Image source: Fitbit

Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5: which Fitbit activity band to go for?

Fitbit Inspire 3 made its debut yesterday alongside Sense 2 and Versa 4. The device comes with some handy upgrades over its predecessor making it a more capable activity tracking device.

The company now has a few excellent options if you are after a fitness band. These include Inspire 3, Charge 5 and Luxe. The trio has lots that is similar, but also certain features which make each device stand out.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

If you are after a health and activity device and are not in the market for a smartwatch, Fitbit represents a great choice. After all, it is a pioneer in the fitness band space.

What exactly is the difference between Inspire 3, Luxe and Charge 5? This article aims to answer that question.

Fitbit Charge 5 (check price on Amazon) and Luxe (check price on Amazon) are available via a wide range of retail outlets. Inspire 3, on the other hand, can only be pre-ordered on Fitbit’s website for now (check Amazon availability). Wider retail availability of that one is expected in September.


Fitbit Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5: Build, sensors and other tech specs

Look & feel

A fitness band is a fitness band. There is little room to make a device stand out – at least until someone comes up with something a bit more celver. You could, therefore, say that Inspire 3, Luxe and Charge 5 are very much alike in the looks department.They all come in a discreet package, ideal if you want something on your wrist that doesn’t stand out too much.

In fact, Inspire 3 and Luxe appear almost identical. They both sport the same quality AMOLED display with an always-on option. Unfortunately we do not have the exact dimensions of the one that can be found on Inspire 3 as Fitbit has not made that information public yet. To remind, that device is only available for pre-order now, with shipping scheduled in a few weeks time.

Fitbit Inspire 3
Fitbit Inspire 3 | Image source: Fitbit

The same quality display can also be found on Charge 5. But that one is clearly bigger than the other two. That’s because Charge 5 is widest of the three devices. So if you are after something that you will be able to read more easily, that one is the one to go for.

The build-quality is something you shood be aware of. Luxe is clearly the fanciest of the three options with its stainless steel case. The next on the fancy ranking in Charge 5 with an aluminum build. Inspire 3 has the budget-friendly plastic housing.

On the sides of Inspire 3 you will find 2 capacitive buttons that you can use in combination with the touch-display to navigate the menus. On the Charge 5 and Luxe you will need to rely on the touchscreen for the same, as they do not have physical buttons.

Luxe might be Fitbit’s most elegant fitness tracker yet
Fitbit Luxe | Image source: Fitbit

Despite differences in build-quality, all three of these devices are very lightweight. Whichever option you choose, you will hardly feel it on your wrist, as they range between 20 and 29 grams.

The thickness of the trio is almost the same. Fitbit has managed to slim down Inspire 3 as compared to its predecessor for an even more slim form-factor.

Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5 | Image source: Fitbit

Moving on to water-resistance, and once again you get the same specs across-the-board. Gone are the days when you had to be careful not to get the fitness device on your wrist wet. All three of these devices sport an excellent 5 ATM water-resistance rating, making the good come rain or shine, in or out of water.

Another commonality between these fitness devices is that they have detacheable straps. So while you will get a silicone one in the box, it is entirely up to you whether you choose to pretty this up with a more fancy Fibit or third-party option.

Under the hood

Under the hood, Inspire 3 and Luxe are identical. The first has gained the ability to take SpO2 measurements – something its predecessor was not capable of. So now both devices cover the basics thanks to a 3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 and skin temperature sensor.

More goodies can be found on Charge 5. That one also packs a Multipurpose electrical sensors copatible with ECG app & EDA scan. Furthermore, there’s also built-in GPS on-board. Something that will be extremely important to those who run or cycle often. On Inspire 3 and Luxe you will need to tap into your smartphone’s sattelite signal for precise location tracking. On Charge 5 you get the option of using built-in GPS or Connected GPS. The second can be useful as it uses up less battery juice.

Finally, Charge 5 also packs an NFC chip for contactless payments. Which means you can go for that run outdoors, track your metrics in detail and buy yourself an post-exercise drink – all without your smartphone.

Battery life

The all important battery life is excellent whichever Fitbit you buy. This is one of the recognisable characteristics of the company’s entire range. You certainly won’t need to reach for the charger every day.

Of the three, Inspire 3 can go the longest between charges – a total of 10 days. About a half of that is available if you opt for Luxe. The more specs-heavy Charge 5 can keep going for about 5 days.

All of this depends, of course, on your particular configuration. For example, switch on the always-on display option and the expected battery life will shrink quite a bit.

