May 30, 2022

New Fitbit smartwatches reportedly in the works with one surprising omission

By Michael L Hicks published March 25, 2022

The latest Fitbit app APK showed codenames that may align with the Sense 2, Versa 4, and Luxe 2 — but no sign of Wear OS

Fitbit Versa 3

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • 9to5Google reports it found evidence of three new Fitbit devices added to the Fitbit app: Hera, Rhea, and Nyota. 
  • The leaked display resolutions suggest they could be replacement models for the Fitbit Versa 3, Sense, and Luxe.
  • The site says it uses the same Bluetooth bridge tech as past Fitbits instead of the Wear OS method, suggesting they will forego the new OS.
  • Fitbit CEO James Park previously said the next premium Fitbit smartwatch would use Wear OS.

A deep dive into the Fitbit app APK has revealed evidence of three codenames for three upcoming Fitbit smartwatches and trackers. 9to5Google(opens in new tab), which discovered the information, argued that the hidden metadata corresponds to three well-known Fitbit brands.

Rhea — the Greek mother of all Olympian gods — and Hera — either a reference to the Greek goddess of women or Hera Syndulla from Star Wars: Rebels — both have a 336×336 resolution, matching the display sizes of the Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense

Given Fitbit has no other traditional smartwatch brands at the moment, we suspect these will be the Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2. Unless, of course, Fitbit plans to release a new smartwatch series entirely.Sponsored LinksThe Cost of Apartments for Sale in Dubai Might Totally Surprise YouApartments for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads

The third Fitbit codename found in the app update is Nyota, first name of Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek. This device will have a 124×208 resolution, matching the compact Fitbit Luxe. So perhaps the Luxe 2 will arrive in storefronts soon, as well.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.517.2_en.html#goog_6497956720 seconds of 58 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

In May 2021, the Fitbit CEO announced that Fitbit’s next premium smartwatch would use Wear OS. Interestingly, Fitbit hasn’t released new smartwatches since the Versa 3 and Sense in September 2020; we suspected the brand might need more time to adapt Wear OS 3 to work with Fitbit hardware.

But based on this leak, Fitbit may not consider the $230 Versa or $300 Sense watches to be “premium.” Because 9to5Google claims that these new Fitbit trackers “were found in code related to the software ‘bridge’ that connects your phone to the watch and shares data via Bluetooth.” 

Wear OS uses its own connectivity system, so this unchanged Bluetooth mechanic suggests the Sense 2 and Versa 4 will run Fitbit OS, like their predecessors.

What this means for Fitbit

Fitbit Sense
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

You shouldn’t consider this iron-clad evidence, as it’s possible this is just placeholder connectivity information — or that the Fitbit Wear OS watch would have different connectivity standards than others running the same OS.

Still, it makes sense that Fitbit would keep its current brands on the same software as before. Given Wear OS 3 won’t work with iOS, Fitbit will ensure that iPhone owners who love Sense or Versa watches won’t lose access to the next iterations. 

And given the Galaxy Watch 4 failed to make Wear OS popular, perhaps Fitbit won’t want to tie its best Fitbits of the future to an unproven platform.

At the same time, Fitbit could have plans for a separate Wear OS watch for 2022 (or later). We just haven’t heard much about it, and if Fitbit won’t convert one of its current smartwatches to the new system, it’s difficult to extrapolate what to expect from it. Or how it’ll differ from the upcoming Pixel Watch, which will allegedly have both Fitbit integration and Wear OS.

It’s also curious to see that Fitbit (allegedly) won’t change the display quality for its three upcoming watches. So it’s fair to speculate what will change with these devices, aside from a faster processor.

The Fitbit Sense has the highest-quality health tracking with ECG and EDA sensors, so we’re unclear how the watch will improve short of adding a game-changing sensor like blood pressure monitoring.Advertisement

And if the Versa 3 adds those sensors to match the Sense and Charge 5, it’s unclear how Fitbit will differentiate between the different brands. 

Google(opens in new tab) recently asked for approval for passive AFib detection from the FDA. The Sense can detect irregular heartbeats with an active ECG reading, but this new system would detect them 98% of the time simply through regular PPG readings. While this is an exciting development, they achieved this success with current Fitbit hardware. Perhaps new Fitbits would improve on that percentage.

Whatever the changes, these new Fitbits may not arrive for some time. If Fitbit sticks to annual (or biannual) releases, the Luxe 2 could arrive in late April, while the Sense 2 and Versa 4 may not arrive until September.

Michael L Hicks

Michael L Hicks 

Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He’s a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.MORE ABOUT…Samsung’s phone production is reportedly taking a major hit this yearThe Pixel 7 series’ display may not be the upgrade you were hoping forLATESTGoogle’s upcoming Pixel Tablet could ship with a USI-certified stylus

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