Fitbit Versa 4, Sense 2 & Google Pixel Watch – What’s New?

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Versa 4, Sense 2

Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2…Pixel Watch Too

Fitbit’s new Versa 4 is very much an evolution of what’s come before from the Google-owned company. It’s thinner and lighter than the previous model with a modified button and improved battery life.

Versa 4 remains the sports and fitness offering for Fitbit but it’s gradually starting to change, the company has announced that Versa 4 will also receive Google Maps and Google Wallet in the near future but there isn’t yet a move to the Google Wear OS operating system which we should shortly see on the new Google Pixel Watch – also trailed today.

Fourthly, Fitbit Sense 2 makes an appearance. It’s a souped-up version of the Versa 4 that packs an improved EDA sensor – essentially a continuous sweat sensor that might indicate stress.

Finally, Fitbit’s Inspire 3 band completes today’s announcement

Fitbit Versa/Sense are competing in a very similar space to the Apple Watch.
Fitbit gives a better one-stop Fitness solution than an out-of-the-box Apple Watch. However, the Apple app store encompasses many advanced sporting apps…Fitbit’s doesn’t. Then for more complex athletic training needs both Apple and Fitbit trail behind the Forerunner and Fenix watches from Garmin.
That said, most people on a committed fitness-boosting campaign will be perfectly served by what Fitbit offers for their sports, indeed Sense 2 now doubles the number of supported sports profiles. Let’s hope the heart rate tracking and GPS tracking are improvements on what Fitbit typically deliver.

A Healthy Option

Fitbit certainly ticks the commonly used boxes when it comes to its support for consumer health with numerous onboard sensors. Hypochondriacs the world over will be delighted and the rest of us will be worried as we ponder our 95% Blood Oxygen score to understand if it means we are very ill or simply not good at properly taking SpO2 readings.

  • SpO2 (blood oxygen) tracking
  • Irregular heart rhythm notifications
  • ECG app for heart rhythm assessment
  • Resting heart rate
  • High & low heart rate notifications
  • Heart rate variability
  • Skin temperature sensor
  • Breathing rate
  • Wellness report
  • Blood glucose tracking (in-app only)
  • Menstrual health tracking
Putting tongue-in-cheek comments to one side, this impressive raft of sensors enables Fitbit to give us: different takes on stress; a warning about the onset of illnesses; and our readiness for exercise.
Close up view of Sense 2 device screen and back of device screen in shadow grey, showing the device screens side-by-side with a colorful, analog clock face.

Stress & Sleep

Detecting stress is one thing. Addressing it is another.

Fitbit makes suggestions to alleviate acute stress with breathing sessions and to help address longer-term stress by understanding and improving sleep.

  • All-day body-response tracking
  • Stress notifications
  • EDA Scan app for stress management
  • Reflections
  • Stress Management Score
  • Relax breathing sessions
  • Sleep tracking & sleep stages
  • Sleep Profile
  • Sleep Score
  • Smart Wake alarm

For example, focussed and relaxed breathing at the correct rate can partially reset the body’s nervous systems and waking at the ‘correct’ point of a sleep stage can save you time and maximise the feel-good factor when you get out of bed.

The Smarts

Strangely we have Amazon Alexa integration rather than Google’s own Assistant. We also have compatibility with iPhones for those that need it…something you won’t get from the Samsung Galaxy Watch5.

  • Call, text and app notifications (smart replies are Android only)
  • On-wrist Bluetooth calls
  • Alexa Built-in
  • Google Maps
  • Google Wallet
  • Fitbit Pay
  • Find My Phone
  • Always-on display mode
  • Do not disturb & sleep mode
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Slim design
  • 6+ day battery
  • Fast charging
  • Clock faces & accessories
  • Color touchscreen
  • Fitbit Premium membership

The headline battery life is 6-days but the reality will be much less than that if you have GPS enabled when performing workouts. however the addition of fast charging means that those emergency low-battery situations can be quickly rectified or simply slotted more easily into your daily routine – a 12-minute charge claims to give a day’s worth of battery life.

Close up of Versa 4 device in copper rose aluminum with rosewater band, showcasing some of the features on the device.

Fitbit Premium

You’ll need to pay an additional $9.99/mo for the Fitbit Premium service to get more detailed insights into sleep, stress and nutrition.

Opinion

Google-Fitbit has nicely moved the Versa and Sense watches onto the next level. They could have done more but they equally could have done much less.

It seems that Wear OS probably isn’t up to the job of supporting all that Fitbit can throw at it and so yesterday’s watches still remain less integrated with Android phones than Apple Watches with their iPhone counterparts. The fact that Google Maps and Wallet are not ready and working today implies delays in tailoring those features to the Fitbit environment. There are other changes too as we see Fitbit Tiles very much like the excellent Wear OS Tiles.

Don’t expect it all to be one-way though. It seems that Google also sees Fitbit as a Fitness Service. And so I strongly suspect that some of the Fitbit sporty goodness will find its way onto the Pixel Watch very soon.

 

Order Fitbit

Price & Availability

Pre-order now for September availability.

  • Fitbit Sense 2 costs $299.95/£269.99/€299.95.
  • Fitbit Versa 4 costs $229.95/£199.99/€229.95,

Both include a six-month Premium membership (for new or returning customers). Beginning today, pre-order Versa 4 and Sense 2 online at Fitbit.com and select global retailers.

Order Fitbit

 

 

 

Tackle stress & sleep better with Fitbit Sense 2

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3 thoughts on “Fitbit Versa 4, Sense 2 & Google Pixel Watch – What’s New?

  1. Fitbit is certainly better for lifestyle type design and tracking. It’s absurd how much better even older Fitbit’s are at sleep tracking or simply auto tracking activities. That said as a hobby jogger, I prefer my Garmin. My wife who is not as active uses the Fitbit Sense.

  2. No WearOS as Google owns FitBit is very telling, maybe emberassing even it you think who got Wear OS3 first field roll out (hint: it wasn’t on Google hardware itself)

    another Google graveyard acquisition?

    1. hmm maybe.
      perhaps more that they couldn’t iterate hardware that would produce an adequate enough performance with wearos.

      apparently wear os is on the impending pixel watch and, apparently, there will be a high end fitbit running wear os soon(ish)

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