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Fitbit Sense 3 wishlist: All the features I want to see

Here's hoping Fitbit puts the smarts back into Fitbit smartwatches.
By
January 5, 2024
Fitbit Sense 2 dashboard
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Fitbit devices remain among the most popular wearables available, including the company’s top smartwatch lineups. The health-focused Fitbit Sense line is the brand’s top tier, with advanced sensors and a range of smartwatch tools. While I wasn’t blown away by the latest model during my Fitbit Sense 2 review, I am excited to see what lies in store for the series. Here’s z list of features I’d like to see from a hypothetical (so far) Fitbit Sense 3.

Familiar design, improved specs

A Fitbit Sense 2 rests face down on pebbles, displaying its sensor package.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

If one arrives, the Fitbit Sense 3 will likely feature a familiar, rounded rectangle watch case with a vibrant touchscreen AMOLED display and interchangeable bands. The line’s design only changed nominally between the Sense and Sense 2, with the latter model offering a slightly thinner and lighter build. The second Sense model also replaced the first’s capacitive groove with a physical button, which made navigation much easier.

Both past generations also feature an array of useful health sensors for tracking users’ key specs, including Active Zone Minutes, sleep, SpO2, heart rate, and skin temperature. Each provides ECG readings in supported countries. The Sense 2 introduced continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) readings via its Body Response sensor. I hope to see the return of all of these useful features and, ideally, a few more. It is because of the lineup’s advanced sensors that I consider it the best in-house smartwatch for anyone with health concerns. I hope to see Fitbit continue to add more resources and tools to that end.

A potential Fitbit Sense 3 is likely to bring back the same advanced health sensors, fitness tracking, and battery life specs users have come to associate with the company's stable.

The Fitbit Sense line also has a lot to offer in terms of basic fitness tracking which I hope to see on the Sense 3 as well. In addition to a range of sport profiles, the device will likely offer auto-workout detection and built-in GPS. Google Maps, NFC support for Google Pay, voice assistance, and phone call support via a built-in microphone and speaker are other things I’d like to see.Finally, Fitbit is known for its impressive battery specs compared to other leading devices, and I hope to see multi-day battery life approaching a week in length. Battery life could help the Sense lineup stay attractive compared to Google’s Pixel Watch.

Back in with the old (specifically the smartwatch features)

A Fitbit Sense 2 rests alongside a user's phone displaying the Fitbit app.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

I’d like to see Fitbit backpedal some of the decisions made when launching the Fitbit Sense 2. When the Versa 3 and original Sense hit wrists, I was thrilled with Fitbit’s attempt to enter the smartwatch race more aggressively. Then, in 2022, the company stripped the new models of Wi-Fi support and third-party app support, kneecapping the Versa 4 and Sense 2 to encourage shoppers toward the Pixel Watch line. The devices also dropped Google Assistant, leaving just Amazon’s Alexa as the sole voice assistant. The final blow came in March 2023, when Fitbit removed music storage support, further weakening all Fitbit smartwatches.

My biggest hope for the next generation of Fitbit smartwatches is that these basic features return to round out the devices. It’s hard to imagine Fitbit remaining a viable smartwatch competitor without them. As Fitbit continues to improve its leading band-style tracker lines, smart features are needed to keep devices like the Sense 3 from being obsolete.

GPS accuracy improvements

A Fitbit Sense 2 displays a user's step count.
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Similarly, the Fitbit Sense 2 seemed to take a step backward regarding GPS accuracy compared to the original Sense. I frequently tout Fitbit devices as great picks for basic activity tracking. That isn’t a niche I think Fitbit should relinquish. However, accurate GPS isn’t just for advanced athletes; it’s a tool as useful as basic step counting for all users. The flukey heart rate accuracy I ran into during my Fitbit Sense 2 review needs to be addressed in order for the Sense 3 to stand as a worthwhile device.

Music storage and music controls

A user loads the Spotify app on their older Fitbit smartwatch.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Even though I already mentioned the cutting of music storage above, the topic deserves its own entry on our wishlist. Access to playlists is an important part of fitness training for many users. For a smartwatch line to offer no music storage and further, to drop music controls, is genuinely baffling. I hope Fitbit reconsiders this move and brings back both on the Sense 3.

A universal charger

I know it’s shouting into the void to keep asking brands to retire their proprietary chargers, but I’ll scream away anyway. Fast, reliable charging is crucial to the user experience on all wearables. Fitbit offers some of the best battery specs in the game. I just want to see less e-waste and more compatibility between products and the mess of cables I already own.

Which upgrade would you like to see most on the Fitbit Sense 3?

233 votes

Will there be a Fitbit Sense 3?

A Fitbit Sense 2 rests on pebbles, display a watch face.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Aside from the oppressive shadow of the Pixel Watch 2, there’s no reason not to expect Fitbit to continue the Sense lineup, at least not at this point. While there have only been two generations launched so far, the smartwatches represent Fitbit’s highest-end wearables with advanced features for anyone focusing on health stats. It’s unlikely Fitbit will abandon the offering.

The only reason I hesitate to call the Sense 3 a sure thing is the uncertainty of Google’s Fitbit ownership. The Google Pixel Watch line threw a curveball at the Fitbit stable, and only time will tell how the situation will play out. We’ve already seen some negative impacts with features stripped back from the Sense 2.

As mentioned, there have only been two Fitbit Sense generations so far. The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Sense 2 landed two years apart in 2020 and 2022. Given the lack of rumors we’ve heard thus far, it’s most likely that the Sense 3 isn’t slated for this upcoming launch cycle, but will continue a biannual pattern. My expectation is that the device will land in the fall of 2024.

Should you wait for the Fitbit Sense 3?

A user reviews their workout stats on wrist.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

This early on, it’s hard to say if the Sense 3 will be worth the wait. However, I don’t recommend purchasing a Fitbit Sense 2 ($299.95 at Amazon) unless you’re heart is absolutely set on a Fitbit-specific device, and you have health concerns that call for extra sensors. Without Wi-Fi or third-party app support, the smartwatch is simply too watered down to warrant my heartfelt support. If you can wait for it, I’m hopeful that a Sense 3 could offer a more well-rounded experience than its older sibling. If the uncertain timeline makes you wary, I also suggest looking at the Pixel Watch 2, which is available right now. It offers thorough Fitbit integration in addition to the powerful Wear OS platform.

Beyond the Google/Fitbit ecosystem, there are also several great options. The latest Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ($299.99 at Samsung) packs a powerful health and fitness tracking suite. For iOS users, the Apple Watch Series 9 ($392.67 at Amazon) or Apple Watch SE 2022 ($189 at Amazon) are by far the best picks. In short, at the price range, the Sense line falls into, there is a lot of competition to consider.