Fitbit Sense Assessment

The Fitbit Sense replaces the Ionic on the high finish of the corporate’s household of health and well being smart-watches and exercise trackers. On high of each Fitbit health metric and a built-in GPS, it measures your stress ranges, pores and skin temperature, blood oxygen, electrodermal exercise, ECG, and heart-rate variations. 

Fitbit calls the Sense an “superior well being smartwatch”, and it’s on well being that it beats different Fitbits such because the Versa 3, which launched on the identical time however focuses extra on core health options. Learn our Fitbit Versa Three evaluate.

It is an awesome smartwatch, solely held again by what I think about a poor wrist strap and the truth that a number of too most of the greatest well being monitoring options are reserved for paying Fitbit Premium subscribers.

Fitbit is constant so as to add new options, reminiscent of the flexibility to take hands-free calls through the watch, which incorporates each a microphone and audio system, and including Google Assistant alongside the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.

Design & construct

The Fitbit Sense is a handsome watch with a vibrant display screen and a responsive consumer interface.

The principle physique is manufactured from aluminium with a cultured (medical-grade) chrome steel end. This high-quality chrome steel ring is required to get a number of the extra superior sensor readings. It’s additionally extra sturdy; the medical-grade refers to its corrosion resistance.

It encompasses a massive 1.58in OLED show with a decision of 336 x 336, which is vibrant, and straightforward to learn even in direct daylight.

The bodily button discovered on the Versa 2 has been changed with a brand new haptic sensor on the left edge – so there is no bodily button to push in, however as an alternative a touch-sensitive space that vibrates just a little to let you recognize your contact has been recognised.

An ordinary button would have been simpler, however actually you will get wherever you want with a swipe.

Additionally new is the included swappable strap known as the Infinity Band, and it takes just a little getting used to. As an alternative of a basic watch strap, there’s a peg you push by way of the very best gap in your match, and you then shut it by way of a loop.

That is my greatest gripe with the Sense: the band that it ships with simply is not as safe because the outdated watch-buckle. I had it fall off my wrist inside 24 hours, and when you think about it is utilized in bodily exercises, that is not adequate. I might critically counsel you buy one of many accent straps that characteristic extra sturdy buckles.

At the very least Fitbit has made swapping the bands a lot, a lot simpler with the Sense. Altering the strap on the outdated Versa and Versa 2 was as fiddly as fiddly can get. This time, you simply should push a tab forwards and gently slide the strap off, after which click on a brand new one in.

As for colors, the Sense is obtainable in Graphite Stainless Metal with a Carbon band, or Smooth Gold Stainless Metal and Lunar White band.

Well being monitoring

The Ionic, just like the Fitbit Surge that it changed, was marketed as a sports activities smartwatch. Sports activities was thought to be the head of the health tracker, however with the Sense Fitbit has pivoted away from sports activities to extra of a deal with bodily and psychological well being, in addition to together with all of the anticipated health options.

Stress administration

Medical practitioners are more and more warning that stress could be as harmful as bodily sickness, contributing to hypertension, coronary heart illness, weight problems and diabetes. Fitbit has new instruments within the Sense that may assist establish stress, and due to this fact can probably assist you recognise and handle it.

Fitbit offers you a Stress Administration Rating that calculates how your physique is responding to emphasize based mostly in your coronary heart price, sleep, and exercise degree information.

It is helped by a brand new Electrodermal Exercise (EDA) sensor that measures adjustments within the resistance of the pores and skin to a small, undetectable electrical present in response to sweat secretion. EDA measures the depth of emotion, not its state, so a rise in conductance could be attributable to each optimistic and unfavorable emotional states. You possibly can log your temper (pressured, calm, and so forth) after the EDA scan.

Customers can then see a graph of their EDA responses within the Fitbit app, which tracks developments over time.

Some methods of managing stress embrace rising bodily exercise and mindfulness – to which finish the Fitbit app features a guided meditation characteristic. After your session is over, prompts within the cell app allow you to mirror on how you’re feeling and see if these have a optimistic impact in your stress ranges.

