Fitbit is replacing some Sense smartwatches due to a “hardware issue”

Fitness tracker makers Fitbit has discovered a bug that has affected the electrocardiogram (ECG) readings on its latest Sense smartwatch. This follows a report on 9to5Google that the company’s most advanced smartwatch had “hardware issue” that affected some of its users.

So, if you happen to own a Fitbit Sense, there’s a chance that the company has reached out to you via email to offer a complete hardware replacement free of charge. According to users on Fitbit’s forums the email from Fitbit should read:

This is Fitbit Customer Support. Thanks for your purchase of Fitbit Sense.

We identified a hardware issue with your device that could affect its ability to work properly. Please return the device to us. We’ll provide you with a prepaid return label.

To ensure the best possible Fitbit experience, we’re providing you with a replacement free of charge. Please keep all original accessories, such as your charging cable and band. You’ll receive a replacement device only.

After we receive your shipping details, you’ll receive an email message with the next steps for your replacement and then we’ll expedite a new Fitbit Sense to you.

Fitbit confirmed with The Verge that the problem affects the ECG app on less than 900 Sense devices globally. The problem is said to cause the app to incorrectly display an “inconclusive” result during readings. Fitbit added that there were no other devices affected by the issue.

The Fitbit Sense was launched in Malaysia in August, alongside the Versa 3. It carries a retail price of RM1,498 and is sold online on Lazada and Shopee.

The smartwatch features a 1.58″ AMOLED display that pushes a resolution of 336 x 336 pixels. It is also the first Fitbit device to incorporate an ECG sensor.

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For those not familiar, an ECG sensor works by recording the electrical signals that make your heart beat. Fitbit said one of the inherent benefits of the sensor is that it can help users detect symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib) — a condition that can cause an irregular and abnormally fast heart rate.

Besides the headline ECG sensor, the smartwatch also featured a stress detection feature that gauges it by a user’s heart rate, sleep, and activity level data. The Sense also promised a battery life of more than six days, with a full day’s charge taking just 12 minutes. It also featured a built-in GPS and boasted water resistance of up to 50 metres.

The Sense also comes with a built-in microphone and speaker that supports voice assistants like Google Assistant. The feature was not available at launch and was only made available in November via a software update.

However, it is worth mentioning that during the Malaysian launch, the company said the ECG sensor’s availability was subjected to regulations in different countries. We have reached out to Fitbit whether Malaysia was one of the countries in which the feature was cleared for use locally and if it affected any users in the country.


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