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Fitbit Inspire 3 review: Our favourite cheap Fitbit

Our Rating :
£84.99 from
Price when reviewed : £85
inc VAT

With solid improvements and no dubious deductions, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is the company’s best product of 2022


  • Sharp, colour screen
  • Comfortable to wear
  • The Fitbit app is superb


  • Screen is tiny
  • Only 6 months free Fitbit Premium

Completing the trio of Fitbit releases in 2022 is the small, unassuming Fitbit Inspire 3. I left reviewing this one until last because I assumed it would be the least interesting and, while there’s an element of truth in that, it’s actually the best of the bunch.

While the Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Versa 4 were interesting for the wrong reasons – for what the company had cut, rather than what it had added – the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a genuine improvement on what was already quite a likeable fitness tracker.

As with its predecessors, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a throwback to what Fitbit did best in its early days: counting steps and nudging you towards activity, without being a distraction in its own right. Here, it does that with more panache than ever.

Fitbit Inspire 3 review: What you need to know

Unlike the £200-plus smartwatches Fitbit will now push you towards, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a throwback to a simpler time when the company produced app-connected digital pedometers. It’s a fitness band, designed to blend in rather than stand out with constant demands for attention.

Admittedly, it’s a fancier fitness band than 2020’s Fitbit Inspire 2. It’s a little thinner, now comes with a colour screen and offers blood oxygen measurement, like the premium Fitbits. All of these should reduce battery life, yet it’s still quoted as lasting up to ten days per charge, which is impressive.

What it still doesn’t have is GPS, requiring you to piggyback off your phone’s sensor instead. But given the poorly performing GPS on both the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4, this doesn’t feel like that much of a sacrifice this time around.

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Fitbit Inspire 3 review: Price and competition

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is priced at £85, which certainly puts it on the higher end of fitness trackers, and not just compared to the Fitbit Inspire 2, which started life at £90 but can now be had for nearly half that.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6, for instance, comes with a colour OLED screen and a SpO2 sensor for £40. Samsung phone owners may find the £50 Galaxy Fit 2 appealing as well.

Neither of these offers the excellent Fitbit app, of course, but something slightly more expensive does. The Fitbit Charge 5 is undoubtedly chunkier, but it includes GPS, EDA and ECG sensors and can now be had for around £100.

Fitbit Inspire 3 review: Design

The Fitbit Inspire 3’s design will appear familiar to anybody who has used either of the previous two Inspires – or indeed any other fitness tracker from the past few years. That is to say, it’s a small black lozenge with two straps that slot into the top and bottom via a slightly fiddly pin mechanism.

It does look a bit different, however. It isn’t as angular, instead embracing a more curved and less tapered design. It’s also a bit thinner and lighter, coming in at 39.3 x 18.6 x 11.8mm and 20g, compared to the 37 x 16 x 12.6mm and 22g body of its predecessor.

That makes the screen a tiny bit bigger, but note that the display is nowhere near as large as the size of the body suggests; the screen occupies only a small square of the face, with the rest a largely invisible bezel. This is only noticeable when you cycle through screens and see elements chopping off early and Fitbit is far from the only company to use this particular optical illusion. It’s still a touch disappointing, though.

The most significant upgrade here, however, isn’t with its build, but the fact that the screen is now a colour AMOLED unit as opposed to the monochrome panel used in the previous model. While that doesn’t impact its utility as a fitness tracker, it does make data pop a bit more, as well as making it look a bit more stylish on the wrist. Given this doesn’t change the rated battery life – up to ten days for both – it’s an improvement we’re more than happy to take.

Speaking of positives, the strap is far, far better than the uncomfortable and hard-to-fasten bands that come with the Versa and Inspire wearables. Here, a simple buckle used with no need to weave the strap through itself. Was that so hard, Fitbit?

If you don’t like the one that comes with your wearable, you can pop in another. It’s an unusual size, so you’ll need to find one designed specifically for the Fitbit Inspire but first and third-party options aren’t exactly in short supply.

