Best Hybrid Smartwatches

The problem with smartwatches is they lack the appeal that consumers are looking for from a traditional watch. Then again, the issue with traditional models is they lack the smart features that the modern world craves. What if there was a device that combined the best of both worlds? Well, it just so happens that there is an answer and that answer is what is known as a hybrid smartwatch. This literally combines the functionality of a smart device with the traditional appeal of an old-school watch. But, deciding which model you desire can still be a complicated task but with the assistance of this guide, we hope to make that decision a little easier.

Garmin vívomove
  • Garmin vívomove
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Displays steps, calories
  • Price: See Here
Nokia Steel HR
  • Nokia Steel HR
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Alexa integration
  • Great design
  • Price: See Here
Misfit Wearables
  • Misfit Wearables
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Vibration feature
  • Stainless steel body
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Hybrid Smartwatches

 

 

Garmin vívomove HR

Garmin lands at the top of a list that has to do with this technology, what a shock. Their Vivomove HR model is world-renowned and one of the most popular devices in the world.
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Smart Features
In addition to the 24/7 heart rate monitoring that is offered by the Vivomove HR, it also includes fitness monitoring tools such as fitness age and VO2 Max. It also can be used with the Garmin app.

Build Quality
As this piece sports a water-resistance rating of 5 ATM, it can withstand pressures of waters equivalent to the depth of 50 meters.

Appeal and Interface
Wow, is this watch ever stylish? Not only is the base color combination amazing, there are also loads of other options. Plus, the discreet, touchscreen display puts it over the top.

Battery Life
Most of these types of device run off batteries that never need to be charged. However, the Vivomove HR need to be charged and can last for two weeks in watch mode or up to five days in smart mode.

Weight and Comfort
One positive about the silicone band is that it is both lightweight and comfortable. Yet, it appears it is on the flimsy side so be somewhat cautious with it.

Overall
It is Garmin so you know that the device is high-quality. But, what is so great about their Vivomove HR is it combines everything consumers love about hybrid smartwatches and adds a heart rate monitor.
Pros

Is equipped with 24/7 heart rate monitoring

Will display steps, calories and distance

Comes in several beautiful and visually stunning options

Cons

It is very hard to read in sunlight

The screen as a whole is not very sharp

Nokia Steel HR

The Nokia Steel HR is another model that is equipped with heart rate technology. It is also another model that is highly acclaimed and overall, is downright gorgeous to look at.
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Smart Features
The Steel HR can also continually track your heart rate. But, it can also act as a full-fledged fitness tracker and also is compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Build Quality
Nokia rates their Steel HR with a water-resistance rating of 50 meters. As they point out, this can handle showers, rainfall, and even snorkeling.

Appeal and Interface
Nokia provides you with a few different options here but the white dial and black band is an ideal choice. Coupled with the gorgeous interface, this is stunning.

Battery Life
Much like with the other previous model, this is run via a long-lasting battery. It can last for up to 25 days on one charge with an additional 20 more days in power reserve mode.

Weight and Comfort
Thanks to the fact that the bands are interchangeable, you can upgrade to a different strap if you do not enjoy the default one (which is comfortable, by the way).

Overall
Nokia, much like Garmin, should be commended for their design. The slick appeal and functionality will be enough to sell even the toughest of critics.
Pros

Built with heart rate monitoring

Has smart notifications and Alexa integration

The appeal is completely amazing

Cons

Does not display your resting heart rate

The vibration can be difficult to notice

Misfit Wearables

Now, as opposed to the previous two models, this next one does not integrate a heart rate monitor. However, its stainless steel body and water-resistant core give you plenty of reasons to buy.
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Smart Features
With the integration of the smart button, this allows you to play music, find your phone, and even take photos. Also, you will be notified of incoming calls and texts.

Build Quality
The stainless steel body is coupled with the satin aluminum face for both durability and visual appeal. Also, it is water-resistant to 50 meters.

Appeal and Interface
First off, the minimalist approach of the display prevents clutter and will be appreciated by some users. As for the appeal, it is pretty much straight silver.

Battery Life
Misfit Wearables claims that their model will last for up to one year with the included non-charging replaceable battery. Of course, this depends on usage.

