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My Job Is Reviewing Tech, Here Is My Honest Opinion on the Fitbit Sense 2

Fitbit Sense vs Versa 3

My Job Is Reviewing Tech, Here Is My Honest Opinion on the Fitbit Sense 2

Key Points

  • The Fitbit Sense 2 is well-priced at $299 retail and often goes on sale for $199, making it an attractive purchase.
  • The design of the Fitbit Sense 2 is sleek and comfortable, with a thinner and lighter build compared to its predecessor.
  • Notable features include stress management features, which identify times of increased stress and provide ways to manage it through breathing, meditation, and exercise.
  • Sleep tracking is another helpful feature of the Fitbit Sense 2, with the ability to track 10 different sleep metrics and create a sleep score.
  • The Fitbit Sense 2 has impressive battery life, lasting up to 48 hours with the always-on display active.

As someone who really values his Apple Watch as part of his everyday wear, giving the Fitbit Sense 2 a try was very exciting. It’s been a long time since I’ve strayed out of the Apple ecosystem so it piqued my curiosity to see how I would handle a new wearable. 

Fitbit has, for many years, offered the wearable industry a solid stream of products. While the company hasn’t quite become the next big thing in wearables, it hasn’t been for lack of effort. Even after its purchase by Google, Fitbit continues to try and pull an audience away from Samsung and Apple. While I didn’t think I would go in and ditch my Apple Watch for good, I wanted to keep an open mind. At the very least, I was looking forward to seeing where the Fitbit Sense 2 fits in the wearables space.

Let’s take a closer look at my honest opinion of the Fitbit Sense 2 and whether I think giving up my Apple Watch is a real possibility. 

Most Comfortable
Fitbit Sense 2 Advanced Health and Fitness Smartwatch
$246.00
  • All-day stress detection
  • Shows workout intensity map
  • Designed for all-day wear
  • Includes a 6-month Premium membership
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 09:24 am GMT

What’s Special About the Fitbit Sense 2? 

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, the Fitbit Sense 2 is pretty well-priced overall. Available at $299 retail, this is a fairly standard price point for smartwatches. According to CamelCamelCamel, I quickly discovered Amazon offers numerous discounts on the Sense 2 throughout the year. Watching the price drop to $199 isn’t out of the realm of possibility and makes for a more attractive purchase. 

The real question is, at this price point, is it worth picking up over a competitor? I’ll keep trying to answer this question but my hope is you can pick up the Sense 2 at $199. If you are able to pick it up for this price, you’re likely to be satisfied with what it offers. 

Design

Looking at the Fitbit Sense 2 as a standalone product, it’s definitely a good-looking product in my opinion. This said, there are no doubt comparisons that can be made to the design of the Apple Watch. While the face isn’t as square, it seems fair to say that Fitbit took some inspiration from the fruit company. Unlike Samsung and Google which have gone down a more circular face road, Fitbit is somewhere in the middle. 

The Sense 2 is 10% thinner and more than 15% lighter than the original Fitbit Sense, and this can definitely be felt on your wrist. While I haven’t tried the original Sense, I can definitely say the Sense 2 felt comfortable. Of all the smartwatches I have tried over the past year, only the Apple Watch feels equally as comfortable. The result was that I felt very relaxed wearing the Sense 2, a feeling I really wasn’t sure I would experience. 

Another highlight that I liked about the design of the Sense 2 was the button on the left-hand side of the watch. Unlike Apple, which uses a more circular button, Fitbit elected to go with a slimmer, more rectangular style. To be honest, I actually really prefer this over the Apple Watch design. For better or worse, the Apple Watch button can push up against my wrist when I bend my hand back. There is no such danger with the Sense 2 and I hope this is something Apple corrects in the future. 

Fitbit Sense
The Fitbit Sense 2 is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable smartwatches available.

Stress Management

I wish I could straight up say right now that my life isn’t all that stressful. Unfortunately, there are plenty of stresses in my everyday life. This is one area where I really appreciate the Fitbit Sense 2 world. With its Stress Management feature, you can utilize the subscription-based Fitbit Premium service to help find your way to a better mood. Whether it’s finding a way to sleep better or having more energy, managing stress with the Sense 2 feels like a really nice boost. 

One way Sense 2 works to help with stress is to identify times of day when stress is increased. This might be when I put my kids to bed as they never want to sleep. This is definitely a time of day when Fitbit alerted me as being more stressful. Fitbit nailed this one. The result is that Fitbit will try and help you look for ways to manage stress. Whether it’s through breathing, meditation, or exercise, the Fitbit Sense 2 will try to help you relax. I’m not sure I’ll be taking Fitbit up on any of this long-term, but I’m impressed at the feature. 

