Technology

Where is Fitbit’s Wear OS watch?

2022 is going to be a big year for Wear OS. It should be Google Making your own Pixel Watch (anew). Older Wear OS 2 watches should finally be on the agenda Switch to Wear OS 3. Samsung has promised this Google Assistant will be comes to his Galaxy Watch 4 in the coming months.” But there’s something notably missing from this Wear OS lineup: Fitbit.

Because Google and Samsung first announced their partnership At last year’s Google I/O, Fitbit CEO James Park wasn’t shy. He has said multiple times that a premium Fitbit smartwatch running Wear OS is in the works. This year, Wear OS 3 will debut on a larger scale. It would have been excellent timing to introduce a Wear OS Fitbit. However, a 9to5Google report notes that while code uncovered in the Fitbit app hints at several new products, not a single one will run Wear OS.

Instead, it looks like Fitbit is planning a Sense 2, Versa 4, and Fitbit Luxe 2. The code reportedly refers to a “software bridge” that exchanges data between the device and the phone via Bluetooth. According to the report, Wear OS uses a different method of sharing data between your phone and watch – meaning the Wear OS watch probably wouldn’t need this so-called bridge. Two of the rumored devices have the same square screen resolution as Versa 3 and Sense. The other matches the Luxe. That suggests updates to existing product lines rather than creating something new. If true, it all strongly suggests that we’re unlikely to see a Wear OS 3 Fitbit any time soon.

Of course, none of this is official. Things can change dramatically when a product is tested and when it actually hits the shelves. It’s just disappointing to see – and for Fitbit, it’s not in its best interest to rehash the same formula.

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No cheating: Is this a Versa, Versa Lite, Versa 2, or Versa 3?
Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

In 2014, Fitbit was a leading wearables manufacturer with nearly 40 percent market share. Accordingly statisticsFitbit’s market share had shrunk to a mere 2.9 percent in 2020. Every year, Fitbit’s slice of the pie got smaller and smaller and smaller. There isn’t a single factor that brought Fitbit here, but if I had to pick one, it would be that Fitbit products have become a bit stale.

In my reviews, I often joke that Fitbit doesn’t like to fix what isn’t broken. You can look at the evolution of the popular Charge fitness trackers to see this in action. If you lined them up charge 2, 3and 4, I guarantee most people wouldn’t tell the difference. Likewise, once it became clear that it original Versa smartwatch was popular, Fitbit started pumping out Versas left and right. Again, when you line up the Versa, Versa 2, Versa Lite Edition, and Versa 3, it’s hard to tell what’s different. I’ve checked all four, and even I would have to take a second look.

That’s why it was a breath of fresh air in 2020 when Fitbit hailed a Hail Mary of a fall product launch. the Fitbit Sense introduced FDA-approved EKGs and added an electrodermal activity sensor — something no other wearables company had done before. Google Assistant has been added to Sense and Versa 3. The company has also updated its Pure Pulse 2.0 heart rate tracking technology and there should be meaningful updates all around. That energy continued into 2021, when Fitbit made the first significant updates to the Charge lineup in years, introducing the stylish Luxe.

The regular Galaxy Watch 4 has a touch-sensitive bezel, which is fiddly.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the only Wear OS 3 watch currently available.
Photo by Dieter Bohn / The Verge

But unless Fitbit has a new sensor it’s been hiding or finally figures out how to add LTE to its trackers, it’s hard to get excited about a Sense 2, Versa 4, and Luxe 2. There are so many more affordable Fitbit alternatives out there these days — and many of them are pretty good.

However, a Fitbit Wear OS smartwatch would give the Wear OS ecosystem a much-needed boost.

At the moment, Wear OS watches are mostly Fossil Group watches. They are fine. Samsung is now also involved Galaxy Watch 4, and there are a few luxury brands at absurd prices. When it comes to fossil and luxury smartwatches, aesthetics are paramount. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is actually great, but owners of non-Samsung phones are no good either.

Now would have been a great time for Fitbit to step in like the Kool-Aid man and offer a truly cross-platform Wear OS 3 watch. At the moment, the only option for that is Mobvoi’s TicWatch 3 range – and let’s face it. You’ve probably never heard of Mobvoi, while Fitbit is a household name.

Plus, you can’t discount Fitbit’s vast experience with health data. It also has several advanced health features that it claims could rival the Apple Watch. Earlier this week, the company announced it had asked the FDA to do so clear passive atrial fibrillation monitoring. It was the first company to implement SpO2 sensors in 2017 and has been hard at work researching sleep apnea. Packing all of those things into a Wear OS 3 watch would have been something to be really excited about.

A Fitbit Wear OS watch will arrive one day. Hopefully. And as long as it doesn’t shit the bed as hard as the OnePlus Watch, it’ll be great for all the reasons listed. The rumored Pixel Watch will reportedly have some form of Fitbit integration, but we all know that’s not the same thing.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/25/22996549/fitbit-wear-os-smartwatch-fitness-tracker Where is Fitbit’s Wear OS watch?

Fry Electronics Team

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