Fitbit pivots to Luxe health

You need deep pockets to access Deepak Chopra’s Fitbit Premium-exclusive Mindful Method. Yes, you can now access Fitbit’s excellent stress management metrics on all current trackers and that brings important tools to a wide audience, but the new Luxe tracker starts at R3 400. You’ll have to put up another $10 per month to access Fitbit Premium and Chopra’s signature programme.

The Fitbit Sense on my wrist just detected elevated heart rate and this is before my evening workout.

Look, I’m a big Fitbit fanboy and believe in the superiority of the company’s sleep and step tracking algorithms. The GPS on my Ionic has never failed me in its accuracy, the only issues I can report is that the running metrics are a bit sparse compared to its competition.

Luxe is not a sports watch but is rather presented as a wellness tool. It falls right in line with the shade Fitbit threw at other proprietary wearables when it announced the Google acquisition in January.

“We’ll stay committed to doing what’s right, to putting your health and wellness at the center of everything we do and to offering a no-one-size-fits-all approach with choices that work across both Android and iOS.”

With this new tracker the Fitbit product range becomes more difficult to navigate than ever before. Inspire 2, for instance, is still the cheapest way to access a year of Premium (bundled in with your purchase, as opposed to the six months you get with the other trackers) as well as the class leading sleep metrics. Charge 4 still represents one of the cheapest (and most subtle) routes to on-wrist GPS and stellar heart rate tracking.

Luxe takes all the Charge 3 features (phone connected GPS, swim mode, heart rate tracking) and repackages it in a sleek stainless-steel case, making it easy to up the price for, essentially, a basic experience.

Fitbit will remain my go-to recommendation for those shopping for lifestyle wearables outside of the first-party ecosystems like an Apple, Galaxy or (cringe) Huawei Watch. If you take your training seriously then it becomes a different conversation where standalone heart rate monitors and sports-specific wearables come into play.

For reliable health metric tracking, best-in-class app design and near universal integration with wellness programmes (Vitality, et al), Fitbit is difficult to beat. And that may be the key to success for Fitbit Luxe.

Follow me, it will be alright