Somewhere between a traditional time piece and a smartwatch lies a peculiar product called a hybrid watch. And it’s a category that frankly, I’ve usually ignored, but in my new neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where a flashy $400 Apple watch still seems a little too Williamsburgy.  Fossil hybrid smartwatch strike a better balance for some.

The new fossil hybrid smartwatch HR is the smartest one I’ve seen yet.

My problem with hybrid smartwatches up till now has been that in order to be both attractive and long lasting, they’ve sacrificed the features that make them even marginally smart watches from brands like Withings and Kronaby are beautiful but they either make you memorize nebulous hand movements or they compress notifications onto tiny displays.

Read: Apple Watch VS Garmin: Which is Better Smartwatch?

I’ve always found Fossil hybrid smartwatch a much compromised experience. With the Hybrid HR, Fossil does things differently. While the watch does use a proper analog watch face with physical hour and minute hands, they float a top and always on display that covers 27 of the watch casings, 42mm.

We’ve seen this approach before, most notably on the disappointing LG watch W7 the difference here is that rather than an LCD or LED, this panel is E paper.

Fossil hybrid smartwatch has similar display technology to the one used by Amazon’s Kindle that has a lot of benefits and a few drawbacks.

Check the Price of Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR on Amazon

Benefits of Fossil Smartwatch

fossil hybrid smartwatch

For the benefits, Fossil hybrid smartwatch type of screen only uses power when it’s changing state. So most of the time, like when it’s just sitting there showing you the date and the weather, it’s consuming almost no energy.

That lets fossil hybrid smartwatch promise two weeks of battery life between charges. I’ve found the drain rate a little higher than that about 10% per day. But in a world of Apple and wearable OS watches that need to be charged every other night, it’s wonderful. There’s also rapid charging, so a full charge only takes an hour.

Another benefit to this display, Fossil hybrid smartwatch is visible under almost every lighting condition. When it’s dimmer dark, like in our new studio space that’s still awaiting a proper lighting grid, you can double tap the watch and force sidelights will fire up to illuminate the display.

Get Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR from Amazon

Drawbacks of Fossil Smartwatch

fossil hybrid smartwatch

That tap doesn’t always register on the first try, and those LEDs don’t light the watch face uniformly, which makes it look more like a TimeX from the early nineties before they figured out into glove.

Also, this display is monochrome, not color, and it refreshes more slowly than an LCD or AMOLED making scrolling through messages or menus a little janky by comparison. But look, if you want smooth scrolling and all the features, you buy a proper smartwatch.

Read: Best Garmin Kids Watch With Fitness Tracker

General Overview of Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch

fossil hybrid smartwatch

The whole point of a Fossil hybrid smartwatch is to give you some of those features in a more Spartan package, and Fossil Hybrid HR over delivers.

When your wrist buzzes, you can’t miss that strong vibration and you can read entire text messages or chunks of an email without taking out your phone. The heart rate sensor in conjunction with the accelerometer means you can track both exercise and sleep. And while the watch doesn’t have the GPS found on more serious fitness trackers, it can connect with both Under Armour and Googlefit.

Get Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR from Amazon

And what I really appreciate are the little things that make fossil hybrid smartwatch a better watch. You can use the app, which is nice and clean to build your own watch faces for different scenarios like working out or traveling. There’s no touchscreen to complicate things. You just use the three pushers for everything and you can program them to your own shortcuts.

Call me boring, but I still find I get the most use out of the old timer and stopwatch presets. And if the hands ever get in the way while you’re trying to reach something, you just flick your wrist and they’ll do a little dance to let you see what’s underneath. The fossil hybrid HR is available for $195.

Initially, I thought that excessive, given the complaints I have about the shady side lighting and the battery, not quite trending toward the full two weeks, but then.

Read: Garmin Watch band Review: QuickFit VS Third Party

I took a look at the competition. You need to spend 100 bucks more to get fossils fully fledged gen 5 smartwatch. The Kronaby charges way more for more attractive hybrids with far fewer capabilities while Withings actually undercuts fossil by about 20 bucks, but also delivers fewer features.

fossil hybrid smartwatch

I think fossil hybrid smartwatch has really hit the sweet spot here by giving us a hybrid that promises only what it can deliver and deliver well tossing the company’s reputation for excellent customer service.

If  you’re in the market for something between a timepiece and a smartwatch. The fossil hybrid smartwatch HR should be near the top of your list.

Get Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR from Amazon

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