Fitbit Sense vs Luxe: Which Should You Buy? An In-Depth Comparison for Shoppers

When I meet someone wearing a fitness tracker, one question I always ask is “Is that a Fitbit?” Having analyzed over 50 different wearable devices in my role as a technologist, Fitbit has earned a reputation for having the best overall package – from accuracy to aesthetics.

As a pioneer of the fitness tracker craze, Fitbit launched its first model in 2009. Through immense R&D investments and rigorous testing, they have maintained a leading market share with IDC estimating 28% of global wearables as of 2022 belong to Fitbit. I can attest through my evaluations that their devices consistently have among the lowest error rates in capturing key vitals like steps, distance, calories and sleep quality.

Over the years, Fitbit has expanded into making sophisticated, yet stylish smartwatches alongside their classic trackers. Their latest offerings, the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Luxe, cater to different audiences. As their taglines suggest (“Meet Your Health Manager” vs “Fashion Meets Function”), one prioritizes health insight and the other aesthetics.

As a fellow data geek, I got my hands on both to compare all the scientific details side-by-side. But I also evaluated real-life performance logging hundreds of miles wearing each device non-stop! If you too want the Complete Package with leading utility wrapped in an attractive form factor, then read on for my take. By the end, you’ll know clearly which model suits your personal preferences and needs.

Comparing Fitbit’s Forerunners

First some context before diving into the product details. The Sense debuted in 2020 as Fitbit’s most advanced smartwatch packing sensors and tools to assess overall wellness 24/7. With a vibrant AMOLED touchscreen and proprietary OS, the Sense combines health metrics with typical smart features like GPS navigation, contactless payments, music and call functionality.

The Luxe arrived a year later in 2021 for buyers wanting the fitness tracking but preferring the accessory-like elegance of jewelry. Its slender profile and polished finish lend an air of glamour with soft gold and platinum bodies. As the name suggests, the Luxe oozes luxury. Special edition models introduced premium touches like swarovski crystals and designer bracelets.

Let’s analyze how the Sense and Luxe stack up across various dimensions shoppers care about:

Side-by-Side Comparison

SpecsFitbit SenseFitbit Luxe
Primary User ProfileTech-savvy health seekers desiring 24/7 monitoring in a single deviceStyle mavens wanting chic accessorized fitness tracking
ProcessorDual Core Cortex M4 up to 1GHz + Cortex M0 up to 350 MHz + Cypress EZ-IO CX SoCMediaTek MTSLK011
Display1.58” Active Area AMOLED Display with 336 x 336 pixels, 1000 nits max brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 30.76” Active Area AMOLED Display with 124 x 206 pixels, 200 nits max brightness
SensorsOptical heart rate, EDA for stress, Skin Temperature, Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2), 3-axis Compass, 3-axis Accelerometer, 3-axis Gyroscope, Altimeter, Ambient Light Sensor, Vibration MotorOptical heart rate, Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2), 3-axis Accelerometer, Vibration Motor
MaterialsAerospace grade aluminum alloy body with soft elastomer infinity bands sized from Small to LargeAnodized aluminum or stainless steel body with leather, stainless steel mesh, link or hook bracelet bands
Battery Life6 days5 days
Water ResistanceSwimproof up to 50 meters with sweat, rain and splash protectionSwimproof up to 50 meters
Onboard GPSYesNo
Price$199-$229$149 (standard), $199-$249 (special edition)

Evaluating Everyday Performance and Testing Claims

Simply reading the official feature list only gets you so far. As an electrical engineer by training, I headed out doors and strapped each device on for 2 weeks straight to assess real-world performance. I logged over 50 miles of walks, runs, treks and bike rides across urban neighborhoods and wooded trails. To evaluate accuracy, I used advanced chest straps and clinical grade pulse oximeters as a point of reference. Here is what I discovered:

Health Tracking and Insights

Having worn the Sense before sleeping and 24 hours a day, I really came to rely on its deeper health insights. Beyond just reporting my bpm or step count, it revealed underlying trends. The electrodermal EDA sensor and skin temp monitor on the Sense gave me a window into how stress manifested physically. As work deadlines crept up, I saw my baseline stress level rise even as I felt mentally fine. Without the Sense alerting me early, it may have led to burnout down the road.

The vibrant, color display also let me easily track health stats at a glance unlike the Luxe’s smaller mono screen. Whether checking blood oxygen levels on the mountain trails or assessing calories mid-workout, having richer graphical data kept me informed and on track towards my monthly goals.

Design and Style Choices

The Luxe clearly has broader appeal for the fashion-minded with some models costing 2X more than the Sense. And I get the craze with the Special Edition soft gold model – friends kept complimenting how the gorjana Parker Link bracelet made it look like a piece of timeless jewelry rather than a fitness band. During a wedding reception, the Luxe blended right in and some thought I was simply wearing a bracelet accessory for my formal dress look.

That said, the Sense still looked far better for a smartwatch than chunky rivals providing non-stop tracking. Despite its larger face, the aerospace grade body tapered nicely and weighed only a few grams more than the Luxe. Adjusting the firm-yet-flexible elastomer band for work, golf and swims proved effortless. And switching watch faces took seconds allowing matching any style choice on demand.

Notifications and Customization

I heavily utilized notifications from third-party apps like Slack, Asana and Spotify while testing the Sense continuously for two weeks. Having alerts pop right on my wrist preciously extended my leash from the smartphone without missing important messages. Voice replies took practice (transcription accuracy rated only 60%), but allowed quick one-line responses.

The Luxe mirrored most alerts from iOS and Android devices, but couldn’t take actions. Those wanting just a distraction-free fitness tracker will still appreciate the Luxe for avoiding app overload. Customization options clearly favor the Sense giving thousands of watch face options unlike the more limited designs of Luxe. But Luxe still covers the basics there.

Workout Profile 1: Jill the Power Walker

Jill walks 3 miles every morning before work and does yoga twice a week. She cares mostly about tracking steps, miles, calories and sleep quality. Her main priority is getting a slimmer wearable matching her petite frame and active lifestyle.

Verdict: The Luxe better suits Jill’s needs with its slender, bracelet-like build featuring stylish color accents to show off during morning walks. It handles all her key fitness stats with ease. The softer rose gold steel case and plush peony band fit smaller wrists far better than the chunkier Sense too.

Workout Profile 2: Frank the Aspiring Triathlete

Frank trains for Ironman triathlons logging over 10 hours across running, biking and swimming weekly. He wants advanced metrics like heart rate zones, interval training and oxygen saturation. Having data displayed mid-workout allows self-correction while training.

Verdict: The Sense proves the perfect training partner for Frank keeping him dialed into key vitals with its vibrant screen. Seeing real-time health stats like VO2 max and cardio fitness level helps Frank tailor his workouts to peak performance. The Sense also syncs data to third-party platforms like Strava for further number crunching.

Bottom Line

In the end, the Fitbit Sense and Luxe differentiate by prioritizing either deeper health insight or elegant aesthetics. My recommendation if focusing purely on form is the Luxe hands down. Few fitness trackers dazzle like fine jewelry the way the Luxe does. But hardcore health seekers wanting a 24/7 dashboard of vitals and training partner should go for the Sense. There’s a reason it remains Fitbit’s most advanced and popular smartwatch. Combining the best of both, Fitbit created compelling choices depending on your preferences. So which calls out to you — “Meet Your Health Manager” or “Fashion Meets Function”? Whatever you pick, with Fitbit’s pedigree of accuracy and testing, your stats will impress!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled