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Fitbit launches new fashion forward Fitbit Luxe tracker, its first under Google

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Daniel Howley
·Technology Editor
·4 min read
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The Fitbit Luxe is the company's first tracker since it was acquired by Google's Alphabet. (Image: Fitbit)
The Fitbit Luxe is the company's first tracker since it was acquired by Google's Alphabet. (Image: Fitbit)

Fitbit on Monday announced its first new product as an official part of Google’s Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), the fashion forward Fitbit Luxe. Available for pre-order starting today for $149, the Luxe is a tracker with a built-in, color display designed to look like a piece of jewelry rather than a fitness band.

Fitbit is positioning the Luxe as a device that provides consumers with both physical and mental well-being features via the included Fitbit Premium app. Beyond the usual heart rate monitor and sleep tracking Fitbit devices are known for, Fitbit is adding a host of mental wellness options including 200 mindfulness sessions from brands like Aaptiv, Aura, and Deepak Chopra’s Mindful Method.

“We’ve made major technological advancements with Luxe, creating a smaller, slimmer, beautifully designed tracker packed with advanced — some that were previously only available with our smartwatches — making these tools accessible to even more people around the globe,” Fitbit cofounder, vice president, and general manager James Park said in a statement.

Available in three colors — gold, platinum, and matte graphite — the Luxe is compatible with a number of accessories ranging from simple straps to jewelry-like bangles.

The Fitbit Luxe is designed to be accessorized with a number of available bracelets. (Image: Fitbit)
The Fitbit Luxe is designed to be accessorized with a number of available bracelets. (Image: Fitbit)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Fitbit if it didn’t offer a variety of health tracking capabilities. According to Fitbit, the Luxe allows you to track your breathing rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, skin temperature and variation, and oxygen saturation. The Luxe also includes 20 on-wrist exercise options including golf, pilates, spinning, and tennis.

Sleep tracking is also included with the Luxe, complete with a Sleep Score that tells you how restful your sleep is and provides you with the means to understand your sleep patterns.

All users will be able to view their overall health status via the Fitbit app, while Fitbit Premium users will be able to track monthly trends and see their own personal ranges.

From the sound of it, the most detailed health data gleaned from the device will only be available through the Fitbit app rather than directly on the Luxe. It’s also worth pointing out that the tracker includes 6 free months of the Fitbit Premium, which works out to a $59 value. After that, you’ll need to start paying for the service, which costs $9.99 per month or $79 for a full year.

Fitbit says the Luxe can get up to 5 days of battery life. That’s way more than the Apple Watch, which lasts about a day and a half. The Luxe also offers customizable call, text, and smartphone notifications.

The first big product after a closely scrutinized acquisition

The Luxe is the first new product from Fitbit since Google closed its $2.1 billion acquisition of the firm in January. The deal received heavy scrutiny in both the U.S. and E.U., as regulators raised concerns about Google gaining access to Fitbit users’ health data.

In allowing the acquisition to move forward, the E.U. requires that Google not use Fitbit user data to sell ads for 10 years, with the option to extend that limit by another 10 years. In a presentation Monday, Park made sure to mention that Fitbit user data would be protected under Google.

Fitbit was an early pioneer in the wearable fitness market thanks to the sleek design of its products and features including heart rate tracking. But as smartwatches became more prominent, Fitbit had trouble maintaining its lead.

Google, meanwhile, attempted to get into the smartwatch market with its own Android-powered devices produced by companies ranging from Motorola and Fossil to Huawei. And while WearOS devices, as they are called, are still available, they’ve never become major mainstream hits.

Apple (AAPL), meanwhile, has dominated the smartwatch market with its Apple Watch line, making the company the preeminent wearable maker in the world. And with its lowest priced watch, the Apple Watch 3, priced at just $199, the company has continued to draw fans.

According to IDC, Apple held a whopping 33% global market share in the wearable market as of Q3 2020. Fitbit, meanwhile, controlled just 2.6%.

But with Fitbit and Google now one company, the two could finally put together a serious contender to Apple’s wearable throne — and Luxe could be the first step in that direction.

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