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Fitbit Luxe Review: A lightweight tracker that is easy and hard on the eyes

If I asked you to place a fitness tracker on the wrist of a casual person, what would your imaginary laptop look like? For years, they largely looked the same – plastic or metal rectangles attached to some generic silicone or nylon straps.

Fitbit likes to say that her clothes look like jewelry. But it’s hard to make a fitness tracker that in fact it resembles jewelry and does everything from recording your steps, sleeping and training to breathing and relaxing. The company tried its hand at an elegant fitness band in 2016 with the Alta, but that device was only a slightly tighter charge with a thin screen and has been since that discontinuous. With in Luxury, Fitbit sings a familiar tune, promising once again a “fitness and wellness tracker … in a effortlessly chic bracelet design”.

Pros

  • Slim design is comfortable
  • Able to monitor health
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • The small screen is difficult to read

Designed separately, the Luxe packs almost everything you want from a fitness band: a heart rate sensor, oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, sleep tracking, water resistance and basic synchronization with the your phone. At $ 150, This could be a great option for those looking for a simple frills-free tracker that stands out from the crowd.

Conception

Fitbit’s previous claims about how sleek and stylish its trackers have been have been debatable. They are all just rectangular blocks with a few minor variations. When it announced the Luxe, the company detailed how it made the Luxe custody, saying that “the advanced design of the device has a soft and gentle shape inspired by the human body that sits lightly on the wrist with an appearance similar to jewelry ”.

Gallery: Portraits of Fitbit Luxe 12 œ 12 Photo

He used techniques such as metal injection to make the case stainless steel, “providing the heat expected by handcrafted jewelry, all while providing a level of accuracy needed to activate its advanced sensor technology.” After flashing a few dozen mentions of how stylish the Luxe is, the company ends up calling it “one of Fitbit’s most fashionable and comfortable devices.”

Co-founder James Park said “We’ve made great technological advances with Luxe, creating a smaller, leaner, well-designed tracker rich in advanced features – some of which were previously only available with our smartwatches.” Meaning that Fitbit was able to squeeze advanced components into the small body of the Luxe, which is as wide as my index finger and only 1.43 inches long. It’s really very small and thin, with a profile of 0.4 inches. It’s almost as thick as Apple Watch SE, but about a third of the width. It’s also about three-quarters as wide as a Fitbit Charge 4, and a hair thinner.

So yes, Luxury is a nice little thing, which is nice for people like me who have small wrists. The stainless steel case itself is slightly curved along the edges, making it less blocking than the Charge 4 and Alta. But the belt you choose can make all the difference. When paired with the silicone option that comes in the box, the Luxe still looks a bit basic. I swapped it for, say, the Gold Mesh version that Fitbit even sent me, and voila! Immediate style elevation.

A slightly angular view of the Fitbit Luxe with a light pink silicone band on one wrist against a dark brown background with a bit of green.  The screen shows that the time is 6:30 pm.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

It’s nice, but you can make most other fitness trackers look attractive by swapping in a nice band. Where the Luxe stands out is in its soft size and narrow width, and it’s good news for those of us who want something smaller. The added bonus of the Luxe print is that it never got in the way when I was writing or executing a handstand.

The downside of the Luxe’s size is that its screen is correspondingly small. This is a 0.76-inch AMOLED panel that runs at a resolution of 124 x 206. It’s surrounded by a thick bezel, which probably hides all of Luxe’s sensors. But this makes things like your training statistics very difficult to read. The screen itself is clean, bright and colorful. But if you have difficulty reading a small text, you may need a larger device. Fitbit told Engadget that an update is coming soon that will include larger text, though we don’t even know the specific timeline or how it will look when rolled out.

Like the Charge 4 and Sense smartwatch, the Luxe has no physical buttons. But unlike the other two, this tracker doesn’t even have a solid-state inductive sensor that detects pressure to trigger an action. The only way to interact with Luxe is through its touchscreen. Fortunately, Fitbit uses a standard here instead of its fake touchscreen that you have to force click on it to detect a touch. With the Luxe, you can swipe and tap on the screen just like any smartwatch, even with a very rudimentary operating system.

