Fitbit looks like it may be about to launch not one, but two smartwatches. That’s not the first time we’ve heard rumors of this, but now a series of images have appeared at WinFuture.
So, what can we learn from the new images? Here’s what we think we know.
There are two smartwatches coming, and an updated tracker.
While both watches are distinctively Fitbit in their design, there’s a gentle but definite update from the current Fitbit Versa 2. It seems that the Fitbit Versa 3 is the direct successor to the Versa 2 but there will also be something called the Fitbit Sense, which seems to have metallic finishes and different sensors on board. It looks like a pricier watch and may be a direct replacement for the Fitbit Ionic which has a design that’s beginning to show its age.
There’s also an updated version of the Fitbit Inspire tracker, which looks sleeker in these images.
The most noticeable design upgrade is that the side button has changed. On the Sense and Versa 3 it’s much less pronounced than on the Versa 2.
Some commentators have said that the button is completely flush or even concave and uses a capacitive sensor instead. That’s possible, but to me the button in the sensor is still slightly sticking out, so I think it’s wrong.
Either way, the view from the front is much better this way.
On the Fitbit Inspire 2, there’s no button, only the capacitive area seen on some earlier trackers and which means there’s one fewer moving part.
The Versa 2, released at $199.99 and – I’d say – the best affordable smartwatch for Android users, used this button for, among other things, voice control. Press it and you can summon Alexa.
With Google’s takeover of Fitbit continuing, it’s more likely that the company would install its own voice assistant on the watch. But the merger hasn’t finalized yet, so it’s possible Alexa will still be on the Versa 3 (at launch, anyway).
And it’s possible that Alexa could be summoned by voice only, not by pressing a button: you have to press the button on the Versa 2, but a faster processor could obviate the need for a physical press. Which would be better.
On the back of the alleged Fitbit Versa 3, there are three icons, one indicating the presence of a GPS chip, one claiming waterproofing to 50 meters and… a microphone. So, that suggests voice control will be used on the Versa 3.
There’s no microphone on the back of what’s said to be the Fitbit Sense, but that may be down to the fact that there are four icons already, so there’s no space. Which brings me to…
Heart rate tracking
The rear of the Sense image shows a heart symbol. Well, there’s clearly a way to measure heart rate on the Versa 3, after all, the heart is there on the display and the sensors on the back of the watch suggest it. But the rear icon on the Sense may indicate a more sophisticated system. Fitbit has used this icon before to indicate continuous heart tracking.
Or, could it mean more sophisticated capabilities such as ECG/EKG tracking, something the Apple Watch has had for well over a year and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch3 has (in Korea only, for the moment)?
There’s also a thermometer icon, and temperature monitoring may be a timely addition in these times.
The Fitbit Sense shows heart rate, sleep tracking and steps on its screen. For the record, though, I would be flabbergasted if the Versa 3 didn’t have sleep tracking as well as the Sense.
New band design?
Roland Quandt at WinFuture believes there may be a different way to change the straps on the new smartwatches. If so, this won’t please fans who have straps from previous Versa models. One of the benefits for Apple Watch users has been that every model has been compatible with the same straps – even when the watch case size changed. Fans will be hoping that the same will apply here.
When will we see the new watches and tracker?
It’s noticeable that the date on view is October 10 on the Fitbit Sense. However, since the Versa 2 says Wed 23 (the 23rd falls on a Wednesday in September) and Inspire 2 says November 28, I think it’s possible that these are simply dates and nothing should be read into it.
Even so, three new Fitbits is an exciting proposition, especially if there are new and upgraded sensors to match the improved designs.
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