You possibly can set a weekly mindfulness objective, observe every day aware minutes and days, and see developments. The rating ranges from 1-100, with greater scores indicating your physique is exhibiting fewer bodily indicators of stress. It is paired with suggestions to higher handle stress, reminiscent of respiration workout routines.

Fitbit Premium members will get an in depth breakdown on how the rating is calculated, which consists of over 10 biometric inputs, together with exertion stability (impression of exercise), responsiveness (coronary heart price, coronary heart price variability and electrodermal exercise from the EDA Scan app), and sleep patterns (sleep high quality). This can be a standard theme as we go on, with a number of the greatest monitoring options within the Sense held again for subscribers.

Pores and skin temperature

There’s additionally a brand new pores and skin temperature sensor, which can be utilized to point the onset of a fever or sickness (are you able to consider any massive ones going round?), in addition to linking up with Fitbit’s present well being monitoring for menstrual phases. That is performed at night time when the Sense will measure your pores and skin temperature variation to see developments, so it would not show one-off readings.

It takes the Sense three nights to calculate your baseline pores and skin temperature. You then see nightly common variation in comparison with that baseline temperature on the Temperature tile on the In the present day display screen within the Fitbit app.

In case your temperature is spiking or dropping in comparison with regular, this may very well be an indication of sickness. Few of us use a thermometer daily, so it is going to be fascinating to see if this works – although I am going to have to attend for an sickness to report again on its worthiness.

SpO2, ECG & extra

Like different Fitbit smartwatches, the Sense can measure your common SpO2 ranges – the quantity of oxygen in your blood. This information can be utilized to detect your respiration price alongside how properly blood is being transported all through the physique. Low ranges of oxygen can lead to critical signs reminiscent of hypoxemia.

Observe that the Sense solely tracks your oxygen saturation ranges when you sleep, not like the Apple Watch 6 or Withings ScanWatch, each of which might take a blood O2 studying in simply 15 seconds at any time of day. Try our full comparability between Fitbit and Apple Look ahead to extra on how the 2 manufacturers stack up.

One complication is that the SpO2 clock face should be set as your major clock face when you find yourself sleeping to ensure that it to trace your information, which does not make the service as computerized as we predict it may very well be. Nonetheless, Fitbit has now corrected this, though for Premium subscribers solely.

A sensor within the Sense’s outer stainless-steel ring detects {the electrical} alerts produced by your coronary heart every time it beats, and a brand new electrocardiogram (ECG) app – permitted the US FDA and EU CE – can assess your coronary heart for atrial fibrillation (AFib) heart-rhythm irregularity that may improve the danger of getting a stroke, or regular, uniform sinus rhythm.

To take an ECG studying, you place your index finger and thumb on the alternative corners of the metallic body for 30 seconds.

There are three attainable outcomes: Atrial fibrillation (an irregular coronary heart rhythm, so you must speak to your physician for additional assessments); Regular sinus rhythm; and Inconclusive (in case your coronary heart price is beneath 50 bpm or above 120 bpm, the ECG app can be unable to entry your coronary heart rhythm, so greatest to not take an ECG studying straight after having wonderful cardio health).

An improved heart-rate sensor helps to drive one other new characteristic: heart-rate notifications (unique to the Sense) when it detects that your coronary heart price is above or beneath your regular threshold.  This may be helpful to detect bradycardia (a coronary heart price that’s too gradual) or tachycardia (a coronary heart price that’s too quick).

Fitbit Premium subscribers can see their heart-rate variation (HRV), the time between every heartbeat. Once more, this could point out the onset of sickness, in addition to fatigue and stress.

Fitbit new Well being Metrics dashboard (for Premium subscribers solely) goes into extra collective element on variation over time (7- and 30-day developments), monitoring respiration price (common breaths per minute), resting coronary heart price, coronary heart price variability (variation of time between every heartbeat), SpO2 ranges (quantity of oxygen in your blood) and pores and skin temperature variation.