Weight and Comfort
Even though some consumers have claimed the watch face can be large on smaller wrists, it is extremely lightweight and may not even be noticeable.

Overall
This is arguably the most cliché model on this entire list. The reasons are clear and that is the Command combines an extremely minimalist design with smart functionality.
Pros

Has a stainless steel body with a satin face

It will vibrate when it receives notifications

Not oversaturated with tons of features

Cons

For smaller wrists, the dial may be a bit too cumbersome

Skagen Jorn

Skagen Jorn
Right from the get-go, it is apparent to know that the Skagen Jorn is one of the sleekest and thinnest hybrid models you will find on the market. Plus, it is interchangeable with other bands.
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Smart Features
This works much as a fitness tracker does but it can also receive smartphone notifications. When this happens, you will feel a gentle buzz on your wrist.

Build Quality
The combination of the leather band and the stainless steel case is ideal for build quality. Also, the unit as a whole is water-resistant to 30 meters.

Appeal and Interface
If you are looking for an incredibly sophisticated and professional looking watch, this is it. But, do note that there is no backlight for nighttime viewing.

Battery Life
As great as this model is, the four-month battery life rating is not the best out there. Still, you can always replace the battery so that is nice.

Weight and Comfort
Wow, is this ever a sleek and thin design on display here. What is also nice is the band is interchangeable and you can use any Skagen branded band that measures 22 millimeters.

Overall
The Jorn is probably best for consumers looking for a sleek watch that will match their professional outfits. Although, its smart functionality also makes it ideal for casual wearing.
Pros

An absolutely beautiful piece

Very sleek and thin

Combines a leather band with a stainless steel case

Cons

There is no backlight

Can be slightly irritating to buckle

Fossil Q Commuter

Fossil Q Commuter
Fossil has a couple of excellent models that landed on this list and their Q Commuter is the first. Though it is slightly thicker than most traditional watches, its array of smart features make up for it.
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Smart Features
The Q Commuter really has it all including smartphone notifications and activity tracking. Although, the gentle buzz for notifications could be a little more noticeable.

Build Quality
Fossil engineered their Q Commuter with a stainless steel case and a genuine leather band. In addition, as with most other models, this is water-resistant (down to 100 feet).

Appeal and Interface
The silver-tone dial blends perfectly with the brown leather band. However, the interface itself is a bit flawed as the markings closest to the bezel are extremely minuscule in size.

Battery Life
It is estimated that this battery will last for up to one year before needing to be replaced. Again, this is going to vary based on usage and settings, though.

Weight and Comfort
As compared to traditional watches, this could be considered a bit heavy. Then again, on the positive side, the included band can be swapped out for other Fossil bands.

Overall
If the slight blemishes of this model are not enough to scare you off, then you can don a very impressive smartwatch that could end up being the envy of all your friends.
Pros

Has built-in activity tracking

It is interchangeable with all Fossil 22-millimeter bands

Compatible with both iOS and Android

Cons

The vibrations are a little too weak

The numbers around the face of the watch are incredibly small

Michael Kors Slim Runway

Michael Kors Slim Runway
For some people’s taste, this next entry may be a little much. Due to the rose gold appeal and polished silhouette design, it will attract a crowd, let’s just say that.
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Smart Features
While you can’t physically make calls from this watch, it will notify you when you have incoming calls and texts. Also, you can filter the notifications from up to six people.

Build Quality
Due to the 50-meter water-resistance rating, this is suitable for short periods of recreational swimming but nothing such as snorkeling or diving.

Appeal and Interface
The combination of the rose gold appeal and the slim silhouette may be a little too flashy for some folks. But, the minimalist look will still be what some are seeking.

Battery Life
Much along the line of various other designs, this is run via a non-chargeable battery. When the time comes, you will need to replace the current battery.

Weight and Comfort
In spite of the minimalistic design, there have been some buyers who have claimed that this can be a bit too large and long. Just keep that in mind if you have a small wrist.

