Would you call these devices smartwatches or health-tracking wearables? Fitbit continues to blur the line between the two categories with its new fall lineup, featuring updates of the Inspire 3, Versa 4, and Sense 2 devices that combine traditional smartwatch features with increased health-and-fitness related capabilities. Let’s take a look at what these new wearables can do.
Fitbit’s most health-centered offering, the Sense 2, puts stress management at the forefront of its functionality with the ability to monitor the wearer’s stress indicators throughout the day. To do this, the watch measures changes in the sweat levels in a person’s skin — otherwise called electrodermal activity (EDA) — as bodies often respond to stressful stimuli by producing more sweat. A stress notification alerts the wearer to a potential issue, with suggestions of physical activity or deep-breathing exercises that can help to induce calm. With an app, a wearer can do an EDA scan that offers instant feedback and collates the data in a stress management score. As sleep and stress are often related, the Sense 2 also has a range of sleep functions, tracking one’s sleep stages from light to deep and REM.
With other functions, the Sense 2 seems to have more kinship with health trackers than smartwatches, featuring the ability to track SpO2 (blood oxygen), which can catch a range of telltale signs related to heart conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and more. The Sense 2 gauges resting heart rate and, in conjunction with an ECG app, checks for irregular heart rhythms. Plus it tracks heart rate variability (the time between heartbeats) to monitor for trends that may indicate a lack of sleep, over-training, and more. Paired with the Fitbit app to record health data from other sources, the Sense 2 can track blood glucose, and the device also offers menstrual health tracking.
While the Inspire 3 and Versa 4 have less to offer in the health-related realm, they do have notable features that are commonly found on health trackers. In addition to SpO2 tracking, the Inspire 3 detects variations in skin temperature, tracks heart rate variability, checks for indicators of irregular heart rhythms, and can track blood glucose in conjunction with the Fitbit app. While more fitness-focused, the Versa 4 has many of the Inspire 3’s health-related features, plus functions to help manage sleep and stress on top of traditional smartwatch features including on-wrist Bluetooth calls, built-in Alexa, and more.