If you’re in the market for a fitness and activity tracker, you know the options go from Cadillac-level, with all kinds of bells, whistles, and metrics, right down to simple step counters. Fitbit is one of the originals, and it’s managed to stay on top of the market by constantly adding new devices and refining older ones so that they’re often on the wish lists of the health-minded. The newest mid-range tracker is the Fitbit Inspire 3. In this review, I got to test one for several weeks to see what it tracks, how accurate it is, and whether it’s worth it.
- Tracks lots of data: steps, sleep, calories, activity
- Connected GPS
- Color screen
- 24/7 heart rate
- New Blood Oxygen tracking
- Need to bring phone along for GPS to work
- SpO2 isn’t on-demand
What’s New In the Fitbit Inspire 3?
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a small step up from the previous Fitbit Inspire 2 in a few ways. The Inspire 3 has all-new software, making it work a bit faster than its predecessor, but the key upgrades are that the Inspire 3 now features a more streamlined design and a better touch-enabled screen (think fewer taps that don’t register). That screen is now in color, and in addition to tracking the now-standard steps, sleep, calories burned, and 24/7 heart rate, this Fitbit will also measure blood oxygen. Like the Inspire 2, the Inspire 3 is also water-resistant up to 50 meters and can track swimming or laps in the pool.
Setting Up the Fitbit Inspire 3
Getting any Fitbit set up is easy: Just ensure it’s charged, open the Fitbit app, and find the Add Device option. The Inspire 3 will manage the rest of the steps for you. I was set up and counting in under five minutes.
How Does the Fitbit Inspire 3 Fit & Feel?
Fitbit Inspire 3 is definitely comfortable, light and it’s very easy to forget I’m even wearing it, which is particularly great at night for unobtrusively tracking sleep. The included silicone band has a nice little loop that keeps the end of the band stuck firmly in place.
Is This Fitbit Accurate?
I’ve used almost every Fitbit since the very first tracker came out more than fifteen years ago. They are all extremely accurate, generally speaking, and even more so if you calibrate your device to your own stride length. Doing that makes your step count freakishly accurate and can go a long way to providing detailed, useful health data. While most of Fitbit’s data is available as part of their free app or by simply viewing statistics on your device, there are premium-level tools (including guided workouts) that can be accessed with a Fitbit Premium subscription. The Fitbit Premium membership costs either $9.99 per month or $79.99 for a year subscription.
Using the Sleep Tracking Function
Fitbit breaks down your sleep into four stages: Awake, REM, Light, and Deep. The Inspire 3 can track how long you spend in each sleep stage and uses this information to produce a Sleep Score that gives you an at-a-glance idea of how well-rested you may be.
Fitbit Inspire 3 Battery Life
The Fitbit Inspire 3’s battery life holds steady at the same level as the Inspire 2, but before you think that’s a letdown, it’s actually just fine. Battery life is a robust ten days on a single charge (which itself takes two hours), which is leagues longer than almost every other tracker or smartwatch, and means you can spend a lot more time gathering data and a lot less time charging. Plus, since you won’t need to worry about removing this one each night to recharge, you won’t miss out on those sleep metrics.
New Blood Oxygen Metrics
Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) measures the amount of oxygen in your blood and can indicate illness or athletic fortitude. While SpO2 is available on other Fitbits, it’s the first time it’s been on the Inspire line. Unlike some other trackers or SP02 sensors, you can’t get an on-the-spot blood oxygen measurement with the Fitbit Inspire 3; you need to wear the tracker while you sleep, and you’ll earn your rating by morning, making this less than helpful for athletes or those with legit health concerns. I used my Inspire 3 to check in on my blood oxygen level, and while I don’t have a home oxygen test kit to verify the results, I am reasonably fit and healthy, and the level seems to jive with how I feel.
Other Metrics on the Fitbit Inspire 3
Fitbit Inspire 3 has connected GPS. If you want to go for a run and track your path, you need to bring your phone along since the tracker uses the phone’s GPS to log where you went. Clunky, but it works as long as you don’t mind your phone bumping around with you, which I didn’t.
There are plenty of other Fitbit features and metrics that you can access on the Inspire 3. This includes menstrual cycle tracking (helpful for the forgetful types and those looking to conceive) and stress level assessments. In short, Fitbit Inspire 3 had all the fitness and health data that I was looking for.
The Verdict: Should You Buy the Fitbit Inspire 3?
The Inspire 3 is a great option for someone looking for a no-frills tracker since it deftly balances several useful features at an affordable price. Physical activity tracking is of the quality we expect from any Fitbit device. And heart rate and sleep monitoring are great tools for tracking recovery and fitness trends. This is a solid device if you want to start out on a fitness journey or just want something small and light to keep tabs on your sleep and movement. I have long been a fan of Fitbit devices because I think they work extremely well, they operate pretty much bug-free, they’re useful, easy to set up, and from my experience, they have a long lifespan.
When it comes to any downsides, it might be in the tracking capabilities it does not have. This includes things like a larger screen, built-in GPS, or advanced health and wellness features like an echo-cardiogram or electrodermal skin temperature sensor. Getting those features is as easy as upgrading to another device like a Fitbit Charge 5 or Fitbit Sense smartwatch, but not surprisingly, you’ll pay more for these privileges.
But there’s really no downside to the Inspire 3, so I can definitely recommend the Fitbit inspire 3.