Fitbit Inspire 2


Many of us are looking to buy an activity tracker to get fitter, healthier and maybe a little lighter. There are many fitness trackers out there but Fitbits are considered among the best with good reason. There are several Fitbit trackers ranging in price, features and design to suit every budget, need and taste. 

Whether you simply want to track your steps pedometer-style, see how well you’re sleeping, monitor your heart rate or compete against your friends, a Fitbit is a subtle, affordable accessory. 

Owning a Fitbit is going to motivate you to exercise more, and even get a better night’s sleep. We’ve tested every Fitbit ever launched, and we’re going to tell you which is the best Fitbit for you. We’ve even included some of the older Fitbits that have been discontinued but are still available at online retailers.

Fitbit has three new devices: two new health smartwatches – Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 – and a new activity tracker, the Fitbit Inspire 2, which replaces the Inspire and Inspire HR. Read our Fitbit Sense review and Fitbit Versa 3 review

You can find out more about which to buy by reading our Fitbit Sense vs Fitbit Versa 3 comparison, and our look at the differences between the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Fitbit Charge 4 activity trackers.

Find more in-depth buying advice below our chart.

Best Fitbit reviews

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1. Fitbit Inspire 2 – Most affordable Fitbit

2. Fitbit Versa 3 – Best Fitbit fitness smartwatch

Fitbit Versa 3

3. Fitbit Charge 4 – Best all-round Fitbit

Fitbit Charge 4

4. Fitbit Sense – Best Fitbit for health tools

Fitbit Sense

5. Fitbit Ace 2 – Best Fitbit for Kids

Fitbit Ace 2

6. Fitbit Versa 2

Fitbit Versa 2

7. Fitbit Inspire – discontinued but still available

Fitbit Inspire

8. Fitbit Ionic – discontinued but still available

Fitbit Ionic

9. Fitbit Versa Lite – discontinued but still available

Fitbit Versa Lite Edition

10. Fitbit Aria Air : Best Fitbit Scales

Fitbit Aria Air

Your buying guide to the best Fitbit

The benefits of getting more exercise cannot be exaggerated. Going for regular walks reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by 31%. A study of 650,000 people found that being active for just 11 minutes a day after the age of 40 yielded 1.8 years of added life expectancy. Being active for an hour or more a day increased life expectancy by 4.2 years.

Exercise strengthens bones, boosts the immune system, lessens the risk of getting diabetes and a number of cancers (such as breast cancer), improves mood, and staves off senility. There is probably not a single organ in the body that does not benefit from exercise.

10,000 steps a day is the standard recommended goal, although this has little scientific basis. What’s actually more important is how many minutes you are active in a day (experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week), and all the Fitbits measure this fitness metric, as well as steps. It’s especially important if your exercise is on a bike, where steps don’t really count.

The more sophisticated Active Zone Minutes measurement has now rolled out on all available new Fitbits, including the Sense, Versa 3, Charge 4 and Inspire 2, but you’ll also find it on older Fitbits such as the Versa and Versa 2 as the FitbitOS updated them to the new metric, too.

Fitbits with the 24-hour heart-rate monitor (Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Ionic, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3 and Sense) feature Heart Rate Zones, Cardio Fitness Level, and Guided Breathing Sessions.

They also show advanced Sleep Stages data, including duration of Light, Deep and REM sleep, plus give a Sleep Score. Those without the HR (Ace 2, Inspire 1) offer more basic sleep tracking.

We’ve tested and reviewed every Fitbit that the company currently sells and ranked them in order: the Inspire 2 will be reviewed as soon as we get our hands on it. That isn’t to say the Fitbit at number one is the one for you – it’s just the best one for most people – so think about what you want from an activity tracker or fitness smartwatch. 

We’ve assigned each Fitbit a ‘Best For’ tag to see if that one suits your needs better – for instance, if you want built-in GPS, then look to the Charge 4, Versa 3 and Sense, and the now discontinued but still available Ionic). There are also links to buy from reputable retailers at the best prices and links to our full reviews of every model.

Other big news recently is that Google is buying Fitbit (for a cool $2.1 billion). We don’t expect this to have much effect until 2021, and it certainly shouldn’t put you off buying a Fitbit now, as the buyout should fund further improvements in future models – but not for at least a year.

Fitbit features compared

For kids below the age of 13, the Ace 2 is a well-designed, basic starter tracker. It’s recommended for children aged 6 up, and there are special Parent and Kid views, plus family challenges and virtual badges to be won. Its strap is smaller than even the Small size options with the other trackers, but we found the other Fitbits fit a child’s wrist just as well.

While it’s in Fitbit’s terms and conditions that children aged under 13 should use only the Ace, there are plenty of kids out there wearing other models – parents just need to set-up the child’s account using an older birth year.

The cheapest Fitbit wristband is the Inspire 2, but this lacks some features of the more expensive Fitbits, such as an altimeter to measure floors climbed and built-in GPS. But it is remarkably stuffed full of fitness functions for an entry-level device, and includes a heart-rate monitor so can measure your Cardio Fitness scores and Active Zone minutes, as well as insightful Sleep Stages recording. It can also be worn as a clip as well as a wristband, although the clip accessory costs an extra £19.99/$19.95.

You can find even cheaper if you consider older Fitbit trackers – don’t worry, we’ve hunted down the Best Fitbit Deals for you.

If you do jog, run or exercise in any way as well as walking we think that it’s worth paying for the extra heart-rate-monitoring functionality you get with all the latest Fitbits, except the Ace 2 and older Inspire 1.

Monitoring heart rate can also be used if weight loss is one of your key goals. The heart-rate function also gives you much more detailed Sleep analysis – see further on for more details of this increasingly important health metric.

The Versa 2 has a built-in microphone and works with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. And the new Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 will add Google Assistant to the Alexa voice tool by the end of the year.

If you’re looking for weight tracking, then check out our Fitbit Aria Air review. These scales sync with the trackers to add measurements of your weight. 

Fitbit trackers, watches, scales 2020

Which Fitbit trackers have certain features?

All Fitbits have an accelerometer that measures motion patterns to determine your calories burned, distance travelled, and steps taken. (The Fitbit Ace 2 does not show calories burned, as Fitbit doesn’t want to add to a child’s possible weight anxiety issues.) All monitor sleep quality, but those with a heart-rate monitor give much more sleep detail.

Alarm

All the Fitbits also contain a vibration motor, which allows it to vibrate when alarms are set to go off. 

Floors climbed

The Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic boast an altimeter that measures stairs (or height) climbed. The Ace 2 and Inspire 2 do not include an altimeter.

GPS

The Fitbit Sense, Versa 3 and Charge 4 are the only models in the lineup to have GPS built-in, without the need for a smartphone to be linked. Users can see distance, pace and elevation climbed, and review routes and split times. Like the Inspire 2, the older Inspire HR, Versa Lite and Versa 2 can connect to the GPS on your smartphone.

Heart-rate monitor

The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic monitor your heart rate on your wrist. They use Fitbit’s PurePulse technology that gives continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate, plus simplified heart-rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak). The Versa 3 and Sense use the updated and more accurate PurePulse 2.0.

Additionally, these heart-rate-tracking Fitbits feature Cardio Fitness Level, which provides a snapshot of your cardiovascular fitness. Based on estimated VO2 Max – calculated by your user profile, heart rate and exercise data – you can see how your fitness level relates to others of the same age and gender, and get guidance on how to improve over time.

The Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic can also monitor the amount of oxygen in the blood (an important health indicator) with their Sp02 sensor.

Water Resistance and Swim Tracking

All the Fitbits are water-resistant up to 50 metres. The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3 (not the Versa Lite edition) and Ionic will track your basic swimming metrics (laps, calories, etc) using distance to estimate strokes and laps. The new Fitbit Sense has a 6-axis gyroscope to more accurately track strokes and laps while swimming.

Caller ID and text messages

All the Fitbits show Caller ID when linked to a smartphone. All the wristbands except the Ace 2 also display text notifications and Calendar Events on its display. 

Automatic sport recognition

The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic feature multi-sport exercise tracking. They know when you are cycling, running, hiking or playing sports including football, tennis and basketball. They will also recognise aerobic workouts such as Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and dance workouts, and log the workout in the Fitbit app along with an exercise summary.

SmartTrack automatically recognises and records workouts and captures all of the stats: how long you were active, calories burned and heart rate zones. By default, it recognises activities when you’ve been moving for more than 15 minutes. You can change this to anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes.

Reminder to Move

This is available on all the wristband Fitbit trackers. It encourages you to meet a mini-step goal of 250 steps each hour (approximately 2-3 minutes of walking). These prompts can be personalised to your schedule; for example, they can be put on “Do Not Disturb” during long meetings or appointments. And, of course, they won’t wake you at night.

It’s a great motivator to get up and move around, even if just for a stroll to get a glass of water or make a cup of tea. Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death – I bet that made you sit up…

Sleep tracking

All the Fitbits check your sleep, too. They measure the time you spend asleep and check the quality of sleep – noting when you are restless or wake up during the night. Fitbit’s newer Sleep Stages measurements (on Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic) utilise heart-rate variability to estimate the amount of time you spend in Light, Deep and REM sleep, as well as time awake each night, to better understand your sleep quality. Sleep Score rates each night’s sleep from 0 to 100.

This is one of the great benefits of a tracker with a heart monitor, and sleep is now recognised as a major health metric. I actually look at this more than some of the other more obvious fitness metrics. Six to eight hours a day is the recommended amount of sleep you should be aiming for. Improved sleep has immediate benefits to your memory, attention, cognitive function, and decision-making capacity, as well as helping to avoid type 2 diabetes and putting on weight. Sleep deprivation causes our appetite to go up and we feel less full, making weight gain more likely.

