Fitbit Charge 5 vs. Inspire 2: Which is the better buy?

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle 1
Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle 1 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5 Render Black

Some fitness enthusiasts want the look and feel of an activity tracker while enjoying the features and tracking capabilities of a smartwatch. The Fitbit Charge 5 is the perfect solution. You get a compact, sleek design with premium perks. Some examples include onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, advanced health sensors, and NFC support for Fitbit Pay.

Fitbit Charge 5

Next-level tracking

SpO2 tracking
ECG & EDA sensors
Slimmer and sleeker design
AMOLED display
Old bands and chargers don't work
Expensive for a tracker

Fitbit Inspire 2

Product render of Fitbit Inspire 2, 3QTR view, in Black.

Whether you happen to be on a tight budget or you're a beginner shopping for your first fitness tracker, you may be searching for something a bit more modest. If so, the Fitbit Inspire 2 may just fit the bill. It covers the basics well with key features such as heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, Active Zone Minutes, stress monitoring, and more.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Best for basics

Activity/sleep tracking
Heart-rate monitoring
Compact, lightweight design
Stellar battery life
Reasonably priced
No advanced health sensors
Lacks AMOLED display

Fitbit Charge 5 vs. Fitbit Inspire 2: Making comparisons

Despite being made by the same company, the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Fitbit Inspire 2 are pretty different in terms of what features they offer. While they're both equipped with some standard tracking perks, it's the extras that will impact your final decision.

You'll want to start by asking yourself what kind of fitness tracker appeals to you the most. Do you want something stylish, efficient, and packed with extra features for a better overall experience? If so, you might not mind splurging on the new Fitbit Charge 5. If you're a beginner, a budget shopper, or a minimalist, you might prefer sticking to the basics with the Fitbit Inspire 2.

The Fitbit Charge 5 takes fitness tracking to the next level

When a successor is released, one of two things will likely happen. Either there are little to no changes and the price increase isn't justified, or monumental improvements change the game entirely. In the case of the Fitbit Charge 5, it's the latter. While it still shares some similarities with the predecessor, there are quite a few differences between the Fitbit Charge 5 and Charge 4.

The most obvious change you'll notice is the physical design. With past releases, there have always been some distinctive features that let you know you're looking at a fitness tracker in the Fitbit Charge lineup. However, the Charge 5 warrants a double-take. You'll enjoy a thinner and more premium-looking design. Rather than a plastic body, the case is made of stainless steel. You also get a bright and beautiful AMOLED display instead of a bland grayscale OLED.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fitbit Charge 5Fitbit Inspire 2
DisplayAMOLEDGrayscale OLED
Sensors3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2, ECG, EDA, ambient light sensor3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor
Battery life7 days10 days
Active Zone Minutes✔️✔️
Onboard GPS✔️
Skin temperature✔️
ECG, EDA & SpO2✔️

One new feature that might interest users is the Daily Readiness experience. The company says it will be available soon on the Charge 5 and other devices, including the Inspire 2. This feature will provide users with a better understanding of when it's a good time to focus on rest and recovery and when it's an optimal time to work out.

Upon accessing the Fitbit app each day, the Daily Readiness experience will offer users a personalized score based on their activity levels, heart rate variability (HRV), and sleep history. Keep in mind that this feature requires a Fitbit Premium subscription. Fortunately, users get a 6-month free trial of Fitbit Premium when they purchase the tracker. If you want to continue accessing this feature after the trial ends, you'll have to buy a monthly or yearly subscription.

Another big improvement to the Fitbit Charge 5 is the addition of new advanced health sensors.

Another big improvement to the Fitbit Charge 5 is the addition of new advanced health sensors. For starters, the EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor is designed to measure your temperature and stress levels more precisely. The ECG (electrocardiogram) sensor is designed to detect irregular heartbeats that may indicate an underlying health condition.

The ECG and EDA sensors were quite intriguing when first introduced on the Fitbit Sense advanced health smartwatch last year. While these features seemed exclusive to smartwatches at the time, Fitbit is now making these advanced health sensors available on the Fitbit Charge 5.

As far as drawbacks go, loyal Fitbit users might be disappointed to see yet another new set of proprietary bands and charging cables. If you want to look for new Fitbit Charge 5 bands, you won't be able to use any old Charge 4 or Charge 3 bands you might have around the house. Previous charging cables won't work either.

Of course, some people might consider the expensive price tag to be a drawback as well. This might be true, but in comparison to the Inspire 2, you're getting much more for your money. The other difference between the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Inspire 2 has to do with battery life. You get seven days on the Charge 5 as opposed to 10 days on the Inspire 2.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 keeps things simple and affordable

Fitbit Inspire 2 Hero 1

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

It may be a year old, but the Fitbit Inspire 2 is still one of the best fitness trackers you can buy. While it may not be quite as advanced or fashionable as some of the options on the market, it gets the job done. It comes in lightweight plastic and has an easy-to-use capacitive side button. One of the biggest appeals to this tracker is that it can last for up to 10 days on a single charge.

While the design may not be stylish, Fitbit still made an effort to provide users with options. The color choices include Lunar White, Desert Rose, and Black. You'll also appreciate that the Fitbit Inspire 2 bands are interchangeable, so you can switch up the look of your tracker as you see fit. You can even wear this tracker as a clip-on accessory or use it as a pedometer if you'd like.

Unlike its predecessor, the Inspire 2 offers heart-rate monitoring as a standard feature.

If you'll recall, the previous Fitbit Inspire models required you to pay more for a tracker with heart-rate monitoring. Unlike its predecessor, the Inspire 2 offers heart-rate monitoring as a standard feature. It's not a new device, but the company is still offering a free 1-year trial of Fitbit Premium for both new and returning Premium users. This gives you access to personalized guidance, exclusive insights, and advanced sleep tools.

It's no secret that the Fitbit Inspire 2 isn't exactly a fashionable fitness tracker. It comes with a basic grayscale OLED and a compact design that's functional rather fashionable. If you're not concerned about being stylish, this may not bother you so much. There are other missing features that might impact your decision, though. The Inspire 2 can't compete with the Charge 5 in several ways. It doesn't have onboard GPS, advanced health sensors, or Fitbit Pay.

Fitbit Charge 5 vs. Fitbit Inspire 2: Which is the better buy?

Fitbit Charge 5 Lifestyle 4

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing between the Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Inspire 2. For some users, it might be a pretty easy decision to make. Believe it or not, there are a few reasons why someone might prefer the Fitbit Inspire 2 over the Charge 5.

First, the Inspire 2 is significantly cheaper, and it offers a full 10 days of battery life. Those who want an extremely lightweight and compact tracker might also Prefer the Inspire 2. However, if you're a beginner or you won't use advanced health sensors such as ECG, EDA, and SpO2 tracking, the Fitbit Charge 5 may be an unnecessary splurge. The Inspire 2 also lacks an AMOLED display, NFC support for Fitbit Pay, and onboard GPS.

However, if you're someone who wants a tracker with as many features and details as possible, the Fitbit Charge 5 will be worth the extra money. It's also much more stylish than the Fitbit Inspire 2. With that said, the battery life is shorter on the Charge 5. If you don't mind charging your device more frequently, you'll love all the extra perks that come with the Fitbit Charge 5.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.