1. Price and deals
  2. Design and comfort
  3. Health and fitness
  4. Fitness tracking and sport
  5. Wellness features
  6. Smartwatch features
  7. Battery life
  8. Verdict

Fitbit Charge 5 v Fitbit Inspire 2: Fitness trackers compared

How Fitbit's flagship fitness tracker matches up to its budget tracker option
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If you don't fancy a Fitbit smartwatch and you're eyeing up a one of its fitness trackers instead, the Inspire 2 and the Charge 5 are two options up for consideration.

One is Fitbit's flagship tracker and the other is the cheapest tracker in Fitbit's collection.

If you're wondering what the key differences are between the two Fitbits and whether you can save yourself some money and still get a strong tracking experience, we compare spec sheets to see how the two match up.

This is our snapshot look at how the Fitbit Charge 5 compares to the the Fitbit Inspire 2.

Price and deals



Fitbit Charge 5Fitbit Inspire 2

Screen size0.86” x 0.58” (21.93mm x 14.75mm)0.66" x 0.50" (16.7mm x 12.7mm)
Screen techAMOLED touchscreenGreyscale OLED
GPSYesNo (Connected GPS via smartphone)
Heart rateYes with SpO2Yes but no SpO2
Sleep trackingYes with sleep oxygenYes
Sports modes2020
Battery life7 days (without always on display)10 days

Design and comfort

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Fitbit Inspire 2

With these trackers sitting at two ends of Fitbit's tracker spectrum, there are big differences on the design front.

The Inspire 2 is the slimmest of the two trackers, which does make it a light, comfortable device to wear 24/7 – including when you sleep.

It features a plastic case accompanied by a removable silicone band with the option of black, white of rose color bands. Like other Fitbit's there's an extensive range of additional bands to swap in too.

Unlike the Charge 5, you don't only have to wear it on your wrist either. A clip accessory means you can wear it on a waistband or underneath your clothes for more discreet tracking.

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Fitbit Charge 5

On the Charge 5 you get a much higher-class aluminium case, with a removable silicone band with an array of other official Fitbit bands on offer. Like the Inspire 2, it's been slapped with a 5ATM water resistant rating letting you submerge them in water up to 50 metres, making it safe for swimming.

In terms of interacting with these devices, the Inspire 2's case can be squeezed to wake up the display or skip back a screen. It's a similar story for the Charge 5, which hosts haptic control and additionally includes stainless steel panels to offer the ability to take ECG and EDA readings.

There's big differences on the screen front with the Charge 5 packing a full AMOLED color touchscreen, which offers an always-on mode.

The Inspire 2 in contrast uses a greyscale display that helps Fitbit to deliver strong battery performance, but we found struggles for visibility in bright sunlight. A bright screen mode makes it better suited for indoor viewing, you just might struggle to always see it in clear view outside.

The Inspire 2 is the slimmer and lighter of the two, has more versatile wearing options and does offer the ability to mix up the strap options too. The Charge 5 gives you a superior color screen, the same sort of customisable strap options and nicer case materials too if you're not a fan of the all-plastic look on the Inspire 2.

Health and fitness

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Fitbit Charge 5

When it comes to the job of tracking your steps, sleep, health or exercise, both of these trackers are capable of covering all of those things. Though it's clear the Charge 5 can offer you more in some of those departments.

On the sensor front, both use a 3-axis accelerometer to track steps, some indoor and outdoor activities and enable sleep monitoring.

Sleep tracking

In terms of sleep tracking, both of these trackers off a nearly identical experience, and Fitbit sleep tracking is one of the best in the business.

Both devices offer a breakdown of time spent in sleep stages and the duration of your night's rest. You can also find additional data like sleep heart rate and restlessness data via Fitbit's Premium subscription service. 

However, only the Fitbit Charge 5 will track nighttime blood oxygen via its SpO2 sensor – which can be an indicator of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Fitness tracking and sport

For those core fitness tracking features, both can track steps, distance covered, calories burned and fire out inactivity alerts.

There are optical heart rate monitors on both trackers to continuously monitor heart rate including during sleep and for measuring effort levels during exercise.

