Fitbit Sense 2 Review: Past the point of no return with no regrets

The return window on my Fitbit Sense 2 officially closed a couple weeks ago, and I’m pretty pleased with the watch. I had a bit of a bumpy start with syncing issues and some other complaints, but it’s really grown on me these last 6 weeks.

A little background: I switched to iPhone and got the Apple Watch in October 2022. Barely 5 months later, and I was more than ready to return to Android 😂 Simultaneously, I wanted to truly prioritize health and fitness with a gentle approach to stay in alignment with my values and focus on sustainability. I want to make changes for life, not for a few months.

In the last few years, I’ve been eating poorly and become increasingly sedentary. This has affected me in many undesirable ways, including decreased energy, worsened sleep apnea, and weight gain, to name a few. Since the Apple Watch motivated me to stand up more, I set out to replace it with an Android wearable with basic smartwatch features that would support me in my quest to prioritize my health and wellness. That’s how we got here.

Click a link below to check out the other blog about my experience with the Fitbit Sense 2.

Click a link below to jump to that section.

  1. Fitbit and prioritizing my health
  2. Premium features are surprisingly good
  3. Stress management can be inconsistent but super valuable
  4. In closing: The Fitbit Sense 2 is exactly what I was looking for

Photos taken by the author; images of any apps or watch faces are property of their respective owners.

Fitbit and prioritizing my health

It’s been 6 weeks since I bought the Fitbit Sense 2 to help me focus on my health, so how’s it going?

Let’s be real: The kinds of habits I want to build need more than 6 weeks, but the Sense 2 has helped me get a jump start. I’m definitely paying more attention to the choices I make with food, and I’m moving more than I used to.

Because Fitbit sends a summary of stats for the previous week, I can say with confidence that it’s going well, for the most part. I say for the “most part” because I got a bit derailed the last 2 weeks, but I’m ready to get back on track now.

Below is a gallery of my weekly summaries. I look forward to these every Tuesday! I was only going to show the first 3 weeks of summaries because they show a nice upward trend of activity, but life happens, and that’s ok.

These emails are a great way to celebrate wins. They do a good job of highlighting what I did well and showing where I could improve without making me feel judged or guilty. For example, when I saw the drops in activity in the first summary for April, it was a gentle nudge to get back out there. I didn’t berate myself, but I also knew it wasn’t what I wanted and was able to get back on track.

Previously, I may have taken much longer to make an effort after a setback, so it’s nice that I was able to do so much faster this time.

Premium features are surprisingly good

I thought giving a free 6-month trial to premium was generous, but now I realize it’s actually brilliant. Fitbit knows these things take time, and 6 months is enough time to get settled with a new device and start to explore. I’m 6 weeks in and only now starting to explore the premium features other than sleep tracking. If I’d only been given a 30-day trial, I would’ve missed out (you’d think knowing I had a shorter deadline would motivate me to try them sooner, but I wouldn’t’ve).

I just signed up for my first fitness program last week. The one I chose is only 3 workouts per week for 3 weeks, with the flexibility to do the workouts any day and in any order.

I signed up for it last Thursday, so that was my first day. But having day 1 on a Thursday bugged me and I hadn’t done any workouts yet, so I dropped the program and restarted Saturday instead. I was given the option to set up reminders, but I don’t tend to like reminders, so I didn’t. I haven’t actually done any of them, so I can’t comment on the quality, but I really like that the program appears in the Today screen of the app to help me keep on top of it.

Programs seem geared towards beginners and are super easy to drop or restart. A lot of the videos are short, some are even 5 or 10 minutes, but they have longer options too.

My Fitbit Sense 2 sleep animal watch face for April is a bear. Rawr!

I also started listening to guided meditations last week. The meditations at bedtime help me fall asleep, so that’s been a fantastic addition to my routine. They aren’t all led by the same instructor, so I’ve tried a few to get a feel for the instructors and find ones I like.

One of my favorite premium features is getting my sleep animal on the first of every month. I’ve only gotten one so far, but I’m looking forward to May 1 to see what it is. I hope it’s a different animal for fun, but I suspect it’ll be the same since my sleep habits haven’t changed much.

I am curious how accurate their descriptions of the animals’ sleep are, but even if it’s not totally accurate, that’s ok cause it’s a cute way to explain sleep habits, and the special watch face is great too.

Stress management can be inconsistent but super valuable

One of the things I was most curious about when I bought the Fitbit Sense 2 was the stress management features. I’ve never had a device that claimed to help users manage stress, but I was intrigued since I certainly could use help with that. I also practice mindfulness and body awareness, so I’m often aware when I’m having a physical reaction to a stressor.

As I mentioned in my first impressions post, I was amazed that the Sense 2 picked up on my stress when I simply started thinking about a stressful situation. But I was much less impressed when it didn’t pick up anything at all when I nearly had an anxiety attack on a plane. Not even a little blip. I’m not sure if the device was affected by my phone being in airplane mode, but it seemed weird.

In 6 weeks of almost constant wear, the watch picked up a few responses each day, but I’ve only had 3 check-ins from my watch due to stress responses. Each time was when I was slightly stressed or frustrated, and I actually noticed my heart pounding a bit.

Other than that, I’ve noticed that just having this feature makes me pause when I’m experiencing some sort of stress. Even if I don’t get a notification from the watch, I’m more likely to notice my emotions and pause for an EDA scan because I’m curious about what the watch will pick up.

The scan requires the user to sit still and hold one palm over the face the watch for 2 entire minutes; I use this as an opportunity to close my eyes and breathe deeply.

An extra 2 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but that pause between trigger and reaction is an important part of mindfulness, and sometimes that’s all I need. In this way, the Sense 2 has helped me be more mindful in the moments I most need mindfulness.

I’ve been amazed to see how often I feel at least a little bit better and my heart rate has lowered after doing an EDA check-in.

In closing: The Fitbit Sense 2 is exactly what I was looking for

I’m really enjoying the Fitbit Sense 2. I only thought about returning it during all the growing pains of the first week, but after that, I’ve barely missed the Apple Watch. I actually use more features of the Sense 2 than the Apple Watch, which I used mostly for logging supplements, notifications, and hourly move reminders.

I still get at least 3 days minimum out of the Sense 2’s battery. I have so little battery anxiety with this device (which is saying something in itself!) that I usually don’t charge it until it tells me to. I was also relieved when I discovered the Fitbit Sense 2 respects your phone’s do not disturb mode even if the DND icon on the watch isn’t lit up.

I agree with other reviewers that it’s expensive for what it does, especially if you use more actual smart watch features than I do. But the Sense 2 managed to be exactly what I was looking for, and in ways I wouldn’t expect from a wearable. I’m enjoying the programs so far, and I was skeptical of the stress management features, but they’ve all been welcome additions to my routine.

Most importantly, that extra moment I’ve found between a trigger and a reaction has been the most surprising of all. I feel connected to my mindfulness practice in a different way, and I have the Sense 2 to thank for that.

The Fitbit Sense 2 has added a lot of value to my life so far, and I hope it continues to help me reach my goals for my health and wellness.

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I’m really enjoying the Fitbit Sense 2. If you’re interested after reading the posts in this series, check it out!

Buy the Fitbit Sense 2 on Amazon

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