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Fitbit Inspire 2 Review

Verdict

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The Fitbit Inspire 2 is the current entry point for anyone wishing to dip their toe in the fitness tracking waters. It’s a stripped-back, unassuming wearable with a comfortable fit, a tiny 1.4-inch OLED display, a full 10-days of battery life, and an optical heart rate tracker. It’s an ideal way to introduce yourself to the smart health and fitness world.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Comfortable fit
  • Slick Fitbit app

Cons

  • No GPS
  • No Fitbit Pay
  • Pokey display

Availability

  • UKRRP: £89.99
  • USARRP: $99.95
  • EuropeRRP: €99.95
  • CanadaRRP: CA$129.95
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$149.95

Key Features

  • Fast PairEasily connects to Android phones with Google Fast Pair
  • Battery LifeAround 10 days of juice from one charge
  • HRM24/7 heart rate monitoring

Introduction

Back in 2019, the Fitbit Inspire launched as the fitness brand’s then-cheapest wearable, offering bare-bones fitness tracking in a compact form factor. 

However, it still felt expensive for what you were getting. At the time we recommended that you spend a little extra on the superior Fitbit Inspire HR, which added heart rate monitoring to the package.

Two years on, and under new Google ownership, Fitbit has absorbed those lessons for the Fitbit Inspire 2. This is a fitness tracker aimed firmly at beginners, occasional exercisers, and those who simply don’t want or need the extensive feature set of a Polar Vantage V2 or a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar.

On those terms, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is a success. But should we be demanding even more?

Design and Screen

  • Extremely comfortable to wear all day and night
  • Small monochrome OLED display
  • Waterproof to up to 50 metres

The Fitbit Inspire 2 stays faithful to the original’s stripped-back design. This is a compact wristband rather than a chunky watch, with a long rectangular body that’s precisely as wide as the detachable silicon strap.

I found the Fitbit Inspire 2 to be extremely comfortable to wear, and appealingly unobtrusive in a whole range of scenarios. Whether dressed in a smart-casual shirt for dinner in a neighbourhood restaurant, or tucked underneath a long-sleeve football shirt while playing 5-a-side football, it seemed to just melt into the background.

Fitbit-Inspire2-02 screen close up

Part of that anonymity is doubtless down to the neutral Lunar White tone of my particular model’s strap, which successfully blended in with my pasty skin. Your experience will vary of course, but there are Desert Rose and Black options should you prefer a deeper or darker shade.

Worn side by side and interchangeably with the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, I found the Fitbit Inspire 2 to be much more comfortable to wear for long periods. That’s a crucial comparison point if you plan to use these devices for a full 24 hours in order to harness their sleep tracking capabilities.

It’s water-resistant to 50m, too, and swimmers will find the Inspire 2 to be pleasingly unobtrusive. It’s pretty much akin to one of those locker key bands that some pools provide.

The display is a very compact 1.4-inch backlit OLED that’s only capable of showing fairly limited information in black and white. It’ll handle smartphone notifications without fuss, but anything but the most pithy of WhatsApp responses will feel a little hard to manage.

This display is even smaller than it appears at first glance, with chunky bezels all around – especially the forehead and chin. It gets bright enough in most conditions, though on a few occasions I found myself squinting at it in the late July sun. You can at least alter the font and appearance of the main watch face, however, using the free Fitbit app.

The screen lights up with a twist of your wrist, but I found the detection to be a little flaky. After one too many failed attempts, I resorted to the more reliable pinch method, pressing the capacitive buttons on either side of the display with my free hand. You can also activate it with a direct tap, though this too didn’t always seem to do the trick for me.

Fitbit-Inspire2-05 on wrist

Once active, you can swipe down to access apps like Notifications and Alarms, or up to scroll through your fitness stats. It all proves nice and responsive when sat down or stationary, but will prove more of a challenge to negotiate if you’re on the move.

That pinch system is the key control here, though. Its primary function is as a back-up command, which you’ll use a lot in Fitbit’s nested menu system. Meanwhile, holding that pinch will grant you quick access to functions such as Do Not Disturb, Water Lock, and Sleep.

Fitbit continues its platform agnosticism with the Inspire 2. Android Fast Pair worked well in our initial setup on the Sony Xperia 1 III, while setting up through the Fitbit app on an iPhone 12 mini was only fractionally less intuitive.

It’s a shame to see no Fitbit Pay support here, which means you can’t make mobile payments. But then, this is a device that’s very much tethered to the smartphone in a number of ways.

On the plus side, I’m pleased to see Tile integration with the Inspire 2, which will help you to track it down if you ever lose it.

Tracking

  • Heart rate monitoring is now a permanent part of the package
  • Solid step tracking
  • A year’s free subscription to Premium

Fitbit’s approach to health and fitness has become increasingly holistic. To that end, the affordable Inspire 2 has an impressive sense of breadth to its tracking provisions, even as it lacks the depth of a more serious tool.

The original Inspire series was split between a model with heart rate monitoring and one without, but it’s heartening (pun unintended) to see this feature made part of the core package in the Inspire 2. 

Fitbit-Inspire2-10 heart rate monitor

It’s an optical solution, so it won’t be the most accurate heart tracker on the market, but this isn’t a fitness tracker that’s aimed at those who pore obsessively over health stats. It does the basic job of monitoring performance and variances just fine.