The corporate is eager to level out that customers should not regard this information as medical truth, and will contact their physician for skilled recommendation. 

Within the US the corporate has launched a brand new service known as Fitbit Premium + Well being Teaching. This offers subscribers digital one-on-one entry to a licensed well being skilled and personalised plan utilizing your Fitbit information, through the Fitbit app. The concept is to provide you limitless, appointment-free, actionable steerage that will help you attain targets reminiscent of weight reduction, stress discount, and even managing a continual situation.

Health options

As I’ve mentioned, past the brand new health-tracking tech the Sense additionally has a powerful array of health options – certainly no different Fitbit has greater than the Sense.

In fact, it tracks actions reminiscent of Steps, Distance, Flooring Climbed, Energetic Minutes and Energy Burned.

The Energetic Minutes metric has been improved with the newer Energetic Zone Minutes (AZM) metric, and the Sense buzzes while you enter a brand new Coronary heart-Charge Zone: Fats Burn, Cardio, or Peak. This offers you instantaneous discover that you’ve reached a goal zone, and whether or not you have to push more durable in your exercise or pull again. AZM was first seen on the Fitbit Cost 4, and has now been rolled out on most Fitbits, even the entry-level Fitbit Encourage 2.

The Sense may also offer you real-time stats for over 20 train modes throughout your exercises. These could be set manually, or Fitbit’s SmartTrack tech can robotically recognise and report workout routines reminiscent of operating, biking, swimming, treadmill, weights, yoga, and circuit coaching.

The Sense has GPS built-in, so that you don’t have to lug your cellphone round with you on a run or bike journey. It additionally permits you, after outside train, to test your Exercise Depth Map within the Fitbit app to see your coronary heart price zones all through your mapped route, plus distance and tempo by kilometre or mile.

The watch additionally features a 6-axis gyroscope to trace strokes and laps whereas swimming. Against this, the Versa Three and most different Fitbits do not embrace gyroscope however as an alternative calculate laps for swimming based mostly on distance.

Sleep monitoring

Like all the most recent Fitbits, the Sense provides superior sleep monitoring, exhibiting the sunshine, REM and deep sleep levels and scoring you on the standard of your sleep based mostly in your sleeping coronary heart price, time spent awake, and time in Sleep Levels.

Fitbit remains to be the clear winner on sleep measurement (length and high quality) in its battle with the Apple Watch, which is stymied by its a lot weaker battery life.

You can too get a sleeping coronary heart price measurement, however that is one more characteristic saved again for Fitbit Premium subscribers solely.

Battery and charging

Fitbit claims the Sense has a battery lifetime of 6+ days, and I obtained almost seven days on my first cost, though that was with out utilizing the GPS or All the time-On Show operate.

In fact, the battery life depends upon your utilization – utilizing the GPS will burn by way of the battery quicker than with out. You possibly can test the remaining battery life by swiping proper or through the Fitbit app.

The Sense encompasses a new charger kind, which connects magnetically to the again of the Sense. I’d hoped it will join any means spherical, but it surely suits in only one alignment. Whereas I like the truth that it’s smaller than the chunky Versa charger, the truth that it lies awkwardly whereas charging shouldn’t be so nice.

It takes about two hours to completely cost from zero, although the corporate says that it takes simply 12 minutes of charging to provide you a day’s battery life utilizing a brand new Quick Charging characteristic.

Software program & apps

Whereas the Fitbit smartwatches are not any match for Apple or Samsung relating to operating a variety of apps, they do a minimum of deal with notifications properly. Alerts for calls, texts and calendar occasions are supported, together with apps reminiscent of WhatsApp, Gmail, and Fb.

Additionally helpful are silent alarms that buzz in your wrist, in principle with out waking your mattress companion – though if used with a metallic strap I can affirm that the thrill could be audible to others. Good Alarm is a setting that permits you to get up at the very best time throughout your sleep cycle (throughout gentle sleep), as much as half an hour earlier however no later than the time you set.

