Fitbit Sense 2 Review - Kind of makes sense?
With so many wearables in the market, find out how the Sense 2 stacks up against the likes of the Apple Watch and Samsung Watch 5 Pro
Here’s the thing, I’ve actually been a Fitbit user for about 10 years now so if there’s anyone out there who understands their product line, it’s me. With the Pixel Watch now available in certain parts of the world, I wouldn’t blame you for being confused about where the new Fitbit trackers fit in.
After using the Sense 2 for a few months now, it kind of makes sense to me. Even though Google owns Fitbit, they want to maintain a few key differentiators between both products and it all comes down to one thing, FITNESS.
The Pixel Watch is more like an android phone accessory as compared to the Sense 2, a flagship fitness tool. Both watches come with a ton of features but if your primary use of a smartwatch is to track and maintain your fitness goals, there is no way a Pixel Watch can match up to the functionality of what the Sense 2 offers. We aren’t just talking from a software perspective but even when it comes to hardware the Sense 2 offers features like an eDA sensor for stress management and a skin temperature sensor to track body temperature variations, something you simply won’t find on a Pixel Watch.
Now at the time of launch, the Sense 2 seemed like a half-baked product. You couldn’t even do half the things the previous generation Sense could like on-wrist phone calls, find my phone, support for third-party apps, and more. But a lot of those features have now been added to Fitbit’s much-awaited flagship smartwatch so without further ado, here’s my take on their latest wearable.
Rating - 3.5 / 5
Multi-path optical heart rate sensor
6+ Day Battery Life with fast charging support
cEDA sensor for body response tracking
Menstrual health tracking Sleep tracking
Skin Temperature Sensor
Comes with six months of Fitbit Premium
Alexa Voice Assistant
On-Wrist Phone Calls
Google Pay Support
Google Maps Turn-by-Turn Navigation (Coming soon)
What We Liked
Impressive battery life
Tools for stress management S
Support for workouts like runs, yoga, weights, and more with automatic workout recognition
Sleek design that is comfortable to wear during the day and night
Plenty of watch faces to choose from including support for third-party ones
What We Didn’t Like
Many features are locked behind a paywall as most of the functions require Fitbit Premium
No Support for Google Assistant
Lack of Wifi Connectivity for faster pairing and updates
GPS functionality isn’t very reliable
No support for Third Party Apps like Spotify and Uber
No in-built music player
No ECG App in the Middle East Region
From a design perspective, the Fitbit Sense 2 is an absolute no-brainer. Though it isn’t a significant departure from the previous generation’s design, It is one of the most comfortable trackers we have tested. I mean why fix something that isn’t broken? Better yet I had no problems wearing it to sleep in order to better understand my sleeping patterns because I highly doubt there are a lot of trackers out there that give you an in-depth analysis of your sleep like the Sense 2 does.
My favorite part of the design though has to be the return of the physical button. The capacitive button found on last year’s Versa 3 and previous generation Sense was definitely rejected even by Fitbit’s hardcore loyalists.
Performance is great in terms of the overall user interface as everything seems snappy and the in-built apps load fairly quickly. The overall look does have a certain Wear OS 3 vibe to it so for users coming from the previous model, it is going to be a refreshing change. Customization also isn’t an issue as Fitbit offers all kinds of watch straps from Flax Vegan Leather to a Sea Blue sport band. Whatever the occasion might be, you’re not going to have a hard time picking something that matches the occasion.
Look I ain’t no fitness enthusiast and neither do I sport the look of one. That being said, the Fitbit Sense 2 has definitely got me to pay more attention to my fitness routines. When you’re a Type 1 diabetic like me, monitoring your health through all kinds of different metrics becomes the norm for a safe and healthy lifestyle. Kind of explains why I’ve been so attached to my Fitbits over the years. From diabetic-friendly recipes on Fitbit Premium to being able to log your glucose levels through the phone app, a lot of these functions are just enabled out of the box. I really do wish you could log your glucose levels directly on the watch itself but that isn’t the case for now.
Fitbit supports all kinds of workouts from Yoga, Pilates, Weight Lifting, Running, and more. But for someone who is as forgetful as I am, forgetting to click the start button is a lot more common than you think and you can no longer end up getting an in-depth analysis of how well you performed. But Fitbit’s automatic workout recognition works great. At my local gym, the watch automatically started a workout mode when I was training on an elliptical machine. The same thing happened when I started running and the watch just automatically started a workout mode and I was able to see my progress as well as the route I had taken, all precisely recorded and viewed on the Fitbit App.
The Fitbit Sense 2 isn’t just for professional athletes. It’s basically for anyone who wants to jump-start their fitness goals and help them maintain that in the most consistent manner possible.
One of the key features of this watch I would like to highlight about the Sense 2 is the overall emphasis on your mental well-being. For starters, the new Sense 2 comes with a cEDA sensor that monitors your body for any kind of stress which you can then reflect on your emotions, take action and then carry on with your day. For those who want to simply relax and put their mind to ease, there are mindful sessions directly built into the watch that you can easily access whenever you need them. I personally found the Relax Breathing Sessions to be very helpful as it involves a certain kind of haptic feedback guiding you on how to breathe in a more relaxed manner.
Compared to some of the flagship smartwatches out there, the Fitbit Sense 2 offers some of the best battery life that not many manufacturers have been able to match up to. For comparison, the Apple Watch Series 8 offers about 18 hours of battery life while the Galaxy Watch 5 gives you about 2 days of battery life. The Fitbit Sense 2? Six colossal days and a little icing on the cake is that the watch supports fast charging. So if you’re in a hurry and just need a day’s worth of charge, plug it in for about 15 minutes and you should be good to go.
So where does Google fit in all of this?
From what I’ve experienced, there seems to be a lot of Google influence on the functionalities of the watch in general. Take for instance the operating system. While the Sense 2 runs on Fitbit’s proprietary operating system, it shares a lot of resemblance with Google’s own Wear OS and while there’s support for Google Pay and Google Maps functionality coming soon, it ends there. You can only use the official Fitbit app to sync your data as there is no integration with Google’s Fit application. Google Assistant also seems to be missing from the equation which is odd because last year’s Sense and Versa 3 supported it without any issues. You’ll find Alexa ready to go but not the world’s most loved virtual assistant. Google did announce that from 2025 onwards, you will need a Google Account to use a Fitbit so that should count for something.
The Sense 2 is definitely Fitbit’s most ambitious wearable yet. With features like a cEDA and Skin Temperature sensor being added to this year’s iteration, it certainly is one of the most powerful fitness wearables out there. But when you start digging deeper, the Sense 2 does feel like a downgrade when you compare it to the previous generation model. It does feel rather odd that Google has decided to integrate Amazon’s Alexa as the officially supported voice assistant instead of their own Google Assistant.
Of course, these are all just minor setbacks that can easily be fixed with a few OS upgrades. The Fitbit Premium service also adds a ton of functions at a fraction of the cost of what other competing platforms offer. If you are currently sporting a first-generation Sense or a Versa 3, there’s not much reason for you to upgrade to the new wearable.
However, if you are a first-timer in the market for a new wearable, the Sense 2 is among the top fitness trackers out there especially if you’re an Android user as Fitbit has always supported both iOS and Android devices. The Sense 2 offers some of the most accurate health metrics out there that give you a better understanding of how well your body is performing and how you can further improve your overall well-being.
The Fitbit Sense 2 is available at all leading retailers and e-commerce websites at AED 1299. It comes in three exotic colors, Lunar White, Blue Mist, and Graphite Aluminum colors.