The Fitbit Charge 5 seems to be just around the corner, but Fitbit doesn’t want you to forget about its other fitness trackers and smartwatches, and has given the Fitbit Sense a makeover to win you over, with a new silver and gray color scheme, plus optional ‘scrunchie’ style leather bands. But is it enough?
The Sense is one of Fitbit’s most powerful watches, sports an impressive array of fitness tracking tools (most notably stress monitor), plus smartwatch features such as music streaming and NFC for contactless payments. If you’ve been thinking about investing in an Apple Watch but the price looks a little too steep, it’s well worth checking out.
However, if you’re looking for a fitness tracker, we’d recommend holding fire for a little longer, because the Charge 5 could really shake things up.
The Charge 4 made a splash when it launched in March last year thanks to its on-board GPS, which allowed owners to track their running, walking and cycling routes without carrying their phone. It wasn’t the first Fitbit to do so (the Ionic and Surge also had their own GPS), but it was by far the smallest and slimmest, and held the number one spot in our guide to the best fitness trackers for many months as a result.
The Charge 4’s main drawback (aside from its somewhat dated design) was its screen – a fairly low resolution monochrome display that could only show a very short snippet of text or data at a time.
That all looks set to change with the Charge 5. If recently leaked images are to be believed, the next-gen fitness tracker will not only carry over the features that made its predecessor such a hit, but will also have a high-res AMOLED display like that of the Fitbit Luxe.
Together, all these features could well make the Charge 5 the best Fitbit to date, and it may be wise to wait until we get our first official look at its specs before investing in an older model.
Still, the Sense will likely still have some advantages over the Charge 5, including its signature stress-tracking, which uses changes in your skin’s conductivity as a way to monitor adrenal activity – plus its stylish new design options.
At launch, the Sense was available in two colorways: a black stainless steel case with a Carbon Black band, or a soft gold case with a Lunar White band. If neither of those options appeal, you can now also opt for a silver-toned case, finished off with a Sage Gray strap.
It’s a subtle look that fits the Biologic Industrial Design Language Fitbit introduced in 2020, which uses shapes and shades designed to work with the human body.
If you’re still not tempted, there are also two new leather ‘scrunchie’ wrist bands from indie designer Brother Vellies, which fit both the Sense and the Versa 3. The bands are available in two colors (black and oak), and are tanned using traditional techniques.
They cost $54.95 / £49.99 / AU$89.95 each, and are on sale now direct from Fitbit. That’s not an unexpected price for a designer accessory, but considering the Charge 5 might sell for $149.95 / £129.99 / AU$229.95 when it arrives, it’s worth taking your time to see which option is better value for you personally.