SPOT.ph Roadtest: Is the New Fitbit Luxe Worth the Price Tag?
Yup, it sports a colored display!
(SPOT.ph) Like most personal gadgets, there's always a specific brand or model of a smartwatch for every individual. Cyclists are particular about a built-in altimeter, swimmers like a stroke counter, and yuppies want profesh-looking straps. If you're looking for a fitness tracker that matches your sense of style, then the Fitbit Luxe might be more up your alley. This Fitbit product was announced in April, and was officially released in July as a "fashion-forward fitness and wellness wristband that tracks the essentials."
Here's everything you need to know about the Fitbit Luxe:
Fitbit Luxe: Design
The first thing we noticed about Fitbit Luxe is how small it is. Its rectangular face is less than an inch in width and less than an inch-and-a-half in length, just a bit bigger than a five-peso coin. It's also very lightweight, making it an ideal day-to-day smartwatch, whether you're hitting the gym, going to the office, or heading out to party, as we once did, pre-panini.
The package comes with two silicone bands, so you don't have to worry about your watch not fitting your wrist. There are also four colors to choose from when you order: a Lunar White band with Soft Gold Stainless Steel housing, a Black band to match the Graphite unit, an Orchid band that goes with Platinum Stainless Steel housing, and the special-edition Parker Link Bracelet by gorjana.
The Luxe also went all out with its coloredAMOLED display, the first of its kind for Fitbit. The clock's face can be changed as much as you want through Fitbit's app, whether you're into a classic analog-looking design or one with huge numbers with a burst of colors in the background. The watch's interface is straightforward, too. The display activates by double tapping on the small screen or by lifting your arm to look at the screen—and it has a pretty great sensitivity for this gesture. You can swipe up and down for the health metrics, then swipe left and right for the other features like the notifications, setting the exercise mode, relax session, alarm, and the timer. Tapping once on the touchscreen triggers an action, and you don’t even have to do it forcefully.
To use the device, you need to download the Fitbit app (available on the App Store and Google Play Store). Just set-up an account, pair your devices through Bluetooth, and you're good to go. If this isn't your first rodeo with a Fitbit gadget, then all you have to do is add a new device to your app. Your Fitbit purchase comes with a six-month free trial for Fitbit Premium, which gives you advanced sleep analytics, guided programs for health and wellness, and tons of video workouts. When your trial period ends, you can still use your fitness tracker with the basic but useful metrics.
It takes about two hours to fully charge the Fitbit Luxe using the slim charging cable that plugs into any USB port. The pins come with a magnet that easily sticks to the back of the watch. According to Fitbit's website, the battery can last up to five days; but it took us only four days to reach 0%, probably because of all the syncing and poking around with the watch and the app when we first got it.
Fitbit Luxe: Notable Features
The Fitbit Luxe has all the basic features of a smartwatch: a time display (obviously) with alarm, timer, and stopwatch; and most of the things you need from a fitness tracker: a heart rate sensor, oxygen saturation monitoring, sleep tracker, and a pedometer.
The stats from its built-in devices come together in the Fitbit app to give you comprehensive analysis about your health and wellness. Aside from the number of steps, it also measures distance covered when you walk, run, or bike. The oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring also contributes to your sleeping stats, i.e. whether or not you have breathing issues.
Other trackers let you measure your heart rate and SpO2 on demand aside from the regular monitoring, which Fitbit Luxe lacks. But it does make up for this missed opportunity through the comprehensive graphs, such as breathing rate, heart rate variability, and even skin temperature.
To make sure that you keep on moving even during a whole day’s work, you can input the time duration when you want to set the idle alert. Every hour, the watch vibrates to remind you to walk a few steps.
The sleep tracker monitors your different sleep stages: awake, REM, light sleep, and deep sleep. It doesn’t really monitor short naps during the day, but it does have an extra feature called the "wake with calm" button that lets you ease into your morning with a less obnoxious alarm (or vibration).
One of the notable analyses within the Fitbit app is the Stress Management section, which we all need especially in these times. This is Fitbit’s first venture into the stress-tracking capability. It gives you an insight to your stress levels through the heart rate sensor and SpO2 monitoring; and records your score on Responsiveness, Exertion Balance, and Sleep Patterns for well-rounded results. You can also input your own numbers if you were able to squeeze in one or two mindfulness exercises through the help of the unit’s breathing exercise timer and the app’s guided videos.
In case you need to get notified of an e-mail or a text message during your run or while you don't have your phone in your hand, Fitbit Luxe has a trusty notification system. Just make sure that your devices are connected through Bluetooth so you can receive and read your messages on your watch. The notifications feature is also easy to set up through the app as there are already default programs for text message notifs, calendar, and e-mails. You can turn on the rest of your other messaging services through a drop-down list; and customize quick replies that you can send right from your watch.
Some smart weighing scales, even those not of the Fitbit brand, also allow connectivity with the Luxe. This makes it easier to monitor your weight, so that when you step on the scale, it's easily recorded on your Fitbit records. We tried this out with the eufy Smart Scale P1, and the set-up was seamless.
Fitbit Luxe only has six exercise shortcuts in the unit: Walk, Run, Bike, Swim, Workout, and Treadmill. But you can switch out some of these through the app depending on the sport or workout you frequently use, such as Yoga, Elliptical, Circuit Training, Golf, Stairclimber, and so on. When you start your workout, you can just tap on that to start monitoring. You can also set activity goals, such as time duration or distance to cover. Fitbit Luxe can automatically detect whether you've started working out, but it won't show as much information as when you manually set it to exercise mode.
Triathletes may get turned off by Fitbit Luxe’s exercise trackers. It doesn’t have a built-in GPS, for one, so you would have to always connect it to your GPS-enabled phone when you’re going out for a run or a ride just to keep track of your location. The Bike mode also doesn’t monitor elevation, which you might look for if you frequently go mountain biking. The Swim mode lacks a stroke counter and customization of your strokes.
But the sensors are spot on, such as the heart rate sensor that measures whether your beats per minute reached the "Fat Burn" zone, "Cardio" zone, and "Peak" zone. The VO2 Max (maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise) as well as your resting heart rate determine your Cardio Fitness Level (from Poor to Excellent). It also suggests a higher level that you can reach should you decide to push yourself with increased exercise.
Fitbit Luxe: Specs
Where to buy: Fitbit website, Lazada, and Shopee
What's included: Fitbit Luxe, classic band (small and large), and charging cable
Available colors: Lunar White, Black, Orchid
Dimensions: 1.43" l x .69" w x .4" h
Battery life: Up to five days with a charge time of two hours
Materials: Stainless steel housing, silicone band with anodized metal buckle and tang
Band size: 5.5" to 7.1" wrist for small, 7.1" to 8.7 inch for large
Water resistance: 50m
Syncing: Apple iOs 13.3 or higher; and Android OS 8.0 or higher
The Verdict: Should you buy the Fitbit Luxe?
The Luxe finally got in the game of monitoring stress and having a colored display, so that's a plus if you're a big fan of Fitbit products. It's dainty design with customizable clock face is also hard to resist if you're not into flashing bulky fitness trackers. The exercise mode isn't much, but its health and wellness management systems are eye-opening enough to push you into finally getting some workout done—if only to get a cool badge.
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