Sleep Tracking

Like stress management, sleep tracking is another big benefit of the Fitbit Sense 2. While I am disappointed that the best aspects of both this and the stress tracking are hidden behind a paywall, it’s still a helpful feature. I really like, or maybe don’t like, seeing what my Sleep Profile looks like.

Fitbit aims to pinpoint 10 different sleep “metrics” and creates a sleep score based on this. Needless to say, my sleep score varied from evening to evening. I like to thank my dog for this one since he has randomly decided that 2-3 AM is now his favorite time to go for a walk. 

How Well Does the Fitbit Sense 2 Work? 

Battery

Overall, I have to say I was fairly impressed with how well the Fitbit Sense 2 worked as a standalone product. My most immediate impression around battery life was one of the biggest benefits I took away from spending time with this product. While Fitbit claims 6 days of battery life, that’s really under optimal conditions of not using any of the health tracking features, GPS, and other features like the always-on display. With the always-on display active, I saw much closer to 48 hours of battery life. 

Look, even approaching 48 hours of battery life is still better than many competitor smartwatches. It’s not quite how Fitbit markets the Sense 2, but it’s still good enough. Battery life aside, the biggest consideration for me around the Sense 2 was fitness tracking. 

Fitness

While I haven’t mentioned it till now, Fitness is really where Sense 2 is supposed to shine. I wear my Apple Watch every day between the treadmill and elliptical, so exercise tracking is a make-it-or-break-it moment. 

The basics are all accounted for like step counting, heart rate monitoring, and tracking an activity from one of the included workouts. All total, I found 40 workout types included, which is double what the Apple Watch includes. For the most part, I found the workouts to be well-tracked.

Thankfully, my needs are fairly minimal as I just want to know calories burned and overall distance. In this case, the Fitbit Sense 2 succeeded. 

Apps

Okay, so here is my big issue with the Fitbit Sense 2 and the single biggest reason why I could never make a permanent switch. There are almost no third-party apps available. Really, just none. Compare this to the huge ecosystem supporting Samsung and Google Pixel watches as well as the massive App Store for the Apple Watch. Even something as basic as my Starbucks app for my Apple Watch is used more than I care to admit. The lack of any such options for the Sense 2 is a huge omission I can’t overlook. 

Yes, you can download various watch faces, but that’s about the extent of your downloadable excitement. Even previous Fitbit smartwatches had the Starbucks app, so its loss here really leads me to question how I could ever wear the Fitbit Sense 2 on an ongoing basis. If I needed nothing more than fitness tracking and basic phone/text notifications in a smartwatch, the Sense 2 is great. App-wise, anything beyond notifications is a non-starter.

Fitbit Sense vs Fitbit Luxe
One of the biggest disappointments with the Fitbit Sense 2 is the lack of third-party apps.

Is the Fitbit Sense 2 Worth It?  

In my opinion, the Fitbit Sense 2 is a great fitness tracker if all you are looking for is a fitness tracker. The addition of things like Sleep Tracking or Stress Management is incredibly fun to have. However, hiding the best features here behind a subscription service for Fitbit Premium is a big disappointment. I absolutely expect third-party apps to charge various amounts, but for the watch manufacturer to hide its best features behind a paywall is definitely a disappointment I don’t think I can get over. 

Compared to the Apple Watch, there just isn’t a whole lot that will make me switch over. I like the overall style and I hope Apple adopts the style of the button, but beyond that, there really isn’t much to win me over. Even things like a big ecosystem around Apple Watch bands are something I enjoy. I mean, I own at least two dozen different bands, so I definitely enjoy the freedom to choose different styles. I’m not sure there are even two different bands available for the Sense across all of Amazon. 

There is no perfect smartwatch, that much is true and the Apple Watch is no exception. The inability to add third-party watch faces that have total system access is a huge pain point for a vocal minority. This said I can overlook that because I have more third-party apps available than I can ever hope to download. At the end of the day, it’s safe to say I’ll be sticking to my Apple Watch.

Most Comfortable
Fitbit Sense 2 Advanced Health and Fitness Smartwatch
$246.00
  • All-day stress detection
  • Shows workout intensity map
  • Designed for all-day wear
  • Includes a 6-month Premium membership
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 09:24 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one reason to pick up the Fitbit Sense 2?

Between Sleep Tracking and Stress Management, the Fitbit Sense 2 does have some notable features well worth considering. 

How often does the Fitbit Sense 2 go on sale?

According to CamelCamelCamel, you will see the Fitbit Sense 2 on sale at least once every 2 months. 

What is the cost of the Fitbit Premium subscription service?

You will likely get 90 days to 6 months free with purchase, but afterward, you’ll be on the hook for $9.99 a month. 

Is it true the Fitbit Sense 2 has no third-party apps?

As it stands today, there are almost no third-party apps available for the Sense 2. 

Can you use the Fitbit Sense 2 with both Android and iOS?

Yes, you can use both operating systems though you’ll have more features with Android. 

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