If you want a Fitbit, but you don't want a smartwatch, you do still have options. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is the cheapest fitness tracker you can buy directly from the now Google-owned wearable maker. It's now been joined by the Luxe, another slim tracker that offers a mix of fitness, health and smartwatch features.
We've spent plenty of testing time with the Inspire 2 and we are currently putting the Luxe through its paces too, so if you're wondering what the key big differences are between these two Fitbit fitness trackers, we just might be able to help.
If you're thinking about whether you need to make an upgrade or you're buying a tracker for the first time, here's how the Fitbit Luxe matches up to the Fitbit Inspire 2.
Fitbit Luxe v Fitbit Inspire 2: Pricing
Before getting into those all important specs and features, let's talk about that pricing. As mentioned, the Inspire 2 is the cheapest of the two trackers and comes in at $99.
The Fitbit Luxe is priced at $149.95, so that's quite a sizeable price difference between the two devices.
The question is, what does paying more or less actually get you? That's what we'll get into next.
Fitbit Luxe v Fitbit Inspire 2: Design and screen
We'll start with the good news that if you want a Fitbit that sits slim and light on your wrist, then you're in luck with both of these trackers.
Both are offered with small and large bands and if you want the one that sits smallest on that wrist, then the Luxe just about edges it with its 36mm body just slightly smaller than the 37mm one featured on the Inspire 2.
Ultimately though, both are on the petite side, and are nice options if you want something that goes about its tracking business in a sleek and minimal manner.
Where things start to change though are in the materials and the screens in use here. With the Inspire 2, you're getting a removable silicone band and a plastic case. That case comes with the option of black, white or rose color bands.
One advantage the Inspire 2 has over the Luxe is wearing options. You also have the option of a clip accessory (pictured below) that lets you wear it on your waistband or underneath your clothes, so it's firmly out of sight.
Fitbit Inspire 2 with clip-on accessory
With the Luxe, you're paying the extra money for a stainless steel case and there are optional bands aplenty ‚Äď just like the Inspire 2.
That includes a special edition Luxe that comes with a gold stainless steel bracelet to give it that more desirable, fashionable look. The standard version comes with a removable classic silicone band with a metal buckle as opposed to the plastic one on the Inspire 2.
Case materials aside, the Luxe is giving you something more impressive in the screen department.
It's the first Fitbit fitness tracker to feature an AMOLED color touchscreen display, which had previously only been available on Fitbit's Versa, Sense and Ionic smartwatches.
That screen automatically adjusts based on available light in your environment. Along with that added vibrancy and splash of color, it does give you a little bit of extra screen estate over the Inspire 2 to prevent stats and other data feeling so cramped.
The Inspire 2 uses a greyscale display that we can't say is our favourite screen technology we've found on a fitness tracker.
While its presence clearly helps to improve battery performance, it still struggles in bright sunlight like the first Inspire. That's even with the addition of a new bright screen mode. It's well suited for indoor viewing, but the Luxe will get you a better screen experience overall.
In terms of interacting with these devices, they're both technically buttonless, though the Inspire 2's case can be squeezed to wake up the display or skip back a screen. Interactions with Luxe lie with taps to wake up the display and swipes to get through screens. Both solutions mean Fitbit can deliver a more streamlined look that make them a lot nicer to look and slimmer than a lot of fitness bands.
Fitbit Luxe Special Edition
If you want to go swimming or jumping in the shower with these trackers, both have been slapped with a 5ATM water resistant rating letting you submerge them in water up to 50 metres depth. So they're safe to wear in those scenarios.
Both trackers are slim, light and comfortable to wear day and night. They stay put thanks to secure buckles and clasps and we've had no skin irritation complaints with either. With the Luxe, you get what you pay for. Nicer case materials a nicer screen and plenty of band options. You get those band options with the Inspire 2 as well and you do have that option to wear it away from the wrist too.
Fitbit Luxe v Fitbit Inspire 2: Fitness and health tracking
We'll talk sensors first, which powers what the Luxe and Inspire 2 can track.
Both have the standard 3-axis accelerometer motion sensor to track things like steps and can also track activities like swimming.
You're also getting optical heart rate monitors to continuously monitor heart rate including sleep. It's also there for tracking heart rate during exercise.
There's one additional sensor you're getting on the Luxe and that's the red and infrared sensors to enable SpO2 measurements, specifically for monitoring blood oxygen during sleep.
