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Fitbit Sense vs Galaxy Watch 3 (2021): Which New Wearable Should You Get?

2020 has been a year full of surprises, and not always good ones. Thankfully, in the wearables department, we’ve received nothing but good news. Just this August, Samsung released the new iteration of their Galaxy Watch, the Galaxy Watch 3. Not to be outdone, Fitbit has also scheduled their newest release within the same quarter. One of their newly announced products, the Fitbit Sense, hits shelves September and is available for pre-order now.

In this comparison, we’ll take a look at how these two new entries into the market stack up against each other, and which one you should be getting for yourself. Read on to find out more about the differences in design, functionality, and other features.

Fitbit Sense vs Galaxy Watch 3 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Watch 3Fitbit Sense
 Samsung Galaxy Watch3 - Mystic SilverFitbit Sense
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart.com

Check Price

at Verizon.com

Release DateAugust 2020September 2020
Waterproof Depth50m / 164ft50m / 164ft
Bluetooth Version55
GPSYesYes
Blood Oxygen SensorYesYes
ColorsBlack, Silver BronzeCarbon/Graphite, White/Gold
Weight1.9oz1.06oz

Design

Both can be called 2020’s cutting-edge smartwatch.

The Fitbit Sense (left) and the Galaxy Watch 3 (right).

Being products made by two of the most well-known smart watch brands, both the Sense and the Galaxy Watch 3 look amazing and state-of-the-art. They’re both very recent models; in fact, the Fitbit Sense is only available for pre-order and will be released in late September 2020. Both look sleek and modern, though the Galaxy Watch goes for a more traditional round face (like the Suunto 9 and Garmin Fenix 6). Meanwhile, the Sense’s rounded rectangular screen is held by Fitbit’s Infinity Band, which raises standards for band comfort. This more skin-friendly wristband design makes it ideal for wearing overnight. In contrast, the Galaxy Watch 3 goes for a more stylish band made of genuine leather.

Both companies have also made sure that the screens themselves are as durable as possible. The Sense and the Galaxy Watch 3 have screens that are both made of patented strengthened glass. For the Sense, it’s the well-known Corning Gorilla Glass 3, while the Galaxy Watch 3 uses the more recently made Gorilla Glass DX, which was specifically designed for wearables. Only the Galaxy Watch 3 offers choices for size: you can pick between their 41mm and 45mm screens. However, Fitbit will include both a small and a large wrist band with the Sense package, so if you find that your first band doesn’t fit, it won’t be a huge problem.

Activity Tracking & Sensors

Fitbit goes all out on its new “health tracker”, and Samsung keeps up admirably.

A look at the Galaxy Watch 3’s blood oxygen and sleep tracking modes (left), and the Sense’s on-wrist EDA scanner (right) .

Focusing first on the Galaxy Watch 3, you’ll see that it has all the basics you’d expect from a smartwatch. It, of course, has GPS, which will be highly useful if the athletic activities you engage in involve a lot of going to different places, like running or cycling. It also has an accelerometer, a heart rate monitor, and a barometer. One notable feature that the Galaxy Watch 3 has is its gyroscope, which powers its fall detection capabilities. Together with the accelerometer, it can even detect harder, faster falls and automatically send an SOS to your emergency contact.

The Sense is just as impressive, though. Together with a heart rate monitor, GPS, and sleep tracking, it also has its signature “biosensor core” which truly earns it the “advanced health smartwatch” title that its makers have given it. This core, which is cased behind the screen and is fully waterproof, has three new sensors. First is the EKG, which tracks heart rate and works with Fitbit’s own heart rate measurement app. Second is the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, which collects your skin temperature. Third and last is its battery charging, which is right in the middle of the sensor hub. The first two give the Sense its ability to track your stress levels, which the Sense rates from 1 to 100 depending on your heart rate, skin temperature, sleep quality, and all the other health data that it collects.

Features

The two watches are chock-full of features that work towards more convenient use.

