Fitbit Sense was a revolutionary tracker/smartwatch at the time of its release in 2020. It was the most advanced product Fitbit ever launched, at least until the release of Fitbit Sense 2. The newest iteration of Fitbit’s flagship product launched on September 23, 2022, and the reactions are underwhelming.
Despite the fact that both are unquestionably among the top fitness trackers available, the differences between them are negligible. Sure, some improvements were made, and Fitbit 2 is still expecting some significant updates, but we have to wonder whether it’s worth the upgrade.
In this article, we’ll discuss Fitbit Sense 2 vs Fitbit Sense and their key differences. We’ll compare their features, build quality, and design, for anyone looking to purchase either one of these models. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Fitbit Sense 2 vs Fitbit Sense: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Fitbit Sense 2||Fitbit Sense|
|Display||1.58-inch AMOLED||1.58-inch AMOLED|
|Dimensions||38 x 38 x 11.4mm||40.48 x 40.48 x 12.35mm|
|Sensors||GPS + GLONASS, ECG, cEDA, |
optical heart rate sensor,
gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer,
altimeter, ambient light sensor
|GPS + GLONASS, ECG, cEDA, |
optical heart rate sensor,
gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer,
altimeter, ambient light sensor
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Battery life||6+ days||6+ days|
|ECG / EDA||ECG/cEDA||ECG/EDA|
|NFC payments||Google Wallet, Fitbit Pay||Fitbit Pay|
|Voice assistant(s)||Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Integrations||Google Maps and Wallet support||Third-party apps|
Fitbit Sense 2 vs Fitbit Sense: What’s the Difference?
Simply put, there actually isn’t much difference between the Fitbit Sense 2 and the original Fitbit Sense. Both devices have the ability to track at least 20 different activities and workouts, whole measuring your fitness metrics. This includes heart rate, stress levels, and sleep, among other things.
The design segment has undergone one significant alteration, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below. Apart from that, it can be rather difficult to distinguish between two Fitbit flagship products.
Both feature an AMOLED screen of the same size and nearly identical metal frames and silicon bands. Yet, there are some subtle differences that make them worlds apart. Let’s dive in.
- Learn to manage stress, sleep better and live healthier with Sense 2—our most advanced health and fitness smartwatch.Human Interface Input: Touchscreen
- Manage stress and live healthier: all-day stress detection with cEDA and daily Stress Management Score, ECG app for atrial fibrillation assessment(1), irregular heart rhythm notifications(2),...
- Measure and improve sleep quality: personalized Sleep Profile(5), daily sleep stages & Sleep Score, smart wake alarm and do not disturb mode
- Enhance activity: built-in GPS and workout intensity map, Daily Readiness Score(5), Active Zone Minutes, all-day activity tracking and 24/7 heart rate, 40+ exercise modes and automatic exercise...
- Designed for all-day wear: on-wrist Bluetooth calls, texts and phone notifications(6), customizable clock faces, Fitbit Pay(7), Amazon Alexa built-in(8), Google Wallet & Maps (Google Maps on Android...
As we previously alluded, Fitbit Sense 2 and the original Fitbit Sense are almost indistinguishable at first glance. But it’s the details that set them apart. Let’s start with the original Fitbit Sense. The device is housed within a 12.4mm thick and 40mm wide housing made of stainless steel. It’s not a bad design choice, considering that stainless steel is widely used in wristwatch production.
Additionally, the material is known for its hypoallergenic properties. That’s why it’s mostly used for surgical equipment and body jewelry. The 1.58-inch display is surrounded by relatively thick black bezels. These aren’t as bad, but they can’t compare to Apple Watch bezels.
Additionally, the capacitive side button or touch button is responsible for menu selection and actuation. Unfortunately, it proved itself rather unreliable, as it tends to disrupt a measurement session if accidentally triggered. Fitbit tried to rectify this flaw through continuous updates, but it hasn’t improved.
Fitbit Sense 2 brings several changes to the already recognizable design. The first of which is the anodized aluminum body, which measures 11.4mm thick and 38mm wide. The anodized aluminum isn’t as durable as stainless steel, but it increases color alternatives and minimizes color variation. Additionally, it’s more cost-effective and easier to recycle.
The device is relatively smaller, but the reduction in size hasn’t affected display real estate. Instead, the bezels are thinner, which, paired with an anodized aluminum frame, provides more premium-like aesthetics. In addition, the device is 15% lighter than its predecessor.
Obviously, the biggest difference is the introduction of the physical button instead of the capacitive one. The implementation of the physical button is a clear indicator that Fitbit is listening to its customer’s desires. Admittedly, the physical button makes interacting with the device easier and nearly eliminates accidental actuation.
Both devices use a 1.58-inch AMOLED display, with great-looking colors and perfect-black colors — with infinite contrast. The 336×336 screen resolution provides 300 pixels per inch (PPI), which is in rank with most middle-tier smartphones. It’s also somewhat comparable to Apple Watch Series 7, which provides a negligibly sharper and more detailed image.
Displays on both devices top off at 1,000 nits (brightness unit), which is bright enough to overcome glare from the sun. This would allow users to navigate and use their hardware in broad daylight. Considering that normal use in daylight requires some 800 nits, both Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Sense offer plenty, at least in terms of visibility.
The original Sense’s stress-monitoring EDA sensor garnered the greatest tech media attention. It allowed Fitbit Sense to monitor more than your physical health by introducing the EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor to measure stress.
EDA regulates body temperature, but it’s also associated with emotional arousal, particularly stress. An EDA sensor detects variations in skin conductance, which can rise with sweat gland activity when agitated.
