The Fitbit Sense is Ready but is it Worth It?
The Fitbit Sense, a smartwatch that promises to do everything from track your steps to your heart rate, sleep. your blood oxygen and even help manage your stress.
If you want the top of the line Fitbit Smartwatch then there’s no doubt that the Fitbit Sense is the one for you.
Although with a price of $330, the decision is not that easy, it’s true that it’s a competitive price compared with other smartwatches on the same line such as Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy models. But for a Fitbit is the most expensive tracker from the lineup.
- High-end Features
- Always on Display
- Built-in GPS
- Easier to swap Bands
- Performance is not great.
- Always-on drains the battery
- No onboard music storage
If you’re coming from a previous Fitbit like the original Versa or the Versa 2 then the Fitbit Sense won’t present too much of a surprise, it has a pretty similar overall design, from that square watch face to interchangeable straps.
A cool difference is that now the watch face itself is surrounded in a stainless steel frame, that elevates the look a little bit and it feels overall pretty comfortable on the wrist, it’s comfortable even to sleep with.
The touchscreen is bright and easy to see in broad daylight, which is great when you’re outside doing a workout, for example.
Another difference with the previous models is that there’s no physical button anymore instead there’s now an indented side button that will give you some vibrations or haptic feedback to let you know when you’ve pressed it.
The Display itself also has the ability to turn into a color always-on display.
When it comes to the bands there’s also a nice upgrade, on previous models every time you want to swap or exchange a band, you will need to insert the bands as you would do on a regular strap watch. Now you can just simply exchange the bands with the touch of a button.
When it comes to being smart this tracker can deliver. We where a litle scheptic at the beginingn when twsting the Sense. The Ionic and Versa series always lack in the smart department, at least when compared with the Apple Watch models.
And lets be honest they still lack in the smart ecosystem. This is the biggest differnce the amount of smart apps and funcinoalities that you get with Apple.
But Fitbit is imporving over time and with the extra smart features that come along with the Sense they are getting closer and closer.
The main Smart Features are:
- Alexa Voice Command
- NFC Payments
- Stress Monitoring (EDA)
- Monitor of Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
- Female Health Tracking
The Alexa command makes the whole smart experience better, Fitbit claims that Google Assistant is going to be ready soon, but there’s no a real date when it’s going to happen.
Just like Alexa NFC payments is something that we are used to already in any other Fitbit smartwatch, so is not an upgrade but definitely a cool smart feature to have.
Now the main upgrade and Smart Feature on the Sense its without a doubt the stress monitoring feature, that uses electrodermal activity (EDA) responses to measure your stress levels.
The EDA uses your skin as an electrical resistance measuring the micro changes on it, using patterns like your sweat to determinate the changes. Other factors they use to get your stress level data is your heart rate or blood pressure.
You can choose different modes you can run it in, but the two-minute quick scan is the most common and easy to use daily.
To run a scan, you just need to swipe left and select the ‘EDA scan’ option ans click on the Quick Scan.
Then rest your palm on the watch face for 2 minutes.
Check that your watch is well secured on your wrist so it can get a good reading of your heart rate.
During this time the Sense will detect small electrical changes in the sweat level of your skin.
With a gentle vibration the scan will start and once is done you will feel another one. The fewer EDA responses that the tracker needs to record, the calmer you are.
When the scan is over you can also fill out a quick record of how you’re feeling at that moment. You can choose between calm, very calm, neutral, stressed, or very stressed.
All this data is going to be on the Fitbit App for you to check and understand.
There’s new monitoring of Sp02 levels (pulse oximetry), which measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
The Sp02 monitor can track your blood oxygen saturation as you sleep, by using it you can spot signs of different sleeping problems such as sleep apnea, a condition that makes you stop breathing periodically during the night, it can be a real problem in case you have it regularly since it will disturb your sleep and give you fatigue in the morning.
This data its also helpful to detect how effectively you are breathing and how well your blood is moving throughout your body. Low levels of oxygen can cause serious problems such as hypoxemia.
Last but not least we have the Female health tracking that we also check on previous models such as the Versa 2. The feature is helpful to remind women about their cycle. With time and data can start to understand women’s cycle better and then prevent symptoms such as headaches and cramps.
It can also be used as a contraceptive method, although its not recommended. You can log your PMT symptoms, and be better prepared each month.
Heres is where we can get the full Fitbit Power.
We know that there’s a lot of folks that prefer other smartwatches because of the smart apps, but it all depends on your needs. And When it comes to fitness tracking there’s no better than Fitbit.
We always love the High-end features that you can track with any Fitbit. But the Sense it’s a complete package.
The main Features to have in mind are:
- Built-In GPS
- Heart Rate
- Workout Modes
The Built-in GPS its a must on any watch but it’s an expensive feature that can take the price of a tracker way up. Even on this smartwatch its one of the reasons for the higher price. But let’s focus on the important.
What is the reason to have it? and is it worth it for you?
The main reason is accuracy. For those that like to track their distance and pace, for instance, runners will need to have a GPS assistant to have accurate and real data.
When you dont have a built-in GPS you need to use your phone GPS, meaning that you need to carry your phone with you every time you go for a run.
But at the same time, the data of carrying your phone is not as accurate as having a built-in GPS.
So with the Sense, you can now map out your runs using the GPS, you can also track your walks and bike rides.
To start the GPS you need to do it manually. There’s no automatic GPS, the reason is that the GPS mode takes up to much from the battery juice so you need to be careful when using it.
When you finish your route your maps are going to be visible in the Fitbit app. You can also connect your Fitbit account to Strava so they are synced automatically.
Another oldie but goodie feature is the Waterproof one. It’s true that it’s on almost any other Fitbit, but its always good to have the ability to swim with it, take a shower, or even to be cool wearing it all day, without having to worry about getting it wet.
Its swim-proof up to 50 meters and can track your swim laps automatically.
The Heart rates its also a feature that it’s on a few Fitbits, but the technology that comes along with the Sense it’s updated.
Some of the biggest updates on the Sense are the Heart-Rate Notifications, now the tracker will detect when your heart rate is above or below your normal threshold. This data can be helpful to detect tachycardia or bradycardia.
Another update it’s on the PurePulse heart-rate sensor, now it’s upgraded into the 2.0 version with an updated algorithm. and a multipath sensor that comes to improve the previous optical sensor.
For Fitbit Premium subscribers there’s also a new feature called HRV that can track your Heart-Rate Variation, being the time between each heartbeat. This feature just like the smart features can help with early diagnosis of problems such as fatigue and stress.
And then we have the Workout Modes. One of the reasons why Fitbit is the best period. Ok maybe we went too far, but really this is one of the best fitness features for tracking sports.
You can track over 20 exercise modes and the smartwatch will give you real-time stats even during your workouts. You can set them automatically or manually.
You can choose between Run, Bike, Swim, Bootcamp, Circuit Training, Elliptical, Golf, Hike, Interval, Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Pilates, Stair Climber, Spinning, Tennis, Treadmill, Walk, Weights, Workout, and Yoga.
Theres no end of a good Fitbit Sense Review if we dont wrap up the article.
The Sense is today the best Fitbit smartwatch. That means that from the line up is the best that you can get. Compared with other smartwatches such as Apple, Samsung, and Garmin the Fitbit Sense is behind in some smart features, but have in mind that the price for these high-end smartwatches its sometimes even twice as much as the Sense.
For us is a good effort in a long run, that Fitbit soon or later is going to catch up.
We Did like the Sense in terms of design, high end features such as the EDA monitor and the Spo2 upgraded software. So overall it’s a great smartwatch for the Price.