When it comes to apps you get the apparent – timers, climate, and a calendar, but additionally a meditation app and Fitbit Pay for contactless funds.

Spotify, Pandora and Deezer are there for music management, and you can too obtain apps for companies reminiscent of Uber and airways, together with different health and sport apps. There are nonetheless extra apps on an Apple Watch, however the Sense will cowl many of the necessities.

The two.5GB of music storage could be nice in the event you might use it with Apple Music or Spotify. Are you aware anybody who makes use of Deezer or Pandora?

That mentioned, the audio controls do work (unofficially) with Apple Music and Audible, for instance.

The identical goes for Fitbit Pay, which has restricted financial institution assist within the UK, though extra if the US.

Telephone calls from the wrist

Sense customers may also take hands-free Bluetooth calls through the built-in mic and audio system, and ship incoming calls to voicemail and management quantity with out reaching for a cellphone.

Telephone calls on the Fitbit Sense work rather well, so long as you are not standing in a gale or close to a pneumatic drill, with audio high quality fairly good each methods, and the controls are simple to make use of.

Android customers may also reply to textual content messages with voice-to-text instructions – a characteristic sadly not out there to iPhone customers.

These options additionally work on the Fitbit Versa 3.

Voice assistants

The Fitbit Sense additionally helps Amazon’s Alexa, with Google Assistant out now within the US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand and another English-speaking international locations.

With Google within the course of of shopping for Fitbit it’s an apparent addition, as are the Android-only options like sending fast replies and voice replies proper out of your wrist when your cellphone is close by.

Fitbit has now added the aptitude to obtain audible replies from Alexa through the Sense’s little speaker.

Value and availability

The Sense prices £299/$329/A$499. That makes it the costliest Fitbit by a way – even the brand new Versa Three is considerably much less at £199/$229. Try our Greatest Fitbit information to see which different fashions we advocate, or discover the most recent Fitbit offers if you wish to save just a little.

Nonetheless, it is pretty typical pricing for a high-end smartwatch, and remains to be lower than the most recent Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch.

If you wish to get comparable well being monitoring for much less – at the price of entry to most of the sensible options – it is price contemplating the Withings ScanWatch, which provides much more complete well being options in a basic analogue watch design.

In any other case, take a look at our rankings of the very best smartwatches and greatest health trackers to see what else is on the market.

As you’d count on, there’s additionally a variety of straps and bands to go together with the Sense. Accent straps embrace woven and knit bands, silicone sports activities bands, and Horween leather-based bands. There’s even a variety of Pendleton bands constituted of recycled plastic fibres.

And as I’ve already talked about, to get probably the most out of the Fitbit Sense you will actually need a Fitbit Premium subscription – for higher or worse. When you’re new to Premium you will get six months free with the Sense, however in any other case it’s going to value you £7.99/$9.99 monthly.

We would want Fitbit confirmed all its well being metrics to all Sense customers somewhat than proscribing some to Premium subscribers, who would nonetheless get unique options when it comes to further onscreen exercises and meditation classes.


The Sense provides a number of new well being options on the top-end of the Fitbit vary. You possibly can name it the hypochondriac’s smartwatch, it’s so stuffed with warning indicators, however there’s rather a lot right here that can assist point out critical well being issues that you’ll have the possibility to enhance.

Mindfulness may appear just a little kooky to some and a priority for these with an excessive amount of time on their fingers, however there isn’t any denying that stress can have an effect on us all, and managing it’s going to rapidly convey not simply psychological however long-term bodily well being advantages.

I do surprise how usually you will wish to test your EDA or ECG in the event you’re not affected by an issue. 

If health is all you need an activity-tracking smartwatch for, then the cheaper Fitbit Versa Three provides every little thing you’ll get in that respect with the Sense.

For all-round bodily and psychological well being monitoring, the Sense is the Fitbit with all of it.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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