Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

Helping you pick a traditional watch with added connected smarts

If you're looking for a top hybrid smartwatch, which blends fitness tracking into a good old analogue timepiece, there are so many to choose from.

A hybrid smartwatch blurs traditional watch designs with contemporary fitness tracking and notification tech. You won't see full touchscreen displays like you get on Wear watches, Fitbit's smartwatches or the Apple Watch, and you certainly won't have to deal with a couple of days of battery life, that's for sure. Those smarts are added in more discreet and elegant ways.

Essential reading: Best Wear OS smartwatch to buy

Whether you're style obsessed or want something that's good at tracking your steps without hammering the battery, here's our pick of the top smart analogue watches to get around your wrist.

Got any questions about hybrid smartwatches or any of our picks? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Best hybrid smartwatch

Garmin Vivomove HR

Best hybrid smartwatches 2017: Nokia, Fossil, Garmin and more

This one hasn't budged from top spot for some time. If you want the perfect marriage of design and smarts, this is our choice for the best hybrid smartwatch you can get right now.

Successor to the Garmin Vivomove, the award-winning Vivomove HR offers a watch designed for both men and women, adding a discreet display that only appears when you tap on the watch face. It's also waterproof up to 50 metres (like its predecessor), so you can take it for a dip too.

On that nicely disguised display, you'll be able to see activity tracking data, check in on heart rate readings, view notifications and even check in on your stress levels. It's essentially the Garmin Vivosport fitness tracker in a much sleeker and stylish body, minus the built-in GPS.

Battery life is two weeks in watch mode and five days when you're taking full advantage of the smartwatch features. On the whole, it's a winner.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivomove HR

From £169.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch for design

Skagen Jorn/Hald Connected

Best hybrid smartwatches 2017: Withings, Fossil, Mondaine and more

The latest Skagen Connected device may have launched last year, but this is still one of the best looking hybrids to have on your wrist.

There are two versions: The Jorn, for men, and the Hald, for women. Both of them come in various styles, and they both retain the same minimalist look that Skagen's dumb timepieces carry.

Activity and sleep tracking are present, but it's all pretty basic. What is different from the previous version is that the sub-dial has been jettisoned. Instead, the face hands will move around and point to a different colour based on your notifications.

The Jorn is available in two variations: stainless steel with a tan leather strap and grey face, or titanium with a grey face and 22mm black leather strap. The Hald comes in either rose gold, gold or stainless steel watch face variations, with different tan and 20mm black leather bands.

One thing to note: Skagen unveiled its latest hybrid, the Skagen Holst, at Baselworld 2018 earlier this year. So you may want to have a look at that if you prefer the look.

Wareable verdict: Skagen Connected review

£165, skagen.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch for notifications

Kronaby

Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Nokia and more

If you've got a bit more money to play around with, Kronaby's collection of hybrid smartwatches is well worth checking out.

There are models for men and women, with high grade materials adding that touch of luxury. You can swap out the wristbands, too. In terms of smarts, it keeps it basic on the fitness front with just step tracking, but you do get vibrating buzzes that vary in strength to indicate different notifications and the ability to assign physical watch buttons to control features like music playback and remotely take smartphone pictures.

There's also a nice personal safety feature that lets you send out a details of your current location to an assigned contact with the press of a button. New IFTTT support means it can take control of smart home kit too. Kronaby has also introduced contactless payment straps powered by bPay so you can make a quick purchase if you don't have an cash handy.

It packs decent smartwatch features into a sleek, stylish body and while there's still room for improvement, it's one of our current hybrid faves.

Wareable verdict: Kronaby review

From ¬£275‚Äď¬£545, kronaby.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch for fitness tracking

Withings Steel HR Sport

Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Withings and more

In 2018 Nokia sold its digital health business back to the co-founder of Withings. The Steel HR Sport was the first new device to come out under the new order, a hybrid smartwatch not dissimilar to the Nokia Steel HR.

But this time, Withings has added connected GPS and VO2 Max tracking on top of the features users got in the Steel HR, making for a

But while this is unmistakably a Withings watch, there are some differences. For one the Steel HR only comes in one 40mm size with a matte black metal case, the only option being between a white or black watch face and your choice of band.

Once again there's a digital screen on the face to view data including activity tracking and smartphone notifications. There's also a heart rate monitor on board to continuously monitor your heart rate through the day as well as during workouts.

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

Wareable verdict: Withings Steel HR Sport review

£189.95, withings.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch for iPhones

Fossil Q Neely

Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Nokia and more

So there's a whole bunch of Fossil hybrids you can pick from, but we've found that the experience is better when paired with iPhones, as opposed to Android smartphones.

The Neely is one from the collection that we really enjoyed using alongside Apple's smartphone ‚Äď and it's a looker, too. The 36mm watch is classy, light and fairly slim at 12mm thick.

