Ever since Fitbit entered the wearable fitness market, everyone else has tried to come up with their own spin on fitness trackers. Whether it’s step counters built into watches or souped-up wristbands that do everything from monitor workouts to calculating how much you sleep, there’s always a new way to help you track, well, you.
Naturally, Fitbit has also been working to evolve as much as their competitors have. From purchasing other companies to adapting rising trends to their new devices, the current state of Fitbit devices looks a far sight different than it has in the past.
With that has come a fair amount of fragmentation. So much so that it can be hard to choose just which device to get—even among Fitbits.
Consider the Charge 3 and the Inspire HR. Both look similar and seem to do similar things. So what are you really getting with each device? And where does the original Fitbit Inspire fit into the mix?
Here’s how they compare:
Fitbit Charge 3
The Fitbit Charge 3 lets you keep tabs on your health and fitness in a crisp, clear package. The on-wrist continuous heart-rate monitoring keeps tabs on your activity levels throughout the day and will automatically detect when you’re working out. Even better, the Charge 3 can connect to your phone’s GPS to map your route. (You can also track female health metrics through the connected app.)
With a seven-day battery life, you don’t have to worry about recharging it, allowing you to keep the Charge 3 on all the time for things like sleep tracking and time-to-move notifications. It’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters—and swimming is, of course, one of the 15 preloaded workout types.
The Charge 3 also has an upgraded screen that clearly displays notifications from your phone and automatically adjusts to lighting conditions. It can even let you send preprogrammed replies (on your Android phone). Handy for those times when you don’t feel like digging out your device.
The Charge 3 can also work with FitBit Pay, the contactless payment system. There are also special editions available that have Apple Watch-like fitness bands or stylish woven bands. If you don’t want to spring for a special edition, there are plenty of additional compatible bands available separately.
Fitbit Inspire HR
Water-resistant, with a five-day battery life, the Inspire HR also packs 15 different types of exercise and fitness tracking onto your wrist. Like the Charge 3, it has sleep and heart-rate monitoring, smartphone notifications and more, but in a more svelte package. (And it also supports female health tracking.)
The watch dials are customizable and there are some seriously premium band options available (such as Horween Leather). The screen is also just big enough to support vertical messages (instead of horizontal scrolling). About the only things that the Inspire HR can’t do that the Charge 3 can, is to send programmed replies to texts, use FitBit Pay and track the number of floors you have climbed.
For $50 less, the Fitbit Inspire HR is nearly as good as the Fitbit Charge 3. And if you want to ditch the heart-rate monitoring and swimproofing, the original Inspire is even more afforable. Both the Inspire HR and Inspire are a great value and provide what you’re looking for in a next-gen fitness tracker. If you’re looking for a slim tracker, this is the one to get.