Track Heart Health, Manage Your Stress & Check Skin Temperature Trends.
- 6+ day battery life and fast charge
- Compatible with iOS 12.2 or higher, as well as Android OS 7.0 or higher EDA. Management of Sensors and Stress: The Sense EDA Scan app senses electrodermal activity, which may signify your body’s stress response, allowing you to better monitor and control it.
- ECG (Electrocardiogram) App for Fitbit: Assess the heart for atrial fibrillation—a heart rhythm irregularity—and share the findings with your doctor using a compatible ECG app on your wrist. (Please note that the Fitbit ECG app is only available in a few countries.) People under the age of 22 are not permitted to use this product.
- Skin Temperature on the Wrist
- Sensor: Sense records your skin temperature every night to demonstrate how it differs from your personal baseline, allowing you to track patterns over time.
- Fitbit Premium is available for a free 6-month trial. A free 6-month Fitbit Premium membership is included with your Sense smartwatch, which includes tailored insights, predictive analytics, guided programmes, mindfulness and sleep resources, workouts, and more.
- Exceptional Design: Every piece of Sense is designed to be outstanding, with a polished stainless steel ring, custom AMOLED display, laser-bonded Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an advanced biosensor heart.
- By speaking to your smartwatch, you can get instant news, information, and weather, set bedtime reminders and alarms, monitor your smart home devices, and more.
- Click the entire button sensor, where you see the indentation, to use the button on your watch. Your wristwatch will vibrate. It’s possible that you’ll have to try a few different positions before settling on the right one.
The Fitbit Sense adds a slew of new sensors to the Fitbit lineup, including ones that monitor everything from stress to blood oxygen levels, temperature, and sleep, as well as an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Furthermore, the £255 Sense can be used as a daily smartwatch and fitness tracker. Although fitness is still at the heart of the Sense, it now wants to be your everyday wellness coach as well.
With the Sense, Fitbit is attempting to cross the gap between fitness and wellbeing, a region that most wearables were already traversing prior to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. With a new blood oxygen feature, ECG app, and fall detection feature, the Apple Watch has been leaning toward fitness and wellbeing over the last few years. These measurements are included in Samsung’s newer Galaxy Watches, as well as a stress test of its own, and the Oura ring collects temperature data like the Sense. For the most part, the end goal is that all of this data will one day help predict disease onset before the consumer notices any symptoms. However, for those without medical training, all of those maps, numbers, and ratings from the Sense can be daunting.
The Sense is similar to the Versa in appearance, but with a stainless steel edge around the square watch face instead of aluminium and a slew of new sensors inside, making it slightly thicker. Along with the touchscreen, the Sense has an indented haptic side button that can do anything from start a workout to launching Alexa (or the Google Assistant). Because of its more rounded finish, it feels more relaxed than the Versa 2, particularly during workouts and before bedtime. Thankfully, the fiddly toggles that used to be used to change straps on older Fitbits are no longer present. To make switching bands simpler, they’ve been replaced with fast release keys.
While the Fitbit Sense has a faster processor than the Versa 2, we still found some lag when opening applications, raising the watch to wake the phone, or swiping up to see daily stats. Syncing new watch faces, as with previous Fitbits, takes about 30 seconds.
Its charging station has been improved. The Sense uses a new magnetic charger that conveniently connects to the back of the watch, rather than the alligator-style clips used by previous Fitbits.
The Fitbit Sense is the first device with an onboard ECG software that can produce a single-lead electrocardiogram in 30 seconds. The watch’s ECG will also scan for potential arrhythmias that may signify atrial fibrillation, or aFib, according to Fitbit, but it won’t detect heart attacks or other cardiac problems.
It recently obtained FDA approval in the United States, and it is now legal to use in the United States and its territories, Canada, New Zealand, a few European countries and Hong Kong.
To take an ECG, go to Discover > Assessments & Reports in the Fitbit app and go through a short Heart Rhythm Assessment briefing. The ECG app should appear on the Sense once it’s done. After your scan is complete, sit down and put your thumb and index finger on opposite corners of the watch.
Depending on the heart rhythm, you’ll see one of three results: normal sinus, symptoms of atrial fibrillation, or inconclusive. You can also use the Fitbit app to check the results and share them with your doctor.
Although the Sense isn’t the first wearable system to monitor stress, it does so in a novel way. Rather than relying solely on heart rate, as Samsung’s Galaxy Watches do, the Sense assesses stress levels using sweat data from its latest electrodermal activity, or EDA, sensor.
Place the palm of your opposite hand over the stainless steel rim on the top of the watch to test your amounts. The touch of the palm on the metal rim of the watch completes a circuit, and the EDA sensor is then used to calculate potential sweat-triggered stress markers. It takes two minutes to complete the process.
