Image source: Flickr (changes made)

Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what’s the difference?

Despite the Google acquisition, it’s business as usual at Fitbit as it continues to churn out new devices. A new addition in 2021 is called Luxe – a fashionable take on the whole fitness tracker concept.

Now there’s even a better choice of fitness bands from the wearables manufacturer. Other excellent options include its best selling Charge 4 and the low-key Inspire 2.

Which of these is right for you? Hopefully this article will help.


Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: Specs

There’s no mistaking, all of these devices come across as typical activity bands. If you are after a smartwatch experience best to look elsewhere. Versa 3 might be a good place to start. But back to the activity bands.

Design

Charge 4 takes across the design of the previous generation although it is a fraction bulkier. The thing is built from very lightweight material including an aerospace grade aluminum case. We were hopeful Fitbit would make it a bit more modern looking this time around, but the company has decided to stick to the tried and tested design.

Inspire 2 looks slightly more sleek with its curved edges and narrow band. It is built from plastic.

Both trackers feature rubberised bands which are fastened with a buckle. You can easily change wristbands to make sure they fit any look and style.

A clip-on accessory is available for Inspire 2, so the tracker can be detached from the strap and attached to clothes. From this position, however, it won’t monitor heart rate.

Of the three, it is Luxe which has the most modern aesthetics. The device has a metal housing made of polished stainless steel. This can be paired with various straps including some very fancy ones. There’s also a Special Edition gorjana Soft Gold Stainless Steel Parker Link Bracelet.

fitbit charge 4 vs inspire 2 what the difference 1 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?
Fitbit Inspire 2 vs Charge 4 vs Luxe

In terms of actual specs, the core unit of Charge 4 measures 42.7mm x 28.8mm and has a depth of 12.5mm. Inspire 2 comes in at 37.0 mm x 16.2 mm x 12.6mm. Luxe is the smallest measuring 33.5 x 17.5 mm. With a depth of only 10.1 mm it is also the thinnest.

Display, physical buttons, water-resistance

Charge 4 and Inspire 2 share an identical grayscale touchscreen and single button on the side to help with navigation. They also have an inductive button.

Their display is off by default and springs to life at a flick of the wrist or tap. Because Charge 4 has a larger screen, it is easier to read of the two.

fitbit luxe vs sense vs versa 3 specs feature comparison 2 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?
Fitbit Luxe
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Luxe has no physical buttons but it has a gorgeous touchscreen display which you use to navigate the menus. Its 0.76 inch AMOLED has a 124 x 206 pixel resolution with a 326 PPI density. That’s excellent quality, on par with Sense and Versa 3.

Water resistance is exactly the same for all three of these. Pinned at 5 ATM you can happily swim with them and they will track your sessions in the water.

Sensors and battery life

When it comes to sensors, it is no surprise the more expensive Charge 4 and Luxe offer much more. The similarities between the three include an optical heart rate tracker, 3-axis accelerometer and vibration motor. The extras you get with Charge 4 and Luxe are pulseOx for taking blood oxygen readings during the night and a temperature sensor. Luxe also has the ability to take stress readings. Charge 4 is the only one of the three with an altimeter, built-in GPS and an optional NFC edition for contactless payments.

Battery life is fairly decent whichever fitness band you choose. Charge 4 keeps going for about a week between charges and 5 hours with GPS switched on. The latest generation Inspire is good for about 10 days before running out of juice. Luxe trails a bit with a battery life of only 5 days.

Here’s a table with a detailed look at specs.

Luxe
Charge 4
Inspire 2
fitbit luxe e1618916341176 79x300 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?
Material
Housing is made of stainless steel. Band is made of silicone and fastens with an anodised metal buckle and tang. The special edition gorjana Parker Link Bracelet is made of stainless steel and a peony silicone band.
Built of more lightweight material including an aerospace grade aluminum case and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display. The housing and buckle are made of anodized aluminum.
The housing is plastic. The classic band is made of a premium, comfortable silicone similar to that used in many sport watches, and the buckle is made of anodized aluminum.
Dimensions
33.5 x 17.5 mm
35.8 x 22.7 mm
37.0 x 16.2 mm 
Depth
10.1 mm
12.5 mm
12.6 mm
Display type
AMOLED
OLED full touchscreen, TFT, Grayscale
OLED full touchscreen, TFT, Grayscale
Battery life
up to 5 days
up to 7 days, 5 hours with GPS switched on
up to 10 days
Water resistance
up to 50 metres (swim-proof) – 5 ATM
up to 50 metres (swim-proof) – 5 ATM
up to 50 metres (swim-proof) – 5 ATM
Weight
 
30g
20g
Sensors
3-axis accelerometer, Optical heart rate monitor, Vibration motor, Red and infrared sensors for oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring, temperature sensor
Optical heart rate tracker, 3-axis accelerometer, altimeter, SpO2, vibration motor, temperature sensor
Optical heart rate tracker, 3-axis
GPS
Connected GPS
Built-in GPS
Connected GPS
NFC
No
Yes
No
RRP
$150
$150
$100

Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: Functionality

If you’re after a fitness tracker, look no further than Fitbit wearables. The company has made a name for itself in this arena for a reason. That’s not saying there’s no decent competition. There is, but Fitbit is still amongst the best options for the average person.