Overall
If you are quite fond of the rose gold design at work here, then, truth be told, you can enjoy one of the more consistent designs on this list. But, it really comes down to your personal taste.
Pros

The rose gold appeal is striking

It is water-resistant to 50 meters

Has a minimalist look and feel

Cons

May simply be too flashy for some tastes

Fossil Q Accomplice

Fossil Q Accomplice
We go from a watch that may be too flashy to one that could end up being too bland. Though the all-stainless appeal of the Q Accomplice will not be for everyone, the functionality is superb.
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Smart Features
Thanks to the customizable link button, you can snap a photo and control your music straight from the Q Accomplice. Also, it can track your everyday accomplishments such as calories burned and steps.

Build Quality
In addition to the fact that both the bezel and the band are made of stainless steel, the Q Accomplice is water-resistant to the pressure equivalent of 165 feet.

Appeal and Interface
Most consumers love the appeal of stainless steel appliances and for some, they may eat up this all-steel appeal. Oh yeah, and the hands are luminescent and will glow in the dark.

Battery Life
Based on your usage of the watch itself, you can get up to six months of battery before it needs to be replaced. But, it is always on so be aware of that.

Weight and Comfort
The provided metal band actually has a narrow profile which reduces the overall weight. But, it is interchangeable and other Fossil branded bands can be used.

Overall
The build quality and smart functionality of the Q Accomplice is what is most likely to sell you. But, if you adore that all-steel appeal, that will only make matters better.
Pros

Can track calories burned, distance and steps

It is compatible with all Fossil 16-millimeter bands

Water-resistant to 165 feet

Cons

Very weak notification vibrations

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani
This could be the most gorgeous and beautiful watch on this entire list. Yet some limitations with the accompanying app and the extra weight do hold it back a bit.
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Smart Features
With this watch, you can receive smartphone notifications, filter them, control your music, and view activity tracking. But, as mentioned, the accompanying app has received some criticism.

Build Quality
Be aware that this is not waterproof and is instead water-resistant to the depth of 100 feet. Also, the case material is stainless steel.

Appeal and Interface
Wow; that is the best word to describe the visual design here. The silver-toned indexes match perfectly with the gunmetal case, black leather strap and royal blue interior.

Battery Life
Emporio Armani rates their model to last up to six months with the integrated cell battery. Now, again, this number is based on usage and may be less than that.

Weight and Comfort
Though the leather band is far from uncomfortable, it is worth noting that this is one of the heavier devices on this list. At just under one pound, there is some girth.

Overall
For pure functionality, there are some limitations with the app that prevent this from being on the top of this list. Then again, the striking appeal will be enough to sell a specific demographic.
Pros

Will automatically convert time zones

The coin cell battery never needs to be charged

Completely stunning visual design

Cons

The app is limited in functionality

Can be a little on the heavy side

Diesel Mega Chief

Diesel Mega Chief
Speaking of heavy, how about this next model? Now, the good definitely outweighs the bad here and that is why it is getting the praise it deserves. But, the weight is still a potential concern.
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Smart Features
This is another model that integrates a link function and this allows you to control your smartphone’s music, ring your phone and also snap a photo. Plus, you can receive alerts and notifications.

Build Quality
The familiar combination of a leather strap and a stainless steel case works perfectly here. Also, this is water-resistant to 100 feet.

Appeal and Interface
This is far from a minimalist design, let’s just say that. Now, the visual design is far from ugly but because you can track your activity with the sub-disc on the dial, it could be too cluttered for some.

Battery Life
It is rated that this battery could last for up to six months before needing to be replaced.

Weight and Comfort
Oh yes, the weight. The leather calfskin band is a nice touch but the bulkiness and chunkiness of this watch will simply be too cumbersome for some people to deal with.

Overall
If you reduce the weight and the bulk of this model, it could have landed in the top five easily. But, it goes without saying that those issues can’t be ignored.
Pros

The sub-disc dial allows for activity tracking

You can choose the notifications you receive

Water-resistant to 100 feet

Cons

Pretty heavy and chunky

Kate Spade Grand Metro

Kate Spade Grand Metro
The last model on this list is actually a women’s exclusive design. Due to the design of the dial, it is not difficult to see why. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
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Smart Features
The Grand Metro is really an ingenious design as you can assign contacts or apps to a number on the dial for the ultimate customization. Also, the perfect selfie can be taken with your camera app open.