It’s strange at first because you can’t see anything on the computer when doing the scan, but you’ll get a buzz once it’s done. You can also keep track of how you felt at the end of the test, look at your EDA responses, and see whether your heart rate increased or decreased. Fitbit Premium users can combine the EDA scan with guided audio meditation sessions, but we didn’t find them especially helpful or calming.
So far, the tension findings have been ambiguous. One of the watches first readings revealed a couple of EDA moments, or sweat-triggered events. But, contrary to the Sense, the watch wearer seemed to be stress-free for the most part. This reading did not reflect the reality they faced when wearing the Sense during a pandemic with three children at home and home schooling them all.
Fitbit, on the other hand, provides a new Stress Management score at the start of each day that considers sleep, physical activity, and stress to send you a “how you’re doing” rating. It’s like the daytime version of Fitbit’s previous Sleep Score. This information may be useful in the recovery process: If your score is poor, for example, you should concentrate on having more restorative sleep rather than forcing yourself to do a workout.
However, the Stress Management readings aren’t very user-friendly right now, and they can take a few days to appear when you first start wearing the Sense.
To get your SpO2 while sleeping, all you have to do is wear it to bed. You can check your SpO2 amount in the Fitbit app first thing in the morning. You’ll also be able to see a graph of the changes in the blood oxygen levels. Notice that in order to monitor SpO2, the Sense needed you to pick a particular SpO2 watch face before going to bed at launch. Around 45 minutes to an hour after waking, your amount will show on the watch face.
You can also use the SpO2 watch face before going to bed if you want to see the blood oxygen level on your wrist rather than via the app. By the end of the year, Fitbit says seven more SpO2 watch faces will be included in the app gallery.
If you’re a medical professional, it’s difficult to know what to do about your SpO2 reading, just as it is with your stress ranking. The Sense’s SpO2 measurements are taken at night and averaged out, so it’s impossible to compare it to a pulse oximeter, a system doctors use to monitor blood oxygen levels from the fingertip.
SpO2 is also available on the Versa 2 (with the same watch face) and the Versa 3 (which functions in the same way as the Sense), so you don’t have to pick the SpO2 watch face before retiring.
The Sense’s sleep monitoring is excellent, and it operates in much the same way as previous Fitbits. Each morning, it gives you a thorough rundown of your sleep stages as well as a sleep score.
Temperature monitoring on the Sense works similarly to SpO2 in that it doesn’t include a measurement on demand, instead displaying if you’ve deviated from your baseline in a regular graph. It’s safe to assume that it won’t be able to take the place of your thermometer anytime soon.
For the Sense to create a baseline on which to work, you’ll need to record around three nights of sleep. It’s a potentially helpful way to get an understanding of your temperature changes over time and signal possible fevers before you’re aware of them.
Fitbit has finally brought back GPS, so you can track your route without having to take your phone with you on an outdoor run or ride. When you begin an outdoor activity, whether with or without your phone nearby, it takes about 10 seconds to acquire a lock.
The majority of the fitness monitoring features on the Sense would be familiar if you’ve used any other Fitbit in recent years. You’ll still be able to track your steps, begin a goal-based exercise, see your heart rate region, and monitor your calorie burn. The inclusion of Active Zone Minutes, which we first saw in the Charge 4, is something new.
This calculates how hard you worked out during an exercise based on your age and resting heart rate. When you change zones, you’ll get real-time notifications, which will help you take action during your workout, whether it’s pushing yourself a little harder or taking it easy, depending on your goals.
Despite the fact that the Sense has the same general fitness features as the Fitbit, it has its own set of advantages during a workout. Since the screen is sharper than the Versa and previous Fitbit trackers, it’s pretty easy to see in direct sunlight if the brightness is set to full. It’s also very easy to wear, and its flat profile means it won’t get in the way even if you’re working up a sweat.
The Sense exceeded the two-day battery life claim after two 30-minute workouts, a few stress measurements, and a complete night of sleep monitoring. Turning off the always-on monitor and only using raise to wake helped extend the battery life to about 4.5 days. Outdoor exercises, on the other hand, seem to be a drain on the battery.
Fitbit Sense Overall Verdict: A Good Value Smartwatch
The Fitbit Sense excels in a number of areas, including battery life, sleep tracking, and a variety of new sensors that might be useful to certain users. It seems to be attempting to do so much at once, with features such as stress management appearing to be more frustrating than helpful. However, Fitbit has enhanced the overall experience by adding new features such as automatic SpO2 monitoring at night, Google Assistant support, and the ability to take calls from your wrist in the months after its launch.
Affiliate Disclaimer: George James London is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.