We haven’t always paid the closest amount of attention to Fitbit over the years. I don’t know if that’s because they release fitness products that don’t run Android or that we’ve just never fully adopted them personally. Whatever the case, Google is close to owning the whole operation and so it’s time to talk about this fitness Goliath a bit more around these parts.
Today, Fitbit is announcing the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches, two devices that tick a whole bunch of boxes with a major focus on health tracking. Yes, they both have GPS, which for reasons I’ve never understood, was missing from the Versa line up until right now.
Fitbit Sense is the higher-end of the two products because it features the “most advanced health” system the company has ever put in a smartwatch. It’s capable of tracking electrodermal activity (EDA) and advanced heart rate, can run an ECG through a new companion app, and will take the temperature off your skin. It’ll tell you about key trends in your health with metrics like heart rate variability (HRV), breathability, SpO2, and a sleep score.
All of this health data can be used to provide you with tools to lower your stress, recognize signs of heart health issues, understand potential internal issues using your temperature readings, and more. As Fitbit puts it, this watch could tell you information that you would typically only get by visiting a doctor a couple of times per year, only now you’ll have it whenever you want or need it.
As a possible added bonus on top of that, this new Fitbit device could potentially warn users about COVID-19 infections (and other infectious diseases), because it can provide early detection through bodily warning signs. A fluctuation of your resting heart rate and heart rate variability, or breathing rate, could mean something is off that you might need to look into.
Outside of the health stuff, you’ll find an AMOLED display on Sense with always-on mode, GPS, 50M water resistance, NFC for mobile payments, 6+ day battery life, calls on your wrist, and access to either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. This is the first time a Fitbit device will have Google Assistant. Fitbit finally built in quick charging too, along with a new magnetic charger that will give you “one full day of use” in 12 minutes.
The new Sense watch comes with a 6-month free trial of Fitbit Premium, where you’ll get more personalized insights about your health.
Fitbit Sense will be sold in carbon/graphite stainless steel or lunar white/soft gold stainless steel colorways and cost $329.95.
Fitbit Versa 3 is a similar fitness-focused smartwatch to Sense, only it lacks some of the advanced wellness tracking. It has the AMOLED display and GPS and mobile payments and Google Assistant and fast charging and calls from your wrist. My understanding is that it does not have access to the EDA and ECG apps, on-wrist skin temperature sensor, or all of the stress management tools. Because it lacks those features, it costs $100 less than Sense.
Fitbit Versa 3 will be sold in black/black aluminum, pink clay/soft gold aluminum, and midnight/soft gold aluminum colorways and cost $229.95.
In the accessory department, Fitbit has a bunch of new bands available to both devices using a new quick-release band system. The cheapest bands start at $30, but you’ll find some in the $40 range too. Two particular partnerships that caught my attention were with Pendleton and Horween.
Both Sense and Versa 3 are available for pre-order today and will ship in “late” September.