Build Quality
While the watch as a whole is built with quality in mind (with a leather strap and a rose gold-tone case), it is not waterproof.

Appeal and Interface
Kate Spade optimized their design for women that much is apparent. But, one aspect to note is that the dial does not have a backlight feature for nighttime viewing.

Battery Life
The estimated battery life for this integrated battery is in the ballpark of most of the other models on this list (up to six months).

Weight and Comfort
On one hand, this is not a heavy model, which is nice. However, the band is actually not interchangeable and what you see is what you get.

Overall
With the sleek appeal and unique customization at play for this model, it is not difficult to see why it cracked this list. But, and there is always a but, it is not flawless.
Pros

Can be used with your camera app to take photos

Compatible with both Android and iOS

Very sharp looking piece

Cons

The band is not interchangeable

There is no backlight at night

Criteria Used For Evaluation

Their Smart Features

Right from the get-go, and this was alluded to at the beginning, understand that hybrid smartwatches are not going to possess the technology of standard models. However, this does not mean they are devoid of smart features as this is where the hybrid comes into play. Some models will possess more functionality than others and choosing what you desire is really a matter of preference. For example, some watches will be equipped with heart rate monitoring. Meanwhile, others may simply have the basic functionality of alerting you of incoming calls and texts from your smartphone.

Of course, there are also other designers who will equip their model with fitness tracking capabilities. With this, the watch will be able to track certain metrics such as calories burned, total distance, and steps taken. But, perhaps you want to be able to control your music and perhaps even take a photo from your watch. If so, look for hybrid models that account for it. Remember, they are smart devices even though they may not look like it.

Overall Build Quality

Before we dive into the beef of this section, let’s briefly talk about the composition of a hybrid model. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel due to its combination of appeal and durability. But, there is a decision you need to make for the band. Do you want metal or leather? The main advantage to the former is it requires less maintenance and will not age as quickly (lasting much longer). For durability, go with metal.

Okay, now to assess a highly discussed feature of most watches, water-resistance. Most hybrid smartwatches will have some sort of water-resistance rating. It will either be indicated in ATM, feet, or meters (but all is the same at the end of the day). To provide an example, a rating of 5 ATM can withstand pressures of water that is equivalent to 50 meters in depth. However, this does not mean it is waterproof down to 50 meters. This is a common misconception as this rating is really ideal for light swimming and other outdoor activities. When you get into the area of a 10 ATM rating, then you are talking about snorkeling and prolonged contact to water (yet still no diving).

Aesthetics and Interface

What good is a watch that is too ugly to wear? Style matters everyone and even if you try to deny it, you know it does. Because of this, and no one can inform you of what you find appealing, look for color combinations and styles that you find attractive. A lot of the models that were presented to you on this list are quite stylish but again, it is all a matter of taste. Also, you may want something a little more subtle (or vice versa if you want a flashy piece of jewelry). But, in general, this is why so many people adore these types of watches because they combine smart functionality with traditional appeal.

Now, the interface on a hybrid model is going to look vastly different than what you would see on a traditional smartwatch. With a traditional model, you would typically see a full-fledged touchscreen interface with a bright display. Yet, that is not the case here and instead, you may see a more minimalist approach with only markings visible. Still, for nighttime viewing, you may want to look for luminescent markers.

Battery Life

Typically, when you are talking about old-school watches the battery life is really not going to come into play. Yet, as soon as you throw in Bluetooth technology and smart features, that all changes. However, as compared to typical smartwatches, these versions are still not going to quite require the same amount of juice. The reason for this is the lack of a touchscreen and a brighter display. Hence, this is why you will see most versions come equipped with a simple cell battery (or button cell) that is designed to last for a certain time without needing to be charged.

The benefit of this is obvious; you never need to physically charge the watch. But, due to the smart functionality, they are not going to last for a very long time. Most manufacturers rate their model to last up to six months (or sometimes even up to a year) before needing to be replaced. Yet, and this is important, they say this with a bit of an asterisk. They typically claim it will last up to a certain time and claim it is based on usage. What this means is someone who uses the smart features on their watch every day will run the battery quicker than someone doing so once a week.

