The Fitbit Luxe unabashedly puts form before function, for better or worse
Over the years, Fitbit has made a conscious effort to cater to a wide range of users. Just when you think they've outdone themselves, they manage to come out with something new and different. The Fitbit Luxe is no exception. You'll get an array of health and wellness features packed into a sleek and stylish fitness tracker.
If history is any indication, we know that even the best fitness trackers aren't particularly fashionable. You'd usually have to spend a pretty penny on a high-end smartwatch to get something even remotely attractive.
Fortunately, the Fitbit Luxe understands what it's trying to be, even if it's not necessarily the best Fitbit available in terms of features. With competitors such as Apple charging top dollar for a stunning design and premium perks, maybe Fitbit feels justified in following that trend. The Luxe might be fashionable, but it does leave behind some important features that may make you think twice about the price tag.
What can this stylish fitness tracker do?
While it's clear that the main draw with the Fitbit Luxe is its design, there's more to it than that. Fitbit's goal was to deliver a stylish tracker that's versatile enough for all occasions while still keeping health and fitness at the forefront. Additionally, the company says it was unwilling to sacrifice style for function.
You might assume that such a small fitness tracker may not be able to offer much, but you'll likely be pleasantly surprised with this tiny but mighty device. For starters, the new Fitbit Luxe is equipped with many of the stress management and mindfulness tools that were launched with the release of the Fitbit Sense last year.
The company cites an increase in self-care among Fitbit users as one reason for launching the Luxe. This includes a worldwide increase in meditation of nearly 3,000% in the past year alone. With stress levels at an all-time high as we try our best to navigate a global pandemic, it's nice to see that Fitbit is doing its part by offering wearables with health tools that can help better manage that stress. The real question is: Are these health and wellness perks enough to draw users in?
Tons of useful features
Whether you're new to Fitbit wearables or you've owned a few different ones, the company continues to offer a core set of health and fitness tracking features on every device. The same goes for the Fitbit Luxe, which comes with 24/7 heart-rate tracking, activity/sleep tracking, stress monitoring, menstrual health tracking, and 20 exercise modes with SmartTrack exercise recognition.
The Fitbit Luxe is designed to take a deeper look at your health and wellness. While some trackers cover basic activity and sleep tracking, the Luxe aims to go a step further. For example, you'll have a stress management score, which will be a standard feature for existing Fitbit trackers and smartwatches. This feature provides a daily assessment of your body's ability to handle stress based on your activity levels, sleep patterns, and heart rate trends.
When you're feeling stressed and need to find a moment of calm, you can try the on-wrist guided breathing sessions. If you're a fan of these sessions, you'll be pleased to learn that Fitbit Premium has partnered with Deepak Chopra to offer more mindfulness exercises to its users.
When there's so much data to review, it can be difficult to track your metrics. The Fitbit Luxe comes with an easy-to-to-use Health Metrics dashboard in the Fitbit app. You get a detailed overview of your breathing rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and resting heart rate (RHR). Soon, the Luxe will also be able to track skin temperature variation as well as blood oxygen saturation levels.
This might seem like a lot to take in for new users, but it becomes easier once you understand what this data means. For instance, if you notice a sudden change when reviewing your weekly HRV and RHR, this could be a sign of stress, fatigue, or even a cold. The dashboard provides a 7-day view of these health metrics. With Fitbit Premium, you can track your monthly trends and personal ranges. The Luxe comes with a free 6-month trial of Fitbit Premium, so you can decide whether it's something you want to invest in.
Speaking of Fitbit Premium, you'll now have access to more than 200 guided audio and video workouts from certified personal trainers. These workouts come from a variety of popular fitness brands, including Aaptiv, barre3, Daily Burn, obé, and POPSUGAR. This is great for people who already participate in these types of guided workouts. Those who prefer to spend their time outdoors might not be too impressed.
Another useful Fitbit perk we're seeing more and more of is Active Zone Minutes. This feature offers a personalized standard for tracking activity that goes beyond basic step counting. Active Zone Minutes measures your time spent in each heart rate zone and helps gauge when it's time to push harder or scale back. You'll also have the motivation you need to help you reach the weekly recommended goal of 150 Active Zone Minutes.
A truly stunning design
We can't talk about the Fitbit Luxe without addressing the stunning design. As someone who tends to gravitate toward smartwatches for their superior style, it's refreshing to see a fitness tracker that can compete in this arena. In addition to being extremely comfortable and versatile, the Fitbit Luxe also offers an attractive design that's modern but simple.
When you take into account how small this tracker is, it's impressive that it can do so much. This is largely due to the miniaturized internal components that minimize the tracker's overall footprint. As a matter of fact, this is Fitbit's thinnest touchscreen tracker yet. Even with a vibrant AMOLED display, the Luxe can still churn out a solid 5 days of battery life. That might seem fairly decent, but some people might favor the grayscale OLED on the Charge 4 that leads to a full 7 days of battery life.
The Luxe comes in a durable yet lightweight stainless steel case that's available in three colors: Soft Gold, Platinum, and Graphite. The Fitbit Luxe is also compatible with interchangeable bands, so you can switch up your look whenever you feel like it. Head out for a run with a flexible silicone band or attend a dinner party with a classy stainless steel mesh band.
Admittedly, the Fitbit Luxe is packed with some innovative features that will provide a good wearable experience for most users. With that said, it's not uncommon for some fitness trackers to leave you feeling like you're missing something. In the case of the Fitbit Luxe, the main features you'll be missing are NFC payments and built-in GPS.
Considering that the Fitbit Charge 4 was released a year ago for the same exact price and came with GPS, it's a bit disappointing that it was omitted from the Luxe. If you'll recall, this fitness tracker was quite the hit among wearable enthusiasts. It's now available for a lower price, so for some people, it might not make sense to pay more for the Luxe and miss out on these perks.
Will this change how users feel about this fancy tracker? That depends on your priorities. Those who spend their time running or cycling outdoors may not want a device without a built-in GPS. You can connect the Luxe to your phone's GPS, but that's another item you have to carry during your workout. While NFC payments aren't nearly as important as GPS, users who have gotten used to this feature may miss it.
There's no denying that the Luxe is full of useful features, but the Charge 4 was one of the first fitness trackers to offer built-in GPS. While this is a common feature among some of the best Android smartwatches, it's not quite as prevalent on fitness trackers. Unfortunately, it's not a perk you'll find on the Luxe. If you're not married to the idea of having built-in GPS on your fitness tracker, then this may not be a deal-breaker for you.
All things considered, the Fitbit Luxe is a highly capable fitness tracker that's focused on monitoring your health and wellness while also providing you with tools to help you improve. For the price, it's unfortunate that built-in GPS and Fitbit Pay are missing. Users who aren't too bothered by these omissions might just be willing to pay the price for its elegant design.
The Fitbit Luxe is now available for preorder on the company's website, with shipping to begin at the end of May.
Elegance with a few flaws
Where fashion and wellness meet
While the Fitbit Luxe is a fashion-forward fitness tracker with key health and wellness features, you won't have GPS or NFC. If you're content with heart-rate monitoring, sleep tracking, stress monitoring, guided breathing sessions, and 5 days of battery life, then the price tag may be worth it.
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Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.