A big part of the popularity of the best fitness trackers is down to their affordability. While you can pick up an Apple Watch for hundreds of dollars, savvy shoppers can also get excellent fitness trackers for less than a hundred – like the Fitbit Inspire 2 or the Huawei Band 7.
As technology has evolved, many of the big, headline features of fitness trackers have become democratized. AMOLED displays, heart rate tracking, and automatic activity detection are now features that can be found on affordable devices, not just large, expensive smartwatches.
Two of the current front-runners for the best cheap fitness trackers are the aforementioned Fitbit Inspire 2 and the Huawei Band 7, but it can be tough to decide between the two. Here’s our comparison of both.
Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Huawei Band 7: Design
- Band 7 has a bigger, more vibrant screen
- Both are very comfortable
- Inspire 2 is less obtrusive
Fitness trackers tend to fall into two main categories now – the ‘band’ like design, and the larger smartwatch style for bigger displays.
Both the Huawei Band 7 and Fitbit Inspire 2 fall into the first category, with small, slimline devices that offer clip-on straps that users can swap with ease. The Band 7 has a bigger screen and a slimmer strap, giving it more of a watch-lite aesthetic. The Inspire 2 comes in black (but with alternate color bands) while the Band 7 comes in green, red, black, and pink with bands that match.
Both are comfortable, and the similar form factor means there’s really nothing to choose between them in that regard. The big difference, though, is apparent once you turn each on.
The Inspire 2 has an OLED display with black and white support, and it’s easy to read in direct sunlight. On the other hand, the Band 7 has an AMOLED display with full-color support. That makes its customizable watch faces more pleasing to the eye, and it’s bright enough to be read in all conditions.
In this regard, it’s the Band 7 that comes out on top thanks to its color display. It also offers a physical side button as opposed to the touch-sensitive side of the Inspire 2. That makes it a little easier to use (until you get used to the Inspire 2), but there’s always the chance that moving parts can break in the future.
Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Huawei Band 7: Tracking
- Both are solid sleep & workout trackers
- Neither has GPS or on-board music storage
- Band 7 has blood oxygen tracking
Whichever device you opt for between the Band 7 and the Inspire 2, you’ll be getting a very solid sleep tracker.
The Band 7 has an excellent heart-rate sensor, while it’s also always running Sp02 (blood oxygen level) monitoring. That’s something the Inspire 2 doesn’t have at all, and even much more expensive options tend to require you to trigger it manually.
There are plenty of built-in workout options in both, with the basics covered across running, weight-lifting, cycling, and plenty more, while water-proofing makes either suitable for swimming in pools or open water.
When it comes to sleep tracking, both do a good job of identifying when you’re asleep, and which stage of sleep you’re in. Both offer excellent battery length, too, meaning you won’t need to charge daily to ensure uninterrupted tracking through day and night. Since both are so small, too, they’re comfortable to wear in bed.
Sadly, neither feature GPS. This means that while both have accurate step-tracking, you won’t be able to map your run or cycle without carrying a phone with you. That’s a shame, but it does help keep the price down. There’s also no onboard storage for saving music to listen to while working out.
All of the data from each tracker is written into a companion app, and both the Fitbit and Huawei options work similarly; there’s a dashboard for your health data, with deep activity tracking and award systems to encourage healthy movement.
Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Huawei Band 7: Features
- Fitbit Premium trouces Huawei Health
- Huawei app is free
- Neither allow you to respond to calls/notifications
While we’ve touched on differences, the biggest departure between the Huawei Band 7 and the Fitbit Inspire 2 is how they handle your fitness journey.
Fitbit’s app offers guided workouts like yoga, as well as challenges and adventures that let you challenge your friends to run real trails. Fitbit Premium expands this for $9.99, while you can get a one-year membership included with the Inspire 2.
That’s a great deal, because it lets users check out features like additional workouts, dietary advice, and deeper sleep analysis. It’ll also provide you with a daily readiness score, which takes into account things like how much sleep you’ve had and how recently you’ve worked out, to help recommend your level of activity for the day. This helps with recovery and getting the most out of your workouts, while also ensuring you stay injury-free.
On the other hand, Huawei’s app doesn’t offer a premium membership but it does contain a series of training programs for building toward specific sport-focused events. As an example, there are beginner plans for running, advanced options for marathons, and everything in between. It’s great that it doesn’t cost anything, but Fitbit Premium is a little more all-encompassing.
Elsewhere, there are more similarities owing to the fact that both are grafted onto existing mobile OS platforms – each app can send data to third-party options, but you can’t install the likes of Strava onto each.
Notifications are also a one-way affair, with both the Band 7 and the Inspire 2 able to read them, but not offering the ability to reply. Answering calls also just picks up on your phone.
Finally, battery life is strong across both, with the Inspire 2 hitting 10 days in testing, and the Band 7 reaching an incredible 14 days.
Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Huawei Band 7: Value for money
- Both similar price points
- Fitbit has Premium features locked behind paywall after first year
- Huawei not available in US
For value, it’s hard to look past the Huawei Band 7, coming in at less than $60/£50/AU$128, it's packing much of what users love about the Fitbit Inspire 2 at a similar price point ($90 in the US, £80 in the UK, and AU$110 in Aus, although can be frequently found on offer), while adding Sp02 monitoring and a color display.
That said, the Inspire 2 is an excellent fitness tracker that has plenty to offer, particularly when paired with the Fitbit Premium subscription. Although Premium is free for the first year with an Inspire 2, future subscriptions are paid annually, hiding some of the tracker's best features. While the Inspire 2 is an excellent cheap tracker, the Band 7 just edges it in the value for money stakes.
However, the Band 7 isn’t currently available in the US yet due to Huawei's ongoing dispute with the US government. With that in mind, if you're in the US and looking for a tracker, the Inspire 2 might be your best bet.
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Lloyd Coombes is a freelance tech and fitness writer for TechRadar. He's an expert in all things Apple as well as Computer and Gaming tech, with previous works published on TopTenReviews, Space.com, and Live Science. You'll find him regularly testing the latest MacBook or iPhone, but he spends most of his time writing about video games at Dexerto.