Fitbit trackers are fast becoming a standard among fitness junkies. It has been over a decade since the fitness tracking company began to make these trackers. They offer over 20 activity trackers and smartwatches in its product lineup. The company’s smartwatches compete with Apple’s iconic smartwatch series, the Apple Watches.
Fitbit Inspire HR and Fitbit Charge 3 are two of the many products from the fitness tracker maker. Both the Inspire HR and Charge 3 has gained immense popularity among fitness conscious people. This is mainly due to the design and the features of these products.
Fitbit Inspire HR was one of the fitness trackers to enter the market in 2019 while Charge 3 made its entry in 2018. Charge 3 is advertised as a sports watch while the Inspire HR is an entry-level product for those who are looking to start tracking their fitness journey.
Both products have seen good sales since they are both feature-filled affordable fitness trackers. These trackers feature a comfortable fit and are also dustproof and sweat resistant. Qualities that will make these digital watches last longer bringing it in the bracket of cost-effective fitness trackers.
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Breaking It Down
Since both Inspire HR and Charge 3 belong to the category of fitness and health trackers, the purpose of the watches beckons you to wear it all day. Therefore, it should be a comfortable fit around your wrist. Plus, since it’s an everyday watch, it is better to also consider the design and attractiveness of the watch.
In today’s market, even entry-level tracker accompanies advanced tracking features like heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, swim tracking, exercise mode recognition, etc. These are all features important for maintaining individual health and fitness for a better lifestyle.
To be the best fitness trackers, a device would require a clear readable display that is elegant and efficient, as well as including attractive features that can satisfy the consumer whether it be a professional athlete or just a fitness conscious person.
Fitbit Inspire HR
- Design and Display
Weighing just 20 grams, the Inspire HR is a thin watch that is comfortable to wear day and night. Moreover, it can be clipped onto waistbands or bras, unlike other Fitbit trackers. This makes it convenient for those people who don’t like wearing watches or have a fear that they might lose them during a long-distance run.
The watch is supremely thin adding to the comfort factor. The display is a greyscale 128 x 72mm OLED touchscreen. The touchscreen lacks clarity and is not visible under bright sunlight. The visual feedback is also minimal.
There is a button on the side that helps you to access quick settings such as battery information and turning notifications on or off.
- Tracker Features
The Inspire HR is not just a basic fitness tracker. It has perks for all the gym-goers and health-conscious people out there. It lets you track steps, distance, active minutes, and calories burned. This gives you access to insightful stats on your workout sessions.
It can automatically record a few workouts which are useful in case you forget to record your calorie burn. This information gets stored on the Fitbit app and is accessible whenever you want.
If you want to take your workout sessions a step higher, you can set goal-based exercises on the watch for your workouts and see your cardio fitness level. This increases your motivation to reach your exercise target. It is better to manually start an exercise on the tracker to ensure that the exercise is logged so you can access your workout metrics after the session.
The heart rate sensor is another main health tracking feature of the tracker, this HR edition is what makes it more expensive than its previous version Fitbit Inspire.
Additionally, it sports a swim-proof design and accompanies active swim tracking. However, it will only track the swim duration. It doesn’t count lengths, laps, or recognize swim strokes.
At the end of the day, when you are tired from your daily routine, the activity tracker begins sleep tracking. This is especially useful for people with sleeping disorders.
Additionally, the tracker offers guided breathing exercises, which is a form of meditation. If you browse through the menu you will be able to find the choice of either a two minute or five-minute exercise. Since this tracker does not offer the option to download meditation apps like Headspace, these breathing exercises can help you relax even while you are at your workplace.
A major drawback is the absence of a built-in GPS. You have to connect the watch to your phone for it to track your location and distance covered. Outdoor workouts will require mapping and route data. Also, you can’t listen to music as there is no music storage on the device.
- Battery Life
The Inspire HR can hold up for five days even with all activity tracking features functioning in full swing. All-day heart rate and notification support are the biggest battery drainers. Both features can be deactivated to save battery power. When you are running low on battery the device will flash and sent an automatic email to your linked account.
It only takes a couple of hours for the device to get charged fully, so you will still be able to wear it every night to track your sleep. However, the digital watch uses a proprietary charger, which is frustrating as you have to carry the charger everywhere in case the battery drains. If you lose the cable, you will have to buy another. It is off-putting that the company hasn’t switched to a USB-C or micro USB cable.
