Misc

The Best Hybrid Smartwatches in 2021

the best hybrid smartwatches


If you’re reading this, you’re probably bored as Hell and shopping for a smartwatch; and yes, we know we already covered some budget smartwathes in a previous article. However, since it’s the current year, maybe you want something more than an affordable gadget, hence today’s article is about the best hybrid smartwatch money can buy. If you’re not sure what a hybrid smartwatch is, don’t worry, we’re here to enlighten you: the main difference between a regular (as in “geeky) smartwatch and a hybrid is that the latter comes with a classic-analog design, i.e. it looks like a regular (sometimes premium) timepiece, yet it still includes some high-tech stuff under the hood.

Basically, a hybrid smartwatch can be worn anywhere by anybody (including fashion-conscious women), whether we’re talking about a business meeting with Big Tech execs, on the golf course, or even at the pub with your friends (yes, those were the days). A hybrid smartwatch will look the part in any situation, and it will deliver more than your “regular timepiece” experience, making for the best of both worlds, provided such a thing even exists.

So, the main advantage of getting a hybrid smartwatch is that you’ll retain the traditional timepiece face/case design, plus some extras, like an extra dial (or maybe two), for “infotainment” purposes. Also, unlike a regular smartwatch, a hybrid should offer weeks or even months of autonomy.

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How to choose the best hybrid smartwatch

OS compatibility

Now, just like with smartwatches, pay extra attention to OS compatibility. However, modern hybrids are fully compatible with both Android and iOS, but you should check it out anyway.

Functionality

Another thing to contemplate is functionality, and here personal preference comes into play. If you’re looking for style and classic-design first and foremost, you may not require fancy features like heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking/activity tracking technology, etc. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for a “fitness buddy”, fitness tracking features (or the lack thereof) can be deal-breakers.

Water resistance

Since we’re talking about “wearable” technology, water resistance is a nice feature to have in a smartwatch, especially if you’re into snorkeling, swimming, and/or pool-diving.

Battery life

Battery life shouldn’t be an issue with hybrids since they lack touch-screens like their smarter cousins, but check it out anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Budget

Finally, there’s the budget thing, because after all’s said and done, with money no object, we’d be all driving Porsches and wearing Frederique Constant hybrid smartwatches; or, why not, golden Apple Watches. By the way, there are high-end hybrid smartwatches that cost more than a family car, so pay attention to the price tag.

With all these in mind, let’s take a closer look at the best hybrid smartwatches available on Amazon right after a short commercial break.

Best Hybrid Smartwatches

Garmin vívomove 3

The Best Hybrid Smartwatch Overall

garmin vívomove 3
We’ll start the “best of” list with the Garmin vívomove 3, a pretentiously sounding hybrid smartwatch, but truth be told, this Garmin wearable is a sophisticated piece of gear by any metrics, and on top of that, it looks the part. And by that, we mean the vívomove 3 can easily pass the “smell test”, i.e. it looks and feels like a regular timepiece, so you can wear it anywhere without having to justify it too much. Simply put, this hybrid smartwatch doesn’t have “virgin nerd” written all over it, which may help you with picking up girls and whatnot.

All jokes aside, this Garmin watch does a great job in blending style and substance, and, most importantly, it will not cost an arm and a leg. Striking the ideal balance between smartwatch functionality and awesome looks is not an easy task, but Garmin is an expert in this regard, and we must admit: the vívomove 3 looks absolutely great, having a 42mm case while weighing a mere 35 grams (feather-light) and boasting the classic analog hands plus a hidden OLED screen.

The vívomove 3 comes with a nylon wristband, and yes, Garmin could have done better here; navigating the secret smart life of the watch is pretty straightforward, as you can either raise your wrist sharply or double-tap the screen. The OLED display works great in everyday use and it’s basically invisible until you need it. When on, the secondary display will show you all sorts of useful things, ranging from minutes of activity, stress levels, sleep tracking, how many flights of stairs you climbed, total steps for the day, current heart rate, respiration rate, a digital clock if one so inclined (who would do that actually) and so on and so forth.

