Fitness tracker design
Compared to other health tracker options like the Whoop Strap 3.0 or Garmin Vivoactive, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is minuscule: only 1.5-inches long, less than 1-inch wide, Â½-inch tall, and weighing less than 1 ounce. If youâ€™re wearing fitness gear almost nonstop for maximum feedback, the low profile can make a world of difference.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 comes fitted with a small silicone band (suitable for wrists 5.5 to 7.1 inches), while a larger one (meant for wrists 7.1 to 8.7 inches) is included. Removing the band is easy: Just pull the silver quick-release lever and pull back to snap the band off. At first, my fingers couldnâ€™t get a good grip on the pins and lever, but I was able to get the new strap in place after a few tries. The silicone bands are smooth and sit comfortably against the skin, and the plastic buckle is easy to maneuver. And, if I wanted to dress it up rather than tear it up during a workout, Fitbit sells optional metal mesh and leather bands starting at $34.95.
The slim black body of the tracker is sleek and, dare I say, cool. This fitness trackerâ€™s discreet size and minimalistic design made it sophisticated enough for everyday wear. The Inspire 2 looks much more expensive than its price tag might indicate. The backlit OLED display is crisp and clear, though visibility does fade a little in the sun. The touchscreen is responsive, which is handy when scrolling through features and settings. Additional touch sensors on the sides allow you to jump back to the home screen and access other settings, like water lock and sleep mod
Before you dive into a workout, youâ€™ll need to charge the Inspire 2 and download the Fitbit app. At only 9 inches long, the USB cable leaves much to be desired: My fitness tracker had to charge on the floor. USB extension cables are available from other sites, like this one from Belkin, and run between $7 and $15 should you, like me, need a little more slack.
To set up your Fitbit account, youâ€™ll need to sync the health tracker to a smart device via Bluetooth; itâ€™s compatible with Apple devices running iOS 12.2 or higher and Android devices running OS 7.0 or higher. After youâ€™re connected, youâ€™ll fill in your height, weight, gender, and fitness goals. Setting up the profile takes less than three minutes, but diving deeper to set activity goals beyond, say, the standard 10,000 steps can be tricky. I had to consult the Fitbit help page more than once to locate a few features but, once found, making the tweaks was easy.
I decided to set four personal targets: exercise five days a week; sleep for 7 hours and 30 minutes each night; take 10,000 steps a day to satisfy the step counter; and complete 22 â€œActive Zone Minutesâ€ per day. A Fitbit-specific metric, Active Zone Minutes equals the time you engage in heart-rate-raising exercises. I stuck with the American Heart Association-recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity as my overall weekly goal. You can also set target weight and weekly mindfulness sessions.
Key features of the Fitbit Inspire 2
Despite all the appâ€™s deeper features, the â€œTodayâ€ homepage is where I spent most of my time. It tracks and displays your daily activities, resting heart rate, steps taken per hour, and proximity to reaching your daily goals. It is also where you can log water, food consumption, and menstrual healthâ€”if you choose.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 relies chiefly on your heart rate to determine your sleep quality, calories burned, and the rigor of your daily activities. It stores heart rate data in 1-second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5-second intervals all other times, compiling weekly data about your resting heart rate (RHR), breathing rate, and heart rate variability over 30 days. Tracking your RHR helps the device actively identify and eliminate stressors (for instance, too much caffeine) and measure fitness progress. Regularly active people have lower RHRs, so if you notice a dip over time, it means you are doing all the right things to become healthier. It may take a few days to parse through all the information before deciding on any routine changes.
Along with all these included tracking features, the Inspire 2 includes a free, one-year subscription to Fitbit Premium, after which youâ€™ll pay $9.99 a month or $80 a year. Starting with complete access can make it a bit difficult to discern which parts of the app are free and which are a part of the subscription.
Essentially, Premium gives you access to extra workouts, guided meditation sessions, advanced sleep analytics, and wellness reports (an overview of health data, stats, and charts compiled every 30 days that you can share with your doctor). While there is a small selection of free video workouts, Fitbit Premium adds 150 video or audio routines from professional trainers, searchable based on time, equipment needed, exercise type (like cardio or pilates), or target muscle group (like abs and core). I tried a few 10-minute deep muscle workouts, which left me feeling challenged yet capable.
My favorite Premium feature was the advanced sleep analytics, which alone may make the renewal cost worth it. Without the paid subscription, youâ€™ll see the light, deep, and REM sleep youâ€™re getting each night, determined by heart and breathing rates. Fitbit Premium will compile a detailed Sleep Score report with minute-by-minute data, so you can see when in the night you were in various sleep stages, your heart rate, time spent tossing and turning, as well as the times you were awake. This can help you identify areas of improvement. For example, I thought I was getting at least eight hours of sleep each night; however, it turned out I spent close to an hour, divided over several minute-long intervals, awake. Now I know itâ€™s essential for me to get into bed earlier to compensate. I also noticed that if I had wine before bed, chances are my restorative REM or deep sleep would dip. Luckily, the battery does hit its promised 10-day lifespan, so I didnâ€™t have to worry about charging overnight.
Fitbit Inspire 2 day-to-day use
Premium subscription or no, the Inspire 2 delivers on its core promise: monitoring your fitness. I wore it while running, strength training, doing HIIT workouts, and practicing yoga. The fitness tracker can also be submerged in up to 50 meters of water and log the distance you swim; I am not aquatically inclined, but it did survive my showers.
To provide accurate cardio analyses, Inspire 2 lets you select from more than 20 different types of exercise. Navigating to choose an activity was confusing at first: You need to swipe up from the clock face, tap â€œexercise,â€ scroll through the options and tap to start tracking. The watch size and sensor sensitivity lead to accidental selections, and I learned by trial and error that pushing the side sensors is equivalent to â€œgoing back,â€ and you need to press and hold â€œfinishâ€ on the screen to end a workout. If I forgot to select my workout type preemptively, the Inspire 2 would attempt to identify it for me. It accurately detected all my runs, but didnâ€™t recognize at-home workouts like strength training.