Fitbit Sense Review

In the last few years I have gone from thinking Smart Watches are a silly fitness fad, to borderline essential. I got my first one when I used to e-bike to work so I could see if someone like my wife was calling so I knew to find a spot to pull over, or if it was someone that could wait until I got off the thin road with cars driving past at 100Km\h.

Since then, even when I am not biking I have found the convenience of seeing a text or who is calling on my watch to be an absolute necessity. To date I have used the watches made by my phone maker which was the Galaxy Watch then the Oppo Watch. So I was keen to check out a watch from a company whose sole focus is this.

Bring on the Fitbit Sense.

Watch the battery

Seriously, I have lauded Oppo smart phones for their awesome battery life, but the Oppo watch they released had an atrocious battery life. I was lucky if I got a day out of it with the smart watch functions on. The Samsung I usually got two days out of it.

I have been using the Fitbit Sense for two weeks, and I only charged it for the third time yesterday. This is an absurdly excellent battery life.

Even better, you don’t have to keep an eye on the battery too closely. When the battery level hit 25% I got an email and a notification on the app on my phone saying it is getting low and to charge it.  

Because the watch has so many features like Sleep tracking, needing to have it on for long periods of time as opposed to charging it every night is essential, but this is good work from Fitbit.

Watch me walk

So one thing that has never worked quite right with the other branded watches is the motion tracking. Now I have no idea how accurate the Fitbit actually is, but it seems like I do a lot more steps in my daily life than I realised. Hitting the target steps a day was super easy until I had my operation which slowed me down a bit.

Now it will be my motivation to get me back up to normal amounts of walking.  

With a simple couple of swipe ups from the watch faces you all of a sudden open up you will see the distance you have walked, the floors you have climbed and other cool stats like that. I live in a split level house so it must have been picking that up as elevation which is another super cool stat I didn’t know I was smashing.

Watch your heart rate

This premium watch has a lot of awesome features. One is the NZ ECG app which recently got regulatory clearance in NZ. This simple test has you placing two fingers on the watch edges and it checks for irregular heart beats.

It reckoned my heartbeat was OK but I feel like it must have skipped a few beats as I watched my son do loops of the house to get his stats up on his Ace 3 and he cut it awfully close to the kitchen counter a few times. Though maybe watching your children almost kill themselves is regular for heart beats.

Then there is the EDA scan which checks the electrical charges in your skin to tell if you are stressed. To do this you put your hand over the watch for a minute and you close your eyes and chill for two minutes. I think the process of doing this and trying to regulate my breathing was the most relaxed I have been in years.

It even Watches you sleep

One of the coolest things is the stats it picks up throughout the day and night. You get scores based on how well you slept including in the different states. For the first week it seemed to line up to what I expected or felt, and one night where I had a rough sleep it definitely picked that up.

But then a couple of nights it reckoned I got four hours and under two hours when I had great sleep so it isn’t perfect, but based on some of the stuff I read it seems like maybe something weird happened like the tracker sat weirdly or was too loose. 

Either way the vast majority of this info it picks up, and added to things like your exercise and heart rate it gives you a health score for the day. This is cool because it is balancing the three things, exercise, chilling and sleeping that will result in a healthier life.

Watch Premium content on your watch

Fitbit Premium is $16.99 a month, and the Sense comes with a six month trial to get you up and running. Initially I was sceptical but it unlocks some cool stuff. There are video training sessions and some mindfulness sessions that do add some great value.

It also unlocks a heap of dashboards so you can micromanage your health even more, you know so you can relax as you stress over the stats and trends. Oh god fitness is starting to sound like my day job… but hey Deepak Chopra will help you chill with some of his mindfulness classes. Maybe that will take your mind off those stressful stress dashboards.

Watch this watch

The Fitbit Sense is an excellent piece of technology. An insane battery life, excellent smartwatch functionality, excellent health features, and whole lot more that opens up with the subscription service. Fitbit doesn’t only make fitness trackers, they make one truly premium smartwatch.

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