Technical specs comparison: Fitbit Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5

Fitbit Inspire 3
Fitbit Luxe
Fitbit Charge 5
Launch date
August 2022
April 2021
August 2021
Physical size
39.3 x 18.6 x 11.8 mm
33.5 x 17.5 x 10.1 mm
36.8 x 22.8 x 11.2 mm
Material
Plastic housing paired with a silicone band
Stainless steel housing paired with a silicone band
Aerospace grade aluminium case and silicone band
Display type
AMOLED touch-display
AMOLED touch-display
AMOLED touch-display
Display size
TBD
0.76 inches
1.04 inches
Display resolution
TBD
206 x 124 pixels
276 x 185 pixels
Weight
21 grams
26 grams
29 grams
Physical button
Yes
No
No
Sensors
3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2, temperature sensor
3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2, temperature sensor
3-axis accelerometer, vibration motor, optical heart rate sensor, SpO2, Multipurpose electrical sensors copatible with ECG app & EDA scan, temperature sensor
Water-resistance
5 ATM
5 ATM
5 ATM
Battery life
up to 10 days
up to 5 days
up to 7 days
Satellite connectivity
Connected GPS
Connected GPS
Built-in GPS
Fitbit Pay
No
No
Yes
Colour choice
Midnight Zen, Morning Glow and Lilac Bliss
Lunar White / Soft Gold Stainless Steel, Lunar White / Soft Gold Stainless Steel, Orchid / Platinum Stainless Steel, Special Edition gorjana Soft Gold Stainless Steel Parker Link Bracelet
Black / Graphite Stainless Steel, Lunar White / Soft Gold Stainless Steel, Steel Blue / Platinum Stainless Steel
Launch price
$100
$130
$150

Fitbit Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5: Functionality

Fitness & health tracking

Fitbit is one of the best names in the fitness tracking game. Nearly the full gamut of standard activity, sleep and health tracking abilities can be found in any of these three devices.

We say “nearly” because all three are missing an altimeter. This means they cannot track floors climbed. On odd omission, most would agree, particularly as earlier editions of Charge had that sensor.

But everything else is there. Steps, distance, heart rate, detailed sleep tracking, SpO2 and much, much more. If you opt for the $9.99 per month Premium membership you get even deeper insights into your health and fitness performance, access to longer-term data, along with 1,000+ workouts and mindfulness sessions.

So let’s jump right to the differences.

The differences

Starting off with Inspire 3 and Luxe, and the only real difference between them is that Inspire 3 has support for high and low heart rate notifications. All the other functionality is identical.

The Charge 5 is the most expensive of the bunch so it clearly offers more features. This includes the ability to take on demand ECG measurements and more detailed stress tracking thanks to the EDA sensor. Both are useful features but not something that will make a huge difference to most people.

Of more use is the Charge 5’s built-in GPS and larger display. They make exercising outdoors much less of a hassle.

Here’s a table illustrating the differences and similarities between the three devices.

Fitbit Inspire 3
Fitbit Luxe
Fitbit Charge 5
Steps, distance, calories
Yes
Yes
Yes
Floors climbed
No
No
No
Heart rate tracking
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sleep tracking, Sleep Score, Smart Wake alarm
Yes
Yes
Yes
SpO2
Yes
Yes
Yes
Active Zone Minutes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Built-in GPS
No
No
Yes
Connected GPS
Yes
Yes
Yes
Cardio Fitness Score
Yes
Yes
Yes
Daily readiness Score
Yes
Yes
Yes
Automatic exercise tracking
Yes
Yes
Yes
Exercise modes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Irregular heart rhythm notifications
Yes
Yes
Yes
ECG app for heart rhythm assesment
No
No
Yes
High & low heart rate notifications
Yes
No
Yes
Heart rate variability
Yes
Yes
Yes
Skin temperature variation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Breathing rate
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wellness report
Yes
Yes
Yes
Menstrual health tracking
Yes
Yes
Yes
Stress
Yes (basic)
Yes (basic)
EDA Scan app for detailed stress management
Relax breathing sessions
Yes
Yes
No

Smart features

As far as smartwatch features go, the Fitbit Charge 5 once again offers more apps and smart capabilities. 

All three of these devices support call text and app smartphone notifications, timers, alarms and do not disturb and sleep modes. Luxe and Inspire 3 also support Google Fast Pair for seamless pairing.

Charge 5, on the other hand, packs app support and the above-mentioned NFC chip for contactless payments with Fitbit Pay. 


Fitbit Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5: The bottom line

Fitbit is one of the most recognised names in the fitness tracker game. That’s because it offers quality products which track a wealth of health and activity stats. And all this is wrapped in products that look good, are robust and run multiple days between charges.

Of the three, it is no surprise that the $150 Charge 5 is the most specs heavy. It offers a larger display, built-in GPS and the ability to take ECG and more detailed stress measurements. There’s also Fitbit Pay, music features and app support.

Sitting right below Charge 5 is the $130 Luxe. It is actually very similar to Inspire 3. The main difference between them is the stainless steel build-quality of the first. You only get a plastic body with the $100 Inspire 3. As far as features, there is very little to separate them.

So it comes down to your needs. Fitbit Charge 5 is as good as it gets right now if you are after a fitness band. Luxe and Inspire 3 are for those that want something more discreet on their wrist. They might skim on a couple of features but do offer a lot for the money.

Fitbit Charge 5 (check price on Amazon) and Luxe (check price on Amazon) are available via a wide range of retail outlets. Inspire 3, on the other hand, can only be pre-ordered on Fitbit’s website for now (check Amazon availability). Wider retail availability of that one is expected in September.

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One thought on “Inspire 3 vs Luxe vs Charge 5: which Fitbit activity band to go for?

  • Hi! I’ve been a Fitbit user for years. My most recent one is the Charge 3 and I need to replace it. I was going to get the Charge 5 as that would be the natural progression. But I’m not, for the sole reason it doesn’t have an altimeter. That was a bad omission. Sorry!
    Pam Trombino

    Reply

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