Fitbit Sense 2 overview: Elegant health smartwatch foiled by subscription mannequin


The Fitbit Sense 2 lives as much as its title and is meant to be like second nature for the wearer. For this function, the health watch provides the quite a few mindfulness options present in its predecessor. There is a crucial design change in comparison with the primary Sense although. Learn on to learn how the Fitbit Sense 2 performs within the overview!

Good

  • Haptic button is vastly improved
  • Nonetheless stylish wanting and really gentle
  • Easy and snappy operation
  • Google Pockets out there through an replace

Unhealthy

  • Many options are hidden behind a paywall
  • Reasonably correct sensors for pulse measurement and GPS
  • Closed ecosystem
  • Just one mannequin out there for all wrist sizes
  • Nonetheless no Google Maps help

The Fitbit Sense 2 in a nutshell

The underside line is that this: the Fitbit Sense 2 is a wonderful health watch for individuals who wish to work on their bodily in addition to psychological well being. There are quite a few sensors out there that cater to GPS, pulse, stress, sleep, and even ECG readings, and the Fitbit app continues to persuade with a profitable person interface albeit having a comparatively closed Fitbit ecosystem.

In comparison with its predecessor, the {hardware} button on the left facet proved to be a very necessary change. In contrast to the capacitive button that’s discovered within the first Sense, there may be neither unintentional enter nor frustration because of poor reactivity. Talking of frustration, many options stay hidden behind a paywall on the Fitbit Sense 2. In different phrases, and not using a subscription, you’ll miss out on quite a few helpful features.

Fitbit Sense 2 Display
Customary watch face: The Fitbit Sense 2 reveals you a very powerful metrics at a look. / © NextPit

The brand new Fitbit Sense 2 is stocked in shops with a advisable retail value of $299.95, though its value has been slashed to $229.95 for a restricted time now. You possibly can select from colours corresponding to evening grey, moon white, and noble blue. Along with the smartwatch, we additionally suggest subscribing to Fitbit Premium, as a result of that is the one technique to get entry to all of the smartwatch’s options. Nonetheless, the subscription prices $9.99 per thirty days or $79.99 yearly.

Design & Show

The Fitbit Sense 2 appears to be like like the primary Sense with its stylish, flat, rounded case albeit with one elementary distinction. There may be now a mechanical button on the left facet of the case as an alternative of the a lot maligned capacitive button. Very good!


Execs

  • Stylish and really gentle design.
  • Mechanical button on the left facet.
  • Brilliant AMOLED show.

Cons

  • Just one case measurement is obtainable.

If Fitbit has its means, you will wish to put on the Sense 2 day and evening, and that is precisely the way it’s constructed. With its rounded, delicate form, the smartwatch feels so good in your wrist that you’re going to shortly neglect about it. In comparison with the Apple Watch Extremely that I reviewed just lately, the Fitbit Sense 2 feels nearly as gentle as a feather with its weight of 38.2 or 40.6 grams, relying on the strap measurement (S or L).

Whereas there are two measurement choices for the strap, whereas you solely get the case in 4.05 × 4.05 cm measurement and a thickness of 1.23 cm. The Sense 2 doesn’t have an IP score, however in line with Fitbit, it’s waterproof as much as a depth of fifty meters. In actuality, which means washing fingers, showering, and swimming work effectively with the Sense 2, however it is best to keep away from water sports activities at excessive speeds because of the larger partial pressures which may happen right here.

Fitbit Sense 2
In contrast to the outdated Fitbit Sense (beneath), the Sense 2 has a mechanical button on the left facet. / © NextPit

On the left facet of the case, you’ll find the mechanical button which replaces the capacitive button on the predecessor. In distinction to the primary Sense (overview), the Sense 2 didn’t have any issues with unintentional inputs throughout all the overview length. Even with extraordinarily angled wrists that generally happen throughout push-ups, there have been no unintentional presses. Nonetheless, the mechanical button additionally has a really quick stroke and a lower than satisfying feeling when pressed.

As with its predecessor, the AMOLED show is vivid, sharp, and appears nice underneath all lighting situations. The touchscreen responds to inputs largely with out delays, and the interface utilizing swipe gestures is enjoyable to make use of, assuming you’re purely a touchscreen particular person and don’t essentially wish to function the watch with thick gloves on a regular basis throughout ski excursions. In that case, a Garmin sports activities watch with buttons for operation is the higher selection.

Fitbit Sense 2
For those who swipe into the show from above, you can be offered with these fast settings. From the underside up, you’ll obtain notifications on the display screen. / © NextPit

Sensible options

The Sense 2 is extra of a health tracker than a smartwatch. There may be Google Pockets, and you may set up a handful of apps, however that is about it. Regardless of being a subsidiary of Google, the watch nonetheless does not run on WatchOS 3.0, however relatively depends on Fitbit’s proprietary working system.


Execs

  • Google Pockets now works on the Fitbit Sense 2.

Cons

  • Simply eleven apps within the app retailer.
  • Nonetheless no Google Maps.

