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Fitbit Inspire 2 review

Posted on 27-Oct-2020 16:44 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

My first health tracker - basically a step-counter device, was a Fitbit. I have used quite a few different models over the years, including the Versa, Blaze and other models. Recently Fitbit has launched some new devices - both a smartwatch and a simpler health tracker - the Fitbit Inspire 2 I am looking here. 


In terms of design, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is not much different from previous iterations of trackers from the company. The main feature I see is the lack of a physical button - replaced by two touch panels, one on each side of the device. The black and white display uses PMOLED technology. It is pretty bright (and you can dim it from the settings menu) and the fonts used are very easily readable, so it works well both indoors and outdoors.


The Fitbit Inspire 2 is pretty small - and weight almost nothing or more exactly 21g according to my kitchen scales. It comes with a classic silicone wrist wrap and a charging cable.


It is pretty easy to get used to the user interface. Just raise your wrist or touch the panels on each side of the device to wake the screen - touching the panels again will turn the screen off. The main screen is the clock - which has quite a few different options in terms of design - and you can swipe up and down the screen to go through apps (swipe down) or swipe up to see your daily stats. Also under the clock on the main screen, there's single stat - as mentioned you can quickly see the time and this stat by raising the wrist and you can tap the screen to cycle through the stats until you find the one you want to be presented when the screen comes on.


Apps include Notifications, Exercise, Relax, Timers, Alarms (handy if you wear your tracker during sleep) and Settings. Tap on the screen to open the app and interact with it, and touch the panels to go back one step. 


From the main screen (clock) you can touch and hold the panels on each side to access some settings - Do Not Disturb, Water Lock, Wrist/Pendant option. 


With this out of the way, you will need to have a Fitbit account and use the Fitbit mobile app to link the device to your account. The Fitbit Inspire 2 will synchronise to your mobile device via Bluetooth. You don't need to have Bluetooth always on though, as the tracker has enough memory to store seven days of detailed data (minute by minute) or daily total for the past 30 days.


Out of the box, it will track your steps, sleep and heart rate (at five seconds intervals by default or every second while exercising). Once synchronised, this data is available through the mobile app or the web-based dashboard. 


This data is shown in cards that give you access to different insights - for example, the sleep card tells you how long you slept and how long was spent on each sleep stage (REM, light, deep). 


The Heart Rate card is very interesting - it presents a chart with your resting heart rate, with daily insights into heart rate zones and time spent on each of these zones (which is directly related to exercise levels). The Cardio Fitness insight shows your fitness level as a score (VO2 Max estimate) based on exercise, heart rate, age and sex. In my case, it says for my age I score between "Very Good and Excellent". This value is constantly adjusted as more data flows into the app. This kind of insights is more than I've seen in other apps and trackers and what makes the Fitbit Inspire 2 so interesting.


The mobile app will track your weekly exercise regimen and show daily stats. The Fitbit Inspire 2 has six exercise modes you can manually select, out of twenty exercise modes available. You can use the app to add, remove or re-order of the six exercise modes installed on your track. These cover walk, run, bike, swim, treadmill, weights interval workout, golf, hike, yoga and more. The tracker is also smart enough to identify exercises even if you forget to actively start tracking it (those have to be at least 15-minute long so it will recognise it). As an example, it will automatically record "Walk" without any interaction. And yes, it is water-resistant to 50 metres so you can use it for your swimming sessions. 


The Fitbit Inspire 2 does not have a built-in GPS but it can connect and use your smartphone's location data during exercises. If you use this option, then you will see a map showing your exercise course. The map shows information such as heart zones and pace on each segment so you can easily see where you performed better, how you can improve your exercise and where. 


Also based on your heart rate, the Active Zone Minutes feature will give personalised information on how hard you worked based on the heart rate zones - fat burn, cardio and peak.


Another "app" that comes pre-installed is Relax, guided exercises that will help you with personalised relaxation exercises. From the tracker, you can start a two or five-minute exercise session. An on-screen pulsating starting will grow larger and smaller and you work to match your breathing cycle with it. If you do this relaxation with your eyes closed you can just follow tracker vibration to maintain the rhythm - a good way to calm down during those stressful moments of the day. 


These features are all part of the "package" you get out-of-the-box but you can get more - a lot more, with a Fitbit Premium subscription. While this is a paid service, Fitbit Inspire 2 users get a one-year free Premium subscription that can be activated when you link the tracker to your account. 


Since it's quite likely you will have your tracker on your wrist while also carrying your smartphone, the app allows you to select an option to receive notifications on your Fitbit Inspire 2. It covers the basics (text messages, calendar, emails and calls) plus you can select from any app on your smart device to send notifications to your wrist. These come pretty quickly too.


In terms of battery life, the Fitbit Inspire 2 can give you up to ten days on a single charge - but really this will depend on how many times you exercise and if you use GPS or not - which uses a bit more power seeing it's a wireless connection to your smartphone. Charging is quick though so you could put it away for a couple of hours while relaxing in the evening, before wearing it again for the night.




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