If you've got the cash to spend and are on the lookout for a top-of-the line fitness tracker, then chances are the Apple Watch 6 and even the Fitbit Luxe are on your short list. Both wearables have always-on displays and track health metrics like sleep and stress, but each has a slew of marked differences that you should know about before making your decision on which wearable to buy.
In a nutshell, the Fitbit Luxe is a style-focused digital timepiece, one that is more of a fitness accessory than full-fledged fitness tracker like the Apple Watch 6. In fact, Fitbit is positioning it as something of a holistic wellness tracker. Apart from this, the price gap is one of the key differences, along with the extent and range of health features. The Fitbit Luxe, which starts at $150, is the sort of wearable that has a mix of looks and features that might entice shoppers that don't necessarily need all the extra bells and whistles or extra bulk from a full-fledged smartwatch. Apple's sixth-gen digital timepiece, meanwhile, probably doesn't need much of an introduction: It's one of the best, most complete smartwatches available. But it comes at a price, as almost all Apple products do. The Watch 6 will set you back at least $399.
As for fitness tracking, the Luxe tracks up to 20 workout types and has automatic workout detection if you forget to start a session. But unlike the Apple Watch 6 which has built-in GPS, you will have to take your phone with you if you want route information. The Luxe only has connected GPS, as opposed to in-built GPS. Both the Fitbit Luxe and the Apple Watch 6 have infrared scanners blood oxygen tracking -- a feature which had been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Apple Watch also has more health-tracking options, which the Fitbit Luxe lacks. For instance, the Series 6 is the only watch you can get from Apple with the electrocardiogram feature, which Apple calls ECG -- a health feature that's absent on the Fitbit Luxe. The Fitbit Luxe measures heart rate, which is the number of beats per minute or the frequency of the heartbeat over time, but not the patterns between each beat, called heart rhythm. In addition to round-the-clock heart-rate monitoring, the Series 6 uses its optical sensor to measure heart rhythm and alerts users when it detects an irregular pattern that may be atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia that can increase your risk of stroke and other serious heart complications.
It's worth noting that there are no physical buttons on the Luxe, so if you're used to interacting with a wearable with a digital crown, then Fitbit's fancy wearable will take some getting used to. There's no storage either on the Fitbit Luxe, so you won't be able to save and store music into the device for offline listening, for instance. The Series 6 has 32GB. Battery life, meanwhile, is pegged at 5 days for the Fitbit Luxe, but that varies based on use, according to CNET's review of the wrist wearable, while Apple Watch 6's battery life is around a day and a half in practical use.
Those are some of the high-level differences between the Apple Watch 6 and the Fitbit Luxe. But if you want to know the nitty-gritties, take a look at our specs chart below, or better yet, read our Fitbit Luxe review and our Apple Watch 6 review to give you a more complete perspective.
Apple Watch 6 vs. Fitbit Luxe specs
||Apple Watch Series 6||Fitbit Luxe|
|Watch size||40mm, 44mm||36.30mm x 17.62mm w x 10.05mm|
|Colors||Silver, Space Gray, gold, blue and red||Black, white|
|Material||Aluminum, stainless steel and titanium||Stainless steel|
|GPS||Built in||Needs phone nearby|
|Automatic workout detection||Yes||No|
|Water resistance||Yes, up to 50m||Yes, up to 50m|
|Emergency features||Fall detection, Emergency SOS||N/A|
|Mobile Payments||Apple Pay||None|