Fitbit Sense vs Charge 5: Let’s compare the Best Fitbit Devices

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The Sense and Charge 5 are probably two of the best and most affordable Fitbit wearable devices. However, those interested in knowing more about their health and Fitbit, have a lot to offer. These health powerhouses share many features but do come with some differences that will best suit the needs and tastes of different categories of users.

This article will dig deep into both devices and hopefully help you make an informed decision that you will not regret.

Fitbit Sense
Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch with Tools for Heart Health, Stress Management & Skin Temperature Trends, White/Gold, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Fitness & Health Tracker with Built-in GPS, Stress Management Tools, Sleep Tracking, 24/7 Heart Rate and More, Black/Graphite, One Size (S &L Bands Included)
Battery Life (in days)
6+
7+
EDA/ECG/Hear Rate/HRV/Temperature/Sleep Tracking
Yes
Yes
Fitness Tracking
Yes
Yes
Alexa & Google Assistant
Yes
No
Downloadable Watch Faces
Yes
No
Fitbit Sense
Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch with Tools for Heart Health, Stress Management & Skin Temperature Trends, White/Gold, One Size (S & L Bands Included)
Battery Life (in days)
6+
EDA/ECG/Hear Rate/HRV/Temperature/Sleep Tracking
Yes
Fitness Tracking
Yes
Alexa & Google Assistant
Yes
Downloadable Watch Faces
Yes
Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Fitness & Health Tracker with Built-in GPS, Stress Management Tools, Sleep Tracking, 24/7 Heart Rate and More, Black/Graphite, One Size (S &L Bands Included)
Battery Life (in days)
7+
EDA/ECG/Hear Rate/HRV/Temperature/Sleep Tracking
Yes
Fitness Tracking
Yes
Alexa & Google Assistant
No
Downloadable Watch Faces
No

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Design

The Fitbit Sense design is sleek and slim. It has a stainless steel rim available in black, silver, or gold colors. The squared shape watch is 1.59 x 1.59 x 0.49 inches, weight 1.06 Ounces. The 1.58 inches OLED display is bright and sharp enough to be used even in daylight. The polished stainless steel bezel that surrounds it doubles as an electrode when using the electrocardiogram feature. The remainder of the body is made of aluminum.

The Fitbit Charge 5 form factor puts it into the fitness tracker category. The 1.04-inch AMOLED color touchscreen (326ppi) is bright and crisp and is surrounded by a metal shell that includes the EDA and ECG electrodes. The Charge 5 is 10% slimmer than the Charge 4 and measures 1.45 x 0.90 x 0.44 inches. The Corning glass touchscreen is resistant to scratches even though we recommend handling it with caution.

As you would expect from a Fitbit product, the pair offers good water resistance (up to 5 ATMs). So it is possible to use both devices while swimming but keep in mind that the Sense and Charge 5 are incompatible with diving.

Sensors

Both devices rely on Photoplethysmography (PPG) to detect heart rate and extrapolate information. PPG is based on a single, basic premise: Blood reflects red light and absorbs green light. 

Fitbit’s PurePulse 2.0 technology, developed in-house, detects the quantity of blood flowing through the wrist by employing green LEDs in conjunction with photodiodes.

When your heart beats, this flow increases, and as a result, the amount of green light absorbed increases. These lights are flashed hundreds of times per second to obtain the most precise BPM data (beats per minute).

More than relying on the quality of the sensors being used, the accuracy of the measurements is highly dependent on the algorithms developed by the different companies. 

Both the Fitbit Sense and Charge 5 rely on the same set of sensors that includes:

  • Three-axis accelerometers,
  • Three-axis gyroscopes,
  • PPG Optical sensors for heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen saturation levels,
  • Electrodermal Activity sensor that detects sweat for stress analysis
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor (on the rim for the Fitbit Sense and sides for the Fitbit Charge 5),
  • Vibration sensors,
  • NFC Chip for contactless payment.

Additionally, both devices offer a built-in GPS for tracking outside activities without the need for a smartphone. However, contrary to the Sense, the Charge 5 does not include an altimeter for counting floors.

The Charge 5 does not include an altimeter, in contrast to the Sense. Fitbit made an unusual decision here, and we’re not sure why they chose it in the first place. Aside from that, the fitness band uses the same sensors as the Sense smartwatch.

