Fitbit Sense review – ProWellTech
The Versa helped Fitbit reverses its fortunes after a long and gradual slide. The company has been slow to embrace the smartwatch and stumbled a little out of the gate with the Ionic. But the Versa found a perfect sweet spot that draws on generations of wearable health know-how, key acquisitions like Pebble, and a $ 200 pricing sweet spot.
In fact, other big smartwatch makers like Apple and Samsung have followed suit, offering cheaper approaches to the category. The moves came as Fitbit and a large number of Chinese device manufacturers were gaining market share through budget games. But while the competition zigzags, Fitbit zags, I suppose. This is where meaning comes into play. It’s a throwback to the premium price the company put on hold when it let the Ionic vanish.
At $ 330, the Sense falls on the lower end of premium, at least compared to the Apple Watch Series 6 and Galaxy Watch 3, which both start at $ 399. The premium market isn’t the most logical game for a company that has been successful. at a lower price, but it’s perhaps understandable that the company is interested in expanding its fortunes, legacy software and health metrics, and ultimately trying to properly beat Apple at its game.
Although Fitbit has some history flooding the market with different devices, I think the decision to introduce an entirely new product makes sense here. In fact, the worst Fitbit could have done was add loads of features to the Versa and raise the price by $ 100, thus removing one of the product’s main selling points in the process (although the Versa’s price has also increased to $ 100). 220).
The truth is, Sense and Versa 3 are actually more similar than they are different. The similarities start with the wrap. The two products look virtually identical, apart from a few different color options. The Sense comes in arguably more classic colors with gray or gold. The display is the company’s familiar squircle, which is only available in one size.
I suspect Fitbit learned its lesson in bulky watch designs with the Ionic. The device sports a 1.58-inch display, which looks fair. And the square design makes it look more compact than the comparably sized Apple Watch. That said, multiple watch sizes are always a good thing, particularly for a product like the Sense that’s trying to appeal to a wide range of users.
Unlike Samsung and Apple smartwatches, there is no standalone selection button for navigating between screens. There is a pressure-sensitive button on the side of the device, although it was a bit annoying in the end. I found myself accidentally triggering it repeatedly while moving my wrist. And honestly, for most actions, just swiping across screens is fine.
As the name suggests, the biggest difference between Fitbit’s latest smartwatches comes down to the sensors. The Sense has a lot going on here. Both feature optical heart rate monitoring, a temperature monitor, and an SpO2 sensor, which was perhaps the biggest update announced for the Apple Watch Series 6. The Sense, however, is the only Fitbit to adopt an ECG sensor. , bringing it to the fore to accelerate with the new Apple Watch on that front.
As is often the case with this type of sensor, I am unable to really highlight this in the review. FDA clearance appears to be a little easier as the feature has become increasingly common on consumer devices, but while Fitbit has cleared it, the feature won’t roll out to devices until next month. When it arrives, you’ll receive the kind of health readings we expect from these sensors, including heart rhythms and notifications for any normal activity.
Sleep tracking is one place Fitbit has beaten Apple for quite some time. The latter is attempting to change it to the latest version of watchOS, but still has a lot of work to do to catch up. The sensor array goes a long way in providing a more complete picture of your sleep over the course of the night. While Apple’s offering largely revolves around things like time in bed and time asleep, Fitbit provides a more complete picture, including, most importantly, sleep quality, broken down by REM, light and deep sleep. SpO2 and heart rate are also taken into account. SpO2, in particular, will become an increasingly important factor in sleep in the future as these devices try to track things like sleep apnea.
Another great piece of sleep is the battery life. This is something Fitbit has been good at for a while. The sense is estimated at six days. Your mileage will vary greatly, however, depending on whether you choose the always-on display and other features. As it stands, I’ve been able to get several days on a single charge with the feature turned off. Frankly, that’s a pretty big advantage over Apple’s claimed 18 hours. Recharging every night before going to bed or the first time in the morning isn’t ideal.
I appreciate Fitbit’s focus on awareness. I think it’s something we can all use a little more these days. I definitely include myself in that boat. Fitbit is one of the few smartwatch makers currently looking to push the concept beyond simple breathing exercises. It is included in the Mindfulness box. The company will quantify the relaxation using the onboard sensors. Honestly I haven’t used it much, but anything that can help kickstart a mindfulness practice is distinctly positive.
Sense’s software still continues to be fairly simple. And while there are plenty of watch faces, the app selection lags behind some of the bigger names. It will be interesting to see how Fitbit’s approach to the software changes if / when the Google acquisition goes through. After all, wearOS has been around for a while and has received a lot of updates, but it still has its share of shortcomings.
The strong point of Sense is also that of Fitbit: a strong support for attention to health and fitness. The company certainly has a good and solid history of upgrades. But while it packs more sensors than the Versa 3, for many the difference will be relatively minor and perhaps hard to justify that $ 100 price gap. I still have a lot of time to spend with the latest version of that device, but if the past is a prologue, it’s a solid choice for those looking for an Android-compatible Apple alternative at a good price.