Fitbit reveals new smartwatches focused on health and lifestyle
Fitbit’s refreshed products include the Sense 2, Versa 4, and Inspire 3.
Fitbit announced its first proper smartwatches since its acquisition by Google in late 2021.
The Alphabet subsidiary updated its Inspire, Versa, and Sense lines, breathing new life into an entity that has steadily lost ground to Samsung and Apple.
And while these products remain true to the company’s original vision, Fitbit has expanded its definition of health and wellness with new lifestyle-oriented features.
A pivot to wellness
The flagship Fitbit Sense 2 device represents a slight change of direction for the company. Fitbit historically focused on physical activity. I mean, it was in the name. Fitbit.
Admittedly, Fitbit did a great job at catering to this market. But its blinkered vision allowed rivals (namely Apple) to flank the company on general wellness technology.
The Apple Watch is almost a medical device at this point, able to identify anomalous cardiac activity and more. It’s used in actual clinical environments, albeit at a limited level.
The Fitbit Sense 2 represents an attempt to stymie Apple’s progress here. Its distinguishing feature is an always-on cEDA (continuous electrodermal activity) sensor that measures perspiration.
By itself, this isn’t particularly useful. But when you combine the EDA sensor with other metrics (like the wearer’s heart rate, physical movement, and so on), you’re able to identify the physical manifestations of anxiety.
Mental ill-health is often invisible. It’s the nature of the beast. As someone wracked with depression and anxiety, I must admit that I’m excited by this feature.
According to Google, the Fitbit Sense 2 will highlight moments of distress, allowing the wearer to take action and build resilience.
The smartwatch will recommend actions the wearer can take, like mindfulness sessions, guided breathing, and mood logging.
Focus on fitness
The Fitbit Versa 4 is a much more conventional device. It continues the company’s focus on physical fitness and can measure more than 40 types of exercise — more than twice the previous model.
With built-in GPS, wearers can track their routes when running or cycling. Fitbit’s premium service subscribers also get access to the company’s Daily Readiness Score.
This Daily Readiness Score tells the wearer when to take a rest day or when to exercise intensely.
The simpler (and cheaper) Fitbit Inspire 3 follows a similar path, albeit in a smaller package.
By eschewing many of the common smartwatch features, the tracker enjoys a ten-day battery life. By contrast, the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 last around six days between charges.
The tracker touts the usual Fitbit features. It measures workouts, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and sleep activity.
It shows notifications, shows the time, and doubles as a wrist-worn alarm clock. For interval training, it lets wearers set timers and stopwatches.
Pricing and availability
The bargain-basement Fitbit Inspire 3 retails at $99 and includes a free six-month subscription to the Fitbit premium service.
The Versa 4 and Sense 2 retail for $229.95 and $299.95, respectively, with a six-month Fitbit Premium membership, included for free.
Tempted buyers can pre-order the devices from Fitbit.com and various online retailers such as Best Buy. Worldwide retail availability is expected later this fall.
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