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- The Fitbit Luxe is a stylish fitness tracker packed with plenty of health-tracking tech.
- It’s also the first Fitbit to come with an AMOLED screen, which makes clock faces look more vibrant.
- But it’s missing features, like an always-on display, that would have made it even more useful.
The problem with most fitness trackers is that they live up to their name too accurately when it comes to design. In other words, they can feel out of place with any outfit other than your gym attire.
Fitbit is looking to change this with its appropriately-named Luxe, which costs $149 and began shipping in June. Leveraging Fitbit’s signature top-notch, fitness-tracking technology and adding a stainless steel casing, slim band, and colorful screen, it’s clear the Fitbit Luxe was made for those who want equal parts fashion and fitness.
Fitbit ultimately succeeds at making a fitness tracker that I’m actually excited to put on my wrist, while still packing it with plenty of health tech.
But it has some notable limitations that can diminish its appeal. The battery life isn’t as long as most other Fitbit devices, and the beautiful screen sometimes feels too small to truly be useful. Plus, it’s missing some incredibly useful features — like an always-on display — that would have really made the Luxe shine.
Design and display
The Fitbit Luxe is visually striking, especially compared to most fitness trackers. You wouldn’t exactly mistake it for a piece of jewelry when paired with its default band, but it certainly wouldn’t look out of place on your wrist at a formal dinner party either.
The tracker is made of a stainless steel casing that’s available in several color combinations. In addition to the included classic band and the high-end Gorjana band, Fitbit sells stainless steel mesh, woven, and Horween leather bands for the Luxe.
Surprisingly, a big part of what makes the Fitbit Luxe stand out aesthetically is its AMOLED display, which is a variation of the OLED display. These types of displays are known for offering better contrast and boldness than LCD screens. Clock faces look vibrant and lively on the Luxe, especially pink and blue tones on Fitbit’s Aura watch face.
The Luxe is the first Fitbit device to come with an AMOLED screen, but it’s not the only wearable with that type of screen tech. The Apple Watch has had an OLED screen for years, and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 also has a Super AMOLED display. Still, it’s exciting to see this on a device under $200.
That being said, it’s best to think of the screen as a design element rather than a utility. The Luxe’s svelte build means the screen is quite tiny, which can make using it for anything more than checking the time or your fitness goals a hassle. This made me really wish the Fitbit Luxe had a voice assistant like Fitbit’s smartwatches, especially for tasks like setting alarms.
The Luxe also lacks one of the most useful features to come to wearables in recent years: an always-on display. The option to show the time even when the device is inactive makes wearables much more useful as wristwatches. And for such a fashion-focused device like the Luxe, it would have been great to have that colorful watch face on-screen at all times.
Health and fitness tracking
The Fitbit Luxe comes with the important health and fitness features you’d expect from a modern wearable — and from the quality brand of Fitbit.
The Luxe tracks your daily activity, can log up to 20 different types of exercises, and records your run pace and distance using your phone’s GPS. It can also monitor how many minutes you spend in your personalized heart rate zone during a workout and measures your heart rate throughout the day.
These features are pretty standard for Fitbit’s more basic fitness trackers and makes sense for the Luxe, which is designed for those who want an attractive, everyday activity tracker. Those who truly want every health feature Fitbit has to offer should opt for the Sense smartwatch, which has advanced capabilities like electrocardiogram monitoring.
The workout-tracking selection is pretty decent, offering staples like biking, running, and weightlifting in addition to more niche activities like martial arts and bootcamp. It’s a solid running companion for casual runners, as it is able to measure pace via my phone’s GPS almost as accurately as the
app running on my phone.
There was a little less than a minute difference between Fitbit and Strava results, which is a big deal for avid runners training for marathons and other races. But casual wearers just looking to stay active will probably find the Luxe to be accurate enough.
Sleep tracking and stress management
I’ve always appreciated Fitbit’s detailed sleep tracking, and that’s no different on the Luxe. Like the brand’s other products, the Fitbit Luxe can issue a sleep score based on the quality of your sleep and provide data on sleep duration and how much time you spent in deep and REM sleep.
