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Best hybrid smartwatch 2020: Top picks from Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

Helping you pick a traditional look with hidden smart features
Best hybrid smartwatches in 2020
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If you want a smartwatch but are put off by the touchscreens and rectangular cases, the answer is to explore the world of hybrid smartwatches.

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A hybrid packs in the same tracking features present in a regular smartwatch, but instead hides them inside a traditional-looking body.

It means you get the best of both worlds, opening your wrist up to activity tracking, sleep monitoring, health data, notifications and longer battery life while still looking like the regular analogue watch you're used to.

Over the years, we've tested waves of hybrid smartwatches from the likes of Fossil, Garmin and Withings, making us ideally placed to guide you on the key considerations.

Below, you can peruse our rankings and decide which is best for your wrist.

1. Garmin Vivomove 3 series

Best hybrid smartwatch 2020: Top picks from Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

The old Garmin Vivomove HR held our title of best hybrid smartwatch since its launch in 2017, and its successor, the Garmin Vivomove 3 series, has now taken over as our top recommendation.

The emphasis here is still on blending the hidden screen around physical hands, but now there's many more options to pick from, with case sizes coming at 39mm, 42mm and 44mm.

We're fans of all the styles, as they offer largely the same on-screen experience - it's just a case of how much you're willing to spend and what fits your wrist best.

The Vivomove 3 and Vivomove 3S are at the more affordable end, with the hidden screen sitting on the bottom half of the watch face and delivering the likes of notifications, activity data and more.

With the pricier Vivomove Style and even pricier Vivomove Luxe (the only variation to offer a color screen, as shown above), that hidden screen extends to cover the full face. With a double tap on the screen, you can start swiping to see your health, fitness and other updates.

Garmin may not be the first company you would think of when looking for a classic-looking watch, but the Vivomove 3 series offers excellent build quality and a real touch of style, particularly in the Luxe range, which comes with metal or leather straps.

Price when reviewed: From $249.95

Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivomove 3 series


2. Withings Move ECG

Best hybrid smartwatch 2020: Top picks from Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

French company Withings - formerly owned by Nokia - initially made its name with affordable hybrids, and the Move ECG is a great pick for those looking for a health-focused watch.

The first hybrid watch to feature the ability to take an electrocardiogram reading - helping detect the signs of atrial fibrillation - the Move ECG is also water resistant up to 50 meters and will automatically track your activity.

That means walks, runs, cycles and swims will all be logged and reported to the companion app on your phone. And you don't need to worry about charging it before exercising it, either, with 12 months of battery available from the button cell battery.

Unfortunately, this one is currently still undergoing clinical validation from the FDA in the US, though it is available in the EU already. If you can't wait, there's always the regular Withings Move to consider, too.

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Or, alternatively, you could wait for the Withings ScanWatch, announced at CES 2020, which promises to detect signs of both atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea.

If everything goes smoothly with its approval, it should be in the US in the first half of 2020.

Price when reviewed: $129.95

Wareable verdict: Withings Move ECG review


3. Fossil Hybrid HR

Best hybrid smartwatch 2020: Top picks from Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

Fossil is no stranger to hybrid smartwatches, with an impressive back catalogue of options for both men and women, but the Hybrid HR is something a little bit different.

Instead of a hidden screen or smart dial, the Hybrid HR instead brings the smarts in an E Ink display that works around the physical watch hands.

This is still far away from the functionality you'll find in a touchscreen watch, but it does impress by taking the hybrid concept and pushing it into a place we haven't really seen before.

With the Hybrid HR range, there's five different styles to choose between - three from the men's Collider range and two for women, the Charter.

The E Ink display beneath the screen shows off the likes of notifications and weather updates, as well as activity metrics, such as heart rate, steps and calories.

However, through the Fossil app, these can all be customized to show whatever you're interested in. And users can also swipe through screen to view notifications or expand music control.

Each model will also last around two weeks on a single charge, meaning features like sleep tracking are available, too.

Check out our full Fossil Hybrid HR review.

Price when reviewed: From $195


4. Withings Steel HR Sport

Best hybrid smart watches

The Steel HR Sport was the first new device to be launched after Withings separated from Nokia, and it's a hybrid smartwatch not too dissimilar to the old Nokia Steel HR.

As the name indicates, this is a bit sportier. Withings adds connected GPS and VO2 Max data on top of the features users got in the Steel HR, such as steps, sleep monitoring, heart rate readings and other basics.

Unlike some other Withings devices, though, customization is limited. The Steel HR Sport only comes in one 40mm size with a matte black metal case, the only option being a white or black watch face and your choice of band.

In terms of its hybrid leanings, the small digital screen on the face allows you to view data, including activity tracking and smartphone notifications. As we say, there's also a heart rate monitor on board to continuously keep a tab your heart rate through the day, as well as during your workouts.

You can expect 25 days of battery life with normal use, and another 20 in power reserve mode.

Price when reviewed: $199.95

Wareable verdict: Withings Steel HR Sport review


5. Misfit Command

Best hybrid smart watches

Misfit's first hybrid smartwatch - the Misfit Phase - was a strong debut, but we would recommend going with the latest device, the Command.

A lot of the appeal with Misfit's hybrids is in the design simplicity, and, for those who don't want to be overwhelmed, the Command also keeps things simple with activity tracking basics and sleep tracking.

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There's no hidden screen here, unlike other options on the list, and the hands instead move to signal things like a new notification. Instead of a screen, you just use the bottom-half dial.

You can also unlock swim tracking to count your laps in the pool through an additional in-app purchase. All of the smarts are hidden under the surface, giving the Command the feel of a classic, understated watch.

And while we're sure some would like it to do a bit more in the smarts department, it's ideal for those who want something that's simple, tracks activity and looks good.

Price when reviewed: $149.99

Wareable verdict: Misfit Command review


6. Fossil Neely

Best hybrid smartwatch 2020: Top picks from Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

There's a whole bunch of Fossil hybrids you can pick from, as we alluded to above, but the Neely still stacks up as a stylish budget option for those with smaller wrists.

The 36mm watch is classy, light and fairly slim at 12mm thick, and this is a hybrid experience where the activity tracking is kept to a minimum - counting steps and nothing more.

You can't read notifications on it, but a little blue LED and vibrating buzz will let you know someone is trying to get in touch via third-party apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

The three physical buttons on the side of the watch also offer additional smarts, such as letting you control music playback or take a smartphone selfie, as well as more standard functions, like showing the date, showing a second time zone, starting the stopwatch or ringing your phone.

It's big on style and the smarts are discreet, so, if you like that combination, then this could be the hybrid for you.

Price when reviewed: From $99

Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Neely review


7. Bellabeat Time

Best hybrid smartwatches 2019: Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

A lot of hybrid watches care about tracking your activity throughout the day, but the Bellabeat Time is more focused on your wellness.

It does still offer basic tracking, such as steps, but where it really places emphasis in the companion app isn't in fitness metrics. It's here where you can get meditation exercises, stress tracking and period logging, and it uses all of these to help you keep track of your own wellbeing.

Those meditation exercises, by the way, are held to a high standard. During our testing, we found them to be just as good as some dedicated meditation apps.

They're divided into your mood, which is neat, so they can help you whether you're hungry or hurting from menstrual cramps.

It can also link up with Bellabeat's other products, like its connected water bottle, to track your hydration levels. All of this is topped by a very neat, classic design.

The Time is one of the few options on this list that are primarily aimed at women, which allows it to concentrate on features other smartwatches might not have even though about.

In that way, it's one of the most refreshing hybrids available.

Price when reviewed: $179

Wareable verdict: Bellabeat Time


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