The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a more polished fitness tracker than the Inspire 2 that offers a nice array of Fitbit’s best features wrapped up in a design you’d have no problems wearing 24/7.
- Now has a colour screen
- Slim design is great for 24/7 wear
- Sttrong feature set for the price
- Colour screen could be bigger
- Reading notifications can feel cramped
- Fitbit Premium needed some insights
- Colour touchscreenA big improvement over the previous version
- Up to 10 days battery lifeThough it’ll be less if you really push it
- Automatic exercise trackingA welcome addition not found on the Pixel Watch
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is the member of Fitbit’s wearable family that gives you those core health and fitness tracking features in a slimline band.
Coming in cheaper than fellow fitness tracking band the Fitbit Luxe and costing a lot less than the Versa 4, Sense 2 and Google Pixel Watch smartwatches, the Inspire 3 gets a welcome upgrade in the screen department over the Inspire 2 and brings in more of Fitbit’s latest software features to make it more useful to have on your wrist.
It’s the Fitbit tracker that will give you the biggest battery life and manages to pack in a surprising array of health, fitness and smart skills that might just make it the standout new Fitbit wearable of 2022.
Design and screen
- AMOLED display with always-on mode
- Removable straps
- Responsive haptic button
When Fitbit decided to ditch a host of its more affordable fitness trackers for the Inspire series in 2019, it delivered a design that was undeniably sporty, but remained a more discreet way to do that tracking.
The Inspire 3 is a skinny, light band that falls more in line with Fitbit’s Luxe tracker now that it also has an AMOLED touchscreen. The OLED touchscreen displays Fitbit planted on previous Inspire models was arguably one of its weakest elements, so it’s good to finally get some colour here.
Fitbit doesn’t give away the size of the screen or the resolution either, but it’s unsurprisingly a step up in vibrancy, brightness and just makes the Inspire 3 a whole lot nicer to interact with. You can use it in an always–on mode as well, which will inevitably have an impact on the type of battery life you get in between charges.
That being said, the size of the screen is definitely a sore point. It’s about the same size as the black bezel that sits above and below the display, which makes it very cramped to use for looking at long notifications or scrolling through the main Today dashboard. It’s good that it’s colour now, but I wish there was more screen to play with.
Fitbit hasn’t reinstated the physical button from the original Inspire and retains the haptic-style button built into the case. Unlike Fitbit’s other attempts to build haptic buttons into its other devices, notably its smartwatches, it actually works well on the Inspire 3. A gentle squeeze can get you back to the main watch screen in a reliable fashion.
The strap paired up to the case is a Classic silicone one, which does come in large and small size options in the box, with scope to easily remove the straps and put in something less sporty looking. The strap has been very comfortable to wear and completes a package that’s fit for land and water up to 50 metres in depth.
The colour screen and maintaining that slim form factor are wins for anyone that wanted more of a Fitbit Luxe feel to Fitbit’s cheaper Inspire tracker. A bigger screen would definitely have been appreciated though.
Features and performance
- Works with Android and iOS
- Fitbit OS-inspired UI
- View notifications, change clock faces
- Find my phone
One of the biggest gains from having a colour touchscreen display is that Fitbit is able to put on a software and user interface that’s more in keeping with what you’ll get on Fitbit’s other fitness trackers and smartwatches.
It’s not the same fully fledged Fitbit OS you’ll find on its Versa or Sense 2 smartwatches, but elements like the Today dashboard are better implemented and you’ve got a look and icons that more mirror what’s offered on its Luxe fitness tracker.
You’ll use the same Fitbit companion smartphone app to set things up and thankfully it’s a pretty painless setup process.
Unlike Fitbit’s smartwatches, you’ve got a few less smartwatch features to play with here. There’s no payment support, smart assistant or apps, but it’s also hardly surprising on some of those fronts given the size of the Inspire 3 and how much it costs.
What you do get is the ability to view notifications, which almost always require swiping the screen to read notifications fully. You can quickly establish where those notifications have come through, but it’s challenging to quickly read them. You can also do things like set alarms and reminders, there’s a useful Find my phone feature and you can turn on do not disturb and sleep modes too to stop the stream of notifications illuminating the screen as you try to drift off.
There are clock faces too and while they have been on previous Inspire models, that colour screen gives you some much nicer options. It’s grabbed ones from the Luxe and there are 21 in total to choose from, with just room for one face at a time on the band itself.
There were always going to be compromises made here due to the size of the display, but what Fitbit does include here works well overall and the addition of a colour screen (finally) makes a world of difference.
Fitness and health tracking
- SpO2 monitoring
- Skin temperature variation readings
- Connected GPS
- Daily Readiness scores (with Premium subscription)
In spite of that slim form factor, the Inspire 3 does manage to pack in a fair amount on the fitness and health tracking front.
