Fitbit Sense review: Your new best friend in health, fitness, and beyond

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I’ve spent some time with the new Fitbit Sense on my wrist, and after wearing it for weeks, I’m ready to lay down everything that I love about it and list down the things that I think Fitbit can still work on to improve the product. 

First, the good news: whether you’re moving around or staying at home, there are lots of things to love about this Fitbit smartwatch. In fact, if you think wearing a watch at home is such a hassle, you’ll find that you’ll get more incentive and benefits from wearing one especially if you work or study from home.

What’s there to love?

What immediately stands out with the Sense is its nice and sleek look. It has straps that you can change with a click in seconds and I can choose from a plethora of clock faces. The AMOLED screen helps make the colors stand out.

One of the things I look for in a smartwatch is if it has voice assistant capabilities, because it’s gotta be designed make my life easier, right? And with the Fitbit Sense, I can sync it with Google Assistant or Alexa, and have some tasks—such as setting alarms, sending messages, and Googling random stuff—taken care of. 

And this is exactly why the Fitbit Sense makes for a perfect work-from-home companion. Using a Pomodoro timer technique when you’re working? Just say, “Hey Google, set an alarm for 30 minutes.” Working on a craft project and then you receive a text? Dictate your message even with your hands full. Cooking or baking? Ask Google Assistant to convert 1 cup into tablespoon, or 180 Celsius to Farenheit. 

I also love that I can answer calls directly on the Sense since it’s fitted with a speaker and microphone. When receiving a text, you can also dictate replies to messages directly on the watch.

Before, reminders like “drink your water” or “move to reach 100 steps” sounded mundane. However, if you’re confined to your desk most of the day, these little reminders help set you up for a better work-life balance. 

On top of its usual capabilities, it also syncs with some of my favorite apps like Spotify, The New York Times, Flipboard, Calculator, and even Starbucks. You can also install some games—because, why not? Everything is better with games!

And of course, the biggest draw of the Fitbit Sense is in its health tracking features. It’s the first Fitbit with an onboard ECG app, which can produce a single-lead electrocardiogram read in just 30 seconds. It also has a skin temperature sensor so you can check your temperature any time of the day.

The Fitbit Sense proved itself to be a great exercise companion. Just tap on your exercise and you’re good to go. It has a wide variety of exercises such as pilates, yoga, bootcamp, kickboxing, and tennis, to help you keep track of your exercise and progress. If you do cardio workouts, it’s best to keep track of your fat burn with your heart rate, and this is where the Sense’s improved PurePulse 2.0 heart rate tracker comes handy. 

Don’t worry if you’re afraid that all of these features might drain the battery immediately, because the watch supports fast charging that can give you up to 80% juice in just 10 minutes. By the way, Fitbit updated the charging mechanism on this smartwatch, so no more clamp-style charging; only smooth magnetic charging.

Points for improvement

While the Fitbit Sense sounds like a dream, there’s still room for improvement.

For one, while you can install the Spotify app on the device, you can only use the watch to control the app, not to store music. So, if you decide to go on a run or hit the gym, you still have to keep your phone close to you so you can play some tunes.

The watch prides itself in the fact that it can help you monitor and regulate your stress levels with the EDA Scan App and Sp02 Oxygen Saturation Monitor. These monitors can track the level of oxygen in your blood and detect changes in your skin, which may indicate your body’s response to stress. However, it’s still unclear how you can use or interpret the data that you get.

Buying the Fitbit Sense will also get you a 90-day free trial of Fitbit Premium, which is supposed to give you access to more health metrics, guided programs, personalized action plans to meet your health goals, and 1-on-1 coaching. However, we find that Fitbit is stretching it a bit by slapping a subscription fee on top of an already pretty pricey product. 

Speed says

The Fitbit Sense (P19,940) is a stylish smartwatch with lots features and sensors. This nifty gadget will make you much more goal-oriented with your regular tasks, health, and fitness. It’s great to have, especially if you want to keep your health in check these days with the pandemic going on. 

Words and photos by Jovi Figueroa

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