Fitbit Sense 2 vs. original Fitbit Sense

Fitbit has announced the Fitbit Sense 2, along with the Versa 4 and Inspire 3. It’s the first major update to some key lines since Google acquired Fitbit in early 2021.

However, the biggest surprise is not what has changed but what has not.

Here’s a look at how the Fitbit Sense 2 compares to the original, to see if you should upgrade or even pick up the first version before it leaves shelves altogether.

No Wear OS 3, same price

Many expected the Fitbit Sense 2 to use Wear OS 3, Google’s smartwatch software. It is not like this.

Fitbit continues to use its proprietary interface, which may seem like a boring move. However, you should consider the side effects if the Sense 2 had Wear OS. It would mean the battery would last around a day between charges, not the “6+” days that Fitbit claims for the Sense 2.

The company maintains that a Fitbit Wear OS watch will still arrive in the future.

An EDA sensor that is really useful

The most headline-grabbing feature of the original Sense was its stress-monitoring EDA sensor. This estimates sweat production so you know when you’re stressed or excited in some way.

It sounds great on paper, but it wasn’t very useful in reality because the user had to hold the watch bezel for the EDA hardware to work.

The Fitbit Sense 2 now has a continuous EDA sensor that can passively check skin activity throughout the day. This, again, will be used to look for stressful events, along with heart rate readings.

This has not caused a jump in price. The Fitbit Sense 2 costs $299, just like the Sense when it originally launched. However, the first model has been regularly available for much less online for some time now.

Slimmer and lighter design, physical button

The Fitbit Sense 2 is slightly lighter and thinner than its predecessor. It is approximately 11.4mm thick, up from 12.4mm in the previous version. The shell width has also been reduced from 40mm to 38mm.

This doesn’t come with a drop in screen size. Both watches have 1.58-inch screens, the Sense 2 just has less blank border space around it. There’s no downside, though it’s hard to ignore that the edges of the Apple Watch Series 7 are even smaller.

Fitbit has also added a physical button to the Sense. The previous version uses a touch-sensitive area on the side with haptic feedback to indicate when a touch registers. A physical button is less conspicuous, but much more practical, especially for working out.

The Fitbit Sense 2 is available to order now for $299, while the original Sense can be found online for around $199.

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