Fitbit’s fitness trackers have always piqued my interest more than its smartwatches have. I hope the tracker form factor is preserved as Wear OS inevitably takes over. Fitbit must, however, facilitate the simultaneous use of numerous devices.
Fitbit has only permitted you to have one wearable connected to your account for the previous few years. This has been the case, specifically, ever since devices first introduced an “app gallery.” The company initially permitted you to use more than one wrist or clip-on tracker. Fitbit would always be importing data from both, but you’d have to be careful to only wear one at once. Fitbit first advertised it as enabling you to:
- Wear a smaller device all day to track your steps, and a larger device during exercise.
- Change between a discrete tracker that attaches to a clip and a useful wrist-based gadget.
- If you leave your Fitbit at home, use MobileTrack to locate it.
- You are free to switch between any devices. Each device model and MobileTrack can be associated with a single account.
Even while data is stored and never lost when using several devices nowadays, doing so manually requires unplugging the old device and replacing it with the new one before a wearable would even sync.
Lately, I wear the Pixel Watch day and night. But after using a smartwatch to track my sleep for two months, I can categorically state that I prefer the tracker form factor. The Fitbit Luxe in particular makes a noticeable difference by replacing the small sliver on my wrist with a globular circle. Fortunately, the first-generation Pixel Watch is small, but there is unquestionably a market demand for something larger. (If Google decides to solve that in the future, I hope they keep the 41mm size).
To be absolutely safe, I would have to sync the tracker in the Fitbit app before bed if I wanted to use a Luxe for sleep tracking and a Pixel Watch during the day. I would sync and then configure the Pixel Watch as soon as I woke up. I’ve tested the Sense 2 multiple times, and each time I had to restart the Pixel Watch for the pairing process to be complete. Every time, I receive a walkthrough of the Fitbit device’s initial setup. Although short, it is undoubtedly tedious, and I cannot imagine doing it every day.
The argument for Fitbit supporting different devices is mostly financial. Years ago, people laughed at the concept of having a day and night phone, but there is definitely a need for a wearable specialty, even if it only extends to the core smartwatch and sleep tracker.
Although I’m considering a dedicated sleep tracker as part of Fitbit’s future product plan, I’d be content to use the Luxe, Charge 5, Inspire 3, or an older tracker as my nighttime wearable. These gadgets already have a multi-day battery life, so if they were only used for sleeping, you could very well leave them on your nightstand table without charging them for a week or more.
Another advantage would be allowing consumers to quickly convert to a multi-day gadget if they were going on a trip and didn’t want to charge their smartwatches every day, as is required with current models.
Additionally, it helps give your old Fitbit trackers, which are still totally functional but may be from previous years, new life. In terms of rivalry, the Apple Watch, Pixel Watch, and Wear OS have historically supported a variety of devices.
If Fitbit offered this multi-device capability, it might be able to make more money from customers who buy trackers to go along with their smartwatches. Yes, this is not for the majority of people, but if Fitbit embraces some complexity, the underlying capability could lead to a few intriguing commercial and design opportunities.