Fitbit Luxe Review: A tiny tracker that is simple and heavy on the eyes

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Yesf I asked you to imagine a fitness tracker on the wrist of a random person, what would your imaginary wearable device look like? For years, they mostly looked the same – plastic or metal rectangles attached to some generic silicone or nylon tape.

Fitbit likes to say that its wearable parts are reminiscent of jewelry. But it’s hard to make a fitness tracker in fact it looks like jewelry and does everything from taking steps, sleeping and exercising to telling you to breathe and relax. In 2016, the company tried its hand at a modern fitness band Alta, but that device was just a little narrower filling with a fine screen and has since been abolished. With luxury, Fitbit sings a famous tune, once again promising “a fashionably advanced fitness and wellness tracker … in an elegant effortless bracelet design.”

Pros

  • Slim and comfortable design
  • Possibility to monitor health
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • The small screen is hard to read

In addition to the design, the Luxe contains almost everything you would want from a fitness bar: heart rate sensor, oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, sleep monitoring, water resistance and basic synchronization with the phone. At $ 150, this could be a great option for those looking for a simple hassle-free tracker that stands out among the crowd.

Design

Fitbit’s previous claims about how elegant and classy their trackers are were questionable. They are all just rectangular blocks with a few minor variations. When announcing Luxe, the company painstakingly explained in detail how it made Luxe’s ​​case, saying that “the penetrating design of the device has a soft, delicate shape inspired by the human body that lies lightly on your wrist and looks and looks like jewelry.”

Gallery: Fitbit Luxe photo review |. | 12 photos


She used techniques such as metal injection molding to make the stainless steel case, “providing the warmth expected of handmade jewelry, while providing the level of precision needed to enable its advanced sensor technology.” After a few dozen mentions of how sleek the Luxe is, the company eventually calls this “one of Fitbit’s most modern and comfortable devices to date.”

Co-founder James Park said “We’ve made great technological advances with Luxe, creating a smaller, thinner, nicely designed tracker full of advanced features – some that were previously only available with our smartwatches.” Which means Fitbit has managed to shove advanced components into Luxe’s tiny tiny body, which is about as wide as my index finger and only 1.43 inches long. It is really very small and thin, with a profile of 0.4 inches. It is about as thick as the Apple Watch SE, but about a third of its width. It is also about three-quarters wide like the Fitbit Charge 4 ia hair thinner.

So, Luxe is a gentle little thing, which is nice for people like me who have small wrists. The stainless steel case itself is slightly curved along the edges, which makes it less blocking than the Charge 4 and Alta. But the belt you choose can make all the difference. Combined with the silicone option you get in the box, the Luxe still looks kind of basic. Replace it with, say, the Gold Mesh version sent to me by both Fitbit and voila! Instant style enhancement.

Slight corner of Fitbit Luxe with light pink silicone strap on the wrist on a dark brown background with a bit of greenery.  The screen shows the time at 6:30 p.m.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

That’s nice, but you could make most other fitness trackers look attractive by replacing a nice band. Luxe stands out with its fine size and narrow width, which is good news for those who want something smaller. An added bonus of the Lux imprint is that it never stood in my way while I was typing or running my foot.

The bad thing about Lux’s size is that its screen is appropriately small. This is a 0.76-inch AMOLED panel that works at a resolution of 124 x 206. It is surrounded by a thick frame, which probably hides all Lux sensors. But this makes things like your training very difficult to read. The screen itself is sharp, bright and vivid. But if you have trouble reading small text, you may need a larger device. Fitbit told Engadget that an update coming soon will cover larger text, although we still don’t know the specific timeline or what it will look like when it launches.

Like the Charge 4 and Sense smartwatch, the Luxe has no physical keys. But unlike the other two, this tracker doesn’t even have an inductive solid state sensor that detects pressure to trigger action. The only way you will communicate with Luxe is through the touch screen. Fortunately, Fitbit here uses a standard instead of an artificial touch screen that you had to hit hard to detect touch. With Luxe you can swipe your finger across the screen and tap on it like on any smartwatch, albeit with a very basic OS.