The Fitbit Luxe with a light pink silicone band on one wrist rests on a wet rail.  The screen is off.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Dragging from the main screen shows your daily progress and battery percentage, while dragging allows you to access Settings and activate the Do Not Disturb, Sleep or Water modes. Scrolling sideways takes you to Notifications, Exercise, Relaxation (guided breathing), Alarms and Timers. You can scroll vertically over each of these sections to get to more features. Double tap the top of the screen to go back (or swipe right). Here we go.

For more customization, such as rearranging your favorite workouts in Exercise, you’ll need to go to the Fitbit app on your phone. By default, you’ll find Walk, Run, Bike, Swim, Treadmill and Workout (a catch-all for almost everything else) here. When you are exercising, Luxe will show you your calories burned, time spent, heart rate and, where relevant, pace or miles covered. It’s a lot less information than you might see at a glance on a larger screen, but that’s the sacrifice you make for a smaller tracker. You can scroll up to see more things, like a pause button, but here it is.

While you work out, Fitbit will show your cardio zone below your heart rate, with labels like “fat” and “peak”. This is useful information, but again, it’s so small. I have a decent view and also struggled lightly to read it (and it got harder when I was shaking my arms while running).

The Fitbit Luxe with a light pink silicone band on one wrist against a concrete gray background.  The screen shows a race that is tracked with a pace of 26:00 and 0.01 miles traveled.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Close-fitting, the Luxe behaves like most other Fitbit base trackers. Even if the notifications are annoying to read, it’s nice that you can send a quick response or a preset emoji from your wrist. The device will also buzz when you are too inactive, or when you have achieved your targeted active minutes. When you raise your wrist, the screen wakes up to show you the time (in fortunately large fonts). If you bring the band to sleep, it will use your heart rate to detect in which sleep zones you are, and after three nights it will tell you things like your resting heart rate. If you have been running, walking, swimming or cycling (or longer) for at least 15 minutes, the Luxe will automatically detect and record your activity. You can change that minimum time requirement to something else via the app, too. Unlike the Charge 4, however, the Luxe does not have GPS on board and you will need to connect it to your phone to map your external currents.

Something new since Google completed its acquisition of Fitbit is the introduction of Fast Pair, which works with Android devices. This made the setting up of the Luxe and syncing with my Pixel 4a a wind. I loaded the Luxe, and a window popped up on all my Pixel magazine units asking if I wanted to connect to the tracker. I tapped yes and before I knew it, I was going through the home pages since I already had the Fitbit app installed. This is much easier than the old method of first opening the app, hitting the Add New Device button and then waiting endlessly for my phone to find the laptop.

There are a few other features that the Luxe offers, but only if you pay the extra $ 10 a month for Fitbit Premium. The company pulls in six months of giveaways with each purchase, and that gives you additional insights such as your activity, heart rate and sleep patterns. It will also release one-month and one-year reports on your well-being, detailed breakdowns of your sleep and stress, as well as guided workouts, attention and nutrition programs. Without the subscription, most people will have to find the basic data that Luxe collects is enough. But those who are willing to learn about their long-term health trends can benefit from Premium.

Battery life

Front view of the Fitbit Luxe with a gold mesh bracelet on a blue and white patterned background.  Its screen shows a calendar notification for an event from 5:30 pm to 7pm.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Fitbit promises that the Luxe will last up to five days and I actually went a whole week to test the device before it leaked. It’s with tracking several workouts every other day, even if I don’t bring the band to sleep most nights. If you keep the Luxe close when you go to bed, and also connect it to your phone’s GPS a lot, your runtime will probably be shorter.

Wrap up

The most impressive thing about the Fitbit Luxe is not its style; is their size. The fact that this little device can do so much is worth noting, and those with smaller wrists will love the way it fits. But its size is also one of its disadvantages – its small screen makes things difficult to read. However, for $ 150, the Luxe is a well-made and capable fitness tracker that can track pretty much anything. If you are looking for a simple activity band that is smaller than most, this will serve you well. At least, until you have near-perfect vision.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, you can earn an affiliate commission.


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