For female readers, don’t worry as the vívomove 3 is up to the current “woke culture”, as the smartwatch offers a menstrual cycle widget, hydration level, upcoming calendar events/appointments, and the weather. Navigating/cycling through the menus is by using a small touch-button, and if you want more functionality, you can always connect the Garmin smartwatch to your smartphone via Bluetooth and receive smart notifications like texts and emails directly to your wrist.

Pros:
  • Sharp design, light and elegant
  • Intuitive menu, easy to set-up and to use
  • Works relatively well as a fitness tracker
  • Tons of features/widgets, especially for a hybrid smartwatch
  • Decent battery life, up to 5 days in smartwatch mode
Cons:
  • Kind of expensive
  • The heart rate monitor and sleep tracking feature are finicky

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Withings Steel HR Sport

The Best Hybrid Smartwatch for Fitness Tracking

withings steel hr sport
Next in line we have the Withings Steel HR Sport hybrid, which was built to be your best friend during your workouts, as it makes for one hell of an activity tracker. The smartwatch comes in a nice circular design and boasts an amazing 25-day battery life, which is respectable for a hybrid. However, what’s really nice about the Withings Steel HR Sport is the plethora of sport-centric features.

Design-wise, this smartwatch has a classic shape, featuring an analog dial, a single crown on the edge, and a stainless steel casing, with numbers etched and all that traditional stuff. There’s also a tiny inset display used to deliver all sorts of useful info, ranging from smartphone notifications to activity tracking and heart rate monitoring, because yes, this bad boy comes with fitness and heart-rate tracker, as well as a Connected GPS feature (via your smartphone), smart notifications and even water resistance.

The stainless steel casing is complemented by a silicon strap, which gives it an industrial look and feel, and, most importantly, the watch feels and looks durable, while the design leans toward the masculine. The 40mm stainless steel case feels premium, and compared to other smartwatches on the market, it’s definitely from a different league quality-wise. But since what’s under the hood matters in a hybrid, let’s see about the smart stuff: the small display allows you to cycle back and forth between a digital clock, date and, most importantly, step count, heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled and battery life.

We know, it’s not much, but it’s literally all you need to know from a decent fitness tracker. To cycle through the features, you’ll have to press the button located on the right, the crown-like thing respectively, which also rotates by the way. The watch supports 30 different workouts, including cycling, running, yoga and volleyball (nice touch), and since it’s water-resistant, you can also take it for a dive in the swimming pool.

Smartphone notifications work well, and the watch is compatible with more than 100 Android and iOS apps, especially the quintessential Health Mate app, which works great on both platforms.

Pros:
  • Works great as a fitness tracker
  • Stylish design, excellent build quality
  • GPS features, smart notifications
  • Respectable battery life (more than 3 weeks)
  • Waterproof, excellent wrist-strap
Cons:
  • Notifications could be better
  • The display is too small

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Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR

The Best Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch

fossil hybrid smartwatch hr
Fossil is the king of fashion-brands and its Hybrid Smartwatch HR is a statement to that, as it makes for one of the sexiest and prettiest gadgets out there, featuring a beautiful E-ink display and a classic timepiece design, plus some smart features, everything at a very affordable price. If you’re that kind of “love at first sight” person, the Fossil Hybrid HR will fit you like a glove, because regardless of what you’ve heard from complete “n00bs”, looks are everything, and this baby looks like a million bucks from any angle. To make it real simple for our readers, this Fossil watch manages to blend classic analog aesthetics with a couple of smart features, and thus it makes for a very sexy “all-rounder” which is aimed at normal people (not geeks) looking for a fitness-centric smartwatch.

The 42 x 13mm case is made from stainless steel and the watch comes with interchangeable 22 mm straps and a 1.06-inch always-on “read-out” e-ink display (non-touchscreen obviously). However, at first glance, the smartwatch looks totally analog and has a few analog watch elements, like number markings and physical watch hands.

The display is the novelty here, being the exact-same technology you will find in an Amazon Kindle reader, E-Ink respectively, which comes with pros and cons. We personally love E-Ink, especially in this type of “analog-smart-watch” (we know, it sounds paradoxical).

