Smart Watch

Review Fitbit Sense : Is It Still Worth It In 2023?

The Fitbit Sense is an ambitious smartwatch that appears to be a good fit for stressful times, with an emphasis on mental well-being as well as physical activity tracking. On the software side, there’s space for development, and the next generation didn’t quite deliver, but if you’re interested in practicing mindfulness and taking modest steps toward a better lifestyle, the Sense could be just the tool to help you along the path.

The Fitbit Sense is one of the greatest Fitbits, and it builds on the Versa line’s success with some significant additions. It is intended to put you in control of your health by assisting you in understanding your body and mind and making changes to improve your physical and mental health. It mostly succeeds – much better than its sequel, the Fitbit Sense 2.
It contains an ECG sensor to identify signs of atrial fibrillation, as do many of the top smartwatches and fitness trackers, but its stress monitoring function is what really stands out, and is something everyone can benefit from and use every day – not only in a health crisis. It’s a shame that many of the stress-management tools (such as meditation sessions and mindfulness tutorials) are only available to Fitbit Premium subscribers, but the Sense comes with a six-month free trial, so you can get a lot out of them even if you don’t choose to extend your subscription afterwards.

1. Features

The Fitbit Sense has a maximum battery life of six days, but constant usage of its numerous sensors, as well as use of the always-on screen, will considerably shorten that time. When it’s time to recharge, the Sense comes with a compact USB charger with a square dock that magnetically links to the watch’s pack. It’s really simple to use, and the magnetic connection makes misalignment impossible.

It has all of the typical smartwatch capabilities you’d expect from a high-end Fitbit, such as voice controls via Alexa (Google Assistant will be available by the end of 2020) and Fitbit Pay (provided your bank is among those supported).

You will also receive call and SMS notifications from your phone, and you can use the Sense’s built-in microphone to dictate responses to text messages. We’ll be thoroughly evaluating these features in the following days and updating this review depending on our results. Bluetooth call-answering will be available later in 2020.
The Sense’s main feature is stress monitoring, which is detected through electrodermal activity (EDA) reactions induced by your skin’s conductivity. Sweating affects this, which in turn affects your adrenal glands. It’s important to note that emotional stress isn’t the only thing that might influence EDA responses; physical stress, such as exercise and heat, can also have an impact.

To conduct a scan, make sure the Sense is securely fastened so that it can reliably record your pulse rate, then swipe left, pick ‘EDA scan,’ and place your free hand over its face for two minutes. When the scan begins, you’ll feel a light vibration, followed by another when it’s finished. The fewer EDA responses recorded by the watch, the calmer you (presumably) are.

After the scan, you’ll be asked to submit a brief description of how you’re feeling at the time: extremely peaceful, calm, neutral, stressed, or very stressed. These measurements can then be viewed in the Fitbit app.

2. Experience

Exercise options for the Fitbit Sense include cycle, bootcamp, circuit training, elliptical, golf, hike, interval workout, kickboxing, martial arts, pilates, run, spinning, swim, stair climber, tennis, treadmill, weights, workout, and yoga – so there’s something for everyone.

The Sense is water resistant to 50 meters, making it perfect for pool or sea swimming (though Fitbit advises rinsing the strap with clean water afterwards).

We put the Sense through a rigorous spin exercise and saw no sudden drops in heart rate that would signal a problem with fitness trackers. Our pulse rate was mirrored on the watch face, with only a tiny delay, as you’d expect from any wrist-mounted heart rate sensor.

When you move between heart rate zones, the Sense vibrates, which is incredibly handy for training. We also appreciated how the heart rate was always shown on the screen, which is something not all fitness trackers do.

The Fitbit Sense logged quite a few steps when we were on the static bike, despite the fact that we were utilizing the specific Spin training mode. It appears that cycling modes should temporarily disable the watch’s pedometer, however we’re not sure how viable that is.

The Sense also has built-in GPS, so you can map out your runs, walks, and bike rides without carrying a phone. The GPS will only be engaged if you manually select the appropriate workout mode (it will not be activated if the gadget senses that you’ve began exercising on its own), but this makes sense because it saves battery life.

All View

The Fitbit Sense encourages you to reflect each day and tracks your sympathetic nervous system responses so you can see the results.
The Fitbit Sense combines the best of both worlds, bridging the gap between basic activity trackers like the Fitbit Inspire 2 and full-fledged smartwatches like the Apple Watch 7.

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