A look at the wide variety of watch faces the Galaxy Watch 3 has (left) and the Fitbit ECG app (right) mentioned earlier.

Both watches include features that make them quite useful even outside of athletic or health-related use. For one, both watches have an impressive number of customization options. There are hundreds of watch faces available for either watch, so you can tweak it to your needs and preferences. You can go for a more low-key professional analog face or a more modern, digital face for those on the go. The Sense does give a bit more room, though, since Fitbit offers more choices for strap color.

Fitbit has also outfitted the Sense with more useful capabilities. For one, you can use it to pay for certain transactions. You can open your Fitbit app and load it up with your credit and debit cards, then use your watch for establishments that have a tap-to-pay option. The Galaxy Watch 3 is also NFC-enabled, though Samsung hasn’t specified on their website whether you can make payments through a Samsung app similar to Fitbit’s. Another feature that Fitbit has (though it’s common to both watches) is that it can operate Spotify. One drawback that the Sense does exclusively have, though, is its inability to support Spotify offline. This means that using Spotify with your Sense, when it releases, at least, might be a huge mobile data leech.

Battery and Connectivity

GPS capabilities for both watches aren’t very energy-efficient.

The two watches last long enough on their own, but battery life plummets with GPS on.

The Galaxy Watch 3 hasn’t specified its battery life in terms of time; however, the Samsung website reveals that the 45mm variant has a battery with a typical electric charge graded at 340 milliampere-hours. The Sense, on the other hand, claims a battery life of 6 days. However, both manufacturers include a disclaimer that turning on your watch’s GPS sensor can severely impact battery life. In fact, Fitbit explicitly says that the battery life shrinks to only up to 12 hours of use if the GPS is left on. This could be a problematic drawback depending on your planned use, so it would be wise to take note of this. If GPS use is a deal-breaker for you, it might be worth checking out other watches (like the Garmin Fenix 6, for one).

Both the Sense and the Galaxy Watch 3 work with most phones, so it’s a given that you can receive calls and text notifications on your watch. You can also use your preferred voice assistant for voice-to-text replies. One advantage that the Galaxy Watch 3 has, though, is that it’s made by a company that also makes smartphones. It integrates seamlessly with Samsung’s Galaxy ecosystem, from their Galaxy phones to their wireless Galaxy Buds Live.

Verdict

The Galaxy Watch 3 is a great choice for those who already own Samsung products.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 is the perfect watch for those who already own phones or anything else within the Galaxy ecosystem. Its integration makes it work perfectly, and its other features aside from connectivity make it a purchase worth the money you pay. Its exclusive capabilities, like the fall sensor, make it a great companion for anyone who’s always active. One drawback is its price, which is around a hundred dollars more than the Sense’s.

Though we don’t really have user reviews yet, the Fitbit Sense is still shaping up to be a great (and more affordable) choice for those looking to buy a new wearable with a focus on health. Its biosensor core is invaluable, with its heart rate tracking and skin temperature sensors. It can also help you track stress, which is useful for both athletic and office situations. If those features sound good to you, then you can place a pre-order now and wait three weeks or so before the Sense hits shelves.

FAQs

📌 Is a smartwatch the same as a Fitbit?

Smartwatches are a category, and Fitbit is a company that makes smartwatches. What sets their products apart from other watches on the market is its focus on health, like the soon-to-be-released Fitbit Sense with its biosensor core.

📌 When will the Fitbit Sense be released?

The Fitbit Sense is available for pre-ordering now, but it will be released in late September 2020.

📌 Did Google buy Fitbit?

Yes, Fitbit was bought by Google back in November 2019. With this, we can probably expect smoother integration with other Google services (like Google Assistant).

📌 Is Fitbit better than Samsung watch?

It depends. The Fitbit Sense will suit people who are focused on health more, while more all-around users will find that the Galaxy Watch 3 is a better choice for them (especially if they already own other Samsung products).

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Mauie Flores

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying, blogger and content creator passionate about writing, music, and good food.