Just like the Versa 4 (overview), the Fitbit Sense 2 is extra of a health tracker than a smartwatch. Certain, there are notifications that arrive in your wrist, Alexa voice help, and even a hands-free perform. However the app retailer is hardly value mentioning with simply eleven Fitbit-owned apps that may be put in later, particularly since all apps come from Fitbit and are partly put in already.

Nonetheless, in contrast to the apps, third-party suppliers are additionally allowed to supply a variety of watchfaces, of which there’s a substantial choice. Fitbit has now additionally added the choice to make use of Google Pockets for the Sense 2 through a firmware replace. The setup works easily through the Fitbit app, however beware, long-time Fitbit customers. As soon as you turn from Fitbit Pay to Google Pockets, there is not any going again.

Fitbit Sense 2 Screenshot
The Fitbit Sense 2 now helps calls on the wrist – and in addition Google Pockets. / © NextPit

By the way in which, Fitbit and Google haven’t but delivered Google Maps, which was promised on the launch of the Sense 2 in September 2022. That is fairly unhappy, since Fitbit even proudly reveals Google Maps on the health watch in its September launch teaser final 12 months. Google Assistant can also be not out there, however Alexa voice management is.

If you need the Fitbit options to work in tandem with an actual smartwatch, you’ll have to go for the Google Pixel Watch. Nonetheless, the Sense 2’s alertness options are ignored: The Pixel Watch is principally a Fitbit Versa 4 with WatchOS 3.0. You will discover all variations between the three fashions in our article the place the Google Pixel Watch, Fitbit Sense 2, and Fitbit Versa 4 are in contrast.

Monitoring and health

The Fitbit Sense 2 provides a variety of sensors and measures quite a few physique parameters, from pulse and sleep high quality to GPS, stress, and electrocardiogram readings. Nonetheless, many of the readings are usually not actually that correct.


Execs

  • PPG sensor measures pulse, SpO2.
  • Built-in GPS sensor.
  • cEDA sensor for stress measurement.
  • ECG perform.

Cons

  • Pulse and GPS are relatively inaccurate.
  • No connection risk for exterior sensors.
  • Most of the measured values make little sense.

Contemplating the compact format, the Fitbit Sense 2 provides a variety of sensors for varied functions, from outside sports activities to emphasize. Nonetheless, many options are solely out there with a premium subscription.

Fitbit Sense 2
The Fitbit Sense 2 provides quite a few completely different exercise modes. / © NextPit

GPS & outside sports activities

Once you go operating with the Fitbit Sense 2, you may safely depart your smartphone at house. Not solely can you purchase your breakfast rolls afterward because of Google Pockets, however you can even file your operating route through GPS on the way in which. Nonetheless, the accuracy degree is just reasonable. In comparison with the Amazfit GTR 4 (overview) which boasts an especially exact dual-band GPS, we noticed deviations of about 4 to five %. If you do not need to coach for particular instances primarily based on the variety of kilometers, however solely wish to roughly observe your run by way of mileage, the accuracy degree is totally ample.

Talking {of professional} options: You’ll not discover superior operating metrics like your cadence and even floor contact time and vertical motion or the like on the Fitbit Sense 2. Aside from the steps taken and the space lined, the Fitbit watch solely information your pulse and the time spent within the completely different coronary heart charge zones. The heart beat measurement throughout jogging is sort of correct although. In contrast with a chest strap system, the typical pulse (160 vs 165 beats per minute) and the utmost pulse (175 vs 179 beats per minute) expertise some extent of deviation.

Health & Indoor Sports activities

The center charge measurement is considerably completely different for sports activities with closely confused or angled wrists. Like nearly all smartwatches with optical coronary heart charge sensors, the Sense 2 measures values which are clearly too low to replicate actuality. Throughout an upper-body exercise with a deal with the chest muscle tissues, for instance with push-ups and bench presses, the typical pulse of 102 versus 112 beats is considerably decrease than with a chest strap system. Most coronary heart charge additionally differs considerably at 130 versus 157 beats per minute.

Fitbit Sense 2 Screenshot
The Fitbit Sense 2’s coronary heart charge sensor isn’t significantly correct throughout exercises with concerned wrists. We in contrast it with an Apple Watch with a related Sigma chest strap (proper). / © NextPit

Additionally, you will look in useless for superior coaching choices right here. For example, train recognition which could be discovered on many Garmin and Amazfit fashions. Creating user-defined exercises can also be solely potential to a really restricted extent. Setting objectives for the person exercises is feasible although, and the best of emotions is to bunch collectively a rudimentary HIIT exercise with intervals of lively and relaxation phases. Nonetheless, there aren’t any choices so as to add warm-up and cool-down instances or to save lots of completely different presets.

Lastly, Fitbit provides a variety of video exercises to observe together with. Those that have had their fill of the 20 free exercises, starting from 7 to 35 minutes in length, will want a premium subscription to entry extra movies. The movies are principally well-made, however don’t observe a particular coaching plan. That is simply too unhealthy!

