Whether you’re considering the entry-level Inspire tracker – which we are talking about here – or you are about to take the plunge on the company’s fully-featured flagship Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit devices rarely disappoint.
The Fitbit Inspire – now in its third iteration following on from the Inspire and Inspire HR that launched in 2019, and the Inspire 2 from 2021 – is the company’s cheapest fitness tracker. Should you buy the Inspire 3 though, or would you be better off spending a little bit more and buying the Luxe or Charge? Here’s what we think.
Fitbit Inspire 3
For those that want a slim and subtle device that does a great job of sleep tracking and activity tracking, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is well worth considering. It’s a great device with a superb battery life, fantastic software support from the Fitbit app and solid performance.
- Slim and subtle design
- Great feature set
- Excellent software
- Superb battery
- Small display
- Some overestimation
- Touchscreen could be more responsive
Slim and simple design
- 39.32 x 18.6 x 11.75mm
- Midnight Zen/Black, Lilac Bliss/Black and Morning Glow/Black
Fitbit upgraded the design of the Inspire 3 when it was released in August 2022. It’s a much more seamless finish compared to previous Inspire devices, resulting in a lovely neat and tidy tracker that sits elegantly on the wrist and with a decent dose of subtlety too.
The Inspire 3 has a plastic body making it a little less premium than the stainless steel Luxe, and it’s a little thicker in its body too, but it’s slim and lightweight, making it very comfortable to wear. You barely notice it in fact, which goes for wearing it at night too.
While there are no physical buttons on the Inspire 3, there is a capacitive touch button on the side of the rounded body, which offers haptic feedback when pushed. It will wake up the display as well as put it back to sleep, but you can also place your hand on top of the Inspire 3 to put it to sleep too and raise your hand to wake it.
Speaking of the display, there is an Always On mode, which is an upgrade on the Inspire 2, and it’s a colour touchscreen too that offers plenty of vibrancy and punch. It’s also bright enough to see outside in sunny conditions.
The responsiveness isn’t the best though, and the display is small compared to the size of the Inspire 3’s body – it’s around half so there is definitely no edge-to-edge design here. Some won’t notice, but you do have to be quite precise where you touch in order to flick through the menus rather than turn the display off, which can be frustrating when trying to start a workout for example.
On the underside of the Inspire 3’s body, you’ll find the heart rate monitor. It’s flush – which is much more comfortable than older Fitbit devices like the Alta where the heart rate sensor protruded from the bottom. You’ll also find the pins to change the straps here, allowing for various different looks thanks to the multitude of accessories available.
The standard straps that come with the Inspire 3 are a lovely, soft silicone and fastened with a buckle, making them nice and secure. The straps also sit flush with the body of the Inspire 3 rather than having a small gap like the Inspire 2 so the design has improved significantly overall.
- Activity tracking, sleep tracking, 21 workout modes
- Active Zone Minutes, Cardio Fitness Score, Daily Readiness Score, Stress Management Score
- SpO2, HR tracking
- Smartphone notifications
The Fitbit Inspire 3 delivers all the same features as its predecessor, but it adds a few extras too for good measure. We mentioned the Always On display – something the Fitbit Luxe and Charge 5 both have – as well as the coloured touchscreen, but the Inspire 3 also offers SpO2 monitoring.
The SpO2 monitoring means the Inspire 3 is able to track blood oxygen, or in simpler terms, the amount of oxygen your body is able to produce when exercising. It’s something you’ll find on the higher-end Fitbit devices, as well as more expensive devices like the Apple Watch Series 8.
Along with SpO2 monitoring, there is 24/7 heart rate monitoring, which tracks heart rate variability, your resting heart rate and will deliver irregular heart rate rhythm notifications. The Inspire 3 can also detect skin temperature variation and breathing rate, as well as offer guided breathing sessions so there’s plenty on board.
That’s without mentioning the basics too, which include step tracking, activity tracking, automatic exercise tracking, sleep tracking – which Fitbit does brilliantly – and smartphone notifications. Smartphone notifications are on the simple side and you can’t do anything with them, but you’ll at least know when a call is coming through or you receive a text.
