Fitbit takes the fight to Apple and Samsung with early ECG activation on the hot new Sense

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Fitbit takes the fight to Apple and Samsung with early ECG activation on the hot new Sense
Fitbit's most feature-packed Apple Watch alternative to date was officially announced alongside the lower-cost Versa 3 and Inspire 2 wearable devices around a month and a half ago, but curiously enough, the company initially chose to make a bigger deal out of the Sense's EDA scanner than its ECG app.

That led us to believe the $330 Fitbit Sense could have the same fate as the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which kept its earliest adopters waiting more than a year for the dormant ECG monitoring technology to be activated at last.

But it didn't take long for the US-based wearable industry veteran to reveal FDA clearance was right around the corner, although even by those standards, it's certainly impressive to see the potentially life-saving functionality already enabled stateside.

Fitbit Sense

Advanced Health & Fitness Smartwatch - Soft Gold

Fitbit Sense

Advanced Health & Fitness Smartwatch - Graphite

Incredibly enough, Fitbit Sense owners in several European countries, including the UK and Germany, are also reporting the ECG (or EKG) app is up and running all of a sudden despite there being no official word or triumphant press release from the company confirming the global rollout has indeed begun.

That might mean not everyone can see and use the app yet to measure the electrical activity of their heart and check for signs of atrial fibrillation, although we're pretty sure that's set to change before long. 

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, mind you, is a serious condition that affects more than 33 million people around the world, many of which remain unaware of their problems until it's too late. Left undiagnosed, this increases the risk of heart attack, blood clots, and stroke, but when detected early on, the condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm is relatively easy to manage.

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All that being said, it's important to keep in mind the Fitbit Sense is by no way a medical-grade diagnostic device, and just like the Apple Watch, the new Android and iOS-compatible smartwatch is bound to produce a substantial number of false positives when recording your electrocardiogram. The Fitbit ECG app is also not intended for use by people under 22 years old, but if you understand its limitations and imperfections, the tool could definitely come in handy one day and perhaps save your life.

Alongside this Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3-rivaling feature, the Fitbit Sense has a one-of-a-kind electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor aiming to help manage your stress going for it, as well as blood oxygen monitoring, skin temperature tracking, and of course, everything from standalone GPS connectivity to conventional heart rate monitoring technology, wrist payment support, water resistance up to 50 meters, in-depth sleep tracking, a sharp AMOLED display with always-on functionality, and a stellar battery life of over six days between charges.

Available for a couple of weeks now in the US at the aforementioned reasonable price of $330 from a number of major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, and Target, the smartwatch can be had in a single size and your choice of two color combinations (carbon/graphite or white/gold). Unfortunately, Amazon's surprisingly early deals have expired, although we obviously wouldn't be shocked to see them return with a bang for the Prime Day festival next week.

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