Fitbit Inspire 3 review: the best fitness tracker gets even better

Between the recently launched Apple Watch Series 8 and Google’s highly anticipated Google Pixel Watch (finally), smartwatches are all the rage. But if you’re not in the market to replace your current watch and feel more comfortable with a cheaper, less complicated activity tracker, then the Fitbit Inspire 3 – the successor to our long-standing best choice for fitness trackers – might be the way to go. a more relevant choice.

Fitbit recently revamped its lineup of popular fitness trackers, and I tested the small but mighty Inspire 3, which now has a color screen, 10-day battery life, and retails for under $100. Not only is it affordable, but it’s smaller and lighter than most smartwatches and many similar fitness bands.

I’ve been walking around and training with the Fitbit Inspire 3 for over a month, and despite some minor issues, I find it keeps track of everything I need, including steps, distance, calories, heart rate, sleep, and much more. While it’s not a smartwatch, it’s smart enough to deliver notifications from my phone via Bluetooth, so I can just look at my wrist to read a text or see who’s calling.

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is the best fitness tracker for most people, with comprehensive tracking, a vibrant color screen, and a comfortable fit for under $100.

I’ve been using and reviewing Fitbit activity trackers since the first debuted in 2009 — and that includes everything from the basic models to the more complex smartwatch models. The redesigned Inspire 3 is small enough to stay out of my way, comes with tons of features, and fits most budgets for $99. Compatible with Android and iOS smartphones, the band is available in three color options: Midnight Zen (dark gray), Morning Glow (orange) and Lilac Bliss (light purple) and comes with two flexible silicone bands of different sizes. Optional accessories include a nice stainless steel mesh strap, if you want to spice it up.

Fitbit Inspire 3

The first thing you’ll notice about the Fitbit Inspire 3 is the bright AMOLED color display, which replaces the Inspire 2’s monochrome display. Not only does this new screen make the tracker more attractive to look at, but it’s also easier to see your information in bright sunlight. Smaller and narrower than my current Fitbit Charge 4, the pebble-shaped design is packed into a sleek 1.55-inch body.

You can access information in the same way: tap and swipe through the menus. Swipe left for notifications, exercises, alarms and timers. Swipe up for settings and down for daily health stats. I found the screen to be generally responsive, although I had to swipe a few times to get attention.

The new model comes with an always-on display capability, but be warned: it will drain your tracker’s battery much faster than the Inspire 3’s 10 days of battery life. Without this feature, I’d have around 11 days of battery life. charge once. With an always-on screen, Fitbit says you get about three days.

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Activity tracking is what Fitbit does best and the Inspire 3 makes it easy. There are over 20 different workouts to choose from (including running, cycling, swimming, and treadmill), although you can only have six workouts on your tracker at a time. To exchange them, you need to connect to the app, make your changes and sync the device again.

The Inspire 3 also uses what it calls Active Zone Minutes to help you better reach your training goals. It tracks your heart rate and how much time you spend in certain zones, taking your age and fitness level into account. When I run in the morning, I usually stay at a steady pace. However, when I accelerate or run, it changes from “fat burning” to “cardiozone” to give me active zone minutes.

All of this happens in the background while also tracking your distance, calories burned, steps taken, time elapsed and heart rate. When you’re done with a workout, you can see all the data on your wrist or check it in the app once you sync.

The Inspire 3’s new health monitoring features make it an attractive health tracker in addition to being a fitness tracker. It automatically tracks Sp02 (blood oxygen) levels throughout the day and while it can’t take an EKG like the more expensive Fitbit Charge 5 or newer smartwatches, it will monitor your heart rate and alert you if it detects an irregular heart rhythm.

Once it’s synced with the Fitbit app, you can access all of this data and zoom in on more information or timelines. In the app you can also manually track menstrual and blood glucose readings and view historical data.

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While the Inspire 3 is Fitbit’s entry-level tracker, it still offers the company’s comprehensive sleep tracking capabilities. I’m not a big fan of wearing a tracker to bed, but the silicone strap and small size made it lightweight and comfortable enough to give it a try.

