Gorgeous health tracker, lacklustre smartwatch

Fitbit Sense is clean, polished and tracks plenty of biometrics accurately

This Fitbit Sense smartwatch tracks a lot of biometrics fast and accurately. For instance, it tracks the usual heart rate, steps, floors climbed and the unusual like your stress level, skin temperature, how well you sleep, electrodermal activities (EDA), and SpO2 (oxygen saturation level), and comes in a nicely compact clean looking square body.

SpO2 can be measured only after a few nights of wearing it to bed, which, for people with less patience, may not be fast enough. But this is something that very few smartwatches can measure. SpO2 indicates how much oxygen your red blood cells are carrying and it should not be lower than 95%. If it goes lower than that, you may experience headaches, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath or chest pain and it can be a sign of asthma, heart disease and other chronic diseases. So, being able to measure SpO2 can be quite useful for people who have health concerns.

If you don't like wearing a watch in bed, you will not get full use of all the things the Fitbit Sense can measure.

The watch has a built-in GPS to track your outdoor workouts without the need to take your phone with you. Serious runners will love this feature since it will lessen the load that one has to carry while going at it. It has plenty of outdoor workout tracking modes to choose from but has slightly fewer selections for indoor ones. I couldn't find one to track my exercise on an elliptical trainer or a spin bike.

The watch can even be worn while you go swimming and the battery will often last around three-to-four days with the always-on display switched to full brightness and all the tracking doing their things. But this can be pushed to more than six days if you have things like the always-on display turned off. Not too shabby. My other smartwatches usually last less than two days.

Straps can be changed with newer ones easily though they would have to be ordered from Fitbit due to its non-standard joints. The charging cable magnetically snaps on very firmly and will not become disconnected accidentally.

Fitbit app is the companion app for Fitbit Sense, which allows you to install faces to the watch of which there are lots, and allows you to install apps, manage notifications and other settings. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The app also has a robust workout and other biometric reports, which is especially useful to understand the stats.

Fitbit seems to not be focusing on Thai people though. They have no Thai language support on their watches even though it has been requested on Fitbit's online forum for years, however, it seems to have been ignored. Since this is a smartwatch and it is supposed to receive notifications regularly, for a person who gets alerts in Thai all the time this is not acceptable. I simply turned the notifications off as I was getting gibberish instead of Thai.

I have used a few smartwatches before and this Fitbit seems to be the only one that can seamlessly resynchronise to a phone after it gets reset or connect to a totally new smartphone without much pain. My other smartwatch, the TicWatch Pro, needs to be reset every time I need to do the aforementioned.

Since Fitbit has a less open system than Android's WearOS, there are fewer apps and watch faces to play around with. If you have used the watch face app Facer that lets you have access to thousands of choices, having a couple of hundred choices, like on this Fitbit, is kind of a downer. The good thing is that Fitbit already offers a bunch of nice-looking ones out of the box.

Because this Fitbit Sense is one of the few smartwatches that can measure your SpO2 level and is renowned for biometric measurement accuracy, it is suitable for people who are health conscious and want to have a minimalist, gorgeous and clean smartwatch to go on their wrist.

SPECS

  • Display 1.58-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 3 AMOLED touchscreen
  • Body Aluminium with silicone straps
  • Waterproof level 5ATM
  • Trackable biometrics Stress, heart rate, skin temperature, sleep, SpO2, steps, exercises
  • Smartwatch function Notification alerts, receive calls
  • Other NFC, GPS
  • Memory 4GB for storing music files
  • Price 11,990 baht
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