Fitbit has released several fitness tracker updates in recent months. The Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2 don’t add much to the powers of their predecessors. However, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a generational leap ahead of the Fitbit Inspire 2.
It’s one of the best fitness trackers around, especially if you want a low-fuss tracker with long battery life that you can forget you’re wearing for hours.
So should Fitbit Inspire 2 owners consider upgrading? And should you still buy the old model if you find it at a very strong price? We’ll look at the reasons to consider in this Fitbit Inspire 3 versus Inspire 2 comparison.
Price and availability
The Fitbit Inspire 3 arrived in September 2022, two years after the Inspire 2, which was released in September 2020.
Their original prices were very similar. The Inspire 2 cost $99.99/£89.99 at launch, while the Inspire 3 cost $99.99/£84.99.
However, these days you can get the Inspire 2 online for about half its original cost.
Design and display
The Fitbit Inspire 3 has a big visual upgrade over the Inspire 2, with the older version looking a little cheap and basic next to the new one in our opinion.
While the Inspire 3 isn’t a masterpiece, the way the strap pieces interface with the body of the tracker is much sleeker, and we’re fans of the new orange and lilac colors Fitbit has used for this generation.
Many of the basics of the construction are the same, however. Both have plastic casings and silicone straps and use tougher glass protection for the display.
Only the Fitbit Inspire 3 can pull off the neat trick of matching the strap color to the color flavor of the default clock display, however, as the Inspire 2 has a simple monochrome screen.
This new color screen is the most obvious upgrade that the Inspire 3 offers. Although the screens are the same size (0.72 inches for the Inspire 2 and 0.76 inches for the 3), the new panel is light years ahead.
The 206 x 124 pixel resolution of the Inspire 3 looks much sharper than the 126 x 36 of the Inspire 2. The color OLED also gives the watch a clearer sense of personality. And, crucially, it’s also much brighter.
We found that the Inspire 2 can struggle with outdoor display visibility on brighter days, which isn’t really an issue in the Inspire 3. This is very important if you want to look at distance or speed stats on the go. on a run.
The Inspire 3 also has an ambient light sensor, which is used to automatically increase brightness during outdoor activity, and bring it back down when indoors in a dimmer environment. There is also an “always on” option, missing in the Inspire 2. This shows the clock face all day, so you can casually look at your tracker to see the time.
While there are some feature gaps between these two models, the differences aren’t that dramatic because the Inspire 2 and Inspire 3 have the same goal: They’re trying to be easy, low-maintenance trackers—not for marathon runners. request a training guide.
They both measure your heart rate throughout the day and can automatically register when you walk or run. The Inspire tracks your sleep, counts your steps and offers exercise modes that you start manually. These show you mid-training stats on screen, while the outdoor ones use connected GPS to log your location.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 and 3 don’t have their own GPS chips. Linked GPS uses location data from your phone, relaying it to the watch via Bluetooth. If you want a true watch-style fitness experience for workouts, you’ll need to carry your phone.
These watches also have vibration motors, which are used for alarms and timers. They can also receive notifications from your phone, which is handy for checking emails or messages without taking out your phone. However, these look much better on the Fitbit Inspire 3’s sharper screen.
The next generation heart rate hardware provides direct new features. Look at them side by side and you’ll see that the Inspire 2 has two small light sensors, while the Inspire 3 has three. This is because the newer tracker can measure blood oxygenation (spO2) as well as heart rate , which involves analyzing the amount of red and infrared light reflected back onto these sensors.
As in other areas, the difference between these two fitness trackers is less about what they can do and more about how they feel to use.
Both generations provide good battery life. Fitbit rates them both at 10 days, and since there’s no GPS to drain it quickly you’re unlikely to see much less than that if you use phone notifications.
If there are notifications coming to the watch throughout the day, the screen will spend more time lit, and the vibration motor will get a workout. The Fitbit Inspire 3 also offers the option to use the “always on” display mode, which extends the battery life by about half to about five days.
While none of this is class-leading, it’s enough to avoid battery life headaches that are common among smarter wearables.
Our understanding of how suitable these trackers are for more serious athletes also stands for both models. If you care about stat accuracy or are going to be tracking runs most days, you probably want a watch with its own GPS.
The heart rate accuracy of the Inspire 2 and 3 is a bit erratic during exercise. They tend to struggle to give accurate readings in the early stages of training, and don’t really have the ability to cope with tough interval workouts where your heart rate fluctuates frequently. They perform well with walks and jogs where there is a certain level of consistency, however.
The Fitbit Inspire 3 is a much better fitness tracker than the Inspire 2. The display is sharper and brighter, and the “always on” mode makes it a decent little watch.
It doesn’t have scores of extra features, but we get blood oxygenation. And the extra screen brightness makes the Fitbit Inspire 3 look more at home outside on sunny days.
At this level, the Inspire didn’t need brand new features to prove its worth. The changes made really affect how Inspire 3 feels to use every day.