Fitbit Sense’s use of technology is straightforward. To do an EDA scan, users have to run the app and place their palms over the watch’s stainless-steel frame for two minutes. This is a pretty neat function; the device’s Mindfulness app offers some meditation guidance for better stress management.
Unfortunately, users have to manually initiate the scan, and many have wondered about making the scan continuous. A passive stress indicator would notify a user about their elevated stress levels, allowing them to take immediate action. And Fitbit listened to the customer feedback and implemented a cEDA sensor in their new Fitbit Sense 2.
The cEDA—continuous electrodermal activity—sensor in Fitbit Sense 2 performs regular skin activity checks throughout the day. It pairs its reading with the heart-beat reading sensor and notifies users about their elevated stress levels.
When it comes to health and fitness monitoring apps, the differences are mostly cosmetic. Both devices feature the same FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (ECG) app. It notifies you about any heart rate irregularities and stores data. This allows you to share your heart rate patterns with your doctor.
There’s also SpO2, or oxygen saturation, as well as a built-in GPS, Active Zone Minutes, sleep tracking, and exercise modes. Fitbit Sense features 20+ different exercise modes, many of which the device recognizes automatically. Fitbit Sense 2, on the other hand, upped this number to 40+.
- EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body's response to stress and a built-in skin temperature sensor logs yours each night so you can see when it varies.Band Size :...
- Assess your heart for atrial fibrillation –a heart rhythm irregularity- and easily share results with your doctor (The Fitbit ECG app is only available in select countries. Not intended for use by...
- An on-wrist skin temperature sensor tracks yours each night so you can see how it varies. You can also see your nightly blood oxygen levels at a glance with our collection of clock faces.Maximum...
- High & low heart rate notifications alert you if yours seems above or below your average
- Battery lasts 6 plus days plus, fast charging gives you a full day’s charge in just 12 minutes (Varies with use and other factors; up to 12 hours with continuous GPS)
When Google announced the acquisition of Fitbit in 2019, many users expected future Fitbit products to feature Google’s proprietary OS. However, that wasn’t the case. Google didn’t finalize the Fitbit acquisition until January 2020, and the original Fitbit Sense launched with a proprietary user interface.
Furthermore, the newest iteration, the Fitbit Sense 2, continues to use a different version of the same proprietary UI. This may seem like a dull move, but there are actually several knock-on effects on the new device. For example, it’s hard to imagine Fitbit Sense 2’s battery lasting longer than a day with Google’s Wear OS 3 installed.
Smartwatch and Google Integrations
Here is where things become interesting. The original Fitbit Sense was a giant upon release in terms of third-party app support and integrations. It supported both Alexa by Amazon and Google Assistant, and offered Deezer and Spotify support. NFC payments, however, were limited to Fitbit Pay, which isn’t as widespread as Google Pay.
However, Fitbit Sense 2 lacks third-party app support and numerous Google integrations. For starters, users can’t use Google Assistant. Voice commands work with Alexa by Amazon for the time being, but Google has announced Google Assistant’s arrival via an update. The same applies to upcoming Google Maps, which weren’t present at the launch, nor on the original model.
Payments, on the other hand, are done through Google Wallet or Fitbit Pay. However, the downside is the Bluetooth call support, which isn’t functional at the moment. But its arrival was announced for one of the future updates. Oh, and there’s no music control whatsoever, and it’s unknown whether it will ever become implemented into the new model.
Neither Google nor Fitbit made the battery capacity public. However, according to the iFixit teardown guide, the original Fitbit Sense sports a 266mAh battery on a 3.85V cell.
And still, it advertises more than six days of battery life. Of course, this is a careful use of words that implies standby use, disabled Always On Display, and disabled connectivity options.
The battery capacity of Fitbit Sense 2 remains unknown at the moment. But it’s safe to assume that the device uses a similar battery, if not the same, in terms of battery capacity. Both Fitbit and Google advertise 6+ days of battery life on Fitbit Sense 2, as well.
Ultimately, the battery life depends on use. If all connectivity options are enabled, users shouldn’t expect the battery to last longer than a day. It’s worth mentioning that the general consensus among wearable connoisseurs states that Fitbit’s proprietary UI strains the battery less.
Considering the minuscule differences between Fitbit Sense 2 and Fitbit Sense, price is most likely to play a determining factor. Fitbit Sense 2 costs approx. $300 (currently discounted at Amazon), while Fitbit Sense costs anywhere between $150 and $200. That is a considerable price gap for basically the same device.
Fitbit Sense 2 vs Fitbit Sense: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Both Fitbit Sense products were launched to positive reception by the fitness and wellness industry.
- Fitbit Sense line has FDA-approved ECG-measuring capabilities.
- Fitbit fitness trackers have helped solve criminal cases: one sexual assault case and two murders.
- The company specifically designed Fitbit Sense using stainless steel, following a recall in 2014, over allergic reactions experienced because of the materials used in their previous product.
- The company is still to launch a wearable electronic based on Wear OS.
Fitbit Sense 2 vs Fitbit Sense: Which One Is Better?
Fitbit Sense 2 has some advantages over Fitbit Sense, mainly due to updated aesthetics, cEDA monitoring, and workout recognition. But that’s where its capabilities top out, and it’s currently more limited than the original Fitbit Sense in many regards. So, the real question isn’t which one is better but rather whether the upgrade is worth $300.
Unless you’re a techie who likes wearing the latest gadget, Fitbit Sense 2’s price-value ratio can’t measure up to the original Fitbit Sense. We suggest giving it another six to 12 months before buying Fitbit Sense 2. This will give Google plenty of time to enable numerous functions that it announced but aren’t currently present on the device.