The Fitbit Sense burst onto an already crowded smartwatch scene in late 2020, promising advanced health metrics and tracking features in a premium wrist-wrapping package. While it eventually delivered on most of its early promises, the wearable stumbled a bit out of the gate. When it launched, it lacked some of its most anticipated features like an ECG app, Google Assistant support, and audio responses from smart voice assistants.
The original Sense was a thing of beauty, and thankfully, Fitbit and Google have maintained an update cadence that not only brought those aforementioned features to the watch but added new ones like the ability to personalize low and high heart notifications, additional language options, and improved reliability of notifications and UI performance.
Now that the Sense is approaching its first birthday, we are wondering if, and when, a successor might arrive. So here's what we know about a possible Fitbit Sense 2.
Fitbit Sense 2: Announcements and release date
To date, there has not been any official word of a Sense successor, and even the rumor mills are mum on the topic for the moment. Perhaps this is because everyone is anticipating what might be coming from Google by way of a prospective Pixel Watch. Alternatively, Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Watch 4 is also expected to have some sort of Fitbit experience baked into its implementation of Wear OS 3, crowding and complicating the playing field for a premium Fitbit smartwatch.
The confusion on whether there will be a Sense 2 was further stirred when Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park confirmed that the company's next high-end smartwatch would be running Google's newest wearable platform.
Park's official statement said:
In the future, we'll be building premium smartwatches based on Wear that combine the best of Fitbit's health expertise with Google's ambient computing capabilities.
It seems clear that we'll get a new, premium Fitbit smartwatch in 2021, but will it be the Sense 2 or something entirely different? At this point, speculation that it will is all we have to go on, so that's just what we'll do.
Fitbit Sense 2: Price
As we mentioned above, the original Fitbit Sense was announced in September of 2020 and became widely available for purchase shortly thereafter. It debuted at a price of $329, which was the highest ever for a Fitbit wearable, but it has regularly seen discounts and sales dropping it below $300. In addition, Fitbit has been fairly consistent in keeping new generations of its devices priced at, or near, their predecessors. So if we follow that logic, we might expect a Sense 2 to be priced around $330 once again.
Fitbit generally only releases one model of its smartwatches at a time, with the exception of the first two generations of Versa devices, which launched with premium versions. Though not launched at the same time as the Versa 2, Fitbit also introduced a lower-cost, stripped-down version of the watch called the Versa Lite.
It is possible that Fitbit could launch different sizes of the Sense 2 (a common complaint with its current offerings) and/or a version with LTE. If that were the case, we'd expect the smaller size to cost less than the baseline smartwatch (perhaps around $300), and it's logical to assume that an LTE version might cost a bit more (perhaps around $350). However, given that the Sense 2 looks to be the most premium and best Fitbit device, it's unlikely that we'll see the product line split up here at the top.
Fitbit Sense 2: Design
In the early fall of 2020, Fitbit explained that it was focusing its industrial design and UI/UX on something it called "Biologic Industrial Design Language," which included a softer, curved look to mimic organic shapes in the human body. This look was rolled out on the Sense, Versa 3, and Inspire 2, and it can also be seen on the newest Fitbit — the premium Luxe tracker.
While a Sense 2 might look like the previous Sense and Versa watches on the outside, it's a bit unclear how the software and UI might look on the new device. As we mentioned above, Fitbit CEO James Park said that the next premium Fitbit smartwatch would run Google's Wear OS 3, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will look the same on a Fitbit watch, nor does it mean that a Sense 2, if it were to exist, would be the premium smartwatch Park was speaking of.
Fitbit Sense 2: New features and specs
The original Sense already packed the most advanced sensors of any previous Fitbit device, so we'd expect the Sense 2 to follow suit. It already has Fitbit's latest heart rate monitor sensor, as well as the capability to read SpO2 levels, skin temperate, and electrodermal activity (EDA), and it's likely that the next generation Sense 2 will have these capabilities as well. We also expect that the Sense 2 will retain NFC for contactless payments (though it might transition from Fitbit Pay to Google Pay) and that it will continue to have on-device GPS for exercise tracking. But what new features might it add to compete with the Apple Watch and the best Android smartwatches?
Because the Sense 2 would be Fitbit's most advanced health tracker, perhaps it will borrow features from Apple and Garmin, like fall detection. We might also expect it to have more robust Fitbit Premium integration, including not only a free trial period but more on-device workout integration. Greater third-party app support would also be much appreciated, particularly if it runs on Wear OS 3.
The Sense (and Versa 2 and 3) all have onboard GPS, so it would be nice also to have on-device maps to track your workouts while you're engaged in a run, hike, or ride.
One of the biggest missing features from Fitbit's smartwatches is LTE, so it might make sense to see that added to the Sense 2. Whether that would be in the form of limited LTE for safety purposes as we see on the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE, or more full-featured LTE as we've seen on Samsung's Galaxy Watches remains to be seen. The Garmin implementation wouldn't surprise me on a Fitbit-branded watch, but I would be shocked if the Google Pixel Watch didn't have full LTE capabilities.
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