Fitbit Sense 2 review: A great fitness-first smartwatch but not without flaws

Fitbit Sense 2 review: A great fitness-first smartwatch but not without flaws

The Fitbit Sense 2 watch has a flawless design, gives a minimalist expertise, and is nice for monitoring health parameters

Launched in 2020, the Fitbit Sense was an formidable smartwatch with complete health monitoring options. The sequel to that one although is merely a health tracker masquerading as a smartwatch because the firm determined to strip off a number of options from the unique Sense whereas specializing in its health capabilities.

This places the Fitbit Sense 2 in a bizarre spot. It’s an important health tracker, however an costly one at that — at 24,999. And the restricted smarts barely make it a aggressive smartwatch. So, is there any sense to the Sense 2?

An ideal health tracker

The Fitbit Sense 2 seems nearly like its predecessor, and that’s factor. That ‘squircle’ dial with a wonderful AMOLED show was anyway excellent. The refinements although are welcome even when the transfer from the unique Sense’s stainless-steel chassis to aluminium is an odd alternative.

Sense 2 is thinner and lighter. I discovered it far much less distracting on my wrist, particularly whereas sleeping. Thankfully, it additionally replaces that terrible inductive groove from the unique Sense with an precise bodily button which makes the smartwatch operations seamless. That touch-sensitive button was irritating to make use of and there have been unintended presses on a regular basis.

The flawless design and supreme really feel aside, the health monitoring is good as nicely. The Sense 2 has a plethora of sensors to trace nearly all of the well being attributes that one might ask for in a wearable. It can measure your coronary heart charge, pores and skin temperature, electrodermal exercise (EDA), and blood oxygen (SpO2).

Also learn: Do fitness wearables track sleep effectively?

The EDA sensor current on the unique Sense is now upgraded to a cEDA sensor – the “c” stands for steady. While the primary era one might solely measure EDA on-demand, Sense 2 measures it repeatedly within the background. The sensor measures your pores and skin’s electrical exercise and sweat ranges from which Fitbit extrapolates how pressured you might be. Every time the system detects that you’re pressured, it sends you a temper check-in and prompts you to take a number of stress-relieving actions like a guided meditation or going for a brief stroll.

The assumption of stress moments – Fitbit calls them “physique responses” – is likely to be stretching the EDA monitoring a bit a lot and the expertise of logging the temper with the anticipated comply with ups is certainly clunky, but total, the stress administration function is a fairly good addition.

And then there’s sleep monitoring, which Fitbit has aced for some time now. The Sense 2 displays your sleep and in addition the phases through which you have been conscious, tossing and delivering your mattress, supplying you with a “Sleep Score” for every evening. Additionally, the center charge sensor works at the side of the SpO2 sensor by means of the evening since massive swings in blood oxygen ranges generally is a signal of sleep issues.

Fitbit Sense 2 debuts with a brand new model of Fitbit OS. The revamped model has a Wear-OS like design though the core performance stays the identical. Also, the UI is extra intuitive, and the general expertise is certainly snappier which can be a perform of what lies beneath.

By advantage of providing a minimalist expertise, the Sense 2 manages to supply a stellar battery life. Even if the always-on show (AOD) is lively, I might go with out charging for 3 days. With AOD disabled and restricted exercises, you may stretch the battery life for six days. Charging is kind of fast as nicely. While you may simply get a day’s price of juice with quarter-hour on the charger, it takes about two hours to go from zero to 100%.

As with the Fitbit Sense, the Sense 2 additionally has onboard GPS permitting you to go away your smartphone at dwelling while you head out for a run. However, the GPS monitoring is iffy, and won’t satiate runners who require correct GPS knowledge.

Baffling omissions

Despite being a improbable health tracker, the Fitbit Sense 2 is objectively a a lot weaker product than Fitbit Sense. To put it bluntly, it’s a downgrade.