You’ll be covered 24/7 with all three of these when it comes to heart rate, steps, distance, active minutes, calories, sleep and other basic health stats. There is also automatic activity recognition, Guided Breathing, Female Health tracking, Multi-Sport mode, move reminders and some more advanced performance metrics such as Cardio Fitness Level and Active Zone Minutes.

But Charge 4 and Luxe offer more.

Charge 4, Luxe health and fitness extras

The most important extra that you get with Charge 4 is the inclusion of a GPS chip. Built-in GPS means you can go running or cycling, leave your phone behind and still get detailed statistics and a map of your route. This will be important to those who often exercise outdoors.

Inspire 2 and Luxe have Connected GPS so need a smartphone in order to dish out detailed workout stats. It’s worth mentioning that the larger display of the Charge 4 also makes it suitable for reading your stats on the go.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

The next important difference is the lack of an altimeter on Inspire 2 and Luxe. The sensor is used to track altitude by utilising atmospheric pressure readings. On Charge 4, the total flights of stairs you have been climbing will be summed up and computed as a factor in your calorie count. This makes your calorie output more accurate.

Charge 4 and Luxe also have a pulseOx sensor. This monitors your blood oxygen levels. In the morning you’ll find a chart that shows fluctuations during the night. Big changes indicate there could be a problem, low fluctuations are a good sign.

fitbit inspire hr vs charge 3 which is best 2 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?
Fitbit Inspire 2
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review qlipp tennis sensor 8 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?

Other functionality that can be found on both Charge 4 and Luxe but not Inspire 2 includes skin temperature readings. You can see a short-term view of them in the Fitbit smartphone app. For longer term trends and more detail you will need to opt for a Premium Subscription.

The one health tracking extra that you get with Luxe but not with the others is stress and recovery data. This is a rather useful metric that is also available on the Sense watch. Fitbit says stress tracking will soon come to Charge 4 and Inspire 2 via a software update.

Luxe
Charge 4
Inspire 2
fitbit luxe e1618916341176 79x300 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?
Built-in GPS
No
Yes
No
Floors climbed
No
Yes
No
Skin temperature
Yes
Yes
No
Stress & recovery
Yes
Coming via software update
Coming via software update
Blood oxygen
Yes
Yes
No
NFC
No
Yes
No
Smart features
Call notifications
Text, calendar, app alerts
Call notifications
Text, calendar, app alerts
Quick replies
Spotify Control
Fitbit Pay
Call notifications
Text, calendar, app alerts

Smart functionality

In terms of non-fitness features, there’s not a great deal on Inspire 2. You can use it for call notifications, text, calendar and app alerts. But that’s where it ends. It doesn’t get much better for Luxe.

Charge 4 goes a step further with Quick Replies, in addition to the above mentioned NFC iteration for payments not the go. This is something that will make a difference to those who use Fitbit Pay, but it won’t make the least bit of difference to those who don’t.

The final extra you get with Charge 4 is the ability to operate Spotify on your smartphone. This lets you play, stop, shuffle and skip songs without reaching for your phone.


Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: The bottom line

You won’t go wrong with any of these devices. All three offer decent 24/7 fitness tracking and use Fitbit’s tried and tested, simple to use software ecosystem.

If you’re after a slimmer, more discreet experience, Inspire 2 or the Luxe are the obvious choice. The first is a budget option which offers a nice set of features, the second packs more.

In fact, Luxe is pretty much on par with Charge 4 as far as health stats. Couple this with a beautiful OLED display and the tracker is an attractive purchase.

Charge 4 comes with the same price-tag as Luxe even though it is not as premium looking. But what works in its favor is the inclusion of built-in GPS, an altimeter for counting floors climbed and NFC for contactless payments. It also has longer battery life than Luxe.

fitbit charge 4 vs charge 3 what the difference - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?

Fitbit Charge 4
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review qlipp tennis sensor 8 - Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what's the difference?

If you’re after basic fitness and health tracking, go for Inspire 2. It retails for about $50 less than the other two. If you want more you’ll need to decide what’s important to you. The beautiful design and display of Luxe or the built-in GPS and longer battery life that come with Charge 4.

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4 thoughts on “Fitbit Luxe vs Charge 4 vs Inspire 2: what’s the difference?

  • Few errors, here:

    Stress tracking features found on the Luxe has been confirmed by Fitbit to come across to their other smartwatches and trackers (inc. Charge 4 and Inspire 2) via a firmware update.

    The Inspire 2 does measure HRV, Respiration rate and Active Zone Minutes.

    Aside from the beautiful design and inclusion of the Spo2 sensor on the Luxe, the Inspire 2 can be found for almost $100 cheaper and with double the battery life and very similar fitness features.

    Reply
    • Yes, stress tracking is coming to other devices but not available yet. Well done on spotting the errors. Inspire 2 is also missing the temperature sensor of Luxe in addition to SpO2.

      Reply
  • Does the Charge 4 have the option to turn GPS off (to conserve battery) and use your phone GPS – as long as you have it with you?

    Reply

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