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The best hybrid smartwatches you can buy (Dec 2022)
Smartwatches are great tools, but nothing beats the look of an analog watch strapped to your wrist. If you want a device that wears like a traditional timepiece but packs smartwatch features under the hood, look no further: we’ve rounded up some of the best hybrid smartwatches on the market.
Buying the right hybrid smartwatch
Hybrid smartwatches meld classic elements with smartwatch smarts. This usually means aesthetics inspired by analog watches, plus notifications and fitness tracking. However, picking the right hybrid smartwatch largely depends on what tools you value. Although all the products we list below are stylish, each features a different strength. Consider the topics below when choosing your device.
- Battery life: Most hybrid watches pack lengthy battery life thanks to their minimal displays. These are typically only large enough to push quick, glanceable info to the wearer.
- Smartwatch features: Some hybrid devices provide basic notifications, while others offer a whole lot more. It’s likely you aren’t looking for an overwhelming smartwatch experience, but be sure to identify where your priorities fall in the available range.
- Fitness tracking: Likewise, some hybrid watches offer considerably better fitness tracking features than others. An option from Garmin, for example, will offer tons of training and tracking tools.
- Health tracking: For users with specific health concerns, a medically validated device might be worth considering. A few hybrid options specifically cater to users with heart health concerns.
- GPS: Just like on full-fledged smartwatches, GPS is a great perk. As such, we suggest a device with at least connected GPS for most users.
- Blended priorities: Finally, if you’re looking at hybrid watches, you probably want a little bit of everything. A few options below equip creative displays for mixing smartwatch and analog priorities on one watch face.
The best hybrid smartwatches
- Withings Scanwatch: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy, the Withings Scanwatch packs clinically validated AFib detection and an all-around great health tracking suite.
- Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR: The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is a beautiful option from Fossil Group, albeit a bit older. We’re big fans of the classy design and notable build quality.
- Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid: The Gen 6 Hybrid is Fossil Group’s best hybrid smartwatch. It offers a completely upgraded user experience and plenty of impressive specs.
- Garmin Vivomove Sport: Garmin’s subtlest hybrid smartwatch is the Garmin Vivomove Sport. It features an innovative “hidden” display that really embraces the hybrid smartwatch form factor.
- Garmin Instinct Crossover: For a more feature-packed experience, Garmin’s rugged Instinct Crossover boasts more training tools, built-in GPS, and impressive battery life.
Withings Scanwatch: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy
The Withings Scanwatch is our pick for the best hybrid smartwatch you can buy. It’s clinically validated to notify users of signs of AFib and overnight breathing disturbances. It has an ECG, a pulse oximeter for SpO2 readings, connected GPS, and a reliable heart rate sensor. During workouts, the device’s heart rate monitoring matched up fairly well with our Garmin watch and chest strap.
On-device navigation isn’t the greatest, but the small OLED display is good enough for basic functions. Add month-long battery life, fantastic build quality, and all-around great sleep tracking, and you have yourself a winner.
The Withings Scanwatch has also been FDA-approved in the US, so it’s now available for purchase from Withings’ website, as well as third-party retailers. There is also now the Withings Scanwatch Horizon available. This is an absolutely beautiful device, but it does come at a much higher price. After reviewing the Horizon, we didn’t find it featured enough newness to warrant recommending it over the Scanwatch above.
- Premium, classy design
- Long-lasting battery
- Health Mate app is well-designed and easy to use
- Potentially lifesaving and easy-to-use ECG monitor
- Clinically validated AFib and breathing disturbance notifications
- Fantastic sleep tracking
- Small display limits smart features
- Few advanced fitness features or insights
Check out our full review to learn more about the Withings Scanwatch.
Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR: The best option from Skagen
Fossil Group brought its Hybrid HR platform to the Skagen brand with the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR. This is one of our favorite hybrid smartwatches thanks to its improved design, long battery life, and innovative e-ink display.