Fitbit Sense 2
The heart beat sensor of the Sense 2 is sufficiently correct for many functions. / © NextPit

Sleep and restoration

The Fitbit Sense 2 is ready to file your sleep. The measured falling asleep and wake-up instances are as equally as exact as what the Apple Watch Extremely would file when phrase in parallel. Because of the lack of a sleep lab, sadly, we now have no means of assessing the recorded sleep phases. Nonetheless, the essential sleep length is the extra necessary measurement anyway. Lastly, Fitbit assigns premium customers a sleep animal that matches their particular person sleep habits—for instance, a bear or a turtle.

As well as, the Fitbit Sense 2 information varied different metrics throughout sleep. The center charge variability, for instance, signifies how effectively rested you’re. The resting pulse charge permits you to draw conclusions about your cardio health. With the assistance of the oxygen saturation within the blood, you may decide whether or not you undergo from nocturnal respiration pauses, so-called sleep apnea. The Fitbit Sense 2 additionally measures pores and skin temperature – however in contrast to the Apple Watch Sequence 8, the watch doesn’t supply a direct possibility to trace your menstrual cycle.

Fitbit Sense 2 Screenshot
The Fitbit Sense 2 (left) information sleep instances very precisely. On this instance, the Apple Watch (proper) incorrectly recorded sleep once I was simply mendacity in mattress studying the information. / © NextPit

If you do not have a Fitbit Premium subscription, you will solely see values from the previous seven days right here. Fitbit and Google wish to see cash from you earlier than they launch any significant long-term statistics and tendencies. With an lively Fitbit Premium subscription, you additionally get entry to the Day by day Health Index, which makes use of varied measurements to find out your present health and will inform you, for instance, how onerous you may prepare right this moment.

Stress and different

A ultimate main level of the Fitbit Sense 2 is the subject of mindfulness. For this, the producer installs a so-called cEDA sensor, which can also be one in all the principle variations in comparison with the Fitbit Versa 4. It is a “steady” EDA sensor for measuring electro-dermal exercise.

Fitbit makes use of the measured values to create a stress administration rating that provides you a sign of your present stress degree. An non-compulsory stress monitor additionally sends a notification to your wrist in case you are at the moment affected by stress and reminds you to take a deep breath.

Fitbit Sense 2 Screenshot
The Fitbit Sense 2 provides all kinds of mindfulness options. Nonetheless, you will usually run right into a paywall right here if you do not have a Fitbit Premium subscription. / © NextPit

And not using a Fitbit Premium subscription, nevertheless, you’ll shortly come up in opposition to a paywall and solely see absolutely the stress rating, however not its composition. The meditations and mindfulness workout routines are additionally solely out there to subscribers. Not less than there are guided respiration workout routines out there on the wrist totally free, that are effectively carried out and don’t require a everlasting stare on the show because of the haptic indicator.

Final however not least, the Fitbit Sense 2 provides an ECG perform. You possibly can start the electrocardiograms immediately on the watch and see the outcomes immediately. The detailed report is considerably hidden between the Mindfulness workout routines for Premium customers within the app—however it’s nonetheless free.

Battery life and charging

The Fitbit Sense 2 provides a good battery quantity of life. Due to improved Fast-Charging, charging can also be comparatively quick – however solely when used with the proprietary charging cable.


Execs

  • First rate battery life.
  • Quick charging.

Cons

  • Proprietary charging cable.
  • No wi-fi charging help.

In response to the producer, the Fitbit Sense 2 lasts as much as six days. In fact, this additionally will depend on your utilization sample. Throughout intensive use within the sensible overview, we consumed about 25 % battery capability per day and thus needed to join the watch to the charger about twice per week.

Fitbit Sense 2
The Fitbit Sense 2 makes use of a proprietary charging cable. Sadly, there is no such thing as a wi-fi charging or the like. / © NextPit

Due to fast charging, you’ve sufficient capability for an intensive day in about 15 to twenty minutes. It’s due to this fact ample to briefly join the watch to the cable within the morning whereas showering, whereas brushing your tooth, and getting dressed. Nonetheless, additionally, you will want this proprietary cable. The smartwatch doesn’t supply wi-fi charging help. A full charging course of from 0 to 99 % takes 76 minutes within the overview.

Closing verdict

The Fitbit Sense 2 is a light-weight, stylish, and sensible health watch, however it’s extra of an enormous health tracker than a smartwatch, actually. There are nearly no apps, and the sensible options are very restricted, particularly since we’re nonetheless ready for the Google Maps replace that was promised in September 2022.

By way of sensors, the Fitbit Sense 2 is rather well positioned and provides loads of choices with pulse measurement, GPS, SpO2, HRV, EDA, or ECG. Whereas the accuracy ranges right here are sometimes not significantly good, it needs to be ample for a lot of customers in on a regular basis life. Nonetheless, I discover it a disgrace that the closed Fitbit ecosystem doesn’t enable for the pairing of exterior sensors, and am additionally bitter at the truth that the person requires a subscription to achieve entry to many options.

The underside line is, the Fitbit Sense 2 provides little or no that’s new in comparison with its predecessor. The most important improve issues the button and it actually makes an enormous distinction in usability within the overview. So, in case you are deciding between the outdated and the brand new Sense, I might clearly suggest the brand new mannequin because of the mechanical button, even when it is a little more costly.

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