Buttons are a sensitive topic among smartwatch owners, but new images of the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 have been leaked. 9to5Google It indicates that the company is ditching the capacitive buttons for each of its next-generation smartwatches.
We got a hint that Fitbit might bring back the physical buttons on the Versa 4 a few months ago, but it wasn’t clear at the time if that would extend to the Sense 2. The decision isn’t surprising. Fitbit introduced the capacitive button as a way to create a slimmer profile and prevent unintended pressure, but it actually made for a tough user experience. Several Versa and Sense users have found the button to be unresponsive or simply unreliable. (Ironically, when I checked the original Sense, it was all too easy to accidentally trigger the capacitive button.)
Otherwise, Fitbit doesn’t seem to rock the boat much in terms of design. Aside from the physical buttons, the most notable update in these leaks is the Sense 2 frame. The original Sense built the EKG sensor in a delicate metal frame around the case. This time around, Fitbit appears to have managed to cram the EKG sensor into the frame itself, below the glass touchscreen. This may indicate that you have to touch the glass screen to complete the ECG circuit – which is unusual compared to other ECG-capable smartwatches. The Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, for example, require you to touch the metal buttons with your finger. It’s disappointing that Fitbit doesn’t seem to add more screen real estate, but hey, if you’re going to stick with an obscenely large bezel in 2022, you can also make the most of it.
Meanwhile, images of the array of Sense 2 sensors on the underside of the case reveal a new raised front – though anyone’s guess if that’s a significant change. It could hint at a new sensor, or maybe it’s the modified design to ensure better skin contact. What we do know is that markings near the bottom of the matrix (which are very faint in the photo) indicate that the device will have an EKG sensor, a body temperature sensor, built-in GPS, and a water resistance of 50 metres.
As for the Versa 4, the new images don’t reveal much. The sensor array appears to have not changed from the Versa 3, and according to 9to5GoogleThere is no EKG or body temperature sensor. It still has a microphone, as well as a built-in GPS and a water resistance of 50 metres. That suggests the Versa 4 may not add much on the hardware front, with any major updates coming in the form of new software-based features. To be fair, Fitbit isn’t shy about adding new Versa watches to its lineup. There was already four Versions of the smartwatch since it was first launched in 2018, each differing slightly from the previous one.
Looking at the images, it looks like an official launch is looming. However, 2022 was an odd year for Fitbit’s usual product cadence. The company generally releases at least one device in the spring and another in the late summer. However, spring 2022 has already come and gone with no new Fitbit in sight. Meanwhile, Google, which owns Fitbit, may muddy the waters with its plans to launch the Pixel Watch this fall. One of the standout features of the Pixel Watch will be the shiny new Fitbit integration — which Fitbit is ostensibly putting the finishing touches to on Google. This, plus any new software features for Sense 2 and Versa 4, is plenty for any one company you’re working on at once.
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