The Fitbit Luxe is more of a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, and that’s not much of an issue if you ask a few loyalists.
- Graceful and sleek
- Bright, clear AMOLED display
- Great steps and heart rate tracking
- Small screen, limited information visibility
- No built-in GPS
- SpO2 monitor not activated
Sleep, heart rate tracking
AMOLED color display
20 training modes
Menstrual Cycle Tracking, Stress Management Tools
When it comes to sports and health tracking, there are those who prefer fitness trackers and others who prefer smartwatches. When I first went to the gym, the Fitbit Charge 2 was my companion, from there I moved to the Fitbit Versa, then the Versa 2, then the Apple Watch. I have tried a slew of fitness trackers and smartwatches when it comes to health and fitness tracking and personally prefer the range of things I can do with a smartwatch (answer calls, reply to messages, etc.) tracker. However, I do understand the desire and choice not to be disturbed or distracted by a buzz on the wrist while exercising and that’s where something like a Fitbit Luxe makes sense.
The Fitbit Luxe can pretty much be called the high-end version of the Fitbit Inspire 2, taking you back to the sleek design that the company introduced in 2013 with the Fitbit Flex. But there is much more here. The Fitbit Luxe looks sleek, polished and is so graceful that it almost made me feel good. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a wearable look that’s perfect for slender wrists. And Fitbit Luxe scores all the points with how it looks. When you dive into the health experience it pays off, but it has its limitations.
It’s not a smartwatch like the Fitbit Versa 3 or the newer Fitbit Sense. You can’t use the Fitbit Luxe to make calls or answer messages. It is best used to monitor your health and keep you on track with your healthier habits. In that respect, the Fitbit Luxe delivers perfectly. For everyday use, the Fitbit Luxe accurately tracks steps and heart rate, you can see some health stats on the small screen. But for more in-depth data and measurements, you’ll need to launch the companion Fitbit app. The Fitbit Luxe comes with a six-month free trial of Fitbit Premium and you can activate it as soon as you pair the device with your phone. Also, there is no built-in GPS on the Fitbit Luxe. This means using your smartphone’s built-in accelerometer and GPS. There are other fitness trackers on the market that are cheaper than the Fitbit Luxe and have built-in GPS support (such as the Huawei Band 3 Pro), but the Fitbit experience is much more refined and seamless.
The Fitbit Luxe is one of Fitbit’s smallest fitness trackers, and while the design reminds you of the Inspire 2, the plastic body of the Inspire has been replaced with stainless steel on the Luxe, giving it a sleeker, sleeker look. It follows the same “organic industrial design language” as other Fitbit wearables, with the device itself built on ergonomic lines that better fit the curves of the human body. The Fitbit Luxe therefore fits perfectly around your wrist without having to tighten the straps.
The Fitbit Luxe comes with a number of band options for you to choose from – there’s the silicone band and also a gold-tone stainless steel link bracelet designed by jewelry designer Gorjana. While the Fitbit Luxe already looks quite delicate and, shall we say, and feminine, especially in the gold hue, the link bracelet makes it look more like jewelry. But the Luxe comes in black, silver and gold and the silicone bands come in Lunar White, Orchid and Black – so take your pick, additional bands are sold separately.
The Fitbit Luxe is also wonderfully light. I am someone who hates wearing fitness bands and/or smartwatches while sleeping, but I had no problems with the Luxe. The strap didn’t dig into my skin, nor did the stainless steel buckle, and I didn’t have to wear it tight to fit.
What stands out for the Fitbit Luxe, besides the ultra-light and graceful design, is the screen. The Luxe has an AMOLED color screen with a resolution of 206 x 124 pixels (as opposed to the monochrome OLEDs on the Charge 4 and Inspire 2) – and it’s bright and gorgeous. The Fitbit Luxe also has no physical buttons and that’s certainly not a hindrance because the screen is snappy and responsive. There are a myriad of watch faces that you can customize from within the Fitbit app, and they all make the most of this bright screen. They show the time, and some also show some additional stats like steps, heart rate and calories burned – but the scope is limited. There’s only so much information you can fit on the screen, and while it’s bright and vibrant, you’ll still need to swipe and scroll for additional data. The animations and scrolling are smooth though, so it’s not much of a hassle.
If you’ve used a Fitbit device before, you can easily use the Fitbit Luxe. The interface makes it easy to track your activity and health. However, we recommend that you adjust some settings before using it, especially for workouts. There are only six slots for workouts on the Luxe and these are basic walk, swim, run, bike, treadmill, and general workout. These cannot be changed from the device, you have to do this from the app.
Since I hadn’t adjusted the device before wearing it to the gym, I used the “general workout” mode to track my session and compared it to the data I got from the Apple Watch for a “different” workout for the same duration. The heart rate detected by Fitbit was very similar to what the Apple Watch was tracking, although the Luxe showed I had burned more active calories compared to my Apple Watch.
For runners, especially serious runners, the Fitbit Luxe is going to be a problem because it doesn’t have built-in GPS. You can log runs with Luxe’s accelerometer, but for accuracy you’ll need to hook up your phone’s GPS.
Like all Fitbit devices, the Fitbit Luxe shows goal animations when you reach your goals and they act as a nice incentive to keep you going. And given Fitbit’s popularity and wide user base, you can always find a challenge to take on. For me, all my friends who used Fitbits have now switched to other platforms.
For in-depth training and health data, you must use the Fitbit app. You get call and message notifications on the Fitbit Luxe and you can read messages, but that’s it. Reminder to move, a moment for mindfulness, drink water, wash your hands, etc all work well on the Fitbit Luxe and are also disabled by default until you don’t enable them from the app – so no distractions if you don’t want to them not.
The battery life of the Fitbit Luxe lasted about five days before I got the prompt to charge it. You connect the Luxe with the magnetic USB charger and it drains fairly quickly. You also need to wear the Fitbit Luxe to sleep for three nights to calibrate your sleep pattern and send you the sleep score each morning. This sleep score is based on the duration and quality of your sleep. Once Fitbit rolls out the SpO2 feature on the Fitbit Luxe, we expect battery life to take a dent.
The Fitbit app is super simple to use and easy to dive into, even if you haven’t used a Fitbit device before. While it gives you all the data you need, but for more in-depth insights, guided workouts, wellness reports, etc., you need the Fitbit Premium subscription. There’s a six-month free trial that comes with the Fitbit Luxe and it’s easy to activate so you can try it out before deciding if it’s worth spending money on.
Should you buy it?
The Fitbit Luxe looks great, in fact it’s without a doubt the sleekest fitness band we’ve seen in a long time. I love Jawbone’s design language and unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to use one, and I’ve always wished a brand would bring that back. Fitbit came close with the Fitbit Flex, but on fitness bands it wasn’t great to look at. The Fitbit Luxe changed that for me.
In terms of functionality, it’s fine for those cardio workouts and basic gym sessions, but it’s not enough for something more intense and professional. The lack of GPS makes it a no-go for runners. It’s good at tracking heart rate and steps, and it’s great for those memories. But the Fitbit Luxe is on the expensive side, and given what it offers, it might not be enough for most unless they’re already Fitbit users on the Charge 4 or the Inspire 2 and now want something that looks better. There are cheaper and more versatile alternatives on the market, but none look as good as the Fitbit Luxe.