Wednesday, June 12, 2024

8 features I want on the Fitbit Sense 3 (if there is one)

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The Fitbit Sense 2 lying sideways in moss.Andy Zahn / Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The Fitbit Sense 2 is Fitbit’s most advanced and expensive smartwatch. Its features include an electrocardiogram (ECG) app, sleep monitoring, GPS, and heart rate monitoring. Additionally, it has exercise tracking, stress management tools, and a skin temperature sensor. The watch also features Google Maps and Google Wallet, among other things.

Contents

  • Wear OS (and the Google Play Store)
  • Bring back the Google Assistant
  • Wi-Fi support
  • Add music storage support
  • An even better battery
  • New materials
  • Make it more like the Pixel Watch
  • A price change, in one direction or another
  • Will there even be a Fitbit Sense 3?Show 4 more items

Google launched the Fitbit Sense 2 in September 2022, two years after the first model. This suggests that we may see the release of a Fitbit Sense 3 before the year ends. The features and design of the new Fitbit smartwatch are still unknown, but we have some suggestions. Interestingly, many of the items on our wish list are features that were present in the first Fitbit Sense, but removed from the second version.

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Wear OS (and the Google Play Store)

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Fitbit Sense models do not support the Google Play Store, which is unsurprising as they do not come with Wear OS. Despite this, the first Fitbit Sense did offer some third-party apps, such as Spotify.

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To resolve this issue, Google should consider including Wear OS in the next Fitbit Sense, thus enabling Play Store support. Alternatively, Google could bring back select third-party apps for the wearable device — these were removed from the Fitbit Sense 2. Unfortunately, in the EU, access to such apps will be removed from all Fitbit products by June 2024, which suggests that Google may be taking the wrong direction entirely. Conversely, it could mean Google is preparing to bring Wear OS to future Fitbit products. Let’s certainly hope it’s the latter!

Bring back the Google Assistant

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Removing third-party app access from the second Fitbit Sense was a significant setback for many users. Similarly, the loss of support for Google Assistant, a feature many of us rely on, was equally concerning. It’s unclear why this change was made, but it needs to be addressed in the next model. After all, Google owns Fitbit, and it would make sense for its flagship voice assistant to be supported on the device.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Apple would remove Siri support from its devices and replace it with a competitor’s voice assistant like Amazon Alexa. It’s simply not something that would happen, and for good reason.

Wi-Fi support

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Unlike the first Fitbit Sense, the Fitbit Sense 2 watch can only communicate with a supported smartphone through Bluetooth. Although the watch has Wi-Fi hardware, it is not available to be used. You guessed it: We want the Fitbit Sense 3 to have Wi-Fi support, which provides faster speeds and a longer range than Bluetooth. This was another strange downgrade from the first Fitbit Sense to the Sense 2, so if we ever get a Sense 3, hopefully, this is something Google can rectify.

Add music storage support

Fitbit

The ability to store music on a smartwatch is a highly sought-after feature by fitness enthusiasts and music lovers. Fitbit had previously included this feature in some of its products, but it was later removed. It would be great to see this feature come back in the next version of the Fitbit Sense, as it would make workouts and runs more enjoyable since you wouldn’t need your smartphone nearby to enjoy your favorite tunes.

An even better battery

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The Fitbit Sense can last up to six days before requiring charging, which is quite impressive compared to other wearable devices like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Google Pixel Watch 2. However, if the Fitbit Sense 3 could extend its battery life beyond six days, it would be a fantastic feature that users would appreciate. Maybe Google can kick this up to seven days or one week between charges. It’s hard to say if this will actually happen, but we can certainly hope.

New materials

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

The Fitbit Sense 2 smartwatch is built with aluminum, which is also used in some versions of the Apple Watch and other smartwatches. Google may consider upgrading the material of the Fitbit Sense 3 to titanium for at least one version, but the cost might make this unfeasible. Nonetheless, it remains on this wish list. The Fitbit Sense 3 will need to do a lot to stand out from the growing smartwatch/fitness tracker competition, and fresh materials could go a long way in making that happen.

Make it more like the Pixel Watch

Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Nearly everything on this list aims to bring back features from the initial Fitbit Sense or integrate Google features such as Wear OS and Play Store accessibility. However, with Google’s uncertain long-term plans for Fitbit, turning the Fitbit Sense 3 into another Pixel Watch could be the best option.

While the Pixel Watch 2 has a circular display, the Fitbit Sense 2 has a more square-shaped display. To provide shoppers with more options, Google could retain this design and rebrand the product as the Pixel 3 Square.

A price change, in one direction or another

Fitbit

The Fitbit Sense 2 is priced at $250, which is relatively high considering its limitations. The Fitbit Versa 4, on the other hand, is priced at $200, leaving a little room for a price adjustment on any new Fitbit Sense that Google might release, assuming it’s similar to the current version.

In this case, Google should consider dropping the price slightly. However, a price hike wouldn’t be unexpected if Google decides to make the next Fitbit Sense more like the Pixel Watch. For context, the Pixel Watch 2 starts at $350. While a price hike may not be considered good news, it would be justified if the new features included in the next version merit one.

Will there even be a Fitbit Sense 3?

Andy Zahn / Digital Trends

Readding, introducing, and improving features or reshaping the Fitbit Sense into a new version of the Pixel Watch are sound choices. And yet, it could be that Google never releases a new Fitbit Sense and instead decides to focus solely on its Pixel Watch 2 successor, which is expected to launch before the end of the year. That wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Regardless, it would be a shame if Google killed off the Fitbit lineup and name entirely. Recent models like the Fitbit Charge 6 prove that standalone Fitbits still have their place, and with a few smart changes, a Fitbit Sense 3 could make a lot of … sense.

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