Google closed its $2.1 billion Fitbit acquisition in early 2021, but we’re already seeing the results. Fitbit has announced two new smartwatches (plus a fitness tracker) that feature a new version of Fitbit OS with deeper integration with Google services and a more Google-y design. They will cost you, though. The new Sense 2 costs $299.95 and the Versa 4 costs $229.95.
Unlike most smartwatches, Fitbit focuses on battery life. Both new watches can last about six days on a charge, meaning you won’t have to take them off as often. It’s a key part of Fitbit’s health and fitness pitch. Because the more you wear the watch, the more data they can feed into Fitbit’s algorithms.
Fitbit calls its “all-day body-response” tracking a major innovation in the Sense 2. It uses a continuous electrodermal activity (CEDA), heart rate sensor and skin temperature to monitor stress. There is also an EKG to monitor for atrial fibrillation. Fitbit says it redesigned the Sense 2 to integrate the sensor electrodes in a more streamlined fashion. So, it looks more like an Apple Watch, if that’s possible.
The Sense 2 still supports all the usual workout features that made Fitbit famous, but that’s the primary focus of the cheaper Versa 4. However, it still has the basics like heart rate tracking and a blood oxygen sensor. It comes in more funky colors than the Sense 2.
Fitbit includes a 90-day trial of Fitbit Premium, which otherwise costs $10 per month. The service also offers sleep tools, mindfulness exercises, Fitbit’s daily fitness score, and long-term data trends. In my experience, this subscription isn’t worth it unless you’re really into fitness and you like Fitbit’s “holistic” approach. Perhaps most interestingly, the new smartwatches are getting access to Google Maps and Google Wallet for contactless payments — good news, fitness buff or not. Google and Fitbit won’t say when these apps will arrive, but it’s happening “soon.”
The $99.95 Inspire 3 fitness tracker is also getting some significant updates. While it’s less capable than the company’s smartwatches, it now has a full-color OLED screen and a blood oxygen sensor to go along with the heart rate monitor. Although it can last up to 10 days on a single charge. The Inspire 3 and new smartwatches are available for pre-order today If you’re looking for a watch with less of a fitness focus, you might want to wait for the Pixel Watch, which is expected to launch later this year. It will run the full Wear OS software instead of Fitbit OS. That means it won’t last nearly as long on a charge.