Fitbit Luxe with light pink silicone strap on the wrist resting on a wet fence.  The screen is off.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Swiping up from the main screen shows your daily progress and battery percentage, while swiping down can access Settings and enable Do Not Disturb, Sleep, or Water Lock modes. Sliding sideways brings you to Notification, Exercise, Relaxation (guided breathing), Alarm and Timer. You can scroll vertically through each of these sections to get to more functions. Double-tap the top of the back screen (or swipe right). That’s it.

For more customizations, such as rearranging your favorite workouts in an exercise, you’ll need to open the Fitbit app on your phone. Here by default you will find walking, running, cycling, swimming, treadmill and exercise (everything else). When you exercise, Luxe will display your calories burned, elapsed time, heart rate and, as needed, pace or mileage. It’s a lot less information than you’ll see on a larger screen at first glance, but it’s a sacrifice you make for a smaller tracker. You can swipe up to see more things, like the pause button, but that’s it.

As you exercise, Fitbit will display your cardio zone below your heart rate, with labels like “fat burning” and “peak”. This is useful information, but again, this is so little. I have decent eyesight and even struggled a bit to read it (and it was getting harder when I waved my arms as I ran).

Fitbit Luxe with light pink silicone strap on the wrist on a concrete gray background.  The screen shows a run that is monitored at a speed of 26:00 and traveled 0.01 miles.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Aside from the cramped screen, the Luxe behaves like most other basic Fitbit trackers. Although the notifications are tedious to read, it’s nice that you can send a quick preset response or emoji thumbnails from your wrist. The device will also buzz when you are idle for too long or when you have reached the target active minutes. When you raise your wrist, the screen wakes up and shows you the time (thankfully a large font). If you wear a sleeping tape, it will use your heartbeat to detect which sleep zones you are in, and after three nights it will tell you things like a resting pulse. If you run, walk, swim or ride a bike (or more) for at least 15 minutes, Luxe will automatically recognize and record your activities. And you can change that minimum time requirement to something else via the app. Unlike the Charge 4, however, the Luxe does not have a built-in GPS and will need to connect to a phone to map your external races.

Something new that Google has completed the acquisition of Fitbit is the introduction of Fast Pair that works with Android devices. That’s why the Luxe is set up and synchronized with my Pixel 4a a a breeze. I loaded the Luxe and a window appeared on all my Pixel review units asking if I wanted to connect to the tracker. I knocked that even before I realized it, I was going through the welcome pages because I already had the Fitbit app installed. This is much easier than the old way of first opening the app, pressing the Add New Device button and then endlessly waiting for my phone to find wearable equipment.

There are some more features that Luxe offers, but only if you pay an extra Fitbit Premium for an extra $ 10 a month. The company offers six months of free shopping, and this gives you extra insight like your activity, heart rate and sleep trends. It will also unlock monthly and year-round reports on your wellness, detailed breakdowns on your sleep and stress, as well as guided workouts, attention and nutrition programs. Without a subscription, most people should find the basic data that Luxe collects enough. But those who want to learn about their long-term health trends can benefit from Premium.

Battery life

Front view of a Fitbit Luxe with a gold mesh bracelet on a patterned blue and white background.  Its screen displays a calendar notification of the event from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Cherylnn Low / Engadget

Fitbit promises that the Luxe will last up to five days, and I actually spent a whole seven days testing the device before it came out. That’s with tracking more training every other day, although the band didn’t sleep most nights. If you keep Luxe on while you go to bed and if you connect it a lot to your phone’s GPS, your running time will probably be shorter.

Wrap

The most striking thing about Fitbit Lux is not its style; it is his greatness. The fact that this small device can do so much is noteworthy, and those with smaller joints will love the way it fits. But its size is also one of the drawbacks – the small screen makes it difficult to read. Still, for $ 150 the Luxe is a well-made and capable fitness tracker that can track almost anything. If you are looking for a simple range of activities that is smaller than most, this will serve you well. At least, as long as you have almost perfect eyesight.

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