The past year has been very stressful and that has not gone unnoticed at Fitbit HQ. At the launch of the new Fitbit Luxe tracker band, the company emphasised the device’s stress management features.

On this front, the Luxe takes its cues from the Fitbit Sense smartwatch launched last year. Though it lacks some of the sensors on Fitbit’s top-of-the-range smartwatch, it offers similar ways to track stress and your overall health in a much cheaper device. These include stress tracking using heart rate variability, an overall stress management score and graphs that show how your resting heart rate, body temperature (though this is not available at launch) and heart variability change over time.

The stress-related features can be used to help you look out for changes that may signify illness or that your body is experiencing too much strain in general. The Luxe can also take blood oxygen saturation readings and check your breathing rate through an SpO2 sensor.

The Luxe is the first fitness band from Fitbit to have an AMOLED colour screen – and it’s also buttonless, so it’s controlled entirely by pressing and swiping that screen. It’s also the most fashionable band Fitbit has released, with a stainless steel case that comes in three colours, and a wide range of bands to pair with that case. There’s also a special edition band, made in partnership with Gorjana jewellery, which has a link bracelet and costs £179.99.

Despite the upgrade in the screen quality, the Luxe still offers a solid five-day battery life, which is needed to get the most from other key features like the sleep tracking and 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The Luxe can track sports and workouts, but will need to use your phone’s GPS for accurate outdoor activity tracking, unlike the Charge 4 which has built-in GPS.

For everyday activity tracking, the Luxe includes Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes target, which corresponds to the NHS-approved target of 150 minutes’ activity a week. It’s a far superior target to 10,000 daily steps, although the Luxe will also track your steps – it’s still a Fitbit, after all.

While there’s nothing that leaps out as especially novel on the Luxe, the way the data it collects is interpreted and presented in the Fitbit app should make the health tracking features in particular useful to a whole new audience.

You will have to upgrade to Fitbit Premium to get the most from the app, including access to things like guided meditation sessions and more detail on your stress management score, sleep and other health stats. The Fitbit Luxe comes with a six-month trial of Fitbit Premium, which costs £7.99 a month or £79.99 a year thereafter.

The Fitbit Luxe is available to order now on the Fitbit website. While the Charge 4 with built-in GPS remains the better choice for runners and cyclists, and the Inspire 2 offers a cheaper way into Fitbit’s ecosystem, the stylish design and AMOLED screen of the Luxe make it a welcome addition to the company’s tracker range.

Buy from Fitbit | £129.99



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