We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Fitbit Charge 4 vs Inspire HR (2021): Which Fitness Tracker Do You Need?

San Francisco-based Fitbit recently released the Fitbit Charge 4, its latest lineup of fitness trackers equipped with the much-requested GPS. How does the new Charge 4 fare against the top-selling and more budget-friendly Fitbit Inspire HR fitness tracker? Our in-depth comparison below will help you decide which Fitbit better suits your health and fitness needs.

Fitbit Charge 4 vs Inspire HR Fitness Tracker Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Charge 4Fitbit Inspire HR
 Fitbit Charge 4Fitbit Inspire HR
PriceCheck Price Check Price 
DisplayOLED TouchscreenOLED Touchscreen
Dimensions1.4″ x 0.9″1.45″ x .63″
StrapClassic BandClassic Band
ColorsBlack
Rosewood
Storm Blue/Black
Black
Lilac
White
GPSBuilt-inConnected
Call & Text AlertsYesYes
Smart AwakeYesNo
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
PedometerYesYes
AltimeterYesNo
Calorie Burn TrackerYesYes
Sleep ReportsYesYes
Resting Heart RateYesYes
Active Zone MinutesYesNo
Blood Oxygen LevelYesNo
Swim TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesYes
Bluetooth4.04.0
Fitbit PayYesNo
CompatibilityApple iOS 12.2 or higher
Android OS 7.0 or higher
Windows 10 version 1607.0 or higher
Apple iOS 12.2 or higher
Android OS 7.0 or higher
Windows 10 version 1607.0 or higher
Subscription90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium
Battery LifeUp to 7 daysUp to 5 days

Design and Comfort

The Fitbit Charge 4 and the Inspire HR sport similar profiles, but the Inspire HR has a slimmer watch face

If you own Fitbit Inspire HR watch bands, they can’t be used with the Charge 4

The aesthetics of the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Inspire HR is consistent with other fitness tracker line ups from Fitbit: sleek, slim, and minimalist. Their materials are lightweight and unobtrusive, designed for users with an active lifestyle. While the Inspire HR sports a slightly slimmer profile, the Charge 4’s aluminum frame feels slightly more premium than the Inspire HR’s metal casing.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is available in black, rosewood, and the Fitbit exclusive black frame and blue classic band. If you get the Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition, you’ll get a black reflective woven band and a black classic band with your purchase. Meanwhile, the Inspire HR is available in black, lilac, and white. Other watch band styles offered by Fitbit include stainless steel, premium Horween leather, and printed bands.

GPS

The Fitbit Charge 4 is equipped with a built-in GPS while the Inspire HR relies on your phone’s GPS

Your Charge 4 can work as a standalone device so you don’t have to carry your phone on your runs

Fitbit has included a long-overdue upgrade to its flagship fitness tracker: a built-in GPS. The Charge 4 comes with a built-in GPS so you can track and record your distances, steps, and pace in real-time even without your phone. It also features a map that shows the intensity of your exertion at certain points of your workout, cycling, or training.

On the other hand, the Inspire HR needs to be connected to your phone’s GPS to be able to track and record the aforementioned data. If you don’t mind carrying your phone with you all the time, then this isn’t a big issue.

Health and Fitness Tracking

The Fitbit Charge 4 offers a few more features than the Inspire HR

Both fitness trackers are equipped with Fitbit health and fitness essentials

Fitbit’s Charge 4 and Inspire HR offer the following essential health and fitness tracking features:

  • set fitness goals and track your progress
  • monitor your resting heart and heart rate zones
  • give customized reminders to move, hydrate, or even sleep
  • track sleep stages and give insights for better sleep quality and overall health
  • track swim sets
  • monitor menstrual cycles and record symptoms
  • track and record steps, distances, pace and calorie burn
  • get guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate

As the newer fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 slightly edges out the Inspire HR as it offers the following health and fitness features:

  • measure elevation (e.g track floors climbed)
  • measure blood oxygen levels through its SPO2 sensor
  • map your workout intensities and exertion level throughout your route
  • wake you up during the most ideal time based on your sleep scores and stages
  • set goals, get alerts, and receive bespoke recommendations based on your heart rate through the Active Zone Minutes

