Which hybrid smartwatch is best?
Hybrid smartwatches have evolved as a fashionable alternative to the Apple Watch and other concepts that helped found the smartwatch movement. Functioning and appearing like standard analog watches, many with tasteful decorative elements, hybrid smartwatches also include hardware for reading a person’s heart rate, while offering other useful features like haptic feedback, health and weather information and notification previews, among other options.
Out of many different options, the Fossil Neutra HR Hybrid Smartwatch stands out with its multiple stylish designs, and its range of health management and smartphone notification previewing features.
What to know before you buy a hybrid smartwatch
How you plan to use your hybrid smartwatch
The best hybrid smartwatches are meant to suit the needs of the buyer, so it’s important to consider if you need any specific features in the model you buy. For example, if you’re planning to monitor sleep with your smartwatch, you’ll want to get one that’s comfortable enough to keep around your wrist while you sleep. In addition, those hoping to track runs, bike rides or other fitness-oriented goals may elect to buy a smartwatch with GPS and location features, since this can allow them to collect very specific data about their routines.
Magnetic USB charging
Unlike most watches, hybrid smartwatches must be charged every so often. While this isn’t quite a benefit, they usually only need to be charged every few weeks, and they feature convenient, magnetic USB charging cables that are easy to set up and use.
Another major benefit of the emergence of hybrid smartwatches is the design choices that make them look just like regular, albeit nice, watches. These work great for those who are required to dress nicely for business or special events and still want the benefit of monitoring health habits while they do.
What to look for in a quality hybrid smartwatch
Heart rate and other health monitoring
Most commonly, hybrid smartwatches monitor the user’s heart rate (HR), although most also monitor the wearer’s steps. Some also offer other monitoring tools like sleep patterns or more detailed workout information, along with useful information such as weather, the date and more.
Smartphone message and notification previews
Many hybrid smartwatch buyers love being able to pair the devices with their smartphones to receive message previews and other notification information. This can be particularly handy for those who don’t want to pull out their phone in business meetings or other group settings, but still like being notified when new updates come in.
While most Apple Watch users must charge their smartwatches every night, hybrid smartwatches also include the benefit of usually only needing a charge every week or two. Still, if you plan to go long periods of time without charging your watch, it might be worth buying the model that has the absolute most battery life, while those that are used to charging devices every night may not care as much about how long their watch’s battery lasts.
How much you can expect to spend on a hybrid smartwatch
Hybrid smartwatches will vary in price, depending largely on what features a given model includes. In most cases, you can find cheap hybrid smartwatches costing $50-$100, while those $100-$200 are usually reasonable mid-tier options. Those wanting luxury smartwatches can expect to pay $200-$500.
Hybrid smartwatch FAQ
Do hybrid smartwatches make phone calls?
A. While some hybrid smartwatches do make and receive phone calls, this is also a common downfall of this style of smartwatch compared to some models like the Apple Watch. Still, if you need to be able to use your smartwatch to make phone calls, you can find a handful of models out there that offer this feature, though you can also expect to pay a little more.
Can hybrid smartwatches pair with a smartphone?
A. Many hybrid smartwatch models do pair with a smartphone, though it varies from model to model. Some hybrid smartwatches will also feature GPS sharing or a phone app that does pair with a person’s phone, even if not through Bluetooth.
What’s the best hybrid smartwatch to buy?
Top hybrid smartwatch
What you need to know: This beautiful hybrid smartwatch from Fossil includes a sleek, simple display that’s easy to control and cycle through different views, message notifications and more.
What you’ll love: The Neutra hybrid smartwatch comes with a static display of heart rate, step count, date and weather, while also letting the user view message and notification previews and more detailed health info. This watch is also available in silver, black or a green-brown combination design.
What you should consider: Some buyers found the 45mm case felt a little bigger than they expected.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top hybrid smartwatch for the money
What you need to know: Beyond being one of the more fairly-priced hybrid smartwatches out there, this heart-rate-monitoring watch from Withings includes a beautiful minimal design.
What you’ll love: Users of this hybrid smartwatch can access tons of information via the app, including GPS, heart rate, step count, workout planning and sleep routines, among other data. It can also be purchased in multiple sizes in either black or white.
What you should consider: Users reported that this model’s tracking capabilities aren’t the most precise.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: For something with just a little more flash, this Charter model smartwatch from Fossil comes in a wide range of colors with easy access to heart rate, weather, step and notification information.
What you’ll love: The Charter watch from Fossil comes with a magnetic USB charger. This model also comes in a wide range of rose gold designs, including a navy-brown and a black with rose gold accents, among others.
What you should consider: The 45mm case was a little bigger than some buyers had anticipated.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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