6 Reasons I Would Avoid a Fitbit Inspire 2

fitbit inspire 3 vs fitbit inspire 2

6 Reasons I Would Avoid a Fitbit Inspire 2

For the fitness-minded gadget enthusiast, buying a new smartwatch or fitness tracker is probably on the wishlist somewhere. Being able to check your health metrics, track your sleeping patterns, and monitor your cardio sessions on the fly can help streamline and improve your lifestyle. Of course, a bonus would be if you could accomplish all of this without breaking the bank. This is exactly what Fitbit’s trackers promise, as they’re often priced at a fraction of the cost of a higher-end piece of tech like an Apple Watch. But, unfortunately, not all trackers are equal. While the Fitbit Inspire 2 might suit some tastes, personally, I found it to be lacking. Here are the reasons why I would recommend avoiding the Fitbit Inspire 2, and suggestions on what might fit the bill.

No Built-In GPS

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The Inspire 2 doesn’t have built-in GPS capabilities, so you must use it in conjunction with your smartphone.

The Inspire 2 needs to be near your phone to record GPS-related metrics, such as distance, location, and running pace. This is because it doesn’t have GPS capabilities built into it. Now, this may not be an issue if traveling around with your phone in your pocket is second nature. But otherwise, it can be a nuisance. If you’re like me, and often find yourself heading out the door at a moment’s notice to clock in some cardio, leaving your phone behind means you can’t track your run. Other times, you might want to head out for a run in the evening or at night and feel torn between bringing your expensive smartphone along or losing out on your metrics. This may be enough to persuade you to go for a different model.

Display Feels Outdated

fitbit inspire 2.
The Inspire 2’s display feels outdated and the brightness can diminish over time.

To be fair, the Inspire 2 is now more than three years old. But, to be honest, even for 2020, the display doesn’t feel up to snuff. There’s no color to differentiate items on the screen, and the brightness is particularly lackluster. Although the Inspire 2 is an affordable tracker, there are similarly priced options out there that don’t have these drawbacks. To make matters worse, many users report that the screen brightness keeps diminishing over time. Some say that it ended up almost completely illegible. I can’t say I’ve noticed anything as drastic myself, but I can tell that the display is a little dimmer than when I first started using it, which was only a few months ago.

Ergonomics Feel Like an Afterthought

I sometimes felt a bit uncomfortable wearing the Fitbit Inspire 2, with an indent left on my wrist after long use.

One of the strengths of the Inspire 2 is that it sports a no-frills, understated design. Overall, the tracker looks clean. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate into a comfortable experience for the user. Fitbit recommends that the tracker needs to be tight enough to read metrics accurately but not too tight so that it can’t move freely. This sounds helpful, but I found myself constantly questioning whether the Inspire 2 was too tight or too loose. I couldn’t seem to find a happy medium. It felt like the tracker was either moving around my wrist excessively or felt restrictive. It also wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up in the morning with some discomfort, and be presented with a slight rash and red indent on my wrist upon removing the Inspire 2. Granted, this won’t be everyone’s experience, but it’s not unheard of.

Metrics Left Me Wanting More

fitbit sleep data.
Although the sleep tracking offers a basic insight, the sleep stage breakdown didn’t seem accurate.

To Fitbit’s credit, they do provide the user with lots of metrics considering the Inspire 2 is a fairly basic tracker. On the fitness side, the Inspire 2 records your heart rate (and its variability, or HRV), steps taken, as well as a new metric called “Active Zone Minutes.” This is used to describe the minutes spent with an elevated heart rate. You can track all of this during your workouts, as well as speed and distance. You can also track your sleep duration and how much time you spend in each stage. The full profile is only available with a Premium membership, although you do get one year free.

While this all sounds great in theory, I found the reality didn’t quite measure up. My heart rate seemed to jump all over the place and did not seem accurate, which was echoed by other users. Steps seem to be overestimated as well. Apparently, I walk around 10 steps grabbing a cup of coffee off my desk.

Coupled with this, I didn’t find the sleep tracking to be that accurate either. Some studies have shown that the Inspire 2 overestimates the time spent in deep and REM sleep while underestimating the time spent in light sleep. I can’t say exactly if this jives with my experience, since I’m incapable of knowing my sleep architecture off the top of my head. But these results don’t surprise me. There were many times where the Inspire 2 said I was asleep and I knew I was awake, and vice versa. Overall, I didn’t feel confident placing too much stock in these metrics. Which was kind of the whole point of using the tracker in the first place.