The Jorn Hybrid HR’s e-ink display is bigger than the tiny screens found on most other hybrid smartwatches. This allows users to see more information at a time without the need to interact with the device. With physical watch hands, the hybrid accessory retains the look of a traditional timepiece. Meanwhile, its e-ink display provides other details like step count and heart rate data. It’s a beautiful design that’s practical as well.
In light of its innovative display, the watch can last up to two weeks on a single charge. Unfortunately, the Skagen device could use a design refresh on the software side. Specifically, navigating the user interface can be slow and cumbersome. That being said, we’re fans of the platform overall.
- Beautiful design
- E-ink display is innovative and fun
- 2+ week battery life
- Decent (but basic) fitness tracking options
- On-device software is clunky
Check out our full review to learn more about the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR.
Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid: The best Fossil hybrid smartwatch
A device that exudes class, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid also pairs mechanical hands with an always-on e-ink display. However, what really sets this device off is its internal specs. Where the Skagen user experience can be clunky, the Gen 6 Hybrid offers an updated platform, as well as a newly improved companion app.
Featuring some of the top specs of Fossil’s latest line, the Gen 6 Hybrid offers a newly designed user interface that mirrors the device’s circular design. It also boasts an SpO2 sensor, improved heart rate monitoring, smart notifications, and a new microphone for access to Amazon Alexa.
You can house the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid specs in your choice of two unique designs — the Machine or the Stella. With an oversized 45mm case and textured bezel, the Machine is available in Black, Silver, or Smoke. The smaller Stella features a 40.5mm case in Rose Gold, Silver, and Two-tone colorways and is available with or without bling.
Garmin Vivomove Sport: The subtlest Garmin hybrid smartwatch
We had to include the Garmin Vivomove line on our best hybrid smartwatches list. These advanced fitness trackers have much of the same functionality as other Garmin watches, only with a unique “hidden” display that hides away when you’re not using it. It’s just as cool as it sounds.
The Vivomove Sport is the latest addition to the Vivomove stable and we’ve found very little not to like about the device. With real, ticking watch hands, the Vivomove Sport feels as analog as a hybrid can get. With a clever display and many of Garmin’s health and fitness tracking features, the device is also a very solid entry-level smartwatch.
The lack of built-in GPS is a bummer for runners and cyclists, but overall the Sport offers a blend of style as well as substance. It also comes in four colorways including brown, black, white, and green, so users can find the right look for their wardrobe. We wore ours everywhere from hiking to horseback riding, plus out to formal dinners.
- Sleek “hidden” display
- Elevated sport aesthetic
- Convenient multi-day battery life
- No built-in GPS
- Limited smartwatch features
- No on-board music storage
Check out our full review to learn more about the Garmin Vivomove Sport.
Garmin Instinct Crossover: The best Garmin hybrid multi-sport watch
If the Garmin Vivomove Sport doesn’t offer enough to match your training regimen, the Instinct Crossover very likely fills in any gaps. Pairing ticking hands with a full-size digital screen, the device is a unique option in the hybrid watch arena. It also offers shock and thermal resistance and a water resistance rating of 10ATM. In short, it’s a rugged multisport watch with analog timekeeping. During our testing period, we fell in love with the luminescent hands that spin out of the way depending on which data screen you are viewing. We also found the device has even better GPS tracking than the Instinct 2.
Moreover, the device won’t just keep up with your runs, it will also keep up with your busy schedule. The Garmin Instinct Crossover offers 28 days of battery life so you can track your data for weeks before finding time to charge up. In GPS mode, the watch will last 20 hours. It is also available in a solar model for even more impressive specs.
Beyond great battery and GPS tracking, the Instinct Crossover is loaded with the best of Garmin’s ecosystem including everything users love about the Instinct 2 series. Built-in sport modes include niche activities such as surfing, pickleball, and snowshoeing, as well as HIIT workouts. Tools like Fitness Age and VO2 Max help users maximize training. Body Battery, sleep tracking, and stress tracking help you round out wellness goals and gain insights into recovery. Finally, the watch offers smart notifications as well as compatibility with both Android phones and iPhones. We were disappointed not to find onboard music storage during our testing period, however, all models do offer NFC support for Garmin Pay.
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