Fitbit Sense 2, Versa 4 leaked photos show physical buttons are back

Fitbit Sense 2, Versa 4 leaked photos show physical buttons are back

Buttons are a touchy subject among smartwatch owners, but new photos of the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 have been leaked 9to5Google suggest the company is dropping capacitive buttons for its two next-gen smartwatches.

We got a hint a few months ago that Fitbit might be bringing back physical buttons on the Versa 4, but it wasn’t clear at the time if that would extend to the Sense 2. The decision is not surprising. Fitbit introduced the capacitive button to create a slimmer profile and prevent accidental presses, but in reality it made for a fiddly user experience. Many Versa and Sense users found the button unresponsive or just plain unreliable. (Ironically, when reviewing the original Sense, it was far too easy to accidentally trigger the capacitive button.)

Leaked photo of Fitbit Sense 2's sensor array

The raised rim is a noticeable change from the Sense’s sensor array (via 9to5Google).
Image: 9to5Google

Otherwise, it doesn’t look like Fitbit is going too far in terms of design. Aside from the physical buttons, the most notable update in these leaks is the Sense 2’s bezel. The original Sense built the ECG sensor into a subtle metal frame around the case. This time around it looks like Fitbit managed to cram the ECG sensor into the bezel itself under the glass touchscreen. That would mean you’d have to touch the glass display to complete the ECG circuit – which would be unusual compared to other ECG-enabled smartwatches. For example, the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 require you to touch metal buttons with your finger. It’s disappointing that Fitbit doesn’t seem to be adding more screen real estate, but hey, if you’re sticking with an outrageously large bezel in 2022, you might as well make the most of it.

Meanwhile, photos of the Sense 2’s sensor array show a new raised lip on the bottom of the case – although it’s unclear if this is a significant change. It could indicate a new sensor, or perhaps the changed design is intended to ensure better skin contact. What we do know is that the markings at the bottom of the array (they’re extremely faint in the image) indicate that the device will have an ECG sensor, a body temperature sensor, built-in GPS and a water resistance of 50 meters.

Leaked image of the Versa 4 body

This really looks like a Versa smartwatch. (via 9to5Google)
Image: 9to5Google

As for the Versa 4, the new photos don’t reveal much. The sensor arrangement appears to be unchanged from the Versa 3, and accordingly 9to5Google, there is no ECG or body temperature sensor. It still has a microphone, as well as built-in GPS and 50 meter water resistance. That suggests the Versa 4 might not add much on the hardware front, with 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 its launch in 2018, each one differing only slightly from the last.

From the photos, it seems like an official launch is on the horizon. However, 2022 was an odd year for Fitbit’s usual product cadence. The company typically releases at least one device in spring and another in late summer. However, Spring 2022 has already come and gone with no new Fitbit in sight. Meanwhile, Google, which owns Fitbit, could also be murmuring the waters with its plans to launch the Pixel Watch this fall. One of the key features for the Pixel Watch will be shiny new Fitbit integration – which Fitbit is said to be putting the finishing touches on with Google. That, plus all the new software features for the Sense 2 and Versa 4, is a lot for any business to work on at once.

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