Fitbit updates premium Sense smartwatch to second generation
It's been a while since Fitbit – which is now part of the Google universe – updated its heath-focused wearable lines, but that's changed today with the launch of new versions of its Sense and Versa smartwatches, together with the Inspire fitness tracker.
The Sense 2 smartwatch is powered by an all-new Fitbit OS, and debuts a Body Response sensor for continuous tracking of electrodermal activity – which is combined with data from other sensors to determine body stress levels and help users with management through guided breathing, exercise routines and meditation.
An optical heart-rate sensor combined with a FDA-approved PPG algorithm could help detect signs of atrial fibrillation via the ECG app, and the company also says that it's managed to integrate metal electrodes of some health sensors into the display glass by using a "technique that turns metal into vapor" to create "an even more simplified, streamlined look without sacrificing our technology."
Elsewhere, users can dive into stats on sleep quality, stress levels, breathing rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation and other health metrics on the watch or via the companion mobile app, and GPS and GLONASS are included too.
Interestingly, the awkward flat side button that got on our nerves during our review of the original Sense has been replaced by a physical button that should make for a more reliable user experience.
It's water resistant down to a depth of 50 m (164 ft), wearers should get over six days of usage per charge of the Li-Po battery, and a 12-minute quick-charge should provide enough juice for a day's usage.
The smartwatch can pair to an iOS or Android smartphone over Bluetooth 5.0, features a built-in speaker and microphone and comes with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant cooked in. Fitbit reports that Google Maps and Google Wallet will be added in the near future, along with on-wrist BT calls.
The Sense 2 is up for pre-order now for US$299.95, and is expected to start shipping in September
The Versa 4 fitness-focused smartwatch is also built on the new operating system, and now includes more than 40 exercise modes. This latest flavor sees the return of a physical side button, though repositioned for easier access during workouts, and the built-in GPS allows for real-time pace and distance info during activities without needing to pair to a phone.
As with its predecessor, users won't be able to tap into the stress management or app-powered ECG features of its pricier sibling, but pretty much everything else is onboard. The Versa 4 is up for pre-order for $229.95
If you're just looking for a fitness tracker, Fitbit has you covered with the Inspire 3. This wearable monitors key health and fitness metrics such as heart rate, sleep, stress, SpO2 and such things as calories burned and step counts, is also swimproof to a depth of 50 m, and offers up to 10 days of per-charge usage. Priced at $99.95, the Inspire 3 will ship next month.