Most people, us included, expected big 2022 Fitbit watches like the Fitbit Sense 2 to use Google’s Wear OS 3 software. That didn’t happen. But some may be fooled by how much these watches look and feel like a Pixel Watch in action.
9to5Google reports (opens in new tab) the interface of the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa is a dead ringer for that of (largely) plain Wear OS, as seen in the Montblanc Summit 3. This particular wearable is the one Google Wear OS 3 watch you can buy that doesn’t have a thick layer of Samsung interface sauce slathered on top. It’s much closer to vanilla Wear OS, which is what the Pixel Watch is going to use when it's launched.
Big whoop? It means a significant change for existing fans of the best Fitbits, as the Sense 2 is going to operate rather differently from the original Sense.
To access notifications, you swipe up rather than down. When you flick left or right in a Sense 2, you’ll get “tiles” showing data screens and activity options. Those swipes in a first-get Sense would either bring up your apps or feature toggle shortcuts. Other little interface elements are to be injected with the Google look, bringing buttons and icons much more in line with what we’ll eventually see in the long-awaited Pixel Watch. Fewer sharp-lined blocks of colour, more rounded-off shapes.
These changes may take a little while to bed into for loyal Fitbit fans, but we’ll be more than happy to do so if Fitbit has also rid itself of the slightly lethargic feel of its older top-tier watches.
Wear OS: Battery Life Edition
So. Does this mean the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 basically run Wear OS 3 Lite?
You could call it that. Let’s hope Fitbit and Google don’t; it would just confuse everyone. And this UI change does not mean you get access to the Google Play app store or the full set of Wear OS 3 features.
We’re not persuaded you should want that anyway. The Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2 are rated for six days of use between charges, which we are not going to see in a Wear OS watch until someone invents a Marvel’s Iron Man battery that fits on your wrist.
This represents Google brands beginning to share a common design language — Google bought Fitbit back at the beginning of 2021. It means if Fitbit does actually announce a legit Wear OS watch before the heat death of the universe, it will slot right in next to the Sense 2 and Versa 4.
The Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa will start shipping from September 23 in the US and September 29 in the UK. Until then, have a look at the best Fitbit deals currently available on these ever-so-popular wearables.