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 for 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 combo, then this could be the hybrid for you.

Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Neely review

From £159, fossil.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch for simplicity

Misfit Command

Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Nokia and more

Misfit's first hybrid smartwatch, the Misfit Phase, was a strong debut, delivering a handful of smarts without a single sub-eye. It does make interpreting some notifications a little tricky, mind, but there's no denying the Phase is a real looker.

Along with a revamped design the Command will track your steps and sleep using Misfit's activity tech, while the hands will move to signal a new notification, as well as the shifting colour wheel that can be seen through a small window at the six o'clock mark. 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.

We'd like it to do a bit more in the smarts department, but if you want something that's simple, tracks your activity, and looks good, this is a strong choice.

Wareable verdict: Misfit Command review

£135.99, misfit.com | Amazon

Best hybrid smartwatch if money is absolutely no object

Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture

Best hybrid smartwatches 2018: Fossil, Garmin, Nokia and more

If you've got money to burn and want a hybrid that oozes luxury, this Hybrid Manufacture is the one you need in your life.

The Swiss watchmakers latest hybrid is the first to fuse tech with a mechanical manufacture-made movement and comes in four 42mm styles including a rose gold model that pushes the price up to $3,795.

On the smart features front, it offers step tracking, sleep tracking and a second time zone. The Manufacture goes a little further with its coaching from the companion smartphone app giving you health tips based on your stats, advising you, perhaps, that too much activity in the evening is having a negative impact on your sleep.

It might not be jam packed with connected features, but with all the hallmarks of the watchmaker's fine craftmanship on show, it's going to appeal to loves of classic watch design who aren't ready to go full smartwatch just yet.

Wareable verdict: Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture review

$3,495, frederiqueconstant.com


What do you think?

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18 comments

  • John_Maas·

    The Garmin Vivomove is my favorite. Not just for tracking, but it has the looks as well!

  • Pw1·

    This is what I want an analogue watch but with a transparent touch display with notifications & apps, I don't want a display just to tell me the time.

  • vinvin616·

    what about the Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch or the Alpina Horological Smartwatch?

  • esha·

    What about best option for women?

  • hanleylake·

    Looking for a watch that always shows the time (without needing to shake it), can be used to track walking, swimming, tennis and hockey, and monitor sleep...and affordable. Does it exist?

    • Oscarius·

      How about the Garmin vivoactive HR? Costs $250 It's a bit lacking in the looks department, though. A Garmin Fenix 3 HR looks a bit more wristwatch-y, but costs double the Vivoactive HR. 

  • g2move·

    More of these smart analog watches need second hands! I don't really understand why they don't have them. I'm a nurse and half the reason for wearing a watch is for the second hand. I'd love one of these hybrids but until they create some good ones with second hands I can't purchase one

  • maleica·

    Which of these or similar watches offer a smart alarm, i.e., waking you during light sleep phases with vibrations or sound (or connecting to the alarm clock on your mobile phone)?

  • ewm003·

    I am curious what Wareable thinks of the Kairos hybrid watch, I like the concept a lot but hesitant because of the price. Haven't seen any reviews of it anywhere. 

  • jrxmix·

    After owning a few different smartwatches, I found myself using my Martian watch the most. I prefer to do everything with my phone so I just want a watch that gives me notifications I may miss. No fitness features, but that's taken care of by the Fitbit Alta on my other wrist. Picked up the Martian Kindred MVip for the girlfriend.

  • zip·

    my Vote goes to mVoice from Martian, analog with Siri, Google Now or Amazon alexa.

    and I can make or take calls on a stylish watch!

  • andrewjbristow·

    I like the look and function of the Withings, I had a pop which worked well, so upgraded to the Steel HR, which started very well then two weeks in the alarm stop working and the screen mists up with small changers in temperature, a few people of commented on the misting screen. I am thinking of changing to the Garmin

  • Lokifish·

    Missed the Smart Movt based watches. The are basically Frederique Constant Notify for a significant fraction of the cost. 

  • MrTed·

    Hey, how about MIM With about 700 days battery life?

  • Cme525·

    hello. What do you think of the Timex metropolitanand the letscom fitness? I need something with a second hand. The gear fit 2 keeps giving me a rash like on my wrist which I can only imagine is the charging ports getting wet. 

  • MrAlexx·

    My favorite hybrid is called Epoché Watch, it's the only Made in Italy hybrid watch that lets you view the notifications of the smartphone Ios and Android on a dial that develops an Invisible Smart Connect technology. 

    It's great to be able to read notifications as well as feel the vibration.

  • GENY-Smartwatch·

    Very nice watches, but I think GENY.ONE is one of the best hybrid Smartwatches in the world.

    Fully Scratchresistant and made in Glash√ľtte. Just my 2 Cents.

    Have a nice day!