Fitbit’s latest health tracker is called the Luxe, and it’s designed to monitor the wearer for physical signs of stress or fatigue, in addition to the usual Fitbit features like step counting, heart-rate monitoring, and activity and sleep tracking. Mental health can have a direct impact on physical wellbeing, such as by making it hard to sleep, and the Google-owned company says that it found in surveys after the COVID-19 pandemic began that 50 percent of people reported feeling the physical and mental effects of stress.
Stress indicators — The Luxe, which costs $149.99, is also introducing Fitbit’s new “Stress Management Score,” a daily assessment of heart rate, sleep levels, and exercise activity that could indicate heightened stress levels. Fitbit says Stress Management Score is now available “across all available heart-rate enabled Fitbit devices.”
When addressable problems are detected, the Luxe offers various solutions. Exercise releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings, for instance, so Fitbit offers motivation to stay active, and a Sleep Score can help establish a consistent sleep routine — battery life is slated at five days on a charge, so you can sleep with it on. All Luxe owners get six months of Fitbit Premium with personalized analytics and programs like guided exercise workouts and mindfulness routines.
Jewelry-inspired — Not to be confused with its smartwatches, the Luxe is a health tracker with a narrow display best for reading some pertinent information like the time, notifications, and your heart rate. Fitbit says the Luxe is its first tracker with a color display, and its lightest wearable to date.
The company is really emphasizing the product’s jewelry-inspired design, saying it has a soft, gentle shape inspired by the human body that sits comfortably on the wrist. The Luxe uses stainless steel for the body that has been molded using a metal injection technique, and metal vaporizing has been used on the gold and platinum finishes to provide a soft touch. Premium bands from brands like jewelry designer Gorjana are also on offer.
A crowded market — Fitbit is competing in a crowded market for health technology that’s primarily dominated by Apple. The Apple Watch SE starts at $279 and offers much the same health feature as the Luxe but with a host of additions going for it, like broad app support. And now Apple even has its Fitness+ subscription workout program to compete with Fitbit Premium (both are priced at $9.99 per month). Fitbit has personalized analytics and recommendations, however, and owners of Android smartphones can’t use the Apple Watch. For people who just care about fitness and maybe seeing their notifications without any extra frills, the Luxe could be a solid choice.
Android smartwatches have never taken off, but Fitbit sold 10 million wearables in 2020. Google paid $2 billion for the company, which offers it a way into the lucrative healthcare market that combines Fitbit’s experience making fitness trackers with Google’s expertise in machine learning and big data analytics.
The Luxe is available for pre-order today and will be available worldwide sometime this spring. The company also unveiled the Ace 3 today, an update to its tracker made for children.