Sleep can make us happier, improve heart health, boost memory, even reduce the risk of dementia. it is vital for restoring energy levels, washing out toxins from the brain and boosting the immune system.

Relax Guided Breathing

The Inspire HR, Inspire 2, Charge 4, Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic offer Relax Guided Breathing Sessions that can help calm your body and mind through two- and five-minute sessions personalised to your breathing rate. The benefits of guided breathing practice are supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure. Add it to your daily routine, and you’ll quickly feel the benefits. Long-term insulin resistance (caused by stress triggering the brain’s hypothalamus readying your body for action) contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity, so even light meditation has physical as well as mental benefits to our health.

Female Health Tracking

All but the Ace 2 offer Female Health Tracking, which helps women understand their body by using the tracker with the Fitbit app to follow their cycle, record symptoms and more.

Apps

Apps are available on the Fitbit smartwatches (Versa Lite, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense, and Ionic), including Weather, plus extra third-party apps can be purchased via the Fitbit mobile app. All smartwatches except the Versa Lite also boast the Fitbit Coach app for on-screen video workouts. The Charge 4 also includes a more basic Weather app, and Agenda for calendars.

The Versa 3 and Sense also feature Amazon Alexa voice assistant, Google Assistant (“coming soon”) and Spotify music. The Versa 2 also includes Spotify controls and Alexa. Charge 4 includes Spotify only. You need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to take advantage of this feature.

Fitbit Pay

Fitbit Pay is available for Charge 4, Versa 2, Versa 3, Sense and Ionic – but not the Ace 2 or Inspire 2, or the older Inspire 1 and HR or Versa Lite. This allows for contactless payments directly from the wearable. However, the list of compatible UK banks is very small right now, including Santander, Starling and Revolut – see the whole list here for all countries.

Which Fitbit has the best display?

The kid-friendly Fitbit Ace 2 measures only the basic stats: Steps and Active Minutes. It can also measure a child’s Sleep patterns, and shows Caller ID, plus offers Reminders to Move.

Fitbit Ace 2 models

The Inspire family‘s touchscreen OLED display (below) shows Time; Steps; Heart Rate (Inspire HR and Inspire 2 only); Calories burned; Notifications such as Caller ID and texts; Exercise modes; Sleep; and Settings.

Fitbit Inspire HR screens

The Charge 4‘s touchscreen OLED display (along with the Charge 4’s) shows Time; Steps; Heart Rate; Distance; Calories burned; Floors climbed; Active Zone Minutes; Caller ID; Text Notification; Weather; Agenda; and Alarm.

Charge 4 screens 1

Charge 4 apps

The Versa 2 and 3′s colourful touchscreen display is even better for visual display of fitness stats.

The best and largest screens are found on the Versa 3 and Sense

Both devices are equipped with a 1.58in display with a resolution of 336×336 pixels. In comparison, the display on Versa 2 is 1.39in with a resolution of 300×300 pixels.

The dimensions of the Sense and Versa 3 pebble are 40.48×40.48×12.35mm, compared to Versa 2’s dimensions of 39.95×39.84×12.15mm.

Fitbit Sense screens

Which Fitbit has the best battery life?

All models have rechargeable batteries. Here’s roughly how long each lasts between charges:

Ace 2: up to 5 days

Inspire: up to 5 days

Inspire HR: up to 5 days

Inspire 2: up to 10 days

Charge 4: Up to 7 days (up to five hours using GPS)

Versa Lite: 5 days +

Versa 2: 6 days +

Versa 3: 6 days +

Sense: 6 days +

Ionic: Up to 5 days (will reduce depending on the use of GPS)

Read our tips on how to get longer Fitbit battery life.

Which Fitbits are water-resistant?

All the Fitbit trackers are officially sanctioned as waterproof (down to 50M), and all but the Ace 2, Inspire and Versa Lite have basic swimming tracking features (number of lengths, distance swam). Experts recommend that you don’t wear it while bathing, snorkelling or scuba diving, and Fitbit calls them water-resistant rather than properly waterproof. (Note that accessory straps on the Versa and Ionic might not all be waterproof.) Don’t wear in a sauna!

Do all Fitbits use the same app?

Yes. They are all compatible with the same iPhone and Android apps.

The app displays all your daily and historical stats in beautiful graphs that expand in landscape orientation as well as display in portrait view. It’s here that Fitbit really beats its activity-tracking rivals.

The desktop dashboard is another visually attractive and informative place to monitor your activity and fitness statistics.

And as an incentive, you can link with friends, family and colleagues to compete against each other on the leaderboard, get involved in daily or weekly Challenges and Adventures, and win badges determined by passing goals, and historical milestones. These aspects of the Fitbit system really set it apart from the other trackers.

Find our how we test wearables.



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