Fitbit is betting on a fashion-first fitness tracker with the Luxe band. The $150 (converts to about £110 or AU$200) tracker is a slimmer, sleeker version of previous Fitbit trackers like the Inspire 2. It can be camouflaged to look like jewelry with a wide range of band options. It packs in some of Fitbit’s best health features like advanced sleep metrics and stress tracking, but misses out on others like built-in GPS and mobile payments with the same five-day battery life as Fitbit’s other trackers.
A design that makes it stand out from the crowd
My first impression of the Fitbit Luxe is that it looks like a hybrid between theand the Inspire, but with rounded edges and a slimmer body. It has a small rectangular touch screen that curves to the shape of the wrist and it’s the first of Fitbit’s trackers with a full-color display enclosed in a stainless steel frame (available in gold and platinum).
What elevates its aesthetic is its wide array of bands that can easily be swapped out to make it look less like a tracker, and more like a bracelet. Fitbit offers everything from silicone sports bands to leather loop bands for the Luxe. The company has also partnered with jewelry maker Gorjana for a chain-link special edition version.
Better health monitoring, basic fitness tracking
Unlike other trackers, fitness is not the main purpose of the Luxe.
Instead, Fitbit is positioning it more as a holistic wellness tracker than a dedicated fitness band. The two main factors that it’s looking at are stress and sleep. Instead of using a designated sensor like the $250 Fitbit Sense, which has an electrodermal activity sensor to monitor stress, the Luxe uses activity levels, sleep and heart rate to calculate the body’s ability to handle stress. Then, it issues a daily stress management score. It measures breathing rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate and skin temperature variation. It will also be able to measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) in the future. The stress management score will also be rolling out to other Fitbit devices with heart rate tracking.
Even though fitness is not the focus, the Luxe tracks up to 20 workout types and has automatic workout detection if you forget to start a session. But unlike the Charge 4 which has built-in GPS, the Luxe relies on your phone to track routes for outdoor workouts.
It also includes a six-month subscription to Fitbit Premium ($9.99 a month) which gives users a more comprehensive look at their health metrics as well as providing guided workouts, meditation sessions and wellness coaching.
Limited smart features and OK battery life
Everything else on the tracker is secondary. It displays notifications, reminders and can serve as an alarm or stopwatch, but lacks mobile payments through Fitbit Pay and it doesn’t come with any kind of music control or storage. Fitbit claims a five-day battery on the Luxe, but it may depend on usage.
The Fitbit Luxe is available in the US starting April 19 for $150. Its combination of looks and features may entice a new type of user that doesn’t need all the extra bells and whistles or extra bulk from a full-fledged smartwatch. However at $150, plus the cost of accessories — which can add anywhere from $30 to $200 –it faces steep competition from other Fitbit devices and cheaper trackers like the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, which costs half the price.