Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Fitbit Inspire HR

Ok, hell has sort of frozen over. After years of treating so called smartwatches as not real timepieces, I finally started wearing one. The contraption you see in the pictures above is a Fitbit Inspire HR. I've had it for about a year or so now and I wear it two to three days a week. 

My reason for getting this watch was health related. I wanted a way to track my workouts and, in particular, my heart rate. Getting diagnosed with AFIB and arrhythmia kind of pushed me to pay attention to this too. (This getting older stuff is great, isn't it...)

Anyway, I tried an Apple watch for a while, which I ultimately gifted to my daughter. Apple watches don't work with Android phones (which I prefer) and the Fitbit has better battery life. It's a lot less expensive too. 

The Inspire HR (I think this has been replaced by the new Fitbit Inspire 2 or Charge 4 model) is from Fitbit's tracker model lineup. They sell full smartwatches too btw. The trackers are small watches (this one is about 15mm x 40mm) that wear like a light bracelet. Aside from keeping time, which it does quite well, the Inspire counts my steps, measures the total distance I've walked/run, computes calories burned (some sort of proprietary algorithm is used) and measures my pulse rate. All of this data is recorded by an app in my phone linked via Bluetooth to the watch. I can compare how I'm doing over time which I find helpful.

The Inspire HR can also give me notifications via both it's screen and a haptic vibrating alarm when I get emails and texts which is pretty useful. There are a variety of different digital watch faces that can be downloaded through the Fitbit phone app (the one above is the Detailed version). There are options on the app to allow you to participate in medical studies by sharing anonymous Fitbit data. There is also an optional premium service that, for a fee, will give you personal health and fitness coaching if you like. I haven't used the premium service and you don't have to do so either. The free Fitbit app gives me plenty of useful information.

I was initially skeptical about the whole smartwatch idea. The idea of having to charge both my watch and my phone seemed like more of a bother than it would be worth. The Fitbit has changed my mind about that. It's pretty easy to use and the data is useful to me. I really do wish that the charging cable was longer but, other than that, it's no big deal to charge up and the battery lasts two to three days. All in all, I'm satisfied. 


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