One of the latest upgrades found in the Fitbit Charge 4 is the Active Zone Minutes. This allows you to set your Active Zone Minutes goal and based on your heart rate metrics, receive recommendations to achieve your target steps, distances, exercises, and workouts. It further gives more credit to high-intensity activities to help push you to get your heart rate up.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Connecting the Charge 4 and the Inspire HR with iOS, Android, and Window is easy and straightforward

Both the Fitbit Charge 4 (left) and the Inspire HR (right) use Bluetooth 4.0

Pairing and setting up either the Fitbit Charge 4 or the Inspire HR is a quick and effortless process. Both use Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy) and while it’s not as fast as the newer Bluetooth 5.0, it does the job well. Simply download the Fitbit app, hold the fitness tracker close to your device, and follow the on-screen instructions when prompted.

Fitbit made sure that its devices are compatible with any platform. Both the Charge 4 and the Inspire HR can be synced with iOS, Android, and Windows 10 and later. If you’re an Android user, you can set-up your fitness tracker to receive alerts and notifications. Where the Charge 4 trumps the Inspire HR is its NFC connectivity, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Smart Features

The Fitbit Charge 4 boasts Fitbit Pay and Spotify control

NFC connectivity enables the Charge 4 (left) to offer contactless payment

One of the major features in the Fitbit Charge 4 that the Inspire HR is missing is its NFC connectivity, as mentioned earlier. This allows you to pay with Fitbit in every establishment that accepts contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless debit cards. You can set-up your card or bank account with your Charge 4 to be able to enjoy this feature. Users who don’t like bringing their wallets or phones with them during an outdoor activity will no doubt find this convenient.

The latest Fitbit Charge 4 also comes with Spotify control that lets you manage tracks directly through your fitness tracker. This is probably a minor addition, but can come in handy, especially if your headphones don’t have a user-friendly interface.

Battery Life and Additional Features

The Fitbit Charge 4 has a longer battery life than the Inspire HR; both are waterproof

fitbit-charge-4-vs-inspire-hr-fitness-tracker-5
Track your swim sets or surfing activities with your waterproof Charge 4 and Inspire HR

Long battery life is imperative if you want to consistently monitor your heart rate. You can wear your Fitbit for days, and even during your sleep, thanks to their strong battery life. At full power, the Charge 4 can last for up to 7 days while the Inspire HR only lasts for up to 5 days. However, keep in mind that frequent or continuous use of the Charge 4’s GPS will yield significantly shorter usage hours.

As they both have a 5ATM certification, this means that the Charge 4 and the Inspire HR can be submerged for up to 50 meters of freshwater. This allows you to track and record your sets, pace, distance, and intensity while doing water activities such as swimming, surfing or rowing. However, they are not recommended for use in saunas or hot tubs. Something to consider when choosing a Fitbit band for your water activities is the woven bands don’t dry as fast the classic bands.

Verdict

The Fitbit Charge 4 comes with excellent upgrades, but the Inspire HR offers better bang for your buck

While the recently launched Fitbit Charge 4 comes with more bells and whistles than the Fitbit Inspire HR, the latter offers almost the same health and fitness tracking features as the flagship fitness tracker. The Inspire HR can help you achieve your health and fitness goals for a fraction of the cost of the Charge 4. If you don’t mind missing out on a built-in GPS, altimeter, blood oxygen level sensor, Active Zone Minutes, NFC connectivity, Spotify control, and longer battery life, the Inspire HR is enough for tracking your fitness activities.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Fitbit Charge 4 and Inspire HR?

Only the Fitbit Charge 4 tracks floors climbed and blood oxygen levels and features Active Zone Minutes and Smart Awake. It also has a longer battery life of up to seven days, while the Inspire HR can only last up to five days.

📌 Does the Fitbit Charge 4 or Inspire HR support GPS?

Yes, but only the Fitbit Charge 4 has built-in GPS. The Inspire HR needs to be connected to a smartphone.

📌 Does the Fitbit Charge 4 or Inspire HR support Fitbit Pay?

The Fitbit Charge 4 supports Fitbit Pay. The Inspire HR doesn’t.

📌 Does the Fitbit Charge 4 or Inspire HR have Spotify support?

You can download and install the Spotify app on the Fitbit Charge 4 but not on the Inspire HR.

RELATED  Apple Watch SE vs Fitbit Versa 2 (2021): Which Smartwatch Should You Choose?
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.