Besides this, you get the usual step and sleep tracking, both of which use basic 3-axis accelerometer technology to monitor movement. Fitbit’s SmartTrack will automatically pick up on any exercises as you start them – or rather, after 15 minutes of continuous movement. Alternatively, you can manually trigger preset fitness tracking sessions by scrolling up to the Exercise app on the device.

I tested the Fitbit Inspire 2 alongside the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, and found both their step and heart rate counts to be broadly equal, which is reassuring.

It’s particularly welcome that these two metrics seem to be on point because the Fitbit Inspire 2 has gained the Active Zone Minutes feature from the Fitbit Charge 4. This essentially combines movement and heart rate tracking to recognise and reward hard work, with more points towards your weekly goal if you push yourself.

As a way to push casual exercisers to do a little more than just go out for a nightly stroll, Active Zone Minutes is a pretty smart feature, and the Inspire 2 feels like the perfect device to host it.

Sadly, the Fitbit Inspire 2 lacks GPS, so it can’t track your runs without the close proximity of your phone. If you want to be able to track your runs without the use of your phone, you’ll have to pay £40 more to upgrade to the Fitbit Charge 4. Such an upgrade would also get you Fitbit Pay compatibility, so it’s worth seriously considering what you want from your Fitbit before you commit to buying one.

You won’t gain an awful lot of insight from the Fitbit Inspire 2 itself. You can scroll down to check out things like the number of steps you’ve done in the day, how much sleep you got last night, your current heart rate and so on. If you want to drill down any further, however, you’ll have to jump into the Fitbit app. 

Given the limited nature of the Inspire 2’s display, this is probably for the best. The Fitbit app is one of the more intuitive ones to use, too, with clean presentation and a smart layering of information. You can go as deep as you want, or remain splashing around in the shallow end.

Talking of going deeper, as part of the Fitbit Inspire 2 package you get a free one year Fitbit Premium trial, which is a bit of a bonus. This provides access to things like advanced sleep analytics, guided workouts, fitness programmes, a wellness report, and mindfulness sessions. 

The mindfulness sessions involve a series of brief videos aimed at helping you focus on your breath, relieve stress, and be aware of your emotions. The latter one comes via Deepak Chopra himself, which will either be a selling point or a red flag depending on your view of the famous alternative medicine advocate. Even without this Premium tier, however, there’s a Relax app preinstalled on the Inspire 2 that will guide you through some simple breathing exercises.

I suspect most of this Premium content will be of limited interest to the Inspire 2’s more casual intended audience. But it’s also worth pointing out that rival fitness ecosystems don’t make you pay extra for such features. 

You don’t get any form of music playback on the Inspire 2, whether local or via your smartphone. Together, with the lack of GPS and Fitbit Pay, most people will want to take their phones out with them on their nightly jog.

Battery life

  • Up to 10 days battery stated
  • Can get to two weeks if you’re an occasional exerciser
  • 0 to 100% in 2 hours

Fitbit says that you’ll get up to 10 days of battery life out of the Inspire 2, which seems like a fair average estimate in my experience. 

With my own lighter regime during the test period – which amounted to a couple of 5-a-side football matches per week, a very occasional run, and lots of walking in between – I was able to go the best part of two weeks before I got the urgent call to recharge at 15%. This test period involved wearing the watch overnight for sleep tracking purposes, too.

Naturally, more intensive and frequent exercise regimes will drain that battery faster, but any way you cut it, the Inspire 2 comes up with the goods on stamina.

Fitbit-Inspire2-04 laying flat on table

When it finally comes time to recharge, the Fitbit Inspire 2’s charger will get you from 0 to 100% in two hours. That’s not massively rapid, but you’ll be getting email warnings at around the 15% mark, so you shouldn’t find yourself starting from nothing too many times.

Best Offers

Should you buy it?

You’re a fitness beginner: This is a relatively affordable entry point to the Fitbit platform, and it’s not one that bombards you with too much jargon or fine control. You can dive deeper into your stats if you want, but there’s no learning curve to speak of here.

You’re a hardcore runner/biker/insert chosen workout type: The Fitbit Inspire 2 is great for beginners and casual runners, but it’s definitely not for those who want to dive into the minutiae of their workouts. Its screen can’t show you a great amount of info in real time.

Final Thoughts

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a subtle but worthwhile refinement of the brand’s affordable fitness tracker format. Taking the preceding Fitbit Inspire HR as its base, it places solid heart rate tracking at its core, and adds the useful Active Zone Minutes function from the Fitbit Charge 4.

With a comfortable fit, an unfussy OLED display, and 10-day battery life, it’s a fitness tracker that’s blissfully easy to live with – and indeed sleep with. A tiny display and a lack of GPS somewhat limits its appeal to serious fitness fanatics and those after more advanced smartwatch features, but the Fitbit Inspire 2 succeeds at doing the basics well.

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We thoroughly test every fitness band we review. We use industry standard testing to compare features properly and we use the watch as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

FAQs

How good is the battery life?

Fitbit says 10 days, lighter use will see you through

Does the Fitbit Inspire 2 support iPhone?

Yes, it works with both iOS and Android

Does the Fitbit Inspire 2 have an always on display?

No, you have to life your wrist, tap the screen, or perform a pinch to power on the screen

Specs

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Jargon buster

HRM

An abbreviation of ‘heart rate monitor’, used to describe a device that can track the beats per minute of a user’s heart.

GPS

An abbreviation of the Global Positioning System, which uses satellite communication to pinpoint your location. Some smartwatches are able to achieve this communication without the use of a smartphone.

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