One of the main advantages of using E-Ink displays is improved battery life, i.e. E-Ink is the diesel-engine of displays, and truth be told, this type of screen blends beautifully with the analog watch face, making it look way sleeker and “business-like” compared to an OLED/AMOLED variety. Navigation through the menus takes place by using 3 pushers located on the right-side and each button can be programmed to do a specific task.

Speaking of smartwatch features, the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR does a decent job, offering smartphone notifications, Heart Rate, Activity & Sleep Tracking with in-depth wellness stats, message previews, weather updates and more, plus it works with both Androids and iPhones. Arguably, one of the main selling points of this Fossil beauty is battery life, which is quite impressive, as the watch offers more than 14 days of autonomy on a single charge, so if you’re looking for a beautiful and rather unique hybrid smartwatch at an affordable price, you’ve just found your match.

Pros:
  • The mechanical watch design on top of E-Ink looks fabulous
  • More than 2 weeks of battery life
  • Tracks activity pretty well (calories burned, steps/active minutes, etc.)
  • Comprehensive smart-features, water resistance
  • Comes with the accelerometer, optical heart-sensor
Cons:
  • Navigating the interface via 3 buttons is difficult in the beginning
  • Lacks GPS/Connected GPS option

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Skagen Men’s Hybrid HR Jorn Smartwatch

A Premium Watch With A High IQ

Skagen Mens Hybrid HR Jorn Smartwatch
Skagen comes from Denmark, Nordic European country with a high IQ, and that’s exactly what this watch is: a premium timepiece that can be worn ad a dinner, so if you don’t like geeky bulky gadgets, this is the way to go.

Basically, the Skagen is a classy watch in terms of appearance, but it hides a ton of smart features under its minimalistic look that most fashion conscious people love, not to mention the fact that it looks and feels like a high quality timepiece, which it is.

The only thing that betrays its high-tech innards at a close look is the circular e-ink display in the middle. The rest of the watch is “analog”, made of metal, including the side buttons. The back of the watch harbors a heart sensor which works great, and you also get smartphone notifications, activity tracking and music control.

Connecting the Skagen to your Android smartphone or iPhone via a proprietary app will unleash the beast, i.e. you’ll be able to access in-depth wellness stats, activity and sleep tracking, heart rate, receive and view smartphone notifications and alerts, see the calendar and weather updates, control your music and many more.

Finally, battery life is rated at 2 weeks on a single charge, which is great, and screen customization is excellent.

Pros:
  • Looks like a timepiece
  • Fabulous minimalist design
  • Comfy to wear
  • Works great as a fitness tracker
  • Extensive customization options
Cons:
  • Clunky software

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Fossil Women’s Jacqueline

The Best Women’s Hybrid Smartwatch

fossil women's jacqueline
Last but not least, we have a stunning hybrid smartwatch for our lady-readers, this time from Fossil. The Jacqueline is a beautifully designed hybrid that is compatible with Android- and iOS-powered smartphones, making for a fantastic ladies’ watch that looks like a classic timepiece yet offers a number of smart functions to make your life easier. The stainless steel case has 36 mm in diameter and the watch features auto-update time/date, Bluetooth 4.1, fitness/activity tracking capabilities, remote control activation, and sleep tracking; it’s also worth mentioning that you won’t get a heart-rate sensor, so buyer beware.

The user interface/software is well designed and intuitive, and the ecosystem is easy to use and works great with both iOS and Android, as Fossil made an emphasis on simplicity and nothing overdone. Interestingly enough, this Fossil hybrid smartwatch uses a replaceable/classic Lithium Battery Cr2025 that doesn’t require charging, and it will last you for up to 6 months, depending on how much you’ll be abusing the “notifications” thing (Bluetooth and all).

The bottom line, if you’re looking for a beautiful hybrid that doesn’t look like a gadget/smartwatch at all, the Jacqueline should rank high on your shopping list. However, if you want a technological power-house to control your digital social life, look elsewhere.

Pros:
  • Versatile, timeless design
  • Doesn’t look like a smartwatch (we love that)
  • A decent set of features for a hybrid
  • Looks and feels premium
Cons:
  • Limited features/functionality

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About author

Chris is an old school millennial interested in fast living and everything tech.
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