Fitbit recommends wearing it for 14 nights to get an in-depth sleep profile, but even after a few nights, I was able to see how much deep and REM sleep I’m getting compared to light and restless sleep. It also tracks resting heart rate, sleep time and blood oxygen levels, so the trends in the data give you a good idea of ​​your sleep profile

Sure, the Inspire 3 tracks and makes it easy to see your health and fitness stats, but if you decide to splurge on a Fitbit Premium subscription, you’ll have access to more in-depth health stats and trends, as well as premium workout challenges.

The Daily Readiness score looks at your sleep, heart rate and activity data to help you listen to your body better. Did you have a good night’s sleep? You may want to push yourself a little harder today. On the other hand, a low readiness score means your body has been wiped out and you may want to take a recovery day. For example, one morning it recommended that I do a light walk or stretch instead of a heavier workout, which I readily accepted.

The Sleep Score provides deeper insights into your sleep quality (how much you slept, how much time in deep and REM sleep) and recovery patterns. There are also stress management tools and health and wellness reports to dig into.

Premium members can see a minute summary of their stress score, including effort balance, responsiveness, and sleep pattern. I especially liked that it showed how my body reacts to stress over extended periods of time, and sometimes even suggested considering a quick meditation or taking a break with the Relax app, which took me through a guided breathing session.

You don’t need a Premium subscription to take advantage of the Inspire 3 tracker, but if you want to better understand how your overall activity, heart rate, and sleep affect your body, it’s worth a try. Your tracker comes with 6 months free, so if you want to keep it after that, you’ll be charged $9.99 per month or $79.99 for a year.

Fitbit Inspire 3

While I like that the Inspire 3 is compact and the color screen is one of the best new features, some users may find it a bit at small. Because I wear reading glasses, I had more trouble getting a quick glance at a text or reading my heart rate during a workout. It’s possible to change the dials to make the date and time bigger, but when it tracked an activity it was still hard for me to see clearly.

I also wanted to be able to track an activity and see the time – which I can currently do on my Charge 4. But once you start tracking an exercise on the Inspire 3, you can no longer access the home screen. You can scroll through the screens, past things like pace, heart rate, steps and calories, but even then you’ll only find the time as a small data point. This took too many steps and was hard to read as I tried to maintain a faster pace.

Currently, the message that appears when you finish an exercise is “Nice work!” every time. I might be getting nitpicky, but I wouldn’t mind if it was a little more critical. Once I’ve done my three-mile trail I’ll do it, but if I’m only training for 10 minutes and not sticking to my usual routine, it would be good if it said something more like “nice try.”

And while I’m picky, it would be great if the message that pops up when you’ve completed an exercise was a little more critical. Currently it says “Nice work!” every time. Once I’ve done my three-mile trail I’ll do it, but if I’m only training for 10 minutes and not sticking to my usual routine, it would be good if it said something more like “nice try.”

The sleek design, ease of use, and comprehensive health and activity tracking features of the Fitbit Inspire 2 topped our list of the best fitness trackers, so it’s no surprise that the updated Inspire 3 builds on that. For $99 you won’t find a more comprehensive, feature-rich entry-level model.

There are other activity trackers at this price point that have similar stats, like the $80 Garmin Vivofit 4 – we especially liked that it uses a button to navigate the menu. However, we also found the Garmin app and interface clunky and harder to navigate.

The data and insights the Fitbit app itself has to offer is extensive, so if you want a device with more features, Fitbit has a few options.

The Fitbit Charge 5 comes with a slightly larger screen, but costs about $50 more for $150. It doesn’t look quite as sleek but has advanced features like built-in GPS and Spotify integration so you don’t have to carry your phone with you. take when you are running. It also has the EKG app for assessing heart rhythm and offers seven days of battery life. At $129, the Fitbit Luxe has the same features and performance as the Inspire 3, but adds a gold casing. The Luxe has a battery life of approximately five days.

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With its entry-level price tag, the Inspire 3 lacks the smarts of a more expensive device. There’s no built-in GPS (although you can use your phone’s GPS to track a run via Bluetooth), and no contactless payments or built-in music service like Spotify.

But if you’re looking for an easy-to-use tracker with lots of features and a battery life of days, the Fitbit Inspire 3 with its color screen and 10-day battery life is the leader. You also get useful features such as stress management, 2-minute relaxation sessions, reminders to get up and move, and the find-my-phone function if you lose your phone in the house. And for under $100, it’s affordable, comfortable enough to wear all day and night, and gives you access to meaningful data in the comprehensive Fitbit app.

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