The Fitbit Sense is the company’s latest high-end product, and it comes at a higher price point than anything else in its Versa lineup. Given that the Fitbit empire is built largely on the success of budget trackers, this £219/$229.95 model feels like a match for the Apple Watch market.
And yet the Fitbit Sense really does do its own thing. It takes much of what’s found on the Versa (a rounded square design, 1.58-inch display) and repurposes it slightly with a larger array of sensors. Both the Versa 3 and Sense can track your heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen levels and more, but you’ll need a Fitbit Sense to take a wearable EKG, and it also offers high and low heart rate alerts.
Software: Fitbit operating system
Compatibility: iOS and Android phones
Battery life: Around six days
memory size: 4GB
Display type and screen size: 1.58 inch OLED
water resistance: Up to 50 meters
Heart Rate Tracker: Yes
Sleep Tracker: Yes
Music: Offline audio only available through Deezer and Pandora
However, the big boost isn’t just for your physical health at all – it’s for your mental health. The Fitbit Sense offers the EDA scan, a way to scan your stress level through — you know — the sweat on your hand. That’s a very simplistic way of putting it, but if you place your hand over the watch, you’ll learn how your body has responded to current stresses you may be dealing with. It has been seen in the Fitbit Charge 5 but is the main differentiator between the Sense and the Versa 3 at the time of writing.
All of this is combined with other metrics to assign a stress score, blurring the lines between tracking physical and mental well-being to spot physiological tells.
In addition, the watch is comfortable and lasts a while. In our tests, it lasted about five and a half days, making the Fitbit Sense the best Fitbit you can buy right now. We actually rate it as one of the The best fitness trackers (opens in new tab) overall thanks to its many features and easy-to-use design.
price and release date
- Launched September 2020
- Usually discounted
The Fitbit Sense was launched in September 2020. It costs £299.99 in the UK and $299.95 in the US, but it’s regularly discounted – you really should never pay more than £219/$229.95 for the model. It comes with a six-month free trial of Fitbit Premium, which we’ll explain shortly.
design and presentation
- Chunky AMOLED display
- Comfortable silicone strap
As we mentioned earlier, the Fitbit Sense is very similar to the Fitbit Versa 3. In fact, they’re almost identical, both with rounded square designs.
The case is made of stainless steel, but you won’t find any physical buttons. Instead, there’s a touch-sensitive button on the left that calls Alexa by default. A double tap gives you access to a quartet of shortcuts.
The display is 1.58 inches diagonal and is big enough to show your apps, notifications and everything else. When you come from people like a Fitbit Charge5 (opens in new tab), it will initially feel monolithic, but it never feels too big to be comfortable. It also comes with a Gorilla Glass cover, meaning it’s tougher than you’d expect for such a slim design too.
The display of the Fitbit Sense is also AMOLED. That means text and icons stand out better against the black background, but are also much easier to read in direct sunlight.
When it comes to the strap, Fitbit Sense’s “infinity band” is more comparable to the Apple Watch’s “sport band” with a silicone texture. Unlike this strap, however, there are no metal moving parts – it folds neatly over and is comfortable enough to feel like you’re not wearing anything on your wrist at all. Two sizes are also included, as with most smartwatches, and you can easily swap with third-party or alternative options from Fitbit.
Fitbit Sense offers customizable watch faces that you can switch between with a few taps, so you can set them to suit the occasion or your mood.
The Fitbit Sense is available in Soft Gold (as seen in our review unit, image below), Graphite Stainless Steel (black), and Silver Stainless Steel.
- The ECG assessment provides insight into heart health
- EDA stress scan
- Tracks steps, distance and calories
Despite the Fitbit Sense’s slim form factor, it packs a lot of sensors and gizmos under the hood. As you’d expect from a modern smartwatch, Fitbit Pay lets you pay without needing your wallet, while all data is streamed to your phone via the Fitbit app for iOS or Android. Also, both Alexa and Google Assistant are available as options.
