Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Sense plagued by battery drain issues since recent firmware update

If you have been experiencing battery drain issues with your Fitbit Sense in the past few months, take some comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. The culprit is not the watch. Effectively, it’s the fault of the Fitbit smartphone app. Mostly the iOS app but there are reports of Android problems as well.

The problem first started appearing back in late March/early April. The battery for some users started to empty out in a day or two. To remind, the battery on a full charge on Sense should be good for at least 6 days. So what’s going on?

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At first, it was suspected that the SpO2 app might be the culprit. And in some cases perhaps this is true. But there is another, more important issue. The drainage started after a recent iOS app update.

To identify if this, indeed, is the cause switch off Bluetooth on your phone. That should kill the connection between watch and the phone. You should notice much longer battery life on your Sense. Here’s what the Fitbit team has to say.

“Our team is aware of the Sense not holding charge when syncing with iOS devices and they’re working to bring a fix as soon as possible. In the meantime, we recommend force quitting the Fitbit app on your iOS devices to prevent the battery from draining when syncing.”

So there you have it. It’s a bug in the software. Even when the smartphone app is closed the drain continues if the watch is still connected to your phone.


How to resolve the battery drain issue on your Sense

As of today lots of users still have the issue. Having said that a few (but not all), have reported that the problem was resolved. So make sure you are on the latest version of the smartphone app and Sense firmware. If this doesn’t resolve – you may be stuck with poor battery life for now. Unfortunately, there is no option on an iPhone to install an earlier version of an app.

A few users tried a factory reset and for some this has improved battery life. To try this, go to Settings on your watch, choose About Sense>Factory reset.

Essential reading: Dealing with battery drain issues on Fitbits

You could try other battery drain fixes but that most probably won’t work. Also, asking for a replacement Sense will not do anything as the problem does not lie with the watch.

A temporary workaround is to switch off Bluetooth on your phone, restart your Fitbit Sense and recharge it. Needless to say, that’s not an ideal or long-term solution but it does work. If you don’t want to switch the Bluetooth off, you can try unpairing Sense from the smartphone app.

Hopefully Fitbit will issue a software update soon that will work for everyone. It has already been more than two months that some users have been stuck with the battery drain issue.

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3 thoughts on “Fitbit Sense plagued by battery drain issues since recent firmware update

  • Hi I am wearing a Fitbit Sense watch and indeed observe the faster battery drain after the firmware update to 44.128.5.38. The frequent charge after few days when battery gets empty results into faster battery degradation due to frequent charge cycle. I do not think that the workaround would fully give the benefits of wearing a smart watch. Could you help to check the possibility in reverting the previous firmware version and will update when bug is fixed? Your rely will be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  • My Fitbit drained completely during my sleep and now won’t charge at all. Notta bit.

    Reply
  • I have the Ionic and same problem after the recent update. I’ve also lost my detailed sleep analysis and it’s recording about double my heart rate. Good for active minute stats ;-/ but not true recording…. I have unpaired my ionic, uninstalled app on iPhone and factory reset my Fitbit without success. Very frustrating!

    Reply

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