Fitbit has a couple of useful ‘Scores’ too, like Daily Readiness Score, which will take into account your activity and sleep to determine whether you are ready for more, or whether you should have a rest. The Stress Management Score is good too, as is the Sleep Score, though some of these are locked behind Fitbit Premium, which you pay extra for. You can read more about Fitbit Premium in our separate feature.
Performance and battery life
- HR sensor, SpO2
- Connected GPS
- 10-day battery
Thankfully you don’t have to pay extra for the features offered by the Inspire 3, only the access to the data and what that means to you. And that’s great because performance is generally very good and battery life is superb.
Fitbit estimates the Inspire 3 will deliver 10 days of battery life between every charge that’s exactly what we got. We didn’t keep the Always On display on however, so expect that number to drop slightly if you use that feature.
We did perform multiple workouts though, some of which used the Connected GPS so that would have had an impact on the battery. Note that the Inspire 3 uses Connected GPS rather than built-in GPS – that means you’ll need to have your phone with you for a walk or run if you want the GPS mapping. If you want built-in GPS, you’ll need to consider the Charge 5, or one of the smartwatch models. On the subject of workouts though, the Inspire 3 has automatic exercise recognition on board so if you forget to start tracking a ride or walk, it will pick it up.
In terms of activity tracking, the Inspire 3 performs very well. It slightly overestimates steps in our experience, especially compared to the Apple Watch Series 8, but calorie estimate and heart rate tracking is on par, even if overall resting heart rate is a little higher. Considering the Watch Series 8 is four times the price though, that’s not bad going.
Sleep tracking is also excellent on Fitbit and it’s automatic too, which means you don’t have to remember to put your Inspire 3 into a specific mode in order for it to register sleep. It also can track sleep with minimal battery too – we got a full night worth of tracking with our Inspire 3’s battery on six per cent. When we woke up, it had only used two per cent too, so sleep tracking has a very insignificant impact on the battery life. It offers a great breakdown of data for sleep too and what it means so this is one area the Inspire 3 really excels in, like most Fitbit devices.
- iOS and Android
- Fitbit app
There are a number of things you can do from the Fitbit Inspire 3 itself, such as set an alarm, start a workout or check smartphone notifications, but it’s the excellent Fitbit app that will give you the most out of your Inspire 3 and then some.
The app is compatible with Android and iOS and it’s one of the strongest reasons to buy a Fitbit over a cheaper fitness tracker.
As we mentioned, some features are locked behind the Fitbit Premium subscription service, which you get free for six months with the Inspire 3, but there is still plenty of data outside of the subscription that is presented in a very simple and easy to understand way.
Like many fitness devices, plenty of data is collected – from steps and estimated calories burned, to resting heart rate and sleep stages – but it’s the way Fitbit details it that makes it useful. Open up the Today tab in the Fitbit app and you’ll see a breakdown of all your metrics, Scores and you can click on any of them to see more data.
The Discover tab shows workouts, mindfulness, challenges and adventures, as well as health and fitness stats, while the community tab is where you’ll find a Feed showing your Fitbit Friend’s achievements. There’s also a Premium tab, which you can access if you are a subscriber, which details advanced sleep analytics, sleep profile and Daily Readiness Score, among other features.
We have a Fitbit tips and tricks feature that gives you a rundown of everything you can do with your Fitbit and the Fitbit app but it’s a pretty easy to use app and there’s plenty on offer.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is fantastic as an entry-level fitness tracker with a neat design and great features for a decent price.
It overestimates steps a little and it is a tad high in its resting heart rate estimations too, while the touchscreen should definitely be twice the size and more responsive.
Overall though, for those that want a slim and subtle device that does a great job of sleep tracking and activity tracking, the Inspire 3 is well worth considering. It’s a lovely device with a superb battery life, fantastic software support from the Fitbit app and solid performance.