Fitbit Sense
  • EDA Scan app detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body's response to stress and a...
  • Assess your heart for atrial fibrillation –a heart rhythm irregularity- and easily share results...
  • An on-wrist skin temperature sensor tracks yours each night so you can see how it varies. You can...
  • High & low heart rate notifications alert you if yours seems above or below your average.Battery...

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Built-in GPS

Both the Fitbit Sense and Charge 5 have a built-in GPS that allows users to track their outdoor activities. This means that the user can check how far he walked, ran, cycled, etc., and measure his calories burned, distance traveled, and more.

The GPS includes a dynamic mode that will switch to the Phone GPS if the signal is lost.

Even if both watches’ GPS is accurate, they take a real toll on the battery life, and we suggest using them wisely.

Battery Life

The Fitbit Sense has a battery life of up to 6 days, while the Charge 5 lasts up to 7 days. Both Li-Ion batteries will deliver on their promises making both devices some of the longest in their respective categories. 

Wearable devices’ battery lives are highly dependent on the features being activated. The GPS is undoubtedly the most power-intensive feature. 

Health and Fitness Tracking Features

Both the Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Sense come with the same functionalities for health features. They both include heart rate monitoring, electrocardiogram, stress detection via a dedicated EDA sensor, sleep tracking, skin temperature analysis, activity tracking, calorie tracking, and water intake tracking.

These include being able to read skin temperature and oxygen levels. The bad thing about this device is you will need a monthly subscription to access more than seven days of data. It costs $9.99 per mo or $79.99 annually after the several-month trial period expires.

The two devices’ health and fitness tracking capabilities are nearly identical, leaving just the smartwatch functions as one of the few areas where they differ. The Fitbit Sense is a solid and adaptable smartwatch that can be modified with various clock faces and applications to give it a fresh new look while also enabling it to perform new functions.

The Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Sense are great devices for fitness tracking that come with 20 tracking activities.

Smartwatch Features

Fitbit Charge 5
  • Optimize your workout routine with a Daily Readiness Score that reveals if you’re ready to...
  • Get a daily Stress Management Score showing your body’s response to stress and take steps to...
  • With the Health Metrics dashboard, track SpO2, heart rate variability, skin temperature variation...
  • See your real-time pace & distance without your phone using built-in GPS during outdoor activity,...
  • Includes a 6-month Premium membership complete with personalized insights, advanced analytics,...

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With so many in common, the Charge 5 and Sense can be difficult to choose from. The decision may ultimately come to three elements:

  • The Price: The Fitbit Sense is a smartwatch with a wider screen that comes at an extra cost. Despite the many discounts and sales, you can expect to pay $100 more on average for the Sense,
  • The Form Factor and look: Do you want a wider screen and the look and feel of a premium smartwatch, then the Fitbit Sense may be your best pick. If you mainly consider the sensors and battery life as a priority and do not care about looking at the results on your phone, then the Charge 5 may be the one for you,
  • The extra Smartwatch Features such as the possibility to listen to music directly through the watch and connect the Fitbit Sense to your Spotify, Deezer, or Pandora account.

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are easily accessible through the Fitbit Sense, allowing you to create reminders, ask quick questions, and control smart home devices. A Bluetooth connection is also included, allowing you to converse hands-free and answer incoming calls while using the device. In addition, Sense users may find that listening to music while jogging or participating in other activities makes them more pleasurable.

The Sense also offers much more customization and a wide choice of screen faces. If the Fitbit Charge 5 had one weak point, it would be linked to the available screen faces. At best, they are functional, but their cartoony aspects may not be for everyone.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that may provide you with improved customization and sophisticated features, the Fitbit Sense may be worth the additional money. 

To Wrap Up

The Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Charge 5 are excellent devices for checking your health, stress levels, and fitness. Their sensors are accurate and will satisfy most users. 

When buying any of these devices, you also need to consider the extra cost of the Fitbit premium subscription. In addition, numerous features are only available to premium users. 

In a nutshell, there is no wrong choice, and you can be assured that both devices will deliver on their promises. If a wider screen, the possibility of answering calls, and listening to music are essential to you, the Fitbit Sense is worth the extra $100. On the other hand, if you only wish to track your vitals and fitness using the best of Fitbit Sensors and technologies, then the Fitbit Charge is your best bet. It was the one for us, and we do not regret it.