Fitbit Announces Google-Infused Sense 2, Versa 4 Smartwatches
Google closed its $2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition in early 2021, but it is only now that we’re seeing the results. Fitbit has announced two new smartwatches (plus a fitness tracker) that have deeper integration with Google services and a new version of Fitbit OS with a more Google-y design. They’ll cost you, though. The new Sense 2 is $299.95 and the Versa 4 is $229.95.
Unlike most smartwatches, Fitbit focuses on battery life. Both the new watches can run for about six days on a charge, meaning you don’t have to take them off as often. That’s a key part of Fitbit’s health and fitness pitch. because the more you wear the watches, the more data they can feed into the Fitbit algorithms.
Fitbit calls out its “all-day body-response” tracking on the Sense 2 as a big innovation. It uses a continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA), heart rate sensor, and skin temperature to monitor stress. There’s also an EKG to monitor for atrial fibrillation. Fitbit says it redesigned the Sense 2 to integrate the sensor electrodes in a more streamlined fashion. So, it looks even more like an Apple Watch, if that was even possible.
The Sense 2 still supports all the usual workout features that made Fitbits famous, but that’s the primary focus of the cheaper Versa 4. However, it does still have the basics like heart rate tracking and a blood oxygen sensor. It also comes in more fun colors than the Sense 2.
Fitbit includes a 90-day trial of Fitbit Premium, which costs $10 per month otherwise. This service offers more sleep tools, mindfulness exercises, Fitbit’s daily readiness score, and long-term data trends. In my experience, this subscription isn’t worth it unless you’re really into fitness, and you like Fitbit’s “holistic” approach. Perhaps most interestingly, the new smartwatches are slated to get access to Google Maps and Google Wallet for contactless payments — fitness buff or not, this is good news. Google and Fitbit won’t say when these apps will arrive, but it’s happening “soon.”
The $99.95 Inspire 3 fitness tracker is also getting some notable updates. While it’s less capable than the company’s smartwatches, it now has a full-color OLED screen and a blood oxygen sensor to go with its heart rate monitor. It can last 10 days on a charge, though. The Inspire 3 and the new smartwatches are all available for pre-order today. If you’re looking for a watch with less of a fitness focus, you might want to wait for the Pixel Watch, which is expected to launch later this year. It will be running the full Wear OS software rather than Fitbit OS. That also means it won’t last nearly as long on a charge.