Fitbit is replacing a small batch of Fitbit Sense watches due to a problem with their ECG sensors. Normally, an 'inconclusive' result from the Sense's ECG app is a sign that you've moved too much while taking a reading, or your heart rate is too high or low for an accurate reading. Watches with faulty sensors return an 'inconclusive' result every time, even in ideal conditions.
Only a few devices are affected – our review unit works just fine, and Fitbit has given a statement to The Verge (opens in new tab) explaining that fewer than 900 units are involved. However, the problem is significant enough that Fitbit has chosen to contact customers whose watches may be faulty.
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Unfortunately, as Wareable (opens in new tab) reports, many recipients were surprised by the email, and worried it might be an attempt at phishing or theft. It asked users for their address, and asked them to return their watches via mail, which led to a flurry of concerned posts on Fitbit's user support forums (opens in new tab).
If you receive an email that looks suspicious (asking you for personal details, or giving direct links to login pages), it's always wise to delete it if it's clearly fake, or contact the company's customer support department if you think there's a possibility it might be genuine.
In this case, Fitbit has confirmed that the messages are real, and it is indeed replacing faulty Senses for affected users.
Finger on the pulse
Back in 2018, an ECG sensor was one of the key selling points of the Apple Watch 4, and it's now becoming a staple feature of high-end smartwatches including the Withings Scanwatch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and, of course, the Fitbit Sense.
These sensors can detect signs of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat that could be a sign of heart disease. A smartwatch or fitness tracker can't diagnose a problem by itself, but can highlight a potential problem that should be investigated.
If the Fitbit Sense detects atrial fibrillation, the app can generate a report that you can share with you doctor as a useful starting point for a conversation.
If your Sense isn't working as expected, and you haven't received an email, you can contact Fitbit customer service (opens in new tab) via phone, live online chat or Twitter for help.
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