Let’s begin with the Fitbit OS. An extensible working system is what differentiates a ‘smartwatch’ from a ‘health tracker’. Fitbit is treading a clumsy line now. The app choice on Fitbit was all the time fairly restricted. There have been just a few nifty, however rudimentary, apps that one might use, like Spotify, Uber, and so on. However, even these are gone now. The new Fitbit OS does away with third-party apps. You’re caught with Fitbit’s apps that are nice for monitoring health however that’s that. No barcodes on the wrist, no water consuming reminders, no headlines from the New York Times.

If that wasn’t stunning, Sense 2 additionally doesn’t embody Google Assistant. It’s baffling because the unique Sense and the Versa 3 packed in help for Google Assistant and given the truth that Fitbit is now owned by Google. There’s nonetheless help for Amazon Alexa.

Moving on, whereas the Sense 2 {hardware} is Wi-Fi succesful, the software program has disabled Wi-Fi connectivity. I do not know why this was executed. Wi-Fi help permits sooner updates as a substitute of doing it by way of Bluetooth.

There’s no offline music storage (one other use-case of Wi-Fi help) on the Sense 2, and since we don’t have third-party apps like Spotify, Pandora, or Deezer anymore, there isn’t any option to pay attention and even management music by means of the Sense 2. The lack of music storage might be a good alternative, however the absence of music controls is unlucky.

While all these omissions are head-scratchers, not everybody will discover these worrisome. It may irk you provided that you utilize or plan to make use of the function. Also, because the app gallery on Fitbit has all the time been restricted, not many will mourn the demise of third-party apps.

On the brilliant aspect, Fitbit has introduced that each Google Maps and Google Wallet can be coming to the Sense 2 (nonetheless no Google Assistant). But there’s no confirmed ETA as of now although.

Fitbit has introduced that each Google Maps and Google Wallet can be coming to the Sense 2 (nonetheless no Google Assistant). But there’s no confirmed ETA as of now although.

Should you purchase it?

Fitbit Sense 2 – and different Fitbit gadgets – excels at dissecting all of the uncooked knowledge it gathers with its surfeit of sensors and presenting it in easy-to-digest, visible codecs. It’s nice for constructing more healthy habits in a healthful, holistic method. Its Active Zone Minutes metric is superb for serving to freshmen and health laypersons maintain a tab on their bodily exercise as a substitute of counting on the complicated calorie consumption or the doubtful steps and flooring counting. Plus, the Fitbit Premium subscription is icing on the cake.

While you get six months free along with your buy of a Fitbit Sense 2, however if you wish to unlock its full potential, you may need to go for the premium subscription. Thankfully, it’s method cheaper in India. While the pricing within the US is $9.99 per 30 days, in India, you may get Fitbit Premium for simply 999 for your entire yr. It’s nice worth providing entry to an enormous library of guided health coaching and meditation movies, deep dive into health knowledge with Daily Readiness Score, Sleep Profile, and Wellness Report, in addition to gamified health challenges.

Therefore, as a fitness-first smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense 2 is a superb choose for Fitbit followers and people who are solely in search of a holistic well being wearable.

However, when you’re in search of myriad smartwatch capabilities, you may need to look elsewhere – just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch5. The Fitbit Sense 2 tries to justify its premium price ticket with an important set of well being monitoring options however as a substitute of being an iterative replace, Sense 2 is a downgrade of kinds for a smartwatch.

Also, when you’re completely married to the concept of getting a brand new Fitbit however don’t need to pay a bomb, you may need to take into account the Fitbit Charge 5 or the Versa 4 which gives a lot of the core performance, besides ECG testing and cEDA monitoring. You can, actually, additionally choose up the unique Fitbit Sense.



Display: 1.58-inches AMOLED | 336 x 336 pixels

Dimensions: 40.5 x 40.5 x 11.2mm | 37.64 gms

Sensors: GPS/GLONASS, coronary heart charge, altimeter, skin-temperature, gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient mild, SpO2, cEDA

Water resistance: IPX8 | 5ATM | Water resistant as much as 50m

Battery: 162mAh | 6+ days | 0-100% in two hours

Colors: Shadow Grey/Graphite | Lunar White/Platinum | Blue Mist/Soft Gold


Abhishek Baxi is a know-how journalist and digital guide.

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