prefer I didn’t wear the Fitbit Inspire HR. You see, I’d been sent one with the white-coloured band and it looks out of place with most of my attire. I figured I might as well take the opportunity to see how difficult it was to switch between two devices.
Switching back to the Ionic only took a couple of minutes, mostly as the app spent the time talking to the Ionic and updating it with the information from its database (including the data it had gathered from the Inspire HR).
But then I had to go into the settings and choose certain preferences, because the defaults had been restored. For example, exercise reminders were back on. And “Walking” was no longer on the list of exercises able to be tracked.