Fitbit Luxe: Fashion-conscious fitness tracker to beat the bands

Review: The Luxe delivers what you’ve come to expect from Fitbit, and it looks good too

Product name: Fitbit Luxe

Price: €149.0

Where to buy: fitbit.com

Website: www.fitbit.com

Thu, Jul 22, 2021, 05:04

   

Fitbit has a lot of competition out there these days. From the higher-end smartwatches to the cheaper fitness trackers, there are plenty of choices.

So how is Fitbit responding? By making their trackers more subtle than before.

The Fitbit Luxe, as the name suggests, is designed to be the more fashionable activity tracker you can buy. While it won’t get mistaken for a piece of jewellery, Fitbit certainly has achieved its aim. With a stainless steel casing, OLED display and good choice of bands, the Luxe has much more of a high-end feel to it. On the underside of the watch is the heart rate sensor.

But despite its smaller size, the Luxe still delivers what you’ve come to expect from Fitbit: good battery life, automatic exercise tracking and sleep tracking at night, wrapped up in a neat package.

The colour OLEDis bright and easy to see, although a bit on the small side.You swipe on the touch screen to move between menus, and although it has good responsiveness to touches, there’s a lot of swiping involved to see basic stats. Therein lies the trade-off for the smaller screen.

You can monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen, along with stress and sleep. It is swimproof too, and will track your swimming workouts

Its main function is to record your activity, something Fitbit has perfected over the years. It automatically recognises and records up to 20 different physical activities, from walking and running to cycling and cardio. You can also manually start workouts too, and change the shortcuts for your favourite activities through the app.

Like most other Fitbit trackers, it performs this well, recognising the dfference between “my cycle” and “my run”. And the heart rate monitor was accurate, keeping close to the Apple Watch when tested side by side.

While you sleep, the Luxe will track heart rate variability and your respiration rate. It’s not something that jumps to mind immediately when you think of metrics that you need to pay attention to, but monitoring both can give you an overall picture of your health.

Stress management is something else that wouldn’t have been high on the list for most people pre-pandemic. But now, as we continue to work from home with no real end in sight yet, perhaps we are all a bit more aware of our stress levels. Simply knowing you’re stressed isn’t enough, though; you also need to know how to tackle it. Fitbit has included guided breathing exercises to help you get your stress levels under control.

There are other sacrifices here. There is no built-in GPS, for example, so you have to rely on your phone to track running and cycle distance and routes. If you are a Fitbit Pay user, you’ll be disappointed, as there is no NFC included. But there is only so much you can fit inside a small case, and Fitbit has done well on this front; you just can’t have everything.

The Luxe will also connect to your phone and deliver notifications for calls and messages, although the small screen once again limits the usefulness of this.

The good  If you want a more subtle fitness tracker for everyday wear, then the Fitbit Luxe certainly fits the bill. The device may come with a standard band, but there are plenty of non-silicone options from Fitbit, and third-party sellers have already started making the bands for the device.

The Luxe includes all the funtions you would expect from a Fitbit, despite its small size. You can monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen, along with stress and sleep. It is swimproof too, and will track your swimming workouts.

The not so good  The small screen may not be the best suited to everyone, both in terms of reading it and also navigating through the various options. The screen responds well to touch, though.

Price-wise, it’s not the cheapest band out there.

The rest Battery life if as good as you would expect from Fitbit. There are no daily chargings to worry about, with the band regularly achieving the five days it promises.

The Luxe also includes a six-month trial of Fitbit Premium, which offers extra data-driven health insights for a monthly fee.

The verdict The Fitbit Luxe provides plenty of functions in a subtle package.