Fitbit smartwatches just added a killer feature to challenge Apple Watch 6

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Fitbit may have recently announced new smartwatches, but that doesn't mean the company can't give some love to older models. It just released a SpO2-centric clock face for existing Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic users.

While we wait for the new Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3, those with any Ionic or Versa model (including the Versa Lite) can install the SpO2 Signature face. 

The SpO2 Signature face displays your current blood oxygen levels, which can be used to inform both workouts and sleep tracking.

SpO2 monitoring is hot right now because it's a possible indicator of underlying health conditions. It cannot diagnose you with blood oxygenation issues, but it can encourage you to seek medical advice when breathing difficulties are causing sleep disturbances or other ailments.

It's also a good metric for when you're working out. If your blood oxygen levels drop below a normal level, it could mean you need to ease up on your exercise before you injure yourself.  

As its name suggests, the SpO2 Signature clock face puts SpO2 readings front and center. Users can tap on their Fitbit's screen to cycle through a menu of metrics, including Active Zone Minutes, heart rate, step count and stair count. 

This update comes just before the Apple Watch 6's imminent launch, which is expected to take place on Tuesday, September 15 at the just-announced Apple Event. The next-generation, category-leading Apple Watch is rumored to receive its own SpO2 monitor. 

And now that Apple Watch sleep tracking is a thing thanks to watchOS 7, it will be interesting to see how or whether Apple incorporate support for blood oxygen monitoring into user sleep data — or if any of the watch face complications will support active SpO2 readings like Fitbit smartwatches now can.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.