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The best hybrid smartwatches you can buy
Smartwatches are great tools, but nothing beats the look of an analog watch strapped to your wrist. If you want a device that looks like a traditional timepiece but packs fitness tracking and 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 health or activity 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 factors below when choosing your device.
- Battery life: Most hybrid watches pack lengthy battery life thanks to 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 much more. Likely, you aren’t looking for an overwhelming smartwatch experience, but 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: A medically validated device might be worth considering for users with specific health concerns. A few hybrid options specifically cater to users with heart health concerns.
- GPS: Just like on full-fledged smartwatches, GPS is a great perk. We suggest a device with at least a connected GPS for most users.
- Blended priorities: Finally, if you’re looking at hybrid watches, you probably want a little 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 2: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy, the new Withings ScanWatch 2 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 Wellness Edition: The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition is Fossil Group’s best hybrid smartwatch. It offers a completely upgraded user experience and plenty of impressive specs, plus some health-focused features.
- 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 2: The best hybrid smartwatch you can buy
The Withings ScanWatch 2 is our pick for the best hybrid smartwatch you can buy. The company’s latest flagship, that gorgeous sequel, keeps tabs on everything from basic activity to cardiovascular health, offering an ECG for atrial fibrillation detection and an SpO2 monitor. It’s also well-regarded for highly accurate sleep stats and even adds temperature tracking to help users identify oncoming illnesses.
Additionally, Withings leverages the new temperature sensor to collect training and recovery insights for active users. To ensure you never miss a workout, the device also boasts automatic workout detection for over 40 activities. Despite these and other major updates, including an updated OS, the ScanWatch 2 offers the same 30 days of battery life as the last generation.
For those on a budget, Withings also introduced a pared-down model, the Withings ScanWatch Lite (€249.95 at Withings). Like its pricier sibling, the Lite offers sleep, heart rate, activity tracking, and detailed female health tracking both on the device and in the Withings Health app. It does not, however, feature a temperature sensor or a handful of other advanced features. Still, our reviewer found the pared-down model adequate for most during her ScanWatch Lite review.
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 attractive 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 without interacting with the device. With physical watch hands, the hybrid accessory retains the look of a traditional timepiece. Meanwhile, its e-ink display provides details like step count and heart rate data. It’s a beautiful design that’s practical as well.
The watch can last up to two weeks on a single charge in light of its innovative display. Unfortunately, the SKAGEN device could use a design refresh on the software side. 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
Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: The best Fossil hybrid smartwatch
For a device that touts a fashionable aesthetic, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition 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, Fossil offers an updated platform and a newly improved companion app. The watch features a newly designed user interface that mirrors the device’s circular design. We found the user experience very user-friendly. It also boasts an SpO2 sensor, improved heart rate monitoring, smart notifications, and a new microphone to access Amazon Alexa.
In addition to customizable watch faces, this hybrid offers a Wellness Dashboard for at-a-glance stats related to your daily activity and health tracking. The watch also offers fantastic multi-week battery life and simple navigation. Remember that you won’t find Wear OS on this device like the Fossil Gen 6. That means no Google Play Store either for third-party app support.
The device is available in black, navy, and blush. It also utilizes standard, 20mm quick-release bands to personalize your pick with a replacement band. Based on Fossil’s history, a launch date could be imminent for a Fossil Gen 7 lineup. However, we’ve not seen any rumors suggesting a new generation is coming.
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, with a unique “hidden” display that hides away when you’re not using it. It’s just as cool as it sounds.
The device is a powerful addition to the vivomove stable, and we found very little not to like about the device during our Garmin vivomove Sport review. 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 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 and substance. It also comes in four colorways, including brown, black, white, and green so that users can find the right look for their wardrobe. We wore ours everywhere, from hiking to horseback riding and 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
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 view. We also found the device has even better GPS tracking than the Garmin 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 line. Built-in sport modes include niche activities such as surfing, pickleball, snowshoeing, and 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 and compatibility with 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.
A smartwatch is a full-featured wearable built to be a smartphone companion. Hybrid watches pair with your smartphone and typically offer some smartwatch features and tracking tools but also feature aspects of an analog watch.
From this list, the Garmin Instinct Crossover is the best pick for athletes. It features all the top training tools Garmin has to offer.
Most hybrid watches support text notifications, and some offer quick replies to respond.
Like any product, there are some very good hybrid watches, and there are some less-than-useful ones. If you want a robust smartwatch experience, you will likely be disappointed with a hybrid device. If you want an attractive wearable with health and fitness tracking, smart tools, and smartphone compatibility, there are plenty of great hybrids to shop.