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The Fitbit Sense is the best activity tracker with many improvements over the Versa series, which has been very successful in past. This device aims to help you be in charge of your well-being by making you aware of how you feel mentally and physically and giving you the means to introduce positive lifestyle changes. All said and done, it’s a success compared to Fitbit Sense 2.
Some flagship smartwatches and fitness trackers like Fitbit Sense have an Electrocardiogram sensor (ECG) that can detect atrial fibrillation. Nevertheless, its stress-tracking ability is outstanding as it always remains valuable rather than just during emergencies. These features are only available to those who subscribe to Fitbit Premium; however, a trial period offers six months at no cost on Sense so that users can test them out before deciding if they are effective.
Notably, in terms of fitness tracking capabilities, if you want heart rate zone training, then the Senses are top-notch. After tracking your activity using this watch, there will be workout statistics that make sense from both the app and the Fitbit app on your device.
ECG capabilities were unavailable at launch but enabled in October 2020 through a software update. With a firmware upgrade in June 2021, Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 made it easier to change their watch face and have new goal celebrations and Google Assistant notifications that could be heard. Also, during the public beta testing of the tool, some users got “snore detection” as a new feature.
As with other products, however, Sense has some limitations that can be improved within the Fitbit companion app. One such characteristic is menstrual tracking functionality that one may enhance by integrating it with skin temperature sensing and stress monitoring.
Cost and Convenience
The Fitbit Sense costs $159.99, £219.99 or AU$224.95 currently on Fitbit’s official website or from third-party sellers. This is because Fitbit no longer has it in the US market due to the release of the Fitbit Sense 2. The price above was therefore obtained from Best Buy.
In contrast, a Sense 2 will sell at $299.95 (£269.99 / AU$449.95).
Presentation and Design
For smartwatches, the Fitbit Sense is very attractive-looking. That being said, its screen seems almost identical to the Versa series made by Fitbit; both series are square-shaped with rounded edges, which Fitbit models to resemble human body curves.
Stainless steel gives the case a sense of premium refinement while there is a tiny touch-sensitive button on its left side through which you can allocate shortcuts to your most frequently used applications. It opens Alexa once clicked as a default app, whereas double pressing will display four additional apps as shortcuts. For us, it was helpful as we could quickly open up an EDA scan and get into our preferred workouts without having to navigate through the settings on the watch.
The Gorilla Glass-protected colour screen is vivid, clear, and quick to respond. You can access a lot of settings by swiping to the right. For example, you can access sleep mode, which turns off vibrations and dims the screen. You can adjust the volume, brightness, always-on screen, and do-not-disturb mode. You may personalize the notification shade when you swipe down from any screen in the Fitbit app.
The Infinity Band strap with the Fitbit Sense is crafted from gentle silicone and has no harsh clasps or fasteners. It resembles the band on the newly launched Polar Unite and shares the same minor gripe: you must thread the band’s end under the strap to fasten it. After you get the hang of it, the band is comfy; we hardly notice it when wearing it, which is especially helpful when going out at night.
To get the most accurate heart rate reading when exercising, Fitbit suggests snuffling the band around your wrist, washing it with soapy water regularly, and occasionally removing it from your skin to let it breathe.
The maximum battery life of the Fitbit Sense is six days, but that period will be drastically reduced with daily usage of its sensors and the always-on screen. Charging is a breeze with the Sense; a compact USB charger with a square dock, which can be magnetically attached to the watch’s band, is included. It’s incredibly user-friendly, and the magnetic connection ensures it will always be aligned.
As one would expect from a high-end Fitbit smartwatch, it has all the standard features, including voice controls through Alexa (Google Assistant is on the way by the end of 2020) and Fitbit Pay (if your bank is one of those that supports it).
In addition to receiving call and SMS notifications on your phone, the Sense also has a built-in microphone that you can use to dictate replies to texts. We will extensively test these improvements in the next few days and update our evaluation accordingly. Later in 2020, you’ll be able to answer calls using Bluetooth.
The Sense can withstand water pressure up to 50 meters, so using it when swimming is OK (though Fitbit suggests washing the strap with fresh water afterwards).
No abnormal drops in heart rate, which might be a sign of a problem with fitness trackers, were detected during our rather strenuous test of the Sense. Like any wrist-mounted heart rate monitor, the data displayed on the watch face was slightly delayed, reflecting our efforts on the bike.
As you move between different heart rate zones, the Sense will vibrate to let you know. This is quite helpful for training purposes. Another item we appreciated was that, unlike other fitness trackers, it always showed the heart rate clearly on the screen.
Aiming to monitor physical and emotional health, the Fitbit Sense is an ambitious wristwatch that appears tailor-made for trying times. While the watch might use some work, and the subsequent version fell short, the Sense could be the perfect tool for those who want to incorporate mindfulness practices and tiny changes to lead better lives.
The Fitbit Sense 2 is for sale at Amazon.
Prefer the one? That one is also on sale at Amazon!
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