Fitbit Sense review: Ambitious to a fault

There are numerous issues the Fitbit Sense does that the Apple Watch can’t. Fitbit’s newest smartwatch can monitor your pressure degree and mean you can loosen up. It data your nightly pores and skin temperature to lend a hand expect if an sickness is approaching. It means that you can make a choice from Alexa and Google Assistant (or a minimum of it is going to quickly). And the battery lasts for days and days.

fitit sense stats Michael Simon/IDG

The Fitbit Sense has a larger display screen and a lot of new sensors and functions.

However whilst Fitbit has finished an admirable activity in construction a smartwatch that is actually other—and in many ways higher than Apple’s newest wearables—the Sense in the end tries too arduous to be an Apple Watch choice. The place Apple has slowly added options to its Watch so to stay issues easy, Fitbit’s quest to leapfrog Apple has given the Sense too many stuff to do. Fairly than embracing the simplicity of the Versa and distilling the effortlessness of its sleep detection into an eye that adapts to the consumer, the Sense provides sufficient complexity to make the entire enjoy extra frictional that it must be.

Fitbit does not wish to return to the drafting board, however the Sense isn’t the next-gen smartwatch Fitbit wishes, a minimum of now not but.

A well-recognized, delicate design

In the event you’ve been taking note of Fitbit over the last few years, the Sense will glance very acquainted. It’s now not slightly a carbon reproduction of the Versa, nevertheless it’s very an identical, with a design that’s a little bit extra rounded however nonetheless sq.. It’s a smidge larger than the Versa 2 however just like the Versa three’s dimensions (40.48 x 40.48 x 12.35mm). The Versa 2’s mechanical button has been changed by way of an inductive one, which provides the Sense a swish, seamless aesthetic.

fitit sense screen Michael Simon/IDG

The Fitbit Sense’s show is best quite greater display screen than the Versa 2 (left), however the rounded corners make it a lot nicer to have a look at.

The bands glance very similar to those at the Versa 2 as smartly, however you gained’t have the ability to change your previous Versa bands onto the Sense. That’s because of the brand new quick-release mechanism that’s light-years more uncomplicated over the clunky pin way at the earlier Versas. It’s very similar to Apple’s way at the Apple Watch, however even more uncomplicated, as there’s no sliding. The straps simply snap out and in. In the event you’ve accrued a host of Versa bands, purchasing a suite of latest ones isn’t ultimate, however for many it is a suitable tradeoff.

The Sense’s OLED display screen jumps to one.58 inches from the the Versa 2’s 1.39 inches. And it has rounded corners now similar to the Apple Watch, which is helping the Sense’s show mix into its bezels. There’s nonetheless a little bit extra space between the display screen and the perimeters than I love, however Fitbit OS’s darkish UI most commonly makes the perimeters of the display screen invisible to the bare eye.

fitit sense buttons Michael Simon/IDG

Just like the Versa 2 (backside), the Sense has only one button, however it is inductive.

In earlier Fitbit opinions, I gripe so much in regards to the continuously converting and finicky chargers, however the Sense in the end will get it proper. It’s magnetic just like the Encourage, however robust sufficient so it gained’t shift free, attaching with a company snap. And in a primary for Fitbit, the Sense helps speedy charging, so that you gained’t must stay it connected to a charger for terribly lengthy. In 12 mins (Fitbit’s advisable power-up time), I went from four % to 27 %, greater than sufficient to get my despite the fact that a complete day of use.

Sensors and sensibilities

The Sense seems to be great, however the design isn’t the object that’ll persuade most of the people to shop for it. You get the standard metrics on which Fitbit has constructed its popularity, together with best-in-class sleep monitoring and Energetic Zone Mins, which robotically document and warn you to intense workout although you’re now not monitoring a exercise.

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