The Fitbit has come a long way since its initial release in 2009. Back then, the fitness product took the form of a device that was clipped onto the users’ clothes, and while the ability to track your steps, sleep, and calorie consumption seemed revolutionary at the time, the last decade or so has seen a deluge of wearable tech from the likes of Garmin and WHOOP with each release promising to outdo the other. So, with three new fitness-focused watches dropping this fall, is Fitbit still fit for purpose?
Leading the pack of three fresh Fitbit releases will be the Sense 2. The original Sense, released in 2020, was Fitbit’s first smart watch and provided customers with easy access to innovative new features such as SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and EKG readings, still the WHOOP gained adulation for its quicker sensor refresh rate, meaning that Fitbit’s competition might provide better accuracy. These days, simply tracking our steps seems archaic when there is such an array of more useful data to pore over (subject to subscription, of course!)
What’s new with the Fitbit Sense 2?
Actually, quite a lot! Google is touting the Sense 2 as its most advanced tracker yet. New sensors will include a ‘body response’ sensor and upgraded software will provide users with new data points concerning their mental health, as well as their physical wellbeing.
The theory is that by monitoring your (cEDA) continuous electrodermal activity throughout the day, combined with heart rate information and skin temperature data, the Sense 2 can parse an overview of your moods and stress triggers. Not only will the Sense 2 know when you are stressed (or “hangry”) but unlike other devices that simply try to measure changes, this Fitbit will send you an alert to make you aware of the fact.
“These body responses can be triggered by a host of different things, whether it be stress, excitement, or something that stimulates a stress response in your body like caffeine,” explained Fitbit’s group product manager, Elena Perez, in a recent media briefing. By notifying you at the point of stress, you will get a better understanding of what triggers you throughout the day, and can make plans to take a break, forget that third cup of coffee, or form better sleeping habits.
The Sense 2 is 10% slimmer and 15% lighter than the original Sense and still promises a solid battery life of up to 6 days, depending on usage. The Sense 2 has 20 new fitness modes, bringing the total to over 40 workout types, with new options such as weightlifting and dancing added to the mix.
When is the Fitbit Sense 2 going to be released?
The Sense 2 will be released this fall, and is expected to retail at $299. But that’s not the only new Fitbit set to land this year. The more budget conscious Fitbit enthusiasts can get their wrists ready for the Inspire 3, launching in September at around $99. The Inspire 3 has less fitness modes and configurations as the Sense 2, but is still a great option because it will measure your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and skin temperature on a less hungry device that can offer up to 10 days better life. A mid-range device, the Versa 4, is also expected to drop in the fall, and offers the same 6-day battery life as the Sense 2, again with less of the premium features. Still, it does come with Google Maps support and phone connectivity for notifications, making it a great option for explorers that don’t need lots of additional modes.
With so many choices for wearable fitness tech now on offer, Fitbit has been wise to concentrate on paring mental health with physical wellbeing as a major step forward for the brand’s Sense 2. Whether these new releases will make Google’s device the dominant brand that it was back in 2009 remains to be seen, but Fitbit appears to have plenty of life yet.