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Fitbit Sense vs Fitbit Inspire 2: choose the right Fitbit deal for you

Fitbit Sense vs Fitbit Inspire 2
(Image credit: Future)

The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Inspire 2 are two of the the best Fitbits you can buy right now, but they're very different devices, so we've put together this guide to help you choose if you're torn between them, especially if you find a Fitbit Prime Day deal during Amazon's annual sales bonanza.

The key difference between these two devices is that the Inspire 2 is a lightweight fitness tracker, whereas the Sense is a fully-fledged smartwatch. Both watches are excellent for tracking your everyday health and exercise, including steps, calories burned, heart rate and sleep, but the Sense also offers a wide range of other features.

For example, it allows you to make contactless payments, stream music from Deezer, Spotify or Pandora, use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to control smart home devices, and even make calls from your wrist (provided your phone is within Bluetooth range).

Of course, all this comes at a cost, and the Sense costs around three times as much as the Inspire 2 when both are at full price. 

The Sense is still much cheaper than some premium smartwatches though, and has a lot to offer for the investment. Read on to learn more about the two devices, and choose the right one for you.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 (Image credit: Fitbit)

Price

Price

  • Fitbit Sense is three times the price of Inspire 2
  • Sometimes discounted in sales events

The Fitbit Inspire 2 and Sense were both released in September 2020. On release, the Inspire 2 was priced at $99.95 / £89.99 / AU$179.95, and the Sense at $299.95 / £279.99 / AU$449.95. That's a huge difference, but is easily explained by the Sense's more advanced features.

Fitbit itself has offered brief deals on both devices since their launch, as have third-party retailers like Amazon. It's possible that we might see some particularly good Prime Day deals that make them even cheaper as well.

Both watches come with a free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium for new users.

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense (Image credit: Fitbit)

Design and display

Design

  • Inspire 2 is rectangular; Sense is square
  • Both have plastic case and silicone strap
  • Extra bands available separately

Both the Sense and Inspire 2 follow Fitbit's 'Biologic Industrial Design Language', which the company says is inspired by the shapes and form of the human body. Put simply, that means they're intended to be ergonomic, and comfortable to wear and operate. Both watches have a plastic case and a silicone strap that fastens with a soft buckle, though additional bands are available to buy separately.

You can also buy a clip for the Inspire 2, so you can fasten it to your clothing and use it as a pedometer rather than a watch.

The Inspire 2 has a similar look to Fitbit's classic fitness trackers, with a narrow band and rectangular case. It comes in three colors: black, lunar white, and desert rose. The Fitbit Sense has a 'squoval' shape almost identical to the Fitbit Versa 3. It comes in just two colors: black and lunar white.

Both watches are water-resistant and suitable for swimming.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Sense (Image credit: Fitbit)

Display

  • Both use backlit OLED displays
  • Inspire 2 is monochrome; Sense is color
  • Sense has larger square display

Both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Sense have backlit OLED displays (unlike the Fitbit Luxe, which has an AMOLED screen). The Inspire 2's 1.4-inch screen is monochrome, and the Sense's 1.58-inch display is color. 

Features

Smartwatch features

  • Sense has voice controls
  • Sense has downloadable apps
  • Sense supports Fitbit Pay

Both devices allow you to receive smartphone notifications on your wrist, set alarms and timers, but the the Fitbit Sense is a fully-fledged smartwatch and, as such, offers a lot more non-workout features.

The Fitbit Sense is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can control your smart devices with voice commands, set alarms, check the weather and other tasks. You can also make calls via Bluetooth provided your phone is within range.

The Fitbit Sense has NFC for making contactless purchases through Fitbit Pay (provided your bank is one of those supported), and you can download third-party apps through the Fitbit app. You can also use it to stream music from Deezer, Pandora and Spotify so you can listen without your phone – just pair your wireless headphones with the watch.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 does have one trick up its sleeve though: unlike the Sense, it's compatible with Tile, so you can use the Tile smartphone app to locate your watch if it goes missing. Handy for a such a small fitness tracker.

Fitbit Sense runt handled.

(Image credit: Ida Blix)

Fitness tracking

  • Both track steps, calories and workouts
  • Fitbit Sense has on-board GPS
  • Sense has more advanced stress-tracking

Both the Fitbit Inspire 2 and Sense track your daily step count, and monitor active zone minutes (time spent working at different heart rates). 

The Fitbit Inspire 2 uses changes in heart rate to detect signs of stress, but the Sense goes one step further by measuring EDA (electrodermal activity), which can be a very good proxy for stress levels. 

Put simply, the watch transmits a very small current through your skin, and uses it to measure changes in your skin's conductivity. If you're stressed, the increased adrenaline will cause you to sweat more, which will make your skin more conductive.

Both watches can take you thought guided breathing sessions to help you manage stress throughout the day, with animations to follow as you inhale and exhale.

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 (Image credit: Fitbit)

Both devices have over 20 workout modes, and can start tracking some types of workout automatically without any input from you.

However, the Fitbit Sense has its own on-board GPS, whereas the Fitbit Inspire 2 has 'connected GPS', which means it piggybacks on your phone's GPS receiver. That means it won't be able to log your routes if you prefer to work out without your phone and leave it at home.

Connected GPS also tends to be less accurate, which won't matter too much for recreational walks and runs, but could be an issue if you're preparing for a race.

Both watches offer sleep-tracking, monitoring your sleep duration and stages throughout the night. Over the course of a few nights the Fitbit app will built up a baseline, which will allow you to see changes in your sleep patterns over time.

You can also use both devices (together with the Fitbit app on your phone) to track your menstrual cycle and log symptoms.

More Fitbit deals

More Fitbit deals

If neither the Sense nor the Inspire 2 is quite what you're looking for, we've rounded up the best deals on the whole Fitbit range right here:

More Amazon Prime Day deals

Cat Ellis

Cat is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line.