Lack of Features

Hispanic young attractive man stands in dark street in front of shop, changes songs and tracks on smartphone, listens to music in wireless headphones. Hipster with slight beard
If you want to play music from your wrist, you’re out of luck.

Since it’s a fairly old tracker, the Inspire 2 lacks features users have come to expect with newer models. There’s no way to track your blood oxygen or stress levels, and there’s no always-on display mode. As such, you might end up having to tap both sides of the screen a lot as I did, just to keep the screen on. This can get frustrating pretty quickly, as can the fact you can’t use the Inspire 2 to control music playback or respond to (or even see) any texts or messages. In addition, syncing with your phone doesn’t seem to happen as often as it should, or be as quick as you can hope. If you’re hoping for fast, automatic syncing, and to be able to check the time accurately when you’re on the go, you’ll probably be disappointed.

The Warranty Is Unreliable

Rubber stamping that says 'Warranty'.
Although the Inspire 2 includes a one-year warranty, it doesn’t tend to last as long as other trackers.

Fitbit does include a one-year warranty that protects against defective parts workmanship, given that you’re using the Inspire 2 under “normal” conditions. Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon scenario for the Inspire 2 to break down in some way. And this often happens on either side of the one-year mark. The strap can become faulty, as can the part where the tracker display connects to the band. The glass display isn’t exactly the most sturdy either. Cracking or breaking it happens more often than you may think. Of course, the Inspire 2 is a budget-friendly choice compared to some alternatives. But if you have to keep replacing it, then the expenses will add up quickly.

Better Alternatives to the Fitbit Inspire 2

Garmin Vivosmart 5Includes blood oxygen tracking, more accurate.
Garmin Venu 3On-device calling, ECG readings, GPS included.
Galaxy Watch 6Larger display, Google Assistant included, fast performance.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8An affordable option, a large pill display, includes blood-oxygen tracking and an always-on display.
Apple Watch Series 9Very bright OLED display, built-in Siri, and excellent app integration. Best alternative for iPhone users.

  1. Garmin vívosmart® 5
    • Long battery life
    • Blood oxygen tracking
    • Bright display
    • Built-in sports apps and GPS
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    02/24/2024 10:54 am GMT
  2. Garmin Venu 3
    • AMOLED display
    • Built-in microphone and speaker
    • ECG recording
    • GPS
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    02/24/2024 10:58 am GMT
  3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
    • Timeless, iconic look
    • Personalized heart rate zones
    • Help to develop better sleep habits
    • Advanced BIA sensor
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    02/24/2024 02:28 pm GMT
  4. Xiaomi Mi Band 8 Smart Bracelet 1.62“
    • Fashionable design
    • Water-resistant
    • Works with zepp life app
    • Heart rate monitor
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    02/24/2024 11:38 am GMT
  5. Apple Watch Series 9 Smartwatch
    • Very customizable
    • Powerful S9 chip
    • Advanced health features
    • Compatible with all Apple devices
    Buy on Amazon

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    02/23/2024 11:39 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Fitbit Inspire 2 accurate?

Overall, the Inspire 2 might be good enough for keeping a rough check on your health metrics, but I didn’t find it to be that accurate when measuring my heart rate or sleeping patterns. Some evidence shows that it overestimates time spent in certain sleep stages and underestimates others.

Does the Inspire 2 have a good display?

Honestly, the display isn’t very bright and can tend to become even dimmer over time. This can make it hard to read the display in certain environments.




Is the Inspire 2 comfortable?

For some users, yes, although others (me included) find that it either feels too tight or too loose and can leave a red mark and slight rash on your wrist after prolonged use.

Does the Inspire 2 have GPS?

No, so if you’re heading outdoors for some exercise, you’ll need your smartphone with you to keep the tracker updated.

What are some alternatives to the Inspire 2?

Alternatives with better tracking, more features, and brighter displays include the Garmin Vivosmart 5 and Venu 3, Apple Watch Series 9, and Galaxy Watch 6. A great budget-friendly option is the Mi Band 8 by Xiaomi.

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