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Fitbit Inspire 2

When you want to track exercise, both Fitbits offer the same 20+ goal-based exercise modes and that includes the likes of running, cycling, walking and pool swim tracking too.

The onboard heart rate monitor delivers insights like Active Zone Minutes, Cardio Fitness levels and view intensity maps in the Fitbit app. This lets you quickly see sections of your route where you really got that heart working hard.

The Charge 5 additionally offers Daily Readiness scores, which are based on activity tracking, heart rate variability measurements and most recent sleep tracked to tell you if you should tackle a tough workout or take a rest day.

Two big features you only get on the Charge 5 is built-in GPS and an altimeter to measure elevation. The Inspire 2 does offer connected GPS, which means piggy-backing GPS signal from your smartphone to track runs and cycles, but the accuracy does suffer.

Only the Charge 5 uses red LED and infrared sensors to enable SpO2 monitoring during sleep.

It also boasts an ECG sensor for more accurate heart rate readings, and a skin temperature sensor to monitor skin temperature during sleep.

So while you're getting those tracking basics on both devices, the Charge 5 gets you big features like ECG, built-in GPS, an altimeter and the ability to measure blood oxygen during sleep.

Wellness features

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Fitbit Charge 5

All of Fitbit's wearables are designed to help you pay closer attention to your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing.

With the Inspire 2, you're getting guided breathing programs on the band itself and then you'll find more mindfulness features in the Fitbit companion app including the ability to generate stress measurement scores driven by physical signs of stress. Those scores are generated from resting heart rate, sleep and logged exercise and activity data.

There's also women's health tracking and access to meditations and sleep soundscapes, with additional features requiring Fitbit's Premium subscription service.

The Charge 5 offers those features too, along with the addition of an EDA scan app that can measure the body's response to stress.

If you want the best that Fitbit has to offer here, you'll get it from the Charge 5.

That being said, a lot of those features lie inside of the Fitbit companion app, which the Inspire 2 also has access to as well.

Smartwatch features

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Fitbit Inspire 2

Both of these trackers can operate smartwatches but their designs and the hardware they can pack in dictate just how useful they are when you're not counting steps or doing a spot of guided breathing.

The Charge 5 has that larger color display to show off notifications for iPhones and Android phones with the latter supporting quick replies to those notifications. There are also music controls for Spotify, watch faces and Fitbit Pay to make contactless payments. If you care about silent alarms and setting up sleep and do not disturb modes, that's covered here too.

The Inspire 2 has clock faces too and the ability to view notifications for native and third party apps and it also offers Fitbit's Tile integration. That makes it easier to track down your tracker with your phone when you've misplaced it.

The Charge 5 clearly gives you more in the way of smartwatch features, but if you mainly only care about not missing phone calls, then you'll get a good enough experience on the Inspire 2.

Battery life

For the tracker that will give you the best battery life you want the Inspire 2 on your wrist. At up to 10 days, it offers the best battery numbers available on a Fitbit right now and that includes its smartwatches.

The Charge 5 in comparison offers up to 7 days, so it's good for a week, but may struggle to get more or even deliver less if you're using it with the display in always-on mode and using the SpO2 monitoring.

Charging both from 0-100% will take around 2 hours, so they're not the snappiest of chargers and miss out on the fast charging tech Fitbit rolled out for its Versa 3 and Sense smartwatches.


Buy the Fitbit Charge 5 if....

While we haven't got our hands on the Charge 5 just yet, it's clear to see that it's going to give you that superior display, more advanced health and sports tracking sensors, which are notably lacking on the Inspire 2. It's the most feature-packed Fitbit fitness tracker.

Buy the Fitbit Inspire 2 if...

The Inspire 2 is a slimmer, smaller band with the core Fitbit tracking staples for significantly less money. It does offer some of the sports and health features you'll find on the Charge 5, though that smaller screen will hamper how useful they are to use on a regular basis.

If you can live without a colour display and features like ECG and monitoring skin temperature, then you're still getting a strong experience from Fitbit's budget option that's comfortable to wear 24/7.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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