Like many working professionals, I have a job that entails sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. Being stationary for so long has made me a big fan of fitness trackers so I can be more aware of my physical activity (or lack thereof) and motivated to get up and move a little more.
I’ve recently tested out Fitbit’s Luxe and the Charge 5 models, currently on sale for $50 off. These stand out as some of the top fitness and wellness trackers on the market, and my experience with them has only reaffirmed that. I found their features to be useful and intuitive, even for people who may struggle with tech.
What is the Fitbit Luxe?
The Fitbit Luxe is a fitness-tracking wristband that monitors not only your physical activity but also your personal wellness. For example, it can track the quality of your sleep, your stress levels and your menstrual health, as well as provide you with a daily readiness score that indicates whether you are ready to work out or if you should be focusing on recovery instead.
The Luxe is also capable of providing push notifications to your smartphone and can even activate smart alarms to rouse you from your slumber. But unlike the average alarm clock, the Fitbit Luxe wristband will track how deeply you are sleeping and wake you at the optimal time of your sleep cycle, so you don’t feel groggy.
Notably, the Luxe has a more elegant look than the average fitness tracker, thanks to its slim design and stainless-steel bracket. There is also an optional gold stainless-steel link bracelet to make it even more fashionable.
Our experience with the Fitbit Luxe
When donning the Luxe, the first thing I noticed was how thin and lightweight it was. Setting it up was simple and easy: I downloaded an app, followed along with the guided prompts and then waited for the software to update. The user interface of both the app and the Luxe itself is sleek and intuitive to navigate.
Using it when exercising was equally intuitive. I was presented with options to choose the type of exercise — including running, swimming, biking and lifting weights — as well as setting any fitness goals I wanted to achieve, such as calories burned, distance and time. Just note that the Luxe will only display basic information about your workout; for a more detailed report, you need to check the app on your smartphone.
For all its great features, the Luxe isn’t without its drawbacks, though. It can be difficult to view your workout information or navigate through the Luxe’s various features using only the small screen. Also, the daily readiness score tool is only available for Fitbit Premium subscribers.
Where to buy a Fitbit Luxe
What is the Fitbit Charge 5?
Like the Luxe, the Fitbit Charge 5 is also a fitness and wellness tracker, albeit a larger and more feature-packed model. It offers all the previously mentioned features of the Luxe, but with several more capabilities. The Luxe only has connected GPS, meaning it requires a phone connection for GPS tracking, while the Charge 5 has on-board GPS.
The Charge 5 also boasts ECG and EDA sensors, making it more accurate at tracking heart health and stress metrics. It will continually monitor your heart rate throughout the day and provide you with notifications when it goes above or below a certain threshold. Another cool feature on the Charge 5 is Fitbit Pay. This allows you to make contactless purchases, much like an Apple Watch.
Our experience with the Fitbit Charge 5
Setting up the Charge 5 follows the same intuitive process as the Luxe. Its larger screen makes it easier to read and navigate between functions, but also makes it heavier and more noticeable on the wrist. The vibration alerts also feel stronger and more noticeable than those of the Luxe. I also enjoyed the longer 7-day battery life of the Charge 5 — I didn’t have to charge it as often as the Luxe, which only has a 5-day battery life.
Where to buy a Fitbit Charge 5
Other products worth considering
The Apple Watch offers all the features of the Charge 5 and then some, making it a better choice for someone who wants something more advanced than a fitness and wellness tracker and who doesn’t mind the added cost.
Sold by Amazon
If you don’t mind a slightly clunky app experience and a bit less elegant of a design, the Amazbit Band 5 has comparable features but is more affordable than the Luxe.
Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.