What you don't get here on either device is built-in GPS or an altimeter to measure floors climbed/elevation. You do have the option of connected GPS on both, letting you make use of your phone's GPS signal to more accurately track outdoor activities like runs.
For those core fitness tracking features, both will track steps, distance and calories. They'll fire out inactivity alerts, when you've not been moving enough during the day and you will automatically monitor sleep too.
The Inspire 2 gives you a breakdown of sleep stages including REM and a sleep score. Additional data is on offer like sleep heart rate and restlessness, but you need to subscribe to Fitbit Premium to access those insights.
On the Luxe, you're getting the same albeit with that extra SpO2 monitoring support, you have the ability to monitor more metrics during sleep. Again, to get access to all of the insights Fitbit makes available, you'll need be signed up to Premium to access them.
Fitbit Inspire 2
If you want to track exercise from them, you're getting 20+ goal-based exercise modes and that includes the likes of running, cycling, walking and basic pool swim tracking too.
With that heart rate monitor on board, you're getting the ability to track Active Zone Minutes, record Cardio Fitness levels and view intensity maps in the Fitbit app. This lets you quickly see sections of your route where you really got that heart working hard.
We didn't have the best experience using 'connected GPS' on the Inspire 2, which means piggy-backing GPS signal from your smartphone. That often means your smartphone is placed somewhere with poor signal, which can make for unpredictable accuracy issues. Built-in GPS is much more reliable for runners and cyclists.
While heart rate felt more reliable for resting and continuous heart rate monitoring. It's a very similar story for the Luxe as well based on our testing. While these trackers can both track exercise, their strengths lie in daily activity tracking, sleep monitoring and how that exercise contributes to your overall activity for the day.
Flipping over to health monitoring, and these trackers offer largely the same features. Both make a big push with monitoring stress, though most of those features live off the bands. Both offer guided breathing exercises on the devices and then in the app, you have the ability to generate stress measurement scores that are based on physical signs of stress. So that's generated from resting heart rate, sleep and activity logged.
You can also find the same women's health tracking and food logging features inside of Fitbit's companion app too for both devices.
They're pretty level pegged as far as delivering those core Fitbit tracking features. The Luxe will give that additional hit of blood oxygen data and features like heart rate zones along with a nicer screen to view stats, particularly during the exercise.
Fitbit Luxe v Fitbit Inspire 2: Smartwatch features
We'll start by saying that both of these trackers work with Android phones and iPhones and the experience using them with those phones is largely the same. Though neither gives you the full gamut of smartwatch features Fitbit currently offers.
On the Inspire 2, you're getting the choice of 20 clock faces and the ability to view notifications from native and third party apps. While you have a small screen, those notifications are well optimised. You're also getting the new Tile integration Fitbit recently announced, which makes it easier to track your tracker down from your phone when you can't remember where you last took it off.
With the Luxe, you're also getting notification support, but that color display makes it easier to show off more information including app icons to clearly signal where the notification has come from. There's also some level of being able to respond to notifications, when paired to an Android phone. So emails can be archived or WhatsApp messages can be responded to with emojis.
Beyond that, you're not getting access to Fitbit Pay, third party apps or any sort of music features including music controls. You're living a far more primitive smartwatch life, but that's hardly surprising given the size of the Luxe and Inspire 2.
Fitbit Luxe v Fitbit Inspire 2: Battery life
If you want the best battery life, bottom line, the Inspire 2 is the one you want. It offers up to 10 days of battery life and as long as you're conservative with sports tracking and screen brightness, you'll get it.
The Luxe offers up to 5 days and we've found it can deliver that, even with that high resolution screen in place. It could probably stretch to a couple more days depending again on what features are regularly in use. These two trackers are good for around a week, with the Inspire 2 stretching further.
When it comes to charging up, both use different proprietary chargers and take the same two hours to get from 0-100%. so neither are zippy chargers and lack the rapid charging tech used on Fitbit's Versa 3 and Sense smartwatches.
So, do you go Fitbit Inspire 2 or Fitbit Luxe? For us, there some obvious things that separate the two trackers and here's how we see it:
Buy the Fitbit Inspire 2 if... you want the best battery life available on a Fitbit and you want something to cover the fitness tracking basics. It's also really comfortable to track sleep too.
Buy the Fitbit Luxe if... you want a great-looking fitness tracker with a higher quality display, making it a nicer place to view stats and phone notifications. It also offers enough battery life to get you through a week of tracking.