But you need to subscribe to the $9.99-per-month Fitbit Premium to get the full selection of sleep and health insights. These include detailed charts showing when you fluctuate between sleep stages, trends over time, and your estimated oxygen variation overnight. Fortunately, you get a six-month trial of Premium included with the Luxe.
The Premium features are probably only worth it for those who need to keep closer tabs on their sleep for health reasons. Even without the Premium membership, Fitbit devices generally provide more insightful sleep tracking than the Apple Watch, which just shows your sleep duration and average sleep over the past two weeks.
The Premium membership also allows access to more trends over time when it comes to your activity, sleep, and heart rate data and Fitbit’s full library of wellness programs and workouts among other perks. You only get a sampling of these features without Premium.
The Fitbit Luxe also comes with a relatively new health metric: a Stress Management Score. This number provides an indication of whether your body is showing signs of stress based on factors like your heart rate, sleep, and activity. That’s different from the EDA app available on the Sense, which performs a scan in real-time to see how your body may be reacting to stress in the moment.
While it’s nice to see companies like Fitbit paying more attention to the importance of mental health and wellness, I’m not sure this Stress Management Score is helpful. There’s little context around what that number means, even with the Premium subscription.
Otherwise, the Fitbit Luxe comes with many of the wellness features found on its other devices, such as guided breathing exercises and menstrual tracking. It can also monitor your blood oxygen levels overnight and on the wrist, but that capability isn’t available yet.
Smart features and battery life
The Fitbit Luxe is meant to be a fitness tracker, not a smartwatch replacement, so it only offers the basics like delivering calls and texts to your wrist, the ability to set timers and alarms, and support for Do Not Disturb mode. You can’t use Fitbit’s contactless payments feature as you can on the Charge 4, and there’s no option to remotely control music from Spotify.
Otherwise, the Fitbit Luxe has most of the core features I find myself using most each day, except for its lack of voice-assistant compatibility.
The Fitbit Luxe’s smaller design also means shorter battery life. The device lasted for about two days during my time using it, although Fitbit says it should last for five. That’s quite short considering the device isn’t running an internal GPS (a known battery drainer). However, that’s about on par with the Apple Watch’s battery life and shorter than other Fitbits like the Charge 4 and Versa 3. Fitbit says this isn’t typical for the Luxe, and most early users are seeing battery life that exceeds five days.
Battery life varies depending on your usage. In my first two days wearing the tracker, I had the screen brightness set to normal and recorded an hour-long workout, which included a 13-minute outdoor run during which the Luxe connected to my phone’s GPS.
Should you buy it?
Yes, the Fitbit Luxe delivers on its intended purpose: serving as a sleek and stylish fitness band that has plenty to offer when it comes to health tracking. But it’s missing some important features that could have made it truly excellent.
The biggest omission is its lack of an always-on display, which has become standard on many wearables. The screen can also feel inconvenient to operate with your finger because it’s so tiny. Since it’s missing a voice assistant, there’s no other choice for tasks like setting alarms and timers.
Yes, these features are usually found on smartwatches, not fitness trackers. But as smartwatches gain more health and wellness functionality, fitness trackers like the Luxe may have to adopt the best aspects of the smartwatch experience to keep up.
What are your alternatives?
The $129.95 Fitbit Charge 4 and $99.95 Fitbit Inspire 2 are the best alternatives for those who want a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch.
The Charge 4, despite its lower price, comes with a few more health features, Fitbit Pay, and remote Spotify controls. But where it falls short is in its design. It has a much less elegant and bulkier look, and the screen is greyscale instead of color. Simply put, the Charge 4 looks like a fitness tracker.
The Inspire 2 is much cheaper and claims to offer 10-day battery life. It’s missing the Luxe’s extra health tracking like blood oxygen level saturation and the stress management score, but has many of the metrics that matter. It’s slim, but doesn’t have the polish that comes with the Luxe’s stainless steel casing.
If you want a wearable that looks great and has a larger display, check out some of the options in this guide.
The bottom line
The Fitbit Luxe is handily the most attractive fitness tracker I’ve worn, and delivers Fitbit’s most important fitness and wellness metrics. However, it’s missing features that would have greatly improved its usability.
Pros: Elegant design, beautiful OLED screen, plenty of health and fitness features
Cons: No always-on display or voice assistant support, small screen can be difficult to use, short battery life for a Fitbit