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Fitbit Inspire 2 review

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is the best activity band under $100

Fitbit Inspire 2 review
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is the best activity band under $100, especially for fitness-tracking beginners. Plus it comes with a complimentary year of Fitbit Premium.

For

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable, lightweight design
  • Great for first-time fitness tracker users
  • Comes with free year of Fitbit Premium

Against

  • Lackluster display
  • No on-board GPS
Fitbit Inspire 2: Specs

Price: $99.99
Size: 1.47 x 0.66 x 0.5 inches
Display: Grayscale OLED
Water resistance: 164 feet
GPS: No
Battery life: 10 days

If you're new to fitness tracking, the $99 Fitbit Inspire 2 is the ultimate entry-level activity band. For a third of the cost of the company’s smartwatches, the Inspire 2 gets basic health metrics, automatic workout tracking and accurate sleep insights. It also comes with a free year of Fitbit Premium.

As this Fitbit Inspire 2 review explains, there are some trade-offs for choosing it over the $329 stress-detecting Fitbit Sense or $149 Fitbit Charge 4. But for heart rate reading, step counting and banking more Active Zone Minutes, it's one of the best fitness trackers you can buy right now. And the best Fitbit for those on a budget.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Cheat sheet

  • The $99 Inspire 2 is the current entry-level Fitbit for adults, launched besides the $229 Fitbit Versa 3 and $329 Fitbit Sense smartwatches.
  • As an activity tracker, the Inspire 2 doesn’t support many apps, but it tracks your key health metrics. This includes heart rate, step count, exercise, calories burned and sleep quality. You can also use it to set timers and see notifications.
  • So what’s missing? The Inspire 2 doesn’t have GPS, support for contactless payments or music storage. It also doesn’t have advanced health sensors for blood oxygen monitoring or ECG readings.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Price and availability

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is available now and costs $99, making it the most affordable Fitbit model besides the kid-friendly Fitbit Ace 3. You can also find the Inspire 2 on sale with the best Fitbit deals from time to time.

Better yet, the Inspire 2 comes with a full free year of Fitbit Premium, which normally costs $9.99 per month or $80 per year. It’s a pretty good hook into the company’s advanced health tracking and coaching services.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Design

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a refreshed version of the Fitbit Inspire HR, continuing a similar, slightly-understated design language. Fitbit curved the Inspire 2’s edges and slimmed down its depth, so it sits more flush to your wrist.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It also adopted dual haptic side buttons in lieu of the physical button, which likely adds to its lightweight feel. But unlike the haptic button on the rest of last year’s Fitbit’s, you need to pinch both sides of the Inspire 2 simultaneously to access the settings menu or return to your home screen.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While it might not look much different than subtle, less expensive activity bands like the Amazfit Band 5 or Wyze Band, the Inspire 2’s durable buckle adds to its quality. I found Fitbit’s tracker molded more comfortably to my arm than those other bands, too.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Where the Inspire 2 feels a little less impressive than the other best cheap fitness trackers is its display.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Although the greyscale interface is perfectly responsive to swipes, showing you information like your step count, calories burned, notifications and more, it looks blah. It shouldn’t be a dealbreaker in most cases, but there are quite a few affordable activity bands out there with bright, colorful displays.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Fitness tracking

Like some pricier trackers, the Inspire 2 offers automatic workout tracking for select exercise types, although you can easily begin a workout from the exercise app on your wrist. The workout types include but are not limited to running, walking, weights, interval workouts, biking and swimming. There’s no on-board GPS like on the Fitbit Charge 4, so you’ll need your phone for more accurately tracking your mileage and viewing your route on a map.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

Fitbit Inspire 2 (left) and Charge 4 (right) (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You can’t see all your metrics mid-activity at once, but you can swipe through the exercise app to see calories burned, heart rate, time elapsed and Active Zone Minutes earned.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Fitbit)

I’m a big fan of Active Zone Minutes, which monitors the time you spend in the fat burn, cardio or peak heart-rate zones while exercising. Your goal is to earn the AHA’s and WHO’s recommended 150 Active Zone Minutes each week. In my experience, working out for about 30 minutes 5 times per week lets me reach that threshold.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

But as someone who usually works out more than that, I like to see more of my workout data at once, especially during cardio workouts where swiping on my wrist poses a distraction. For people who are looking to get more motivated, though, the Inspire 2 does as its name suggests. You can get encouraging activity reminders and invites for challenges with your Fitbit contacts.

When you activate your included free year of Fitbit Premium, you’ll get even more health and wellness tools. In addition to new mindful meditation sessions with Deepak Chopra, guided nutrition programs, workout plans, advanced sleep tracking and more.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Sleep tracking and other health features

Speaking of sleep tracking, the Inspire 2 can tell you how well (or not) you sleep each night when you wear it to bed. I've been tracking my zzz’s on a multitude of fitness trackers, and found the Inspire 2 is one of the more accurate wearables when it comes to detecting whether I’m awake. Often I wake up (or should I say my dog wakes me up) earlier than I like, so I go back to sleep. The Inspire 2 detected that I stirred, but didn’t end my sleep tracking for the morning.

fitbit inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Fitbit)

In addition to sleep tracking, you can use the Inspire 2 to log your water intake, changes in your weight and your menstrual cycle. I didn’t take advantage of these features much, but I could see them being useful for rounding out your wellness goals. You can also set mindfulness goals based on how many times per week you want to work on breathing or meditation.

fitbit inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Fitbit)

For a complete picture of your collected health data, you’ll need to use the Fitbit app (iOS, Android) on your smartphone. In terms of viewable data, the Inspire 2 is perhaps more limited than fitness trackers with fuller displays.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Battery life

Fitbit rates the Inspire 2 battery life for 10 days, which makes it the longest-lasting Fitbit. The Fitbit Charge 4 only lasts up to 7 days, or 5 hours with continuous GPS. Since the Inspire 2 doesn’t have built-in GPS, activity tracking on runs or bike rides isn’t as much of a power drain.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Based on my usage, I think I could eke out closer to 11 days from my Inspire 2 review unit, but at the expense of it dying while it was tracking my sleep overnight. I hooked it up to its proprietary charger with 10% of battery left on the 10th day of wear. It charged back up in just under two hours.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review: Verdict

I’ve recommended the Fitbit Inspire 2 to a few acquaintances who were looking to start fitness tracking without the fusiness of a full-fledged smartwatch or GPS sports watch. The Inspire 2 nails the basics, and for the price, you won’t find another activity band that offers the same sophistication.

Fitbit Inspire 2 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That said, if you find the Fitbit Charge 4 on sale (or you can spare an additional $50,) it’s worth the extra cash. It has on-board GPS, a larger display and an SpO2 sensor for more informed sleep data. If you’re really on a budget, the Amazfit Band 5 is the next best option. But, like most wearable makers, Amazfit’s health features, wellness profiles and original programming can’t match Fitbit’s. And for just $100, the Inspire 2 grants you entry to it all.