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Fitbit Sense 2 hands-on: Hitting the button for a lot of money

NextPit fitbit sense 2 screen
© NextPit

Fitbit also exhibited the Sense 2 at IFA 2022. We were able to get our hands on the new smartwatch. The first impression shows a pretty wearable with an impressive change. However, it is not the capacitive button that the manufacturer, which now belongs to Google, should have changed compared to the predecessor. Let's go to the hands-on!

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Good

  • Haptic button useful improvement
  • Still elegant
  • Still powerful
  • Google Maps & Google Wallet via update

Bad

  • Many features still behind paywall
  • Only one model for all wrists

Fitbit Sense 2 release date and price

The new Fitbit Sense 2 goes on sale on September 19 at a price of $299.95. You have to choose between the colors night gray, moon white, and noble blue. In addition to the smartwatch, we also recommend subscribing to Fitbit Premium, because this is the only way to get access to all the smartwatch's features. However, the subscription costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Design & Display

The design of the Fitbit Sense 2 has hardly changed. First and foremost, it is the new button that the manufacturer inserts into the casing on the left side. This is a small change, but a very sensible one. In the test of the first Fitbit Sense, Stefan complained about incorrect inputs that occurred during push-ups, for example.

Fitbit revealed in a conversation at IFA 2022 that many customers had wanted a real button. And lo and behold, it works - and is not visually distracting on the pretty smartwatch. A possible drawback: The Fitbit Sense is still only available in a case size of 40.5 × 40.5 × 12.3 millimeters.

Fitbit Sense 2 review
A mechanical button now sits on the left side of the Sense 2 again. / © NextPit

As with the predecessor, the AMOLED display is bright, sharp and looks really pretty on the stand. Operation is largely via swipe gestures, which might not please every smartwatch user.

Tracking and fitness

As a Fitbit smartwatch, the Sense 2 is naturally supposed to record your vital data. Fitbit chooses a particularly holistic approach of sports, recovery, stress prevention, and sleep tracking. However, if you want to use all features, you have to add the premium subscription for $9.99 per month.

The Sense 2 even supports the creation of an ECG, in which the smartwatch sends small electric shocks through your body. To do so, you place your hand on the watch and wait for about 30 seconds. Although the ECG data is not accurate enough to replace a real ECG, it can still indicate problems with your cardiovascular system.

Fitbit Sense 2 review
The Fitbit Sense 2 again offers numerous tracking functions / © NextPit

Fitbit has newly introduced the "Sleep Animals" with the Sense 2, which you can also display with other Fitbit models. At IFA, our press contact was a sleeping hedgehog, as she has been nocturnal in recent days. There are a total of five animals for you to choose from - the fact that this feature is worth mentioning in a hands-on already says a lot about the innovations in Fitbit's new smartwatch.

Fitbit Sense 2 review
Which sleeping animal is yours? / © NextPit

As with its predecessor, there are again mindfulness features for breathing exercises, reducing stress, and more. Again, they are only available in the Premium subscription.

Smart features

The Sense 2 is a real smartwatch—and thus supports the installation of apps, can show you notifications and more. Unfortunately, Fitbit does not yet use WatchOS 3.0 despite its new affiliation with Google. You can find out which smartwatches are compatible with the new operating system in the linked overview.

Unfortunately, the banana principle applies to the Sense 2 at the market launch, just like to the predecessor. Two exciting apps will only be available on the smartwatch in the course of the year. You will have to do without Google Maps and Google Wallet, which used to be called Google Pay and was actually called Fitbit Pay at Fitbit. Instead, there is turn-by-turn navigation for your routes, just like in the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Fitbit Sense 2 battery

The manufacturer claims that the Fitbit Sense 2's battery life is more than six days. Of course, we were not able to test it at IFA— but it is good that you can fully charge the smartwatch in just ten minutes .

Final verdict

Overall, the Fitbit Sense 2 is a very, very incremental upgrade. It is good that the manufacturer listens to its community and replaces the capacitive button with a real button. However, many criticisms of the predecessor remain.

You still have to sign up for an expensive subscription, which is still the biggest point of criticism. It does not help that Fitbit told us that the subscription numbers are continuously increasing. Apparently, Fitbit sees itself confirmed in this, but I will continue to rail against the "premiumization" of expensive products until the manufacturers stop this nonsense!

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