Fitbit Sense 2 Review 2023 – Business Insider

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As Fitbit’s premium flagship, the Sense 2 wants to be both the best fitness tracker and the best smartwatch, all in one. And while it excels at offering holistic health data, some may be disappointed about how “smart” it can be when compared to other brands. 
For its second iteration of the Sense, Fitbit made some excellent improvements to its design. The company also put a lot of effort into enhanced health and wellness features, including meaningful improvements to stress tracking.
In terms of smarts, there are some questionable downgrades. Fitbit got rid of Google Assistant, as well as third-party app support, two big features one could argue are more or less standard for smartwatches nowadays. 
But the Sense 2 is still a quality choice — it’s not only one of the best Fitbits but also one of the best Android smartwatches. After spending a month with it, it is a premium wearable that utilizes Fitbit’s excellent ecosystem of tracking capabilities, wellness insights, and app integration to offer some of the best health and wellness tracking available.
Fitbit’s Sense 2 combines the brand’s advanced health and fitness features with decent smartwatch capability, unique sleep tracking, and a clean design reminiscent of the Apple Watch.
What works
What needs work

The Fitbit Sense 2 is built to be forgotten about, and that’s one of the best things about it. With a low profile and rounded corners, it’s comfortable to wear all day and night. And even though it’s lighter and thinner than its predecessor, it sports the same 1.58-inch AMOLED touchscreen display that does an excellent job with visibility in bright environments.
In addition to touchscreen navigation, Fitbit added a physical button, which allows you to access quick settings, apps, and shortcuts. The original Sense had a touch-sensitive panel, which was easy to press at even the slightest bend of the wrist unintentionally. So the tactile button is a welcomed practical improvement, especially during workouts. 
If what you’re after is a wearable that tracks activities accurately and offers a wide range of health features, the Sense 2 won’t disappoint. In addition to mainstays seen on other Fitbit watches like blood oxygen tracking, menstrual cycle logging, and heart rate variability, the Sense 2 goes further with built-in skin temperature sensors, ECG readings, and real-time stress tracking. 
What’s especially impressive is that the sum of these features makes the Sense 2 a powerful wellness tool that’s intended for far more than just counting your steps or logging a bike ride.
Take stress-tracking, for instance. Using its built-in cEDA sensor, the Sense 2 takes real-time readings of your body’s stress levels and can notify you of certain readings to help lower them. This can be done via breathing exercises or a call to exercise. It’s a unique (and useful) feature that can help paint a picture of how well your body handles daily stressors.
This feature is expanded via the Fitbit app, too, where you can input specifically how you feel when your watch detects a stress event. The app’s Weekly Summary function then charts each of those feelings throughout the week which provides an interesting snapshot of how your mood might ebb and flow.

 It’s one thing to know you’re stressed at the moment, but to see exactly how much and for how long you’re stressed is a great feature.
And it’s this emphasis on more than fitness statistics that makes the Sense 2 one of Fitbit’s most well-rounded watches. Both the watch and the app experience deliver everything from sleep habits and analysis to heart rate variability readings, skin temperature, resting heart rate, and blood oxygen level. This gives you a truly holistic view of your well-being.
That’s an abundance of tracking capability and fully entrenches the Sense 2 as Fitbit’s namesake flagship. While Fitbit-owner Google has the Google Pixel Watch, the Sense 2 still does things, like skin temperature readings and stress-tracking, that the Pixel Watch doesn’t.
Although the Sense 2 is a powerful health and wellness tool, it also excels at being a quality activity tracker. It has built-in GPS, the capability to track more than 40 different exercises, and it’s even waterproof up to 50 meters for the swimming crowd. 
I’ll admit I was at first skeptical of how well the GPS would manage on the Sense 2 as I’d been disappointed in how it fared in one of Fitbit’s other wearables, the Versa 4. We took a look at the Fitbit Sense 2 vs. the Versa 4 side-by-side. While the Versa 4 had a slew of issues with its GPS syncing and tracking, my experience with the Sense 2 was quite different. 
I found everything about the watch’s tracking to be intuitive and easy to use and never felt like I had to wait much longer than a few seconds for the GPS to sync. It may not seem like much, but knowing that your watch is accurately tracking you while you run, bike, or swim is a comforting feeling, especially for those who might be training for a specific race or pace time. 
Each tracked activity also automatically uploads to the Fitbit app, so whenever I was done with a workout, be it a run or a bike ride, I could see all the tracked workout data right there. This included my total time spent active, a detailed map of where I was during the activity, my average and fastest speeds, and my elevation gain and heart rate zones.
All this info is great to have at your fingertips, so long as you know how to use it. It can seem overwhelming at first to navigate some of the data but I considered this a good problem to have as I grew to enjoy combing through the in-depth data to compare each of my workouts at a more granular level. 
One nitpick I did have with the Sense 2’s tracking capability was its automatic exercise tracking feature. This is where it’s supposed to auto-detect when you’ve started an activity, but I often found that it hardly ever worked and when it did, it wasn’t accurate. 
When I manually started tracking activities, I found that the distance, pace, and heart rate information were consistent while any auto-tracked exercises seemed quite a bit off. This isn’t a total dealbreaker but something to keep in mind for the accuracy-obsessed wearers. 
One of the odd choices Fitbit made in developing the Sense 2 was to remove some of the features that contributed to it being a legit “smart” watch. This includes removing all third-party app support as well as Google Assistant (a truly puzzling decision considering Google is the parent company now and makes the Google Pixel Watch).
The watch does still have Amazon Alexa integration (albeit another puzzling decision), so it’s not devoid of a voice assistant altogether, though you do need to have your phone tethered to the watch to use it. And app-wise, outside of its native health and fitness features, the Sense 2 also offers Google Wallet and Google Maps (Android only) support. 
Fitbit Pay remains ostensibly available on the Sense 2. Of course, it also gets text, call, and email notifications, as well as a Find My Phone function, but these are the bare minimum standard features even non-smart wearables have. 
So, while the Sense 2 slots into the smartwatch category, you can’t help but be a little disappointed it’s not at least a little smarter. For those looking for a powerful, everyday smartwatch that also has robust fitness and wellness tracking, this might not be the best choice. 
The Fitbit Sense 2’s battery is one of its best features, lasting days before needing to be plugged in again. During my tests, I found the battery life to run for roughly five days, though I did use the GPS function often, which tends to drain the battery.
The fact it lasts for multiple days on end, kept me coming back to using the watch instead of being bogged down with needing to tediously charge it every night. To top it off, when I did need to charge it, the Sense 2 required roughly 12 minutes to get a full day’s charge, so there wasn’t a lot of waiting around for it to have enough juice. 

If you’re in the market for a fitness-focused tracker that’s somewhat smart savvy, then you’d have a hard time finding a better watch at the Sense 2’s great price point of $250. With new features like skin temperature sensing and in-depth stress-tracking, it’s a solid showing for Fitbit’s flagship. 
But despite the fact it’s a premium smartwatch that excels with health and fitness tracking, it comes up short in terms of smarts. And if the “smart” is important to you, you may want to opt for something else. While the Sense 2 is still one of the best Android smartwatches, other models offer far more smart capability. 
This isn’t to say there isn’t a market for the Sense 2, but rather it’s best used by those focused more on fitness and health metrics. If, for instance, you’re upgrading from a Versa 3 (or returning a Versa 4), then the Sense 2 is a solid choice. It just isn’t as “smart” as it lets on.
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