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Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Which is best?

Pete Clark
24 Apr 2019
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We compare Fitbit's all-new Inspire with the popular Alta range

Fitbit’s products are so popular that the brand name has become synonymous with fitness trackers. Two of the firm’s bestsellers that have contributed to this reputation are the Alta and Alta HR. Along with low price tags, the two models offer a stripped-back, simplistic user experience that appeals to a wide range of users.

Until now, they’ve always been obvious choices if you want to buy a fitness tracker under £100. So what’s changed? In short, Fitbit has made things more complicated by introducing two new budget fitness trackers that deliver all that’s good about the Alta range at lower prices: the Inspire and Inspire HR.

So, how do the new models compare to their predecessors and, more importantly, which is best? Let’s find out.

READ NEXT: Fitbit Alta HR – still good and cheaper than ever

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Price

The Fitbit Inspire costs £70, while the slightly more full-featured Inspire HR will set you back £90.

That’s cheap compared to the Alta and Alta HR’s £100 and £130 starting prices. However, the latter models have come down in price since they were launched to around £60 and £80 respectively. Consequently, which device you choose should primarily come down to design and features, which I cover in more detail below.

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Where to buy

The Alta and Alta HR can both currently be found on Amazon.

Since Inspire and Inspire HR haven't officially been released yet, it makes sense that they're only available for preorder from Fitbit's official website. We expect them to be available from Amazon and other major electronics retailers shortly, though.

Preorder now from Fitbit

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Design

Fitbit’s new budget trackers are quite obviously evolutions of the Alta and Alta HR in terms of design. They build on their predecessors primarily by featuring a larger touchscreen and a handy button on the tracker’s left side that you can use to back out of menus.

One notable difference between Inspire and Alta is that the former’s casing is composed from plastic rather than aluminium. Although this makes Inspire look cheaper, it’s slightly lighter and more comfortable on the wrist, which are among the most important attributes for any fitness tracker.

(Above: Fitbit Inspire)

In terms of colour scheme, there are fewer options with the new Inspire range than the Alta. Rather than the choice of six you get with the latter, there’s just the two on Inspire (black and sangria) and three on Inspire IR (black, lilac and white). Apart from that, there’s not much to split the two models in terms of design. Both are neat, minimalist wearables that are functional rather than flashy.

Preorder Fitbit Inspire from Fitbit now

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Features

The Alta does everything you could expect of a basic fitness tracker. On top of monitoring step count, distance covered and calories burned, it will give you smartphone notification alerts and automatically tracks both workouts and sleep.

The Alta HR delivers all this and more. To be more specific, for the extra £20 you also get more in-depth sleep analysis and an integrated heart-rate sensor.

(Above: Fitbit Alta HR)

With the Inspire family, Fitbit has built upon the solid feature sets of the Alta wearables. The main headline is that Inspire comes with 50m waterproofing as standard. There’s also ovulation tracking and new, improved phone notifications, although we’ve not had the chance to test this functionality just yet.

The Inspire HR, being the more expensive option, takes things further still. Along with continuous heart-rate tracking, it has connected GPS, meaning you can start logging workouts on your phone at the touch of a button on your wrist.

(Above: Fitbit Inspire HR)

As with the Alta HR, the Inspire HR estimates your general fitness level, and also supports Sleep Stages, which gives you detailed insights into your sleep quality. Lastly, there’s a guided-breathing app that you can use to help reduce your stress levels.

In short, the new Inspire range offers pretty much all the features of its Alta predecessors and more at a much lower starting price

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Specs

Here’s a full lowdown of Alta, Alta HR, Inspire and Inspire HR’s features and specs:

Alta:

  • Wearing modes: Wrist strap
  • Pedometer: Yes
  • Heart-rate monitor: No
  • GPS: No
  • Display: Yes (OLED, tap display)
  • Waterproof: Yes (splashproof)
  • OS support: Android, iOS
  • Wireless: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 5 days
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: £60 (current price at Argos)

Alta HR:

  • Wearing modes: Wrist strap
  • Pedometer: Yes
  • Heart-rate monitor: Yes
  • GPS: No
  • Sleep Stages: Yes
  • Display: Yes (OLED, tap display)
  • Waterproof: Yes (splashproof)
  • OS support: Android, iOS
  • Wireless: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 5 days
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: £80 (current price at Argos)

Inspire:

  • Wearing modes: Works with clip (available separately) or wristband
  • Pedometer: Yes
  • Heart-rate monitor: Yes
  • GPS: No
  • Sleep Stages: Yes
  • Female health tracking: Yes
  • Display: Yes (OLED, tap display)
  • Waterproof: Yes (50m waterproof)
  • OS support: Android, iOS
  • Wireless: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 5 days
  • Warranty: N/S
  • Price: £70

Inspire HR:

  • Wearing modes: Works with clip (available separately) or wristband
  • Pedometer: Yes
  • Heart-rate monitor: Yes
  • GPS: Connected GPS
  • Sleep Stages: Yes
  • Female health tracking: Yes
  • Guided breathing app: Yes
  • Display: Yes (OLED, tap display)
  • Waterproof: Yes (50m waterproof)
  • OS support: Android, iOS
  • Wireless: Bluetooth
  • Battery life: 5 days
  • Warranty: N/S
  • Price: £90

Fitbit Alta vs Fitbit Inspire: Verdict

Fitbit’s new Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers aren’t a huge overhaul of the existing Alta range. The connected GPS on the Inspire HR is a huge bonus, but aside from that and ovulation tracking, there’s really not that much to choose between the two ranges.

Preorder Fitbit Inspire from Fitbit now

The main factor, therefore, when choosing which to buy should be the price. The Inspire and Inspire HR cost only £10 more than their Alta counterparts, which, for newer devices that are more lightweight and comfortable seems like an obvious investment to make.

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