The fashion industry has long understood that watches serve the dual purpose of time-telling and decoration. From Roger Federer’s Rolex, to every girl in primary-school wearing a Casio Baby-G except me, what you wear on your wrist makes statement.
Up until now, the Fitbit fashion statement has been “Hello, I’m health conscious”. Not the worst statement to be making, but sometimes you want to present an image that’s less step-count orientated.
And that’s where the Luxe comes in – the newest fitness and wellness tracker from Fitbit.
Well, don’t you look strapping
The most immediately obvious way the Fitbit Luxe differentiates itself from other Fitbits is its slime visual design. It gives it a look closer to that of a bracelet than other models. Any product that calls itself “chic” in its promotional material immediately makes me suspicious, but against the odds, Luxe gets away with it. Everything from its golden trim to its elegant curves seductively whispers “technology – but make it fashion”.
Admittedly, the starter beige silicon strap when paired with the gold plating makes me feel like a like I married rich and spend my days doing Pilates (sounds like the life to be honest). Happily, there are other easily interchangeable straps on the market if your tastes require something more edgy.
I especially appreciate that the heart rate monitor doesn’t jut out and into the skin, as some of the previous Fitbits did. It means I can monitor my bpm without having the physical proof indented into my wrist.
An app for everything
Surprisingly for such a small device, the Luxe packs in most of the functions Fitbits are famed for. The Fitbit Luxe tracks your calories, your sleep quality, your heart rate, your blood oxygen, and stress levels. A few swipes across the screen reveals the Fitbit Luxe’s other features, such as phone notifications, a timer, an alarm, and a workout app.
One thing the Fitbit Luxe does lack is an inbuilt GPS function: the Luxe piggybacks off your phone GPS. I guess something had to give to get that slim.
There’s also a relaxation feature, which works by guiding your breathing. My heart rate increased after using it, which I’m pretty sure means it didn’t work, but that could just be because I wanted to perform the exercise perfectly and ending up stressing myself out instead.
Fitbit Luxe has a respectable battery life, too. Like an office worker that has managed to achieve a work-life balance, the Fitbit Luxe has a 5-day battery life before it needs charging.
Oh yeah, and it does a good job of tracking your steps.
Slim … but at what cost?
The Fitbit Luxe’s slight frame is both its best point and its worst point. While the slim look is elegant, a smaller screen is still … a smaller screen. Which means, smaller text. Seriously, this text is tiny.
The small screen meant that the Fitbit Luxe did not become my first screen of choice for many of the apps on offer. For tasks like using the alarm and timer, I still instinctively prefer the larger screen provided by my mobile phone.
However, for many this will be a small sacrifice to make to avoid the chunky square look of some other wellness trackers
I also found that the touchscreen didn’t always easily respond to my commands, particularly when getting the screen to turn on. The lack of buttons means that it’s not ideal during sweaty work-out times, when touchscreens don’t tend to perform as well.
However, perhaps I’m biased in that I never got the hang of at the wrist flicking action required to turn the screen on automatically. I’ve been looking pretty ridiculous at the gym, swinging my arm up to look at my wrist in increasingly dramatic motions.
More than a pretty face – but not by a lot
So, should you trade in your old Fitbit for a Fitbit Luxe? It depends on what you value in a fitness tracker. If you’re after all the bells and whistles, you’re better off upgrading to a newer Versa or Charge model.
However, if you don’t mind smaller text and no in-built GPS, then you will be rewarded with a genuinely good-looking wrist accessory, with decent fitness and wellness tracking to match.