Premium Sense smartwatch leads Fitbit's latest device refresh
Fitbit has a trio of new devices to help you lead a healthier, fitter, more quantified lifestyle: the brand new Fitbit Sense smartwatch, plus updates to existing lines in the shape of the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Fitbit Inspire 2.
The Fitbit Sense is clearly the latest challenger to the Apple Watch, and is Fitbit's most premium smartwatch to date. It comes packed with sensors to help you monitor stress and heart health, as well as on-board GPS so you can track the routes of your runs and cycles without taking your phone with you.
It's that stress detection and management that gets top billing from Fitbit. The watch measures electrodermal activity (essentially very tiny differences in the way your body is sweating), using that data to work out how highly strung you might be. If the Sense detects that you're too stressed, it can run a calming routine on the watch or through the Fitbit app on a phone.
The Fitbit Sense also offers electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities for spotting irregularities in your heartbeat, following the Apple Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 with this functionality – though we should point out that Fitbit is still waiting for regulatory approval to actually turn on the feature in the US.
Those are the headline features but of course the Sense packs in a whole load of other stuff as well – sleep logging, workout tracking, step counting, and all the usual Fitbit tools we're already familiar with. You can control the watch with voice commands too, using either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
For a more affordable but similar-looking option there's the new Fitbit Versa 3, following on from the Fitbit Versa 2 we saw last year. You don't get the stress management or the ECG sensors on this smartwatch, but you do get just about everything else, including integrated GPS and support for the Amazon and Google digital assistants.
Both the Sense and the Versa 3 offer around six days of battery life, Fitbit says. Preorders for these two watches are open now, with shipping scheduled for late September – pricing is set at US$329.95 for the more advanced and polished Fitbit Sense, with the Fitbit Versa 3 costing $229.95. Both wearables come with a six-month trial of Fitbit Premium, the subscription service that gives you additional insight into your stats and some extra personalized coaching.
Lastly, Fitbit has also unveiled the Fitbit Inspire 2, a more basic and minimalist fitness tracker that replaces the Inspire HR. The new model is a little more streamlined, with more battery life – 10 days or so, Fitbit claims – and the ability to track a whole host of metrics (from heart rate to sleep). Again, it ships in late September and the asking price is $99.95 – with the Inspire 2 though, you get a whole year of Fitbit Premium for free.
Fitbit devices come with a long, long list of features and functions, and we've only been able to give you the edited highlights here. It's well worth digging into all the tools and tracking that each wearable offers (together with the associated app) via the Fitbit website if you're interested in picking one of these up.
For now, Google's takeover of Fitbit is still ongoing and pending regulatory approval. We can't see any real signs of Google's influence on the hardware and software as far as these new devices are concerned, aside from the introduction of Google Assistant (which may have been added anyway).
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