The only thing that disappoints about the design is the lack of a physical button. But, here, that’s less of a problem than with other Fitbits anyway, as the dimensions make squeezing it to trigger a response easier and generally more satisfying. In short, the Fitbit Inspire 3 has a tried and tested design with a couple of solid improvements, so it’s a thumbs up from us.

Fitbit Inspire 3 review: Performance

As you would expect for a fitness tracker built by a company with over a decade’s experience, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a very well-thought-out product. It doesn’t do too many things, but the things it does are generally expertly implemented.

Its main duty is to passively measure your activity: steps, sleep, active minutes and calories burned. By default, it will tell you to get up for a little stroll if you’ve been still for too long, too.

It displays notifications, too, but generally the Fitbit Inspire 3 feels more designed to be ignored rather than interacted with like its bigger-screened brethren. For me that’s no bad thing. Text is quite sharp considering the tiny screen size but only a limited amount of text fits on the screen and Fitbit appears aware of its limitations here, making it a device for passive measurement, rather than a second screen that you’ll be constantly interacting with.

Even the brand new SpO2 sensor can’t be activated for ad hoc readings, instead measuring passively while you sleep and giving a background reading as a relative measure of wellbeing. I’m personally not completely sold on the necessity of the sensor – which tells you how oxygenated your blood is – but it’s a nice extra, and ensures the Fitbit Inspire 3 continues to keep up with the Joneses.

There are two instances where you’ll need to pay more attention to the screen, other than to tell the time or keep up with your step count. The first is the Inspire 3’s guided breathing exercise, which is marvellous in its simplicity. Open up the app, select how long you want to relax for, and then let your breathing match the shapes on screen or the buzzes on your wrist if you prefer to keep your eyes shut. At the end, hopefully, your heart rate will have dropped and you’ll feel calmer.

The second is for exercise and, by default, you’ll find shortcuts for walking, running, biking, swimming, treadmills and a generic workout option. If you want more, you can take one off and add in anything from kickboxing to yoga. These don’t show many stats on screen, though, due to its small size. If you want to fully geek out mid-exercise, I’d suggest you invest in a proper sports watch from Garmin.

While I’ve spent a lot of time lamenting trackers without built-in GPS, after the extremely weak accuracy of the Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2, I’m inclined to say going without is a blessing here – assuming, of course, that your phone’s GPS is pretty good and that you don’t mind running with your phone. If that’s not the case, you’re probably better off looking at the Fitbit Charge 5 instead.

Heart-rate accuracy is pretty decent, too. Compared to a chest strap connected to the aforementioned Garmin on a test run, the Fitbit was 1bpm ahead on the average, and a match for the 170bpm maximum measured, too.

All of this data is diligently tracked in the Fitbit app which, for my money, remains one of the best around for casual fitness fans. It doesn’t overload you with stats like Garmin Connect, making things easy to track and understand. And the community features, where you can see friends’ steps and so forth, create a friendly sense of competition to help push you onwards in your personal fitness journey.

The only black mark against the app is that some guided workouts, mindfulness sessions and deeper insights are hidden behind the Fitbit Premium paywall. This costs £7.99/mth or £80/yr but there is a six-month trial free in the box. That would be great if it weren’t for the fact that the last version came with a whole year’s worth.

Fitbit Inspire 3 review: Verdict

All of this adds up to make the Fitbit Inspire 3 my favourite member of the 2022 Fitbit family. Simply by not taking anything away (barring Tile support, which is mysteriously gone) and making some small, welcome changes, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is a positive step in the right direction. It’s stylish, is accompanied by a strong app and the right tools to nudge you towards activity.

The price is a drawback, though, when the market is full of options with similar feature sets for under £50. And sticking certain features behind Fitbit Premium feels mean, especially as the free subscription period has been halved to six months this time around.

Still, the quality and user-friendliness of the Fitbit app just about give it an edge over more competitively priced offerings, especially if you have friends in the Fitbit ecosystem to compete with.

Hopefully Fitbit’s more premium offerings will follow the budget model’s example next time around. The Fitbit Charge 6 is next in line.

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