Tasteful and elegant design. Subtle display is hidden until needed. Tracks movement and steps, plus sleep and hydration. Offers non-medical pulse oximetry levels. Pairs with iOS and Android. Uses standard or quick-release watch bands.
App can be glitchy for some users. Display not great in bright light.
Water resistant to 50 meters. Comes with presets for tracking over 30 sports. Attractive, tasteful design with unobtrusive display. Compatible app on iOS, Android and more. Alexa compatible. Lasts up to 25 days once fully charged.
Some find the activity tracking occasionally inaccurate.
Luxe styling reminiscent of high-end legacy watches. Always-on display. Includes fitness tracking, sleep tracking, plus smartphone notifications such as calls, messages, and appointments. Lasts approximately 2 weeks per charge. Water resistant to 30 meters.
Somewhat pricey. 45mm case can feel big on some wrists.
Luxe styling and design suitable for elegant settings. Discreet always-on display. Water resistant to 50 meters. Offers step, heart rate, and fitness tracking as well as phone notifications. Swappable bands. Lasts up to 2 weeks on a single charge.
42mm case is a bit large for some. Only black and white display.
Water resistant to 50 meters. Reads VO2 levels and offers fitness score. Come with tracking presets for over 30 sports. Can last up to 25 days