Fitbit has released a new operating system for the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatches. The latest operating system update is given version 5.3. It follows up on the last Fitbit OS update version 5.2.1. The latest operating system seeks to address bug fixes, product improvements and adds new exercise modes for the Sense and Versa 3 smartwatch owners.
As of 7th December, 2021, the Fitbit OS update 5.3 has been pushed to all the eligible Fitbit Sense devices. Not many issues or challenges have been reported as part of the update process. All seems to be good in terms of the latest Fitbit OS update version 5.3.
What is new in Fitbit OS 5.3?
The Fitbit operating system version 3 is available ONLY for the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatches. Other Versa additions remain unaffected by this OS update. If you have a Versa lite, Versa, or a Versa 2 smartwatch, please desist from even looking at the Fitbit OS update version 5.3. Similarly, the Fitbit OS update 5.3 is not meant for the Fitbit Ionic series devices.
The Fitbit OS 5.3 works on the following new additions:
- Critically low battery indicator on the smartwatch – Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense
- Indicator to show that the device is in the Sleep mode
- Indicator to show that the device is in the ‘do not disturb’ mode.
- Addition of the outdoor exercise mode to track outdoor sport activities like kayaking, skiing etc.
- Aside from this, there have been OS improvements for bugs and product features for the Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense smartwatches.
What issues remain in the Fitbit OS 5.3?
Confirmation for the outstanding issues on the Fitbit OS 5.2.1 is awaited for several of issues related to the tracking features on the smartwatch.
There have been no announcements regarding the following:
- bugs in connecting to the Deezer music on the Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense smartwatches.
- integration with Spotify on the Fitbit Versa 3 or Sense smartwatches.
- issues with heart rate monitoring
- issues with inaccurate SpO2 readings or oxygen saturation levels on the watch.
- issues with drop in connectivity with paired iPhones.
- missing integration with Strava for outdoor activity monitoring and tracking
In the absence of any confirmation from the Fitbit, it is best to assume that Deezer remains unavailable on the Fitbit Sense or Versa 3 smartwatches. And, on a similar basis, other bugs in terms of inaccurate readings remain unresolved in the latest operating system update of the Fitbit OS 5.3
How can I update the Fitbit operating system to version 5.3 on Fitbit Sense or Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatches?
The Fitbit OS update 5.3 gets downloaded through the Fitbit app to your Fitbit Versa 3 or Fitbit Sense smartwatch. Fitbit pushes the updates to the Fitbit app installations in a sequential way. It is advisable to wait for the Fitbit OS 5.3 to be made available to your Fitbit app by the company. Installing the Fitbit OS 5.3 manually is not recommended.
As and when the Fitbit OS 5.3 is made available for your Fitbit app, you will receive a notification on the paired phone. Once you receive a notification, you can download the latest Fitbit OS 5.3 directly onto your phone. Before downloading the Fitbit OS 5.3 update for the Fitbit Sense or Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatches, please do follow the best practices for updating the Fitbit OS on your smartwatch.
- Do ensure that your Fitbit app phone is fully charged. The update on the Fitbit OS to version 5.3 may take time, and we do not want the update process to fail due to insifficient battery charge on your phone.
- Try to download the Fitbit OS update on the app through a good quality wifi connection. It will improve the speed of downloads and ensure that the data connection quality does not cause issues in the update process.
- Bluetooth connectivity between the Fitbit Versa 3 and the Fitbit app should be good. Keep the phone that is paired with the Versa 3 smartwatch in close proximity with the Versa 3 watch. On a similar note, we need to make sure that the bluetooth connectivity between the Fitbit app and the Sense watch is of top quality.
Once you have successfully downloaded the latest OS update version 5.3 on your Fitbit app, it will automatically get pushed to the paired Versa 3 or Fitbit Sense smartwatch.
Update Fitbit OS to version 5.3 using the Fitbit app
We recommend that you update the Fitbit Versa 3 or the Fitbit Sense smartwatches through the Fitbit app.
- Allow the Fitbit app to run in background on the paired smartphone.
- Ensure that the phone has adequate charge and is connected to a reasonably fast and reliable wifi connection. Also, do ensure that the smartwatch is fully charged so that it could last one full iteration of the update process.
- Keep the Versa 3 or the Sense smartwatch near the Fitbit app phone.
- On the Fitbit app phone, click on Today icon —->Profile picture—->Device name.
- Tap the pink Update button to initiate the update of the Fitbit OS 5.3 on the Fitbit app.
- The update will download on to your smartphone. So, we need a good connection between the Fitbit app and the Fitbit servers. This is the reason that we recommend using a high speed Internet connection or a wifi connection for downloading the OS update on to the paired smartphone.
- Using the paired connection with the Versa 3 or the Sense smartwatch, the Fitbit OS 5.3 update will automically get pushed to the smartwatch.
- The entire process of update of Fitbit OS to version 5.3 may take up to an hour. The progress of the update is indicated on the device through a progress indicator. Once the update is completed, the progress indicator will indicate the same.
The Fitbit OS update version 5.3 has been made available by Google on 27th October. Fitbit is rolling out the updates through the Fitbit app in a phased manner. We suggest that you could wait for the Fitbit OS 5.3 update to be rolled out to your Fitbit app by the company. There may not be a compelling reason to preempt the availability of the Fitbit OS 5.3 on your device through the official channel of Fitbit.
You may like to read the following content related to Fitbit smartwatches:
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- Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Fitbit Sense
- Latest firmware on Fitbit Versa 3
- Fitbit Sense – smartwatch for 2022
- Does Fitbit Sense have music?
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.