Fitbit Sense 2 is just around the corner, according to a growing number of announcements and rumors. Orders can already be placed, and delivery should start at the end of September. With that in mind, we’ve gathered information about what we might see in a new smartwatch from the renowned manufacturer. What exactly is it about, read below!
Fitbit Sense 2 Confirmed?
It’s hard to imagine Fitbit canceling the Sense series, even if the first model release was a slightly upgraded Versa model. There is also evidence that Sense 2 is on the way. An APK analysis by 9to5Google suggests that a smartwatch codenamed Hera or Rhea could be the company’s new flagship. Another would likely be the Fitbit Versa 4. Fitbit hasn’t confirmed that it’s working on a sequel to the Sense watches, but in an interview with CNET, Fitbit CEO James Park notes that both the Versa and Sense lines “will continue to be very important” going forward.
Fitbit Sense 2 potential release date
The company’s original flagship model was launched back in September 2020, so it makes sense that the new model will also be available at the end of this month. Note that the Google Pixel Watch is expected in October. Given that Google owns Fitbit, it’s unlikely that Google would want to launch two devices in the same month.
Features of Fitbit Sense 2
Alleged renders of the Fitbit Sense 2 were released to the public in early August. They were published by the famous “leaker” of information Steve Hemmerstoffer, with the help of 91Mobiles. The renders don’t reveal too many surprises. The sunken ECG technology is a bit more visible, while the rumored physical button is even more visible. There’s also a new watch face that displays four fitness metrics, including sleep score and active zone minutes. Three belt colors are also on display, including dark gray, warm white, and a much lighter gray. It will probably be graphite, gold and platinum.
The new renders don’t include a good look at the Sense 2 sensor pad, but thankfully an earlier set of images does. In real-life photos, the Sense 2 appears to include a similar array of sensors to its predecessor, but a less prominent stainless steel frame.
What else do we know? Details gleaned from the aforementioned 9to5Google teardown point to a screen resolution of 336 x 336; it’s the same resolution panel used on the original Sense and Versa 3. This detail also hints that the Sense 2 will share similar dimensions with its predecessor. In June, a video showed how users could put a screen protector on the Versa 4 or Sense 2 (via 9to5Google). The video did not distinguish the two devices, suggesting that the two may share design underpinnings with the original Sense. This pretty much confirms everything we know so far about the device, including the screen resolution.
In terms of specs, we expect the Fitbit Sense 2 to continue its “advanced” smartwatch. The original Sense brought ECG, EDA, and skin temperature sensors, and we expect all three to return to Sense 2. But what else could be added?
In 2021, Fitbit began a public study investigating whether heart rate data is a viable method for monitoring blood pressure on the original Sense. There are few indications that Fitbit will introduce its blood pressure monitoring technology on the Fitbit Sense 2. While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 includes a blood pressure monitoring feature, it is unclear if Fitbit is ready to offer its implementation. After taking a closer look at the renders that have been leaked so far, it appears that there are no new sensors located on the back of the Sense 2.
The price of the device?
Fitbit is billing the Sense as its top-of-the-line smartwatch, and we expect the same premium positioning with the Sense 2. As expected, Fitbit has offered the Sense 2 at the same $299 price as its predecessor, which is about $100 less than competitors like the Watch Series 7 and Garmin Venu 2.
Will the watch come with LTE capabilities?
Fitbit has always shied away from pure smartwatch features, instead focusing on health and fitness tracking. It’s a formula that users have come to appreciate, but it’s left the otherwise premium Sense without features offered by rival devices; one of them is LTE support.
LTE support is by no means a must-have feature, but it would provide some smarts that active users would appreciate. The LTE model would enable phone-free music streaming from Spotify and Deezer and allow Fitbit to implement capable and reliable fall-detection emergency features. Realistically, you wouldn’t need an LTE model to achieve the latter, but it would give users who train without their smartphones at least some peace of mind.
It would be good if the watch contained a physical button
Another thing that many would like to see on the Fitbit Versa 4 is a physical button. Although the inductive slot makes the case more elegant and you get used to its features over time, it can be quite inconvenient to find and type on the go. Leaked renders of the Versa 4 model suggest that the physical button could return, so we have every reason to hope that this feature could come to Sense 2 as well.
Improved Fitbit OS features
The refresh of the Fitbit OS, or operating system, as seen on the Versa 3 and the original Sense, has made for a more pleasant user experience, but the operating system itself still feels clumsy, especially when the user is scrolling through menus and opening apps.
As we mentioned in our Versa 4 wishlist , we want to see Fitbit remove the hangups prevalent in its smartwatch OS. This isn’t a huge problem, and Fitbit OS offers plenty of advantages over competing operating systems, from simplicity to battery life, but there’s room for improvement.
Better implementation of the capabilities of already existing sensors
The Fitbit app doesn’t do a good job of informing you how the EDA data collected affects your overall health, or why a particular reading is significant. It lacks context. While the EDA figure provides information on the overall workload measurement result, in combination with heart rate variability, its inclusion does not add much to the overall workload monitoring experience.
The EKG reading is also too fiddly, forcing users to click on Fitbit apps before they can get readings. ECG results are not visible on the watch itself, and these results are hidden within the PDF in the Fitbit application. The overall experience feels a bit clunky, but it’s nothing Fitbit can’t fix with additional tweaks and refinements.
Written by: Ivan Hečimović