Fitbit Sense 2 review: Leaving us with more questions than answers

Much of the same, with a few downgrades.

Fitbit Sense 2 hero image 21x9
(Image: © Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

From a fitness and health tracking standpoint, the Fitbit Sense 2 has a lot to offer, especially thanks to the included Premium membership. The overhauled interface is much more pleasant to interact with, while the physical button is excellent. But we still have to wait for Google Maps and Wallet to arrive, and there's no sign that Assistant will be arriving any time soon, if at all.

Pros

  • +

    The physical button is a much-needed improvement

  • +

    Interface overhaul

  • +

    Up to six days of battery life

  • +

    Lighter and slimmer than its predecessor

Cons

  • -

    Maps and Wallet coming "later"

  • -

    Only one size is available

  • -

    No Google Assistant

  • -

    Can't stream or download music

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It's been about two years since Fitbit released its most feature-rich smartwatch ever in the Fitbit Sense. We've been waiting with bated breath for a successor, and when the Sense 2 was unveiled, there was a lot of excitement. Not only does the Sense 2 offer a slimmer and lighter design, but there aren't any sacrifices to the battery life or missing health tracking sensors. 

But what was really exciting was the overhauled interface, as we are finally starting to see Google's influence on Fitbit's products. Taking things even further, Fitbit announced that Google Maps and Google Wallet would be available on the Sense 2, seemingly offering a viable competitor to the Galaxy Watch 5 and upcoming Pixel Watch. However, after spending some time with the Sense 2, you might be surprised by what Fitbit's flagship smartwatch actually offers.

Fitbit Sense 2: Price and availability

Fitbit Sense 2 in Shadow Grey

(Image credit: Fitbit)

The Fitbit Sense 2 was announced in late August, before being officially released in September 2022. Its stated retail price is $300, which matches up with what the original Sense was priced at following a rather immediate price cut down from $330. The Sense 2 is available in three different color combinations — Shadow Grey / Graphite Aluminum, Lunar White / Platinum Aluminum, Blue Mist / Soft Gold Aluminum — and is available in just one size. It's currently available from many popular retailers, including directly from Fitbit, Google, and Amazon.

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CategoryFitbit Sense 2 specs
Display1.58-inches, AMOLED
Resolution336 x 336
Dimensions & weight (255)40.5 x 40.5 x 11.2mm, 37.64 grams
Battery6+ days
Charging0-100% in two hours, 12 minutes to get one day of battery life
SensorsGPS/GLONASS/, HRM, altimeter, skin-temperature, gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light, SpO2, cEDA
Water resistanceUp to 50m
ConnectivityNFC (Fitbit Pay/Google Wallet), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (turned off)
Music Storage🚫
Mic and speaker
ColorsShadow Grey / Graphite, Lunar White / Platinum, Blue Mist / Soft Gold
Voice AssistantAmazon Alexa

Fitbit Sense 2: Hardware and design

Fitbit Sense 2 bottom sensors

(Image credit: Android Central)

Over the past couple of months, I've had the pleasure of testing out quite a few different fitness trackers and smartwatches. But the Fitbit Sense 2 has been on my own radar, and the excitement only grew following the official announcement. Leading up to the unveiling, we were expecting a successor to the original Fitbit Sense, including all of the same great health and fitness tracking features. 

One of the biggest gripes I had with the original Fitbit Sense was the implementation of the touch-sensitive button on the side. When it worked, it worked fine, but more times than not, I would just give up and use the touchscreen to navigate through the interface. Thankfully, Fitbit listened to its community and finally brought back the physical button on the left side. 

Fitbit Sense 2 button comparison

(Image credit: Android Central)

If you're upgrading from the Sense, you'll be pleased to know that you won't have to get rid of your favorite bands. While the Sense 2 is lighter and thinner than its predecessor, band compatibility remains the same, so you can mix and match, without needing to start over from scratch with your watchband collection.

In addition to the physical button and the slimmer design, Fitbit also redesigned the layout of the sensors on the bottom. Much like we saw with the Galaxy Watch 5, this aims to provide more accurate readings as the flatter bottom should provide more accurate readings.

Something else that surprised us was that Fitbit was able to slim down the overall design, while still maintaining the same six+ days of battery life with the Sense 2. These advertised numbers are definitely achievable, but you'll need to make sure that the Always-on Display is turned off, and you likely won't be tracking any workouts. In the time we've spent with the Sense 2, we managed to get about 4 days with a couple of workout sessions thrown in there. Which is honestly, still pretty darn good.

Fitbit Sense 2: Health and fitness

Fitbit Sense 2 on-wrist during workout

(Image credit: Android Central)

Unlike some of my other counterparts here at Android Central, I'm not someone who trains for marathons, and instead, just go for walks and the occasional round of golf. Luckily, there's a trail that is just a stone's throw from my home, so I decided to run a bit of a test between the Sense 2 and the new Apple Watch Ultra, just to see how they would stack up. 

The "test" consisted of walking down the path for two miles with a smartwatch on either wrist, then swapping them after two miles and walking back. There can definitely be some variation, depending on what wrist you are wearing, so I decided this was the best way to get an idea of how the Sense 2 actually performed. 

When comparing the Average Heart Rate, there wasn't much deviation here, as the Sense 2 measured a 120 bpm average whereas the Ultra provided a 122 bpm average. But that was pretty much where the similarities ended, as the Sense 2 showed that I burned 549 calories and the Ultra showed 417 calories burned.