Sensors-wise, you’ve got a pretty standard 3-axis accelerometer to track movement and enable automatic sleep monitoring. There’s an optical heart rate sensor and now red and infrared sensors to measure blood oxygen. There is connected GPS but like the Luxe, it misses out on an altimeter to measure elevation including stats on stairs climbed.
Those sensors power a host of features, some of which however are locked behind Fitbit’s paid-for Premium subscription. You won’t be able to see Daily Readiness Scores, access video workouts, get richer sleep analytics or access the full collection of mindfulness sessions – among other things. Some of those insights do feel like they should be accessible outside of a subscription, but the hope is that more insights don’t become locked behind that Fitbit paywall.
When it comes to the basics like counting steps, monitoring sleep and continuously monitoring heart rate, the Inspire 3 shines. Daily step counts were nicely in line with similar tracking on the Oura Ring 3 and you’ll get reminders to hit hourly step goals to make sure you’re regularly moving during the day.
It’s one of the most comfortable trackers to take to sleep and the data seemed good. Again, up against the reliable sleep tracking on the Oura, sleep duration and sleep stage breakdowns and sleep scores were generally in the same ballpark and didn’t feel too wildly off. Resting heart rate averages were around 2-3 bpm of each other and never felt wildly high in comparison to other devices we tested it against.
If you want to delve into other health metrics, you can see trends and information like breathing rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, oxygen saturation and resting heart rate data. Fitbit isn’t promising to tell you if you have an illness or a serious health issue, but these are metrics that could indicate that something maybe isn’t quite right. Elements like breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation and body temperature were similar to those delivered by the Oura and it felt like metrics that you could look at to give you a sense of how you might be feeling.
For those interested in paying closer attention to stress, Fitbit does also offer its stress management scores, access to guided Relax breathing sessions from the tracker itself and the ability to log moods and access some mindfulness sessions built around relaxation outside of a Premium subscription. Like sleep scores, stress management scores score you out of 100. The higher the better. These stress features in general though need some refining and need to be packaged in a more useful and meaningful way that will make you want to use them on a regular basis.
You might be surprised to find the Inspire 3 does pack in some sports tracking features as well. There’s the ability to track walks, runs, cycling, pool swims with the key aim to take that workout data and show how it contributes to your overall weekly exercise goals and contribute to your Active Zone Minutes. It’s an approach that makes tracking exercise a less daunting affair.
Along with manual tracking, there’s automatic exercise tracking and it always manages to pick up walks with a good deal of accuracy. When it’s time to put the manual tracking to the test, we’d say it’s comparable to what we’ve experienced on previous Inspire trackers. The cramped nature of the screen makes tapping into the connected GPS support to track outdoor exercises like runs challenging and it’s not fantastic from a distance tracking accuracy point of view. Features like heart rate tracking during exercise weren’t spotless either. These features and level of support feel heavily weighted towards someone who’s adding some exercise into their daily routine. If you fit that profile, then the support should be just about right.
- Up to 10 days battery life
- Proprietary charging cradle
- No quick-charge feature
If you want the Fitbit with the best battery life, then it’s the Inspire 3 you want on your wrist.
Fitbit says you can get the same up to 10 days battery life as the Inspire 2 and that’s every bit the case, even with that new colour display in place. If you use that screen in always-on mode, then it’s going to be less and more like 3-4 days so having that screen on 24/7 does take a big hit.
I saw a 10% battery drop-off on a daily basis and that was while wearing the Inspire 3 day and night, with notifications enabled and with 30 minutes to an hour of exercise tracking.
Is that the best battery life you can get from a fitness tracker around this price or even for less? No it’s not. It’s still a strong showing and if you can live without the screen set to always-on, you can comfortably get those 10 days.
When it does run low, it will take a couple of hours to get from 0-100%. You need a proprietary charging cradle to power it up, it is at least one that locks nicely to the back of the tracker to make sure it’s not going to be easily knocked out of place.
Should you buy it?
If you want an affordable fitness tracker with Fitbit’s best features: It might not give you the full package of smarts you get on Fitbit’s smartwatches, but the Inspire 3 manages to pack in most of the good stuff that make it a great health, fitness and sleep tracking companion.
You want a good mix of fitness tracking and smartwatch features: There are arguably better fitness trackers that have the capacity and the screen estate to do a better job of offering fitness, sports and health features and providing more room for features like notifications and music controls.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is arguably the standout new wearable from Fitbit in 2022, not only for finally putting a colour screen on its cheapest fitness tracker, but also because it manages to cram it with a lot of features to make sure it offers much better value for money than previous Inspires.
How we test
We thoroughly test every fitness tracker 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.
Worn as our main tracker during the testing period
Heart rate data compared against dedicated heart rate devices
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Yes, you can swim with the Fitbit Inspire 3. It carries a 5ATM water resistance rating, which makes it safe to be submerged in water up to 50 metres depth. It will only track pool swims and will track lengths, distance, duration and pace.
No, you cannot answer calls on the Fitbit Inspire 3 as it doesn’t include a microphone or speaker required to handle calls.
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