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New Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 | More focus on health

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Fitbit today unveiled its new watch models (and a new activity wristband). While Google's purchase of the If it does not materialize (everything is still pending regulatory approval), Fitbit should continue on its way.

And apparently today, that path is more focused on health and less on sport. At least, sport understood as something beyond the mere pursuit of health.

Fitbit is following in Apple's footsteps and trying to fish in the general public, leaving the more athletic users behind. Actually that has always been its target segment, but perhaps it was always closer to undefined than Apple has ever been.

There are three models that Fitbit has presented today: Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Inspire 2; although I will focus on the two smartwatches for being the most complete and interesting proposals.

New Fitbit Sense

I'll start with the Fitbit Sense, the new top of the range of the American firm. The name Sense is perfect because it combines a large number of sensors to track the user's health. New sensors, new PurePulse 2.0 optical pulse sensor...

Fitbit Sense

As we await the unveiling of the new Apple Watch in two weeks, the Fitbit Sense is undoubtedly the smartwatch that has been most focused on the medical and health aspect, with a focus on general health and stress.

Fitbit Sense, features

  • New PurePulse 2.0 optical pulse sensor
  • ECG for electrocardiogram analysis
  • EDA to track electrodermal activity
  • Temperature monitoring at night
  • Breathing rate during the night
  • Pulse variability monitoring (HRV)
  • Stress monitoring
  • High/low heart rate alerts
  • New 1.58″ AMOLED screen with 336×336 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, allowing to keep the screen always on.
  • Compatible with Google Assistant (and supports Amazon Alexa)
  • GPS
  • Autonomy of 6 days
  • Fast charging
  • Soon it will be possible to receive calls from a phone connected via Bluetooth (with microphone and speaker).
  • Compatible with wireless payments via Fitbit Pay
  • Resistant to immersion to 50 meters

Fitbit Sense at a quick glance

To sum it up quickly, the Fitbit Sense is a Versa 3 but goes a step further in terms of the use of sensors. From the front both are very similar, it is on the back where you can see all the changes. And the Fitbit Sense is even scary.

Fitbit Sense - Rear

On the front the look has changed with respect to the Versa 2. The screen is larger and the bezel is polished steel. But beyond the look and the software (which is Fitbit OS and there's no big news here) all those sensors I talked about earlier stand out.

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The Fitbit Sense is the brand's first watch to add the ECG sensor. It is still pending medical certification, but it is there for poderlo use in the short term. Using it will be very simple as it will simply be necessary to have the watch on the wrist and put the finger of the opposite hand on the metal bezel.

The watch will make a record of the electrocardiogram that will be recorded in the application and, if you wish, podrás export it in PDF format. For the vast majority this may be a feature that you use once to try it out and then totally forget about it... unless you really have some sort of heart condition.

The optical pulse sensor has been completely revamped. It now also tracks pulse variability and presents it as another data point for poder to track and not just as part of other algorithms such as stress tracking.

Part of Fitbit's proposals in the Sense is precisely that stress monitoring. To do this, they make use of the EDA sensor to measure the electrodermal activity. The truth is that I don't have too much data on how this sensor works....

For the measurement of rest Fitbit uses not only the sleep tracking and the values provided by the optical pulse sensor, it will also make use of the thermometer and respiration rate. All this not to assess rest or sports performance in successive workouts; but to, by monitoring the trends of different values, poder find patterns or warn of possible diseases. In fact Fitbit has been working quite a bit on the ability to predict diseases and, specifically, COVID-19. But that doesn't mean that Fitbit is able to identify positives by COVID, it just gives an idea of which way Fitbit wants to go.

As usual, the Fitbit Sense still has all the basic features that the brand has accustomed us to: daily activity tracking, pulse monitoring, sport profiles with the use of GPS, etc.

Fitbit Sense, availability and price

Fitbit Sense will be available at the end of September and will be priced at 329€, making it Fitbit's most expensive product to date.

New Fitbit Versa 3

For its part, the Fitbit Versa 3 has many things in common with the Fitbit Sense, but lacks all the new technologies that Fitbit has developed with a focus on health. It keeps the same design, screen and features such as GPS (for the first time in the Versa), the ability to receive calls through the built-in speaker and microphone or fast charging.

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Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3, features

  • New PurePulse 2.0 optical pulse sensor
  • New 1.58″ AMOLED screen with 336×336 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, allowing to keep the screen always on.
  • Compatible with Google Assistant (and supports Amazon Alexa)
  • GPS
  • Autonomy of 6 days
  • Fast charging
  • Soon it will be possible to receive calls from a phone connected via Bluetooth (with microphone and speaker).
  • Compatible with wireless payments via Fitbit Pay
  • Resistant to immersion to 50 meters

As you can see the Fitbit Versa 3 is a more traditional smartwatch and without so many functions focused on health. But it brings quite a few new features compared to the model it replaces (the Versa 2), among which the use of GPS stands out.

Fitbit Versa 3, availability and price

Like the Sense, the Fitbit Versa 3 will be available in about a month. The price, 229€, is considerably lower than that of its big brother.

 

Summary and opinion

While waiting for Google's purchase of Fitbit to be authorized and closed (and which will inevitably lead to a Wear OS watch), it is at least clear which path Fitbit has decided to take.

It is currently the watch that puts the most focus on health tracking, at least for the time being and until Apple presents the new Apple Watch Series 6 in the coming weeks. It has already been rumored that they will also be quite focused on health. They have been for quite some time now and the situation around COVID-19 only increases that need on the part of all manufacturers.

However, it is likely to be one of the last opportunities for Fitbit. They continue to manage quite strong numbers, especially thanks to the market penetration they have in the United States, but the competition is strong. In the sports arena they have already handed the baton to the more traditional manufacturers, so it remains to be seen how well they do now that they are focusing on health.

And with that... thanks for reading!

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