Choosing between fitness trackers can be hard.
New devices come out all the time with the Inspire 2 succeeding the Inspire it can be hard to keep up. The majority of features are shared across devices and it isn’t always obvious what makes one fitness tracker different from another.
We’ve made this showdown of the Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Charge 4 to help you in making the right choice for you.
What are the differences?
First and foremost the Inspire 2 is cheaper than the Charge 4. Mostly accounted for by the fact that you get more advanced fitness functionality on the Charge 4. The Inspire 2 is trying to compete with the Garmin Vivosmart 4 as an activity tracker.
The Inspire 2 also comes with a 1 year subscription to Fitbit Premium which offers access to extended metrics
Both devices will charge from 0 – 100% in around 2 hours using a USB cable based charger. In normal usage the Inspire 2 offers 10 days and the Charge 4 offers 7 days. This difference in battery life is mainly down to the more advanced power consuming functionality available on the Charge 4.
For the Fitbit Charge 4 if you use the built in GPS battery life drops significantly to around 5 hours which can be quite limiting for longer exercises such as hikes.
Realising this is a big limitation Fitbit have given the Fitbit Charge 4 a software update called Dynamic GPS to extend the battery life. Dynamic GPS works out if your phone is nearby, if so the tracker will use the GPS sensors on your phone, if not it will use the on-board GPS – quite a neat idea.
Both the Fitbit Charge 4 and Fitbit Inspire 2 are small, slim, lightweight and discreet devices. If you are in the small is beautiful camp the Inspire 2 is slightly smaller than the Charge 4.
The main downside of the small size of both of these trackers is that there isn’t really enough real estate to display the key metrics on the display. On the Fitbit Inspire 2 for example you will need to set alarms within the Fitbit app and not on the device itself.
|Fitbit Charge 4||1.4 in||0.9 in||0.5 in|
|Fitbit Inspire 2||1.47 in||0.66 in||0.5 in|
Inspire 2 is available in black, lunar white and desert rose
Charge 4 is available in black, rosewood, storm blue / black
If none of those suit, it’s worth checking the range as there are occasionally special editions such as the Reflective Granite which is currently available for the Charge 4
As with most recent Fitbits you can customise to your taste using accessories. The Fitbit Charge 4 even has a special clip mode to allow it to be used with a clip – although you will lose some functionality like heart rate tracking
Once we start getting in to using the Fitbit’s for activity tracking the key differences between the Inpsire 2 and Charge 4 start to become apparent.
The functionality below is on the Fitbit Charge 4 but not on the Fitbit Inspire 2
On-board GPS and heat maps
Fitbit Charge users have been desperate for on-board GPS for a long time and the Charge 4 is the first in the range to have a dedicated on-board GPS functionality.
This means that the GPS can now track GPS based activities such as running, cycling and hiking with ease. It also opens up heat maps in the Fitbit app.
Heat maps are a great way to do post workout analysis as you can take a look at your running route in the Fitbit app and visually see where you were running the fastest or had the highest heart rate based on the colour of your route at that point.
As both of these devices are more fitness bands than smartwatches they do not have a lot of smart features.
Both watches have the ability to show smart phone notifications and send quick replies on Android.
The key difference over the Inspire 2 is that the Fitbit Charge 4 has contactless payments via Fitbit Pay and can control music on your phone using Spotify Connect.
What’s the same?
Active Zone minutes
With the Charge 4 and Inspire 2 Fitbit are evolving away from the simple step counting days of old. The goal now is to earn Active Zone Minutes. Using the heart rate sensors Fitbit check whether you are in the Fat burn zone where you get 1 Active Zone Minute for every actual minute. Or, you can double your money and get 2 Active Zone Minutes for every 1 minute you are in the Cardio or Peak heart rate zone. The baseline goal from the WHO requires 22 Active Zone minutes daily although this can be changed up and down.
Both devices are water resistant to 50 meters and allow you to track your lengths in the pool
Which one should you buy?
It really comes down to what is important to you. To help you out we’ve identified a few questions below and recommended a winner for each one.
Fitbit Inspire 2
Are you looking for a clip on tracker?
Are you new to fitness trackers?
Do you want long battery life?
Do you prefer small?
If you answered Yes to any of those questions we recommend the Fitbit Inspire 2
Fitbit Charge 4
Are you looking to upgrade from an older Fitbit like an Alta?
Do you want to use your Fitbit to do contactless payments?
Do you want to GPS track your runs without your phone?
If you answered Yes to any of those questions we recommend the Fitbit Charge 4
In conclusion, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is aimed towards people who have never owned a fitness tracker before, whereas the Fitbit Charge 4 is best suited to upgraders or people with specific needs for the more advanced functionality.
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API