Fitbit Luxe is the newest Fitness tracker from Fitbit - and the first one to be launched after Fitbit was acquired by Google. Primarily aimed at the wellness segment (and those with a penchant for glamour), the Fitbit Luxe launch event also saw the company heavily promote its 'Fitbit Premium' subscription service.
Seriously, if I had taken a shot for every mention of "Fitbit Premium" during the 40-minute or so presentation - you wouldn't be reading a coherent sentence here. It's true that a six-month premium subscription is included with the purchase of the tracker, which costs just under $150. But after the subscription expires, the range of functions is painfully reduced.
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It was precisely this point that earned the Fitbit Charge 4 just 6/10 points in Ben's review. Fitbit Premium, in fact, costs $9.99 per month, which is perfectly in line with the premium pricing of Fitbit's hardware.
Fitbit Luxe: What $150 gets you
In any case, Fitbit's latest tracker looks spiffy in the press photos, even with the standard silicone wristbands. The shapely case is made of stainless steel and comes in gold, silver, and black. Unfortunately, there was no statement about the material above the touchscreen. Fitbit has also announced a cooperation with Gorjana and offers a coarse chain bracelet. The dollar prices published so far for the wristbands offered by the official side vary from $30 (fabric wristband from Fitbit) to $100 (Gorjana chain bracelet).
No stress: keeping an eye on your psyche
The Fitbit Luxe offers the usual collection of sensors for current fitness trackers, including a pulse sensor for 24/7 heart rate measurement and various motion and acceleration sensors. In addition to sleep tracking, skin temperature and SpO2 measurement are also available.
The Luxe also inherits a feature from its bigger sister, the Sense: it quantifies the wearer's stress level, primarily using data from the heart rate sensor. Fortunately, this metric is now coming via an update to all Fitbit users who have a smartwatch or tracker with a heart rate sensor.
The manufacturer specifies a battery life of five days. Unfortunately, there is no integrated GPS sensor. So if you want to track your route while jogging, you'll have to pack your smartphone.
Fitbit Premium: The Achilles heel?
As mentioned at the outset, Fitbit aggressively markets its premium membership. After six months of Fitbit Luxe, those who decide not to pay the monthly premium of 9 euros will then have to do without the new wellness report as well as more long-term views of their health metrics (only visible for 7 days instead of 30).
Also included in the premium package is numerous content around the topics of nutrition, fitness and mindfulness. Here, Fitbit works together with meditation guru Deepak Chopra, who contributes guided meditations, for example.
Personally, this kind of "packaging" doesn't appeal to me at all. I find it totally opaque which features I have to pay for all at once six months after purchase - and which are included. While I prefer to get content from my own sources, I wouldn't want to do without the detailed dashboards on the other hand. But then 9 euros a month for that? Phew.
I'll be happy to be taught and converted, though, once we have a test device in the coming weeks to months. Fitbit states "spring 2021" for the market launch.