Throughout its I/O 2022 convention, Google teased {that a} next-gen Fitbit machine may run Put on OS. Individuals actually took that teaser to coronary heart. And whereas I hate to rain on their parade, I’m right here to say that Put on OS would damage the whole lot that’s good about Fitbit’s merchandise.

Wait, Individuals Need Fitbit to Use Put on OS?

Again in 2020, folks anxious that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit would result in catastrophe. They complained that Fitbit units could be compelled to run Put on OS. And these identical folks have completely flip-flopped—they’re mad that Put on OS isn’t included within the newest Fitbit trackers!

This is similar reactionary stuff we all the time see within the tech world. However admittedly, the thought of mixing Fitbit companies with the Put on OS platform is type of thrilling.

Fitbit doesn’t make “actual” smartwatches. Its merchandise don’t have a strong app choice, a touchscreen keyboard for texting, or deep smartphone integration. However Fitbit provides among the finest health and health-tracking companies of any firm.

Combining Fitbit companies with a correct smartwatch would possibly result in a cool product. In actual fact, that’s the entire thought behind the Pixel Watch. However Google ought to use the Pixel Watch to check this concept as a substitute of ruining Fitbit with Put on OS.

Battery Life Is the Greatest Downside

On this planet of smartwatches and health trackers, Fitbit is the king of battery life. Its merchandise final between 5 and 10 days on a cost, and it’s all due to the light-weight and environment friendly Fitbit working system.

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By comparability, Put on OS units are fortunate to outlive a full day in your wrist. The Put on OS software program blows by battery life. Not solely is it bloated and inefficient, but it surely requires a power-hungry CPU. That is doubly true whenever you allow GPS, Bluetooth, or mobile service.

A Fitbit machine operating Put on OS would have a horrible battery life. Certain, a bigger battery may lengthen the battery life a bit, however it might additionally enhance the watch’s measurement and worth.

That is the most important drawback with the entire “Fitbit ought to use Put on OS” schtick. Why would somebody shell out for a Fitbit that lasts in the future on a cost when the $99 Fitbit Encourage 2 (which repeatedly goes on sale for round $65) can endure 10 days of exercise?

Do You Actually Need Fitbit to Value Extra?

If Google decides to stay Put on OS on a Fitbit machine, it should in all probability select a mannequin that has a big smartwatch-styled show. It will obtain two issues—first, it should be sure that the watch has a giant display screen for all these fancy Put on OS options. However it should additionally give Google extra leeway by way of pricing.

See, the latest Put on OS 3 replace raised the bar for Android smartwatches. With a purpose to construct a Put on OS 3 smartwatch, you want a reasonably highly effective wearable chipset. Such chipsets are costly and virtually non-existent.

Fitbit merchandise historically use low-cost Toshiba CPUs. So, if a Fitbit runs Put on OS, it should want a extra highly effective Samsung or Snapdragon chipset. And meaning a worth hike.

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Google is in a good place right here—the newest Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 price $230 and $300, respectively. These units are already fairly costly, and if next-gen fashions get a worth hike, clients might not complain an excessive amount of.

However right here’s the factor; the Fitbit Sense 2 isn’t presupposed to be an alternative choice to the Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch. It’s a fitness-focused machine, and at $300, it exists to compete with similarly-priced health platforms like Garmin Venu. The Fitbit Sense 2’s excessive worth is a mirrored image of its compact design, killer battery life, superior sensors, and health monitoring software program; it has little to do with smartwatch performance.

Switching Fitbit units to Put on OS would virtually definitely result in a worth enhance. And it might be accompanied by a lack of the Fitbit’s finest options. This type of trade-off simply doesn’t make sense.

Fitbit’s Biggest Power Is Its Simplicity

In early 2022, I had the possibility to evaluation a product referred to as the Withings ScanWatch. It’s a well being and fitness-focused smartwatch, however oddly sufficient, its defining characteristic is an analog watch face. It doesn’t have a giant OLED show; it’s only a normal-looking watch that occurs to have some sensible options.

Our readers have been very excited in regards to the ScanWatch—it’s a smartwatch for individuals who don’t like smartwatches. You don’t must cost it daily, its interface is lifeless easy, and it doesn’t power you to wade by a ton of complicated options.

Fitbit units are a bit extra fleshed out than the ScanWatch, however they profit from this identical simplicity. Individuals love Fitbit as a result of it makes simple, health-focused merchandise. You don’t should be a dork or a rocket scientist to benefit from a Fitbit, and it received’t distract you with pointless options or beg for its charger daily.

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If Fitbit switched to Put on OS, it might alienate hundreds of customers. The easy and accessible Fitbit platform would turn into difficult, or on the very least, unappealing.

Take Your Pixel Watch and Depart Fitbit Alone

The concept that Fitbit units ought to run Put on OS is ridiculous. However there’s one good factor that will come of it—Fitbit’s superior well being and train monitoring would lastly arrive on a “actual” smartwatch.

Or perhaps you could possibly simply purchase the Pixel Watch. It’s the primary Put on OS machine to combine with Fitbit companies, and it launches in late 2022.

The Pixel Watch ought to provide the better of each worlds. Now, I can’t promise that “the most effective of each worlds” is any good. Most Put on OS units are objectively horrible! However if you need a mixed Put on OS and Fitbit expertise, pay for a Pixel Watch and go away Fitbit’s merchandise alone.

Sadly, Google teased a Put on OS-based Fitbit machine when it introduced the Pixel Watch. I’m unsure how such a product could be any completely different from the Pixel Watch, and albeit, I hope that Google drops the thought. If Google needs a sportier Pixel Watch, it ought to simply make a Pixel Watch Professional.