Fitbit Inspire 3 review
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Fitbit’s Inspire 3 is the brand’s most basic and straightforward fitness tracker. Although it is more advanced than a pedometer, the experience is not far off. It lacks the smartwatch features found in Fitbit’s Sense 2 and Versa 4 and doesn’t have built-in GPS like the Charge 5.
But the no-frills experience is what Fitbit is aiming for with the Inspire 3, and it’s a wearable aimed at those who consider themselves a beginner or want something affordable. Overall, this is a simple fitness tracker that still offers plenty of health and fitness information like sleep, stress, and menstrual cycle tracking.
To get a real sense of whether the Inspire 3 is worth the investment, I wore the tracker as my daily wearable for several weeks. While I found the experience to be generally good, I did have a few minor gripes that make it difficult to recommend against some of the best Fitbits.
A basic yet familiar design
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is an unassuming device. It has a black silicone band that’s comfortable and secure against your skin, but isn’t so thick or tight that it’s noticeable in the middle of a workout. I found it easy to put on compared to other larger garments, and mostly forgot I was wearing it. It also comes with an extra larger band for those with bigger wrists.
The tracker itself is very small (1.5 inches by 0.73 inches) and has a small color screen. You have to tap both sides or double-tap the screen to bring up the watch face, which I found a little frustrating when I just wanted to quickly view the time or my tracked activity stats.
There’s also a bit of a learning curve needed to use the vertical and horizontal swipe that navigates the menus. I found the process clumsy initially, especially when I just wanted to take a look at my heart rate or workout duration. Instead of quickly swiping to these screens, I had to memorize the specific gestures. That’s fine in the end, but it will look a little different for new users.
Additionally, the watch doesn’t provide quick access to each of the 21 native exercise options in the Fitbit ecosystem. You can only view six on your home screen at a time, and you’ll have to manually change the activity menu to see the others through the Fitbit app. The total time to do this takes about five minutes.
While the basic black color goes with most clothes and the sleekness is a step up from bulkier clothes, its lack of formal options for groups means I probably wouldn’t wear it in outside of training. You can change the strap to one of the better Inspire 3 bands but the variety is lacking. Still, the overall comfort and size of the device make it a great option for those looking for a sporty all-day wearable.
Its advanced health and wellness tracking is a highlight
Health and wellness tracking is where the Inspire 3 shines. Tracking is available not only for the basics like step count and workouts, but also for more advanced metrics like respiratory rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, oxygen saturation, and resting heart rate. Most of this monitoring requires wearing the device while sleeping, so the fact that it has a comfortable band is a bonus.
As for sleep tracking, I found the Inspire 3 did an adequate job of recognizing when I went to bed and how long I slept. I noticed that it tended to register some sleep sessions as being a bit shorter than they actually were, but overall it didn’t work any better or worse than the app that I use on my phone called Sleep Cycle and Rise.
I was also intrigued by Fitbit’s new Daily Readiness Score feature. The score is meant to be an indication of how well you can expect your body to perform based on the data it collects on the amount of activity you’ve done, the quality of your sleep, and more.
The data collected and the score it generates are meant to help you make better choices about how you take care of yourself on a daily basis, especially when deciding what type of exercise you’ll do.
For example, the daily readiness score would mean how prepared my body was for physical activity each day. Any score below 30 indicated that I should prioritize rest over training, while a score above 64 meant that I could push myself to more intense levels of exercise. Having this kind of daily insight goes beyond just wanting to count a step and it has made me feel better about my overall workout routine.
It’s important to note that many trend data (like sleep tracking) is only accessible if you have a premium Fitbit subscription. You get six months included when buying the device, so you can get an idea of how useful the data is before you decide to pay for it.
It’s a decent activity tracker that may leave hardcore athletes wanting more
The Inspire 3 does a decent job of activity tracking, but I thought it was a little frustrating to only have access to six trackable activities on the home screen, which I could see as a downside major for multi-sport users. It’s a tedious experience that requires going into the app to adjust these visible activities all the time.
But I encountered a more serious dealbreaker: its lack of built-in GPS. Having GPS access is a duty for serious athletes who want more than just backdoor estimates of distance, step and calorie data. Not only is it a good thing to have when you don’t want your phone with you, but it’s also the surest way to get accurate tracking information regarding pace and total activity time.
GPS has also become standard on so many of the best fitness trackers that it seems odd that a wearable doesn’t to see her. The Inspire 3 allows the use of GPS when synced to a phone, but I don’t always like to take my smartphone with me during a workout, especially while running. When I did, however, I found that the GPS synced almost instantly.
Battery life is its best feature and lasts up to 10 consecutive days
When it comes to great features, the battery life of the Inspire 3 deserves some serious acknowledgment. Fitbit touts it as having a 10-day battery life and after testing that claim myself, it’s spot on.
I wore the device almost 24/7, in bed while I slept, as well as throughout the work day, and had no problem getting at least 10 days on a single charge. And when the battery finally hit 0%, it recharged to 100% in just over an hour. Fitbit has always done well in the battery life department, and the Inspire 3 is no different.
Should I buy it?
Overall, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is an adequate fitness tracker that offers basic information about your health and activity levels. The sleek design and long-lasting battery make it ideal for all-day (and all-night) use, and it’s great for giving an overview of your overall health.
But whether or not this is a wise investment largely depends on your personal goals and needs. Its lack of built-in GPS puts it behind similar options from Fitbit like the Charge 5, and if you want a device that provides deeper fitness and wellness insights, the more intuitive Sense 2 is a better option. However, it costs more.
However, if you’re looking for a wearable device that accurately tracks your workouts, records your basic daily metrics like steps taken and calories burned, and has a long-lasting battery, this is the best fitness tracker for you.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a reliable fitness tracker that will serve users well, especially new wearers or those starting a workout routine, as long as their needs are basic. But anything beyond simple metrics requires an upgrade.