Comfortability

For the most part, there are two factors needed for a watch to be comfortable. Firstly, it needs to not be too cumbersome and bulky. Secondly, the band needs to be comfortable.  Now, in regard to the dial, it is probably better if it is too small than too large. Being too large not only causes it to stick out like a sore thumb but it also can create more weight.

As for the band, this goes back to the debate that was discussed earlier in regard to a leather band versus a metal band. While metal wins in the durability department, it does not in the weight department. Leather bands are very comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time due to their lightweight nature and moisture absorbent properties. Meanwhile, metal bands can feel quite heavy after a while.

 

FAQs

Q:   How Far Away Can the Device be From Your Smartphone?

One of the major limitations of Bluetooth, as great and convenient as the technology is, is its range. Now, depending on the class, it can have varying ranges but for the most part, you are typically going to see a range of around 30 to 50 feet. This means that the two devices can’t be any farther than this range and if they are, the communication will begin to distort. You will notice as your watch will not respond as well when using the smart features.

Q:   What Phones are Compatible?

This is another Bluetooth related question and is one that definitely is important to know. Unfortunately, you can’t just assume that your current smartphone is going to connect to the model that you buy. While most devices that both have Bluetooth technology can connect, it is not a guarantee that it will happen all the time. For the most part, most models should work with both Android and iOS devices so that should not be an issue.

However, depending on your current model of smartphone and the operating system, it may be too old. What you need to do is research the smartwatch’s specifications to see what phone operating systems it is compatible with. That way, you know for sure.

Q:   Why Won’t it Pair?

If you are realizing anything with this slew of questions it is that Bluetooth is not a foolproof technology. In fact, it is far from it. Then again, if you encounter issues with syncing your two devices together, there may be a plethora of reasons why. For starters, it may be something as simple as the Bluetooth being disabled on your smartphone. Believe it or not, it can be that simple. If it is already enabled, disable it and then enable it again (it can be finicky).

Another setting you will want to check is the location services on your smartphone. If disabled, enable that. If all else fails, unpair your watch, disable Bluetooth on your phone, turn your phone off, turn it back on, enable Bluetooth, and pair the watch.

Q:   How Do You Clean a Leather Watch Strap?

Alright, so with all this fuss that leather bands are harder to maintain than metal bands, it seems appropriate to address this question. Especially when you wear the leather band while you sweat, it is going to get dirty and sweaty. So, eventually, you will need to clean it. To do so, you can start off by simply wiping down the strap with a soft cotton cloth (or even a microfiber cloth). From there, grab a different cloth and get it damp and put a touch of mild hand soap on it.

With this cloth, begin to wipe down the band and then when you are finished with this, allow it to air dry. Also, to ensure an even longer life, consider investing in some leather conditioner.

Q:   How to Tell if a Battery is Dying?

As you have probably learned over the years when owning different types of technology devices, some of them will be programmed to alert you when the battery is low and others will not. For hybrid smartwatches, if the system alerts you when the battery is about to die (which may even be present in the accompanying app) then you are good to go. However, if it does not, then it can be difficult to tell. Typically, the vibration that is used to alert you will probably no longer work and this is a good indication. Then again, if you notice that none of the markings are moving, then that is also a telling sign to get a new battery.

Q:   Do Hybrid Smartwatches Need to be Synced to Function?

Whenever you have a device such as a smartwatch that is so predicated on the use of another device, it raises the question of whether or not that device can work on its own. When talking about hybrid models, no, they will not need the use of your smartphone to function. That is, they will still be able to keep track and time and function as an ordinary watch.

But, if you want to utilize the smart features then yes, it needs to be synced to your smartphone. If you are merely going for a stroll and do not require the services of Bluetooth, though, it can be used without it. This is a good practice anyway as disabling Bluetooth can end up saving on the battery in the long run.

Final Thoughts

In this modern world, it just seems that anything is possible when technology is involved. On the surface, the idea of a hybrid smart watch sounds like a fan fantasy. Yet, the most brilliant of minds around the world have come together to design some of the most functional and stylish watches you will ever wear. And now, you know how to buy one. Could you really ask for much more?

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