Fitbit has finally achieved that “big things come in small packages” adage with its Luxe line. It is small (both its asset and liability, we will get to that later) but packed with features you would want from a fitness tracker. It doesn’t hurt that it comes in a chic, almost jewelry-like –with the right band–design.
When the wearables company launched Fitbit Luxe in April, the message was clear, it is “a fashion-forward fitness and wellness wristband that tracks the essentials”. It is its latest attempt at fitness tracker that could pass as a chic accessory; something that you could wear with, say, a dress without looking like you came straight from the gym.
First look: Design
You see, fitness trackers – and smartwatches for that matter – have long been sporting that same square or rectangle body with a silicone strap. I’ve worn and used four Fitbit before this one (Alta HR, Versa, Charge 3, and Charge 4), and they all looked like the usual wearable. For this new tracker, Fitbit has made sure it earns its name with a slim design and polished stainless steel case with curved edges, or, as Fitbit co-founder James Park put it, “soft, gentle shape inspired by the human body that sits lightly on your wrist”.
To achieve the jewelry look and feel, the company used metal injection molding to create the case. The stainless steel body comes in three colors: soft gold, graphite, platinum.
Paired with the silicone strap they come in (lunar white for soft gold, black for graphite, orchid for platinum), the trackers look pretty much an elevated Inspire 2, but swap it for a stainless steel mesh or the gorjana Parker Link Bracelet and you get that jewelry look and feel.
I might add, the lunar white and soft gold combination has an understated elegance to it.
Fitbit Luxe features a small body (a little over an inch length, half an inch wide, and 0.4 inch thin) and an even smaller screen (a color AMOLED display with a 124×206 resolution) with a wide bezel on top and bottom. Making up for the small screen is the clear and crisp colored display that makes it easier to check time, read notifications, and view step count and heart rate even under bright light.
The small size is ideal for small wrists and for those who like their trackers light and unobtrusive (the chances of hitting your watch up against a wall or other surfaces are reduced) for everyday wear or when working out. But looking at stats when exercising (time elapsed, calories burned, heart rate, and pace or miles covered) can be a bit challenging especially when you’re moving, considering the small screen size.
A closer look: Navigation and features
Despite the small screen – a good or a bad thing depending on your preferences – Fitbit did not compromise on intuitiveness. Since Luxe has no physical buttons, control and navigation are all done through the touchscreen, which wakes up when you lift your wrist (while wearing it) or when you tap it.
Swipe up from the clock face to view the date, battery percentage, and daily stats (steps, distance, Active Zone Minutes, calories burned, hourly activities, heart rate, Sleep Score, and menstrual health). Swiping down from the clock face shows modes (sleep mode, do not disturb mode, and water lock, which you can turn on and off with a tap), settings (brightness, screen wake and time out, and vibration), device information, and restart.
Swipe left or right to access notifications, Exercise, Relax guided breathing (default duration is 2 minutes or custom 1-10 minutes), alarms, and timers. Tap to select or swipe up to see options. Firmly double-tap on the screen at any time, in any app to return home. Swipe right to move back.
To use Fitbit Luxe when exercising, tap on the applicable activity on the Exercise panel. Default modes are walk, run, bike, swim (yes, it is swim-proof), treadmill, and workout. To choose six from other exercise modes available (a total of 20), go to the Fitbit app on your phone, which is also where you can choose and change the device’s clock face and access more data.
Even without starting a program, the device automatically detects and records your activity if you’ve been, for instance, running for at least 15 minutes. One big thing missing from it, though – understandable considering its small body – is onboard GPS. Hence, it needs to connect to your phone to track your location.
It also detects if you’ve been idle for a while and sends reminders to move (useful for many of us working long hours in front of the computer). Those bothered by constant vibrations on their wrists during the day, may opt to turn the DND (do not disturb) mode on.
But my favorite feature of Fitbit Luxe, and other Fitbit models where it’s available, is sleep tracking. When you wear the device to sleep, it will use your heart rate to detect your Sleep Stages (awake, REM, light, deep) and estimated oxygen variation, the latter can help determine if you have breathing issues. When I checked the time it recorded I was asleep, it was accurate according to my estimate; same for the time I was awake.
Speaking of awake, its alarm also has a Smart Wake feature that, when enabled, finds the best to time to wake you starting 30 minutes before the alarm time.
Go to the Fitbit app to access more features and data, including your Stress Management Score and the Health Metrics dashboard (breathing rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, skin temperature, and oxygen saturation). With a Premium subscription (P485/month or P3,900/year), you get advanced insights, mindfulness tools, guided programs (nutrition, sleep, workout), and video workouts from Fitbit, barre3, Popsugar, DailyBurn, and more.
Wrap-up: Battery life, is it worth the buy?
For something so dainty, Fitbit Luxe does pack quite a lot. Enabling access to the device is an impressive battery life that, Fitbit says, lasts up to five days but I was actually able to extend to seven on a week I didn’t use it to work out and was on Sleep Mode when I wore it to bed.
With its look and size, it would be attractive to people who like small fitness trackers with a softer, more stylish look than its big, bulky counterparts. It is comfortable to wear, it does track the essentials, and it offers all the basic features – plus a few more – a regular person would need from a fitness tracker, all for an SRP of P8,490.
It is available at fitbit.com and on Fitbit’s Shopee and Lazada stores.