Fitbit today debuted the Inspire and Inspire HR, a fresh line of fitness trackers that replace the Alta and others in Fitbit’s range of products. These simpler wearables build on the success of Fitbit’s legacy trackers and still manage to offer something new.
The Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR are “trackers for users looking for motivation to help them be more active, lose weight, and reduce stress,” said Melanie Chase, VP of Product Marketing, at an event in New York City. Building off of the Alta, the Inspire series are for someone who wants a discreet, powerful wearable that works out when they do. They’re essentially a lower-cost option that sits right under the Fitbit Charge 3.
Fitbit finds its form
The Inspire and Inspire HR are, from a hardware perspective, almost identical. Each mirrors the legacy of Fitbit wearables’ size and shape thanks to the small, black tracker hardware and silicone bracelet for attaching each to your wrist.
Fitbit’s Melanie Chase insists the company aimed to create something that would appeal to a wide range of people. The Inspire trackers are slim and can be worn next to a traditional watch if needed. Further, the trackers can be removed from the strap and affixed via clip for an even more discrete look. Fitbit hasn’t offered a clip-on since the original Zip, and this appears to be a rebirth for the waist-based tracker for those who want one.
The Inspire and Inspire HR are your typical bracelet-style devices. The actual trackers are a hard bit of black plastic that have a curved, monochrome display on top, and sensors and charging pins underneath. The touch interface on the screen is reactive, the animations are easy to decrypt, and the screen’s brightness is more than adequate for use outdoors. The heart rate monitor on the bottom of the Inspire HR definitely sets it apart from the basic Inspire.
Fitbit carried over the single-button control on the left side for which its trackers have long been known. The button works well.
The base silicone housing is on par with what we’ve seen before from Fitbit’s affordable range of trackers. That means plastic straps that feel a bit on the cheap side, but a robust housing for the tracker itself.
The Inspire comes in black, white, and lilac, while the Inspire HR comes in just black or white. Thank goodness, then, that there’s an ecosystem of accessories and swappable straps for customization. These include more silicone, leather, and metal.
Of note, Fitbit pointed out that the Inspire replaces the Alta line of wearables, which is being discontinued.
The Inspire and Inspire HR are chock full of fitness features to generate gobs of data about your daily activities.
Base tools that are shared by both include calorie burn tracking, automatic workout recognition, sleep tracking, notifications, female health tracking, multiple clock faces, and movement reminders. Each wearable is swim proof for ocean swims, offers five-day battery life, and can handle 24/7 activity tracking.
The Inspire HR adds 24/7 heart rate tracking, heart rate zones, cardio fitness level, sleep stages, real-time pace and distance measurements, guided breathing sessions, and 15 goal-base exercise modes. As with the Fitbit Versa Lite, any GPS functions are limited to the capabilities of the paired smartphone.
The units we looked at appeared to be functioning well. I didn’t notice any hiccups in basic behavior and the menus were easy to master when it came to swiping from one to another.
The pitch here is pretty clear. The Inspire and Inspire HR are clearly meant for fitness-focused folks who prefer slim and stylish wearables to bulkier smartwatches. Fitbit calls the Inspire line “approachable and affordable.” I agree. More importantly, Fitbit hopes devices like these reduce the adoption threshold for people looking to get into fitness and fitness tracking.
The Inspire will be available in black and sangria for $70, while the HR will be sold in black, white, and lilac for $100.