- Lightweight design
- Accurate sleep tracking
- 5-day battery life
- Small display
- Weak battery life
Fitbit Charge 3
- Design and Display
Conforming with the modern trends the watch is sleek and attractive packed into a neat subtle curve. It’s lightweight and is a comfortable fit around your wrist even when you sleep. The watch has a streamlined design showcasing a button on the side. Pressing the side button takes you to the previous screen and when long-pressing it will direct you to a quick settings box which will let you disable notifications or automatic screen waking. The side button also lets you cycle through different modes.
The Charge 3 possesses an OLED touchscreen display. The watch showcases a greyscale touchscreen with a simple user interface. The touchscreen is large enough to view all your messages without it being crammed into a small screen. You can shake your wrist, gently tap the screen or press the side button to wake the watch. Although, there was a lag that was noticed while waking the watch by shaking your wrist.
- Tracker Features
This fitness tracker is filled with a host of fitness and health tracking features. It has all the advanced features like heart rate monitor, oxygen level detection, and sleep pattern detection. If you are a swimmer, the tracker is water-resistant down to approximately 164 feet (50 meters). It features a swim mode that can monitor laps and distances in the water.
The heart rate monitor constantly provides heart rate figures on your home screen. Every time you attempt to wake the watch or touch the screen you will be able to view step and heart rate data. A swipe up from the bottom of the screen shows a summary of any workout metric, ranging from minutes active to water consumed. Water consumption data is important to regulate your water intake to keep your body hydrated and healthy.
The digital tracker has a SpO2 sensor that measures blood oxygen levels. Along with blood oxygen levels, the SpO2 sensor also helps track sleep patterns. Since it is a lightweight object it is no trouble sleeping with the watch on. This lets the watch smoothly track your sleep patterns preventing you from underlying sleeping disorders.
While you are sleeping, do remember to switch off the notifications and ‘Screen Wake’ by holding down the inductive button. This is because the screen keeps flashing at the arrival of notifications which can be frustrating while you sleep.
All the data is synced into the Fitbit app. Once you sync the Charge 3 to the Fitbit app, you get access to an in-depth analysis showing time spent in light, deep, and REM sleep, along with the total time you were awake during the night.
Another feature similar to the Inspire HR is goal tracking. You can set specific goals to achieve and follow a workout pattern. You can set 5 laps of swimming or 100 pushups on the watch and it will vibrate once the goal is achieved.
Unfortunately, Charge 3 doesn’t have GPS location tracking. You will have to connect the Charge 3 to your smartphone during your runs and walks to track your location and distance covered. Another drawback is the absence of music storage. This would require smartphone pairing as well.
This is a major concern for people who like to burn their calories and flex their muscles to music and relax during their workout sessions. We all know running with some music to listen to is easier and less stressful. Therefore, if you need these two features you will have to carry your smartphone.
- Battery Life
After a full charge, Charge 3 can last a full seven days even with all the tracker features in full operation. Read all your notifications, track your exercise, sleep, and track your goals without creating a major dent in your battery life.
- Lightweight case
- Completely waterproof
- Smartphone notifications
- Excellent battery life
- Large screen
- No music storage
- No onboard GPS
- Monochrome screen
- Proprietary charger
Fitbit Charge 3 Stands Out as the Winner
Both Fitbit Charge 3 and the Inspire HR are affordable activity trackers with almost similar features. Charge 3 is one of the flagship trackers of the company while the Inspire HR is an entry-level tracker. Both have excellent tracking features but lack built-in GPS and music storage for you. These are two important features that most activity trackers in the market have today.
Comparing Fitbit Charge 3 and the Inspire HR, Charge 3 wins the tracker battle because it gives an extra couple of days of battery life, insightful swim tracking data, and the SpO2 sensor. Choose Charge 3 if you are a professional swimmer or into swimming as a means of regular exercise. The insightful data offered by Charge 3 can help you hone your swimming skills.
A few factors to be careful of while investing in a health and fitness tracker if you are a fitness-centric person is exercise mode detection, heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and GPS positioning. GPS tracker gives you a much clearer picture of your route and how much distance you have covered. Also, a connected app to sync in all your data not only saves the data but will also make your workout stats more insightful and detailed.