You’ve definitely heard of smartwatches, haven’t you? You also know what a watch is, right? But what is a hybrid smartwatch? Do you know? Well, that’s what we’re going to be discussing today. You’ll get to learn what hybrid smartwatches are, what they can do, and examples of some of the best hybrid smartwatches you can get. But first…
What Is A Hybrid Smartwatch?
Before everything went digital, watches were generally mechanical. Names like Rolex, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer are just a few of the big names etched in the history of the finest luxury mechanical watches. Even after the introduction of smartphones meant that choosing to wear a mechanical watch was entirely a matter of luxury, some watch purists still insisted on owning a luxury timepiece from one of the aforementioned brands.
By the time the smartwatch was introduced around 2010, most felt like the mechanical watch industry had been dealt the final blow. However, lovers of classic watches might be seeing some joyful days ahead. Hybrid watches have come to show that the advent of digital technology does not have to mean the death of the mechanical watch industry.
When you look at a hybrid smartwatch, it typically looks like a fine mechanical watch. Face is analog, and there are hour, minute, and second hands, unlike you find on a digital smartwatch.
The bands can be made from various metals just like on mechanical watches. Materials could range from leather, to stainless steel, to cloth. In fact, if you don’t look closely at the watch, there’s nothing that gives this watch away as a hybrid smartwatch.
In essence, a hybrid smartwatch, as the name suggests, is the product of a combination of a smartwatch and a regular mechanical watch. This resulting watch, of course, shares features of both mechanical and smartwatches.
Hybrid smartwatches do not feature a touchscreen and they usually do not require charging. In fact, they don’t look like any piece of technology at all. If you’re a stickler for traditional watches, then the hybrid smartwatch is an open door to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Why You Should Get A Hybrid Smartwatch
A hybrid or analog smartwatch usually has a number of smart features, but definitely not the full gamut. The focus of the watch, instead, is on the face of the watch and its strap. This is why they usually have classic watch bands and classic watch faces. So, if you’re big on a classic-looking watch, then you might want to go for a hybrid smartwatch over a regular smartwatch.
Some of the features you’ll get on a hybrid smartwatch include buzzing notifications for emails, and texts. You should also be able to control your camera from your wrist as well.
In addition to these, hybrid smartwatches will usually have a couple of fitness features. For instance, some of them will help you track the number of steps you take. Some, on the other hand, might not have. So, you might want to keep that in mind.
Features Of A Hybrid Smartwatch
A hybrid smartwatch is just like a smartwatch and comes with a couple of extra features such as fitness and health trackers. Some even come with sleep trackers which is not a very common feature mostly because not many people wear their watches to sleep.
Hybrid smartwatches can also sync with your smartphone which means that you’d be able to get text/email notifications on your watch, control your phone camera, and control your music player as well. This way, you get to remain connected to your phone without necessarily having to check your phone every time.
The method by which a hybrid smartwatch receives its notifications varies. In a Fossil hybrid smartwatch, for instance, you set up your watch by assigning the numbers on your watch to a contact or an app.
So, if you set text notifications to number 4, for instance, the hands move to the 4 o’clock and linger there for a while so you can notice it.
For other smartwatches, there might be a sub-dial or LCD screen dedicated to notification alerts. There are also hybrid smartwatches that actually buzz.
Now, keep in mind that most hybrid smartwatches don’t come with a touchscreen and they won’t be able to run most apps you find on a smartwatch.
However, there are also a couple of advanced features which you can find on a hybrid smartwatch including world clocks, alarms, compasses. However, forget the Uber app, cos you’re definitely not getting that.
The biggest problem with smartwatches is their notoriety for never lasting long. Hybrid smartwatches, on the other hand, don’t exactly have a battery problem. A main advantage that hybrid smartwatches have is that they lack a touchscreen. So, the main feature that drains batteries in regular smartwatches is already off the table.
Other features you might not find on a hybrid smartwatch include, changing watch faces, or complex features like a heart rate sensor.
Like we said, the absence of a touch screen on a hybrid smartwatch is one of the biggest reasons hybrid smartwatches don’t die as fast as smartwatches. All you need to do is to pair with Bluetooth Low Energy and your hybrid smartwatch will be able to survive on a coin-cell battery. So, unlike your smartwatch, you won’t have to charge your hybrid smartwatch every night.
The battery of a hybrid smartwatch can last up to 6 months before it needs replacement, and you can replace your battery at home without necessarily spending so much money.
The hybrid smartwatch is, therefore, a perfect choice for someone who isn’t down for all the regular charging that comes with regular smart devices.
Now, typically, hybrid smartwatches don’t deviate far from regular mechanical watches both in construction and in design, you also get the benefits associated with mechanical watches.
Most hybrid smartwatches are water-resistant down to 50 meters or 5 ATM, at least. They also come with standard size lugs which means you get to decide the kind of straps you want.
So You Want A Hybrid Smartwatch? — The Best Brands
Alright, now that you know what a hybrid smartwatch is and it’s obvious you want one, here are a few brands you could check out.
The Fossil Group
The Fossil Group has been producing all kinds of watches for all kinds of fashion brands. The brand has a pretty impressive lineup of hybrid smartwatches.
Some of the hybrid smartwatches in the Fossil lineup include the Q Crewmaster, and the new Q Commuter. They’ve also made watches from brands such as Kate Spade, Skagen, Misfit, Michele, as well as Emporio Armani.
The good thing about Fossil hybrid smartwatches is that they usually come with pretty good stock apps. Plus, they connect pretty easily and the connections they make are also quite reliable.
Another huge advantage of Fossil hybrid smartwatches is that you’re sure you’re getting a properly designed watch from one of the best watchmakers in the industry.
If you don’t like the Fossil brand, you don’t have to limit yourself to Fossil. You can try out other brands such as Nokia. After acquiring Withings, the brand began selling hybrid smartwatches, one of which is the Steel HR. A hybrid smartwatch similar to the Steel HR is the Garmin Vivomove HR.
Other brands not exactly into making smartwatches also seem to be favoring hybrid smartwatches these days. An example is New York Standard Watches as well as Kronaby. These two watchmakers have dabbled into tech lately and have also produced their own hybrid smartwatches.
Another good quality hybrid smartwatch from a popular watchmaker is the Timex IQ + Move.
If you like to be a little lavish with your watches, there are a number of options available to you as well.
For instance, you could get sophisticated hybrid smartwatches from top brands Alpina, Frederique Constant, and Mondaine.
Another good example of a hybrid smartwatch is the Alpina Seastrong. Like the name probably suggests, the Alpina Seastrong looks a lot like a dive watch. So, it comes in a popular design and delivers notifications and world time zones. It also tracks your activities as well as your sleep.
On the face of the watch is a sapphire crystal and the movement inside is a Swiss quartz movement. If you love watches and hate to compromise on design, then the Alpina Seastrong is your go-to.
Yet another option for hybrid smartwatch lovers is Casio. One thing about Casio watches is that though they are Blutetooth watches and have the good old smartwatch connectivity we are familiar with, they don’t give notifications like other hybrid smartwatches do. Yeah, small bummer, we know.
For instance, the G Shock Gravitymaster GPW-2000-1A comes with world time, GPS positioning as well as an app for tracking flights.
Another solid example from Casio is the GBA-800 G Shock. This watch comes with a fitness tracker and is also able to sync the data from your fitness tracking with an app on your smartphone.
Now, even though they do not give notifications, these watches are still considered hybrid watches, or you could also call them connected watches as well.