At its most basic level, it tracks your steps, distance, and calorie count by default, so you can see your goals at a glance throughout the day while also tracking sleep.
not as Apple watch series 7 (opens in new tab), you don’t have to charge it overnight, so you can use the insights from the sleep recording. That’s thanks to the six-day battery life, although you’ll get less return on a single charge if you plan to nudge the device regularly and run EKGs and more.
It is also waterproof to a depth of 50 meters and offers blood oxygen measurements. So far, according to Fitbit, but the Sense can now offer an ECG for assessing atrial fibrillation, meaning you can get high and low heart rate alerts.
As we mentioned earlier, the Sense’s big boon is the EDA scan, which helps you take note of your current stress level. This ties into other data points, including a quick questionnaire and continuous tracking of your body temperature and heart rate to build a picture of your stresses and assign a stress score.
It’s not the only Fitbit to do so, but it’s the key difference between the Versa 3 and Sense’s feature sets, so it’s worth noting – especially since it’s expected to bridge the price gap between the two. It is tied to mindfulness, and so the sense suggests meditation options or mindfulness practices when your stress is high.
Using a smartwatch isn’t going to take the stress out of your life, but it’s a handy way to collect the data and draw your own conclusions about what’s increasing stress.
Speaking of exercises, the Sense offers a lot out of the box, but you’ll find plenty more as part of the bundled six months of Fitbit Premium.
Not only does this add additional data, but it also offers features like guided programs that consolidate many metrics into one. Think of it as a little personal trainer that lives on your wrist, providing advice to maximize your sleep, exercise, and nutrition metrics.
A Daily Readiness Score is also calculated based on this data to help answer the immortal question, “Do I need to rest or is it time for a workout?” After an initial period of noticing your body’s rhythms (and your Schedule) is designed to help you maximize the hours in your day (and the hours you sleep) to ensure you’re ready for anything.
While the Sense is great without the Fitbit Premium, it’s still worth considering as an option if you’re serious about fitness.
- Good GPS performance
- Solid battery life (max. six days)
- Accurate heart rate measurement
While the Fitbit Sense will never be as accurate as a dedicated GPS watch, we’ve tested it with both an Apple Watch Series 7 and the Fitbit Versa 3 and are happy to say that all three connect well.
If you’re looking to save some time on your favorite 5k, it works flawlessly, and the workout display on the watch itself is clear and easy to read, whether you’re running, cycling or something else.
For heart rate tracking, we found that both standard tracking and ECG rivaled the Apple Watch Series 7 in terms of accuracy.
Unfortunately, the Sense falls into the same trap as the Fitbit Charge 5: no offline music playback from services other than Deezer and Pandora. If you prefer music or podcasts while working out, your best bet is to take your phone with you and stream music from there.
That’s a huge flaw for a smartwatch that offers almost everything else, and at this price point it’s conspicuous by its absence. However, you can use your Fitbit Sense to control audio playback from your iPhone or Android device, so at least when your phone is in your pocket you don’t have to constantly reach for it. However, if you use Deezer or Pandora, you have more options.
As we touched on a few times in this review, the Fitbit Sense’s battery life is excellent. While Fitbit says it offers six days of battery life, we got it croaking after five days – mostly through testing, using its sensors, and tracking sleep. Considering the Apple Watch costs more and doesn’t reach half that, even with this increased usage, that’s an impressive feat.
Although we would have liked to have saved a playlist or two on it, the Fitbit Sense is a great smartwatch. The battery lasts a long time, it’s packed with great features, and it really strives to give users the data they need to improve their mental health – whether it’s due to stress at work or at home.
The only question is how many of these additional features are you likely to use. If you don’t care for the EDA scan, the Versa 3 is a fair bit cheaper and matches the Sense pound for pound in almost every way.
If that’s not for you
As mentioned above, apart from the EDA, the Sense is very similar to the Versa 3. However, that’s not a bad thing. If you’re keen on the stress-relieving features but less so on the price, the Fitbit Charge 5 is also great but loses the larger display in favor of a slim one.
If you’re an iOS user you’re not too far off from the Apple Watch Series 7, but you can also get the excellent Apple Watch SE for less – but that comes with its own downsides, a noticeably shorter battery life.
Fitbit Sense review | Live Science Source link Fitbit Sense review | Live Science