What you need to know
- Fitbit’s smartwatch family is expanding yet again, this time with the Sense and Versa 3.
- The Versa 3 has built-in GPS, six-day battery life, 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, etc.
- You get a similar experience on the Sense, in addition to stress-monitoring and an ECG sensor.
Fitbit has grown a lot in recent years. The company that used to only offer fitness trackers has since established a solid foundation in the smartwatch space, largely thanks to the Fitbit Versa series that we’ve had since 2018. Fitbit is once again furthering its smartwatch offerings, and for 2020, we have two to talk about — Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense.
Both watches have a lot in common, but as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” To kick things off, let’s take a look at what the Fitbit Versa 3 is bringing to the table.
Overall, the Versa 3 looks very similar to the Versa 2 that came out before it. There are now rounded corners for the display and the physical button has been replaced with a capacitive touch area, but this is the same general design Fitbit’s been working with for a couple of years. It’s a friendly squircle shape that’s not to big or bulky, and while it may not be anything revolutionary, it’s a proven design that works really well.
One of the biggest changes for Versa 3 is with its heart-rate sensor, which now features the company’s upgraded PurePulse 2.0 system for more accurate tracking of your heart-rate throughout the day. We also finally get built-in GPS for accurate pace and distance information, along with an external speaker that enables you to take phone calls and hear spoken responses from your voice assistant.
Speaking of which, the Versa 3 keeps the Alexa integration introduced on the Versa 2 while also throwing Google Assistant into the mix. You’ll be able to pick and choose which digital helper you prefer using, and as of right now, Google Assistant will remain exclusive to Versa 3 and not make its way to the Versa 2. Also on-board is six-day battery life, fast charging, and a new band system that should be easier to use.
The Versa 3 looks to be a solid (if modest) upgrade over the Versa 2, keeping what worked about its predecessor and adding a few welcome features. Where things get really interesting, however, is when we look at the Fitbit Sense.
Fitbit Sense is the new flagship wearable that’s at the very top of Fitbit’s product offerings, and at its core, it has all of the same goodies found with the Versa 3 — GPS, six-day battery life, improved heart-rate tracking, Google Assistant, etc. On top of all that, Fitbit has added an array of new sensors that allow the Sense to go a step further with how it can be used for your body’s physical and mental health.
Just like the Galaxy Watch 3, the Fitbit Sense has ECG sensors for analyzing the rhythm of your heart and detecting potential health issues. It’s still pending approval by the FDA in the United States, but once that’s complete, you’ll be able to get a full reading just by placing your fingers on the corners of Sense for 30 seconds. From there, you can view a full readout of the ECG test in the Fitbit app and then print a PDF if you want to share it with your doctor.
You’ll also find an EDA scanner of the Fitbit Sense, which is short for “electrodermal activity.” The tech is used for understanding your body’s current stress levels and how you react to various stressors that you encounter. It’s part of Fitbit’s bigger push into mental health along with physical health, and it’ll be really interesting to see how long it takes for this tech to trickle down into more affordable wearables.
Finally, the Fitbit Sense rounds out its sensor loadout with an on-wrist skin temperature sensor. The sensor checks your skin every night, and by doing so, you can potentially detect a fever or the start of your menstrual cycle.
Fitbit hasn’t announced specific availability info for either smartwatch, but what we do know is the price. The Fitbit Versa will cost $229 when it goes on sale, with the Fitbit Sense costing significantly more at $329. Both watches will also come with free trials for Fitbit Premium, which usually costs $9.99/month.
Samsung’s fitness watch is worth a look
Fitbits are great, but if you don’t feel like waiting for the Versa 3 and Sense to come out, consider picking up the Galaxy Watch Active 2 from Samsung. It’s a super robust fitness watch with a ton of features, including an OLED display, GPS, NFC for Samsung Pay, and more.
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