The Fitbit Sense is out and it’s had a lot of attention from those in the know. It’s been put on a pedestal as the most advanced fitness and health tracker we’ve seen on the market yet.
Let’s have a look at everything it has to offer
There are lots of trackers offering stress management, simply by monitoring your heart rate with accompanied recovery data. Very few can actually help you to understand it. The Fitbit Sense has an electrodermal activity sensor (a world-first). This measures minute changes to the sweat levels found on your skin.
This isn’t automatic. You have to undergo a ‘Quick Scan’ on the device, which takes two minutes. Otherwise, you’ll need to go through one of their guided mindfulness sessions, accessed via the Fitbit app. You’ll need somewhere quiet and to start you’ll have to press one palm over the watch face.
Once this is completed, Fitbit uses that information to calculate a Stress Management Score from zero – 100. You want a higher score. This means your body isn’t showing too many signs of stress.
It works the score out based on how much strain your heart is under, the variability of your heart, electrodermal activity, exertion levels and sleep quality.
If you’re a Fitbit Premium user, you can go further into this data by seeing what might be having an influence on your score.
SpO2 Clock face
This is one of the most eagerly-anticipated features for the Apple Watch Series 6. But, the Fitbit Sense has one, too! This tracks your oxygen sat levels (essentially, how much oxygen is in your blood). It’ll do this as you sleep and will tell you how easy or difficult you found it to breathe whilst you slept.
It’s not identical to the Apple version, though. Fitbit uses it purely as a sleep metric. To use this feature, there’s a clock face you have to use and cannot tailor.
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Check your temperature
We all know that it’s invaluable to be able to quickly check your temperature at the moment. Fitbit didn’t plan to help out during these unprecedented times; it’s just a lucky accident. A new temperature sensor sits in the Fitbit Sense and can be handy for illnesses or for women tracking their ovulation cycles…
Knowing what your baseline temperature is (typically taken when you first wake up) is useful for period tracking. Hormone changes cause ovulation and this is usually accompanied by a slight rise in your temperature.
Fitbit hasn’t forgotten its roots. The Fitbit sense comes with all the features you’ve come to know and love. This iteration carries a more advanced heart rate monitor, the Pulse 2.0 as well as more workout modes. You can count your calories burned, steps and distance as normal.
You’ll find running, hiking and biking are tracked better thanks to the on-board GPS. This has been previously used on the Fitbit Charge 4, Versa 3 and Ionic. It’ll give you a GPS map of your heart rate zones after you’re done on your adventure. This will help you to understand where you need more or less effort in your training.
Other cool features
- Active Minutes – a handy metric which compares your activity (fat burning, cardio and peak) against government recommendations.
- Cardio Fitness Score
- Always-On display
- Compatibility with Alex and Google Assistant
- Accurate sleep tracking
- Spotify controls
- On-board storage for Deezer and Pandora
- Built-in speaker (if you wait for the update later this year, you’ll be able to use this for calls)
- Menstrual cycle tracking
Advantages of the Fitbit Sense
- Lightweight, sleek and premium aesthetic
- Improved heart rate monitoring through Pulse 2.0
- On-board GPS
- Free Fitbit Premium subscription for 6 months
- Controls for Spotify
- On-board music storage for Deezer and Pandora
- 6 days battery life and faster charging
Disadvantages of the Fitbit Sense
- SpO2 sensor works with only one clock face
- Screen sensitivity could be better for responsiveness
The Fitbit Sense is really nipping at the heels of the Apple Watch Series 6. It offers more holistic health tracking than any other predecessor. It’s comprehensive, yet easy to understand.
The best part is that it doesn’t just collect and pump out data, it tells you what to do with it and how. It offers a genuine lifestyle improvement.
A lot of these features are only accessible via Fitbit Premium. However, to get a taste of it, you do get 6 months free when you buy a Sense.
At $329.95, it’s on par with the new Apple Watch SE (albeit the latter is cheaper at $279).
If you want a decent fitness tracker without the mindfulness bells and whistles, you might be more interested in the Versa 3 (we’ve compared the two, here). If you’re looking to control your stress, the Sense might be just perfect for you.
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Are you a fan of Fitbit, let us know in the comments which your favourite Fitbit model is
Last Updated on October 15, 2020