“You’ll fall in love with the Luxe’s minimalist look as it chases everything in the background.”
Minimalist design makes it subtle
Sharp looking AMOLED display
Exceptional battery life
It’s hard for me to believe it’s been five long years since I last checked a Fitbit. That seemed like ages ago, but I think the reason I stopped trying them was because smartwatches were growing in popularity – which showed me that they too were more than capable of tracking health data.
One of the early Fitbits I fell in love with was the Flex because it was discreet and didn’t attract as much attention as a smartwatch, which is probably the same reason that made me choose the company’s newest tracker, the Luxe, pulls out. There’s no doubt about the need for a fashionable design, but the Luxe does compete in an era when smartwatches have evolved significantly to effectively cover more than the functions of a standard fitness tracker.
When I look at my wrist, there is a permanent un-tanned part from the Apple Watch that once adorned the spot. It is reminiscent of the overwhelming nature of some smartwatch designs. With the Fitbit Luxe in its place, however, I forget the sweetness of the minimalist look. I chose the black / graphite-colored stainless steel version of the Luxe, which is a refreshing change. The black rubber band has a subtle contrast to the graphite stainless steel chassis.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
While my special color version of the Luxe prefers a more neutral tone, which I appreciate because it remains subtle and doesn’t stand out like other smartwatches, Fitbit offers it in two other colorful combinations – orchid / platinum stainless steel and moon white / soft gold stainless steel.
And finally, there is the Fitbit Luxe Special Edition, which features a gold Parker link bracelet made of stainless steel in favor of the standard rubber band. Sure, it has a nifty look that effectively masks the tracker to make it look more like a piece of jewelry. While I wouldn’t aim for it, I know it can appeal to people who don’t want to openly flaunt a piece of tech gear on them.
The crown jewel of the Luxe is without question the beautiful AMOLED display. It’s tiny, probably less than an inch diagonal by my estimate, but that doesn’t change its vivid colors, sharp detail, and precise touch responses. Its size perfectly suits its purpose: a fitness tracker that gathers information in the background – all while looking and staying discreet on my wrist.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
In order to become familiar with the operation of the touchscreen, no large investments are required, as you are heavily dependent on the typical swiping movements of other smartwatches. It’s pretty responsive and I enjoy some of the little details like how the screen automatically turns on when you lift the Luxe towards you, as well as covering the display with your palm to quickly turn it off.
This is my first time using a Fitbit with a color screen and it’s an upgrade I’m happy with. While I was intrigued by the glitz and the larger size of other fitness tracker displays (the Samsung Gear Fit comes to mind), I find the more humble nature and smaller size of the Luxe’s AMOLED display equally compelling.
As with other modern fitness trackers, the Luxe offers all relevant health statistics on the device itself without having to check this on a smartphone. It’s handy to say the least, but there are a few “little” smartwatch functions available to you – like setting timers and alarms, starting exercise routines, and receiving notifications. The latter actually allows you to choose which apps you want to receive notifications from, which is handy so you don’t get bombarded with irrelevant things all the time.
On the app side, the Fitbit app is just as rich in information and detail as it was when I last used it. Anything Luxe is chasing breaks open the app. I am particularly impressed with its sleep tracking, which gives me a sleep score similar to that of Sleep Number beds.
However, I’m still a little shocked that the Luxe can mislead me into taking steps when in fact I just moved my hand from side to side. This isn’t an issue that’s limited to Fitbit trackers only, but I thought it was somehow fixed by now. I really don’t think it matters anything in my experience, but I can clearly see how the persecution can be skewed if you do this frequently.
As you’d expect, the Fitbit Luxe works similarly to other fitness trackers. That means it tracks steps, resting / active heart rate, your sleep, and your exercises. All of this is fantastic, something I expect from any fitness tracker these days. However, it lacks one critical feature that I think could add a little more use to his arsenal.
I forget the sweetness of the minimalist look.
I’m talking about an integrated mobile payment solution. In that case, it would have been Fitbit Pay, something available on its other smartwatch-like trackers. Personally, I have relied heavily on mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay, even more so when there are situations where I don’t happen to have my phone with me. Fitbit Pay would have given the Luxe enormous added value, but unfortunately it is missing.
Fitbit’s rating of up to 5 days is still better than most smartwatches. Take the Apple Watch I used, for example, which requires nightly charges. Amazingly, the Luxe managed to surpass Fitbit’s ambitious claims by standing almost 7 full days before a charge. To reduce battery consumption, I only set notifications for text messages and a mobile game that I play religiously. As much as I loathe proprietary chargers, I understand the reasons behind them, so take extra care not to lose this with the Luxe.
I still have a sweet spot for the Fitbit Flex. It was the beginning of the fitness tracker, and like them, the Luxe brings back some of that nostalgia. In fact, the Luxe seems to me to be the modern upgrade of the little old tracker I fell in love with many years ago.
The price isn’t too shabby either. At $ 150, the Luxe isn’t overly expensive compared to the Apple Watch SE’s $ 279 startup cost. While I crave more feature, fitness trackers like this one have the advantage of focusing on the primary fitness stuff above everything else.
Is there a better alternative?
Functionally, most smartwatches can be better alternatives if they are relatively close in price. The Mobvoi TicWatch E3 and Apple Watch SE come to mind, but the tradeoff for superior utility is that the battery life is nowhere near that of the Luxe.
Alternatively, the Fitbit Charge 4 would be a similar offering to the Luxe, but with a lower price point and support for Fitbit Pay.
How long it will take?
Fitbit designed the Luxe to be waterproof up to 50 m, so occasional showering or hand washing doesn’t matter. The elastic can wear out over time, but luckily, it’s easy to replace.
Fitbit offers a one-year limited warranty that covers other defects that may occur.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if you really love its minimalist design. It currently tracks almost all major health metrics, but will also get oxygen saturation monitoring in a future update.