Fitbit sense 2: When we reviewed the Fitbit Sense a year ago, it was an ambitious smartwatch. Its successor, Sense 2? Oh, not much. It’s hard to call it a Sense 2, but I don’t think it’s really a smartwatch. This, my friends, is what I call a premium fitness tracker – and if you look at it from that perspective, it’s a good one. But is it really a $300 fitness tracker, especially when the Pixel Watch costs just $50 more, has pretty much all the health features, and is just as smart?
Fitbit Sense 2: Specs and Features
Fitbit Sense 2 is the high-end variant of the series that has various health features like heart rate sensor, SpO2 monitor, stress monitor and sleep monitor. Apart from the usual wellness and fitness centers, there is Spo2 It supports skin temperature measurement, body feedback sensors for all-day stress management and has a battery life of more than 6 days. Features include Alexa support, water resistance, Bluetooth calling (coming soon), Google Maps and more.
Fitbit Sense 2 comes in Shadow Grey/Graphite, Moonlight White/Platinum and Mist Blue/Soft Gold.
Price and Availability
Fitbit Inspire 3 is priced at Rs. 8,999, Fitbit Versa 2 Rs. 20,999 and Fitbit Sense 2 is priced at Rs. 24,999 for the same.
The wearables are now available for purchase on select offline and online platforms. All of this is included in a 6-month Fitbit Premium subscription.
Lack of intelligence
Before we get into why the Sense 2 isn’t a smartwatch, we need to set the stage. In 2020, Sense is very smart. It has a new electrodermal stress (EDA) sensor, an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, a blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor, a temperature sensor, contactless payments, and the ability to choose between Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s a viable alternative to the Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, though they lack cellular coverage and have an ecosystem of third-party apps.
A lot can happen in two years. After that, the Series 8 and Galaxy Watch 5 get most of the health features of the Sense 2 while closing the smart gap. Now there’s the Apple Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The Sense 2’s main selling point is the weekend battery life, but that all goes away if you turn on the always-on display. In my testing, enabling the AOD meant up to three days on a single charge.
And then there’s the Pixel Watch. It’s clear that Google, Fitbit’s parent company, sees them as the future of wearables. The Pixel Watch uses the Fitbit platform for its health and fitness features; Fitbit CEO James Park also unveiled the Pixel Watch at the Made by Google event. It has all the features you’d expect from a smartwatch, including voice assistant, emergency calls and smart home control. If you read between the lines, they sound like the death knell for Fitbit as a smartwatch.
Fitbit spokesperson Jonathan Moll told The Verge that the Sense 2 was “designed to prioritize the most important features that our users care about and use the most, which is heart rate. It includes tracking, sleep tracking and stress management. Google’s steps to differentiate the Sense 2 from the Pixel Watch It makes sense. There’s no reason for a company to have two competing smartwatch platforms, and it makes sense for Fitbit to focus on fitness. But the Google Sense 2 looks a bit nerfed.
For example, you can’t use Google Assistant on Sense 2. It’s weird. On the original Sense and Versa 3, you can choose between Alexa or Google Assistant. Now your only option is Alexa. “There are currently no plans to bring Google Assistant to the Sense 2 or Versa 4. We look forward to bringing the feature to future devices,” Fitbit spokesperson Jonathan Moll told me.
Whether you like digital assistants or not, their presence in smartwatches is a highlight these days. Of course, Alexa is there, but it’s a completely different smart home ecosystem. Why not install Google Assistant on your Google smartwatch? The overall theme of the Made by Google event is that all these devices work together! If not, what’s the point? I’m really lost in the thought process here.
Previously available third-party apps like Starbucks and Spotify are no longer suitable. At least they weren’t compatible with Sense 2 when I tried to download them from the Fitbit app gallery. Fitbit’s third-party ecosystem is already very small, so this was another tricky decision.
Google Sense 2 may have been nerfed a lot
The addition of Google Maps and Google Wallet reduces the utility somewhat. But I can’t tell you which apps work well because those apps aren’t available yet. It’s not unusual for companies to release features after releasing a product. But when you combine the previous third-party apps with what Google has removed, it’s definitely enticing.
The Sense 2 has the same Bluetooth/Wi-Fi combo as the Sense, but Wi-Fi is disabled according to Fitbit’s official specs.
Everything is strange. Sense 2’s redesigned user interface resembles that of a smartwatch. The updated design is sleeker than previous versions of Fitbit OS. It’s like Wear OS on the Pixel Watch. For example, swiping left and right lets you view widgets. When you press the button, a list of applications will open. Swiping up shows notifications and swiping down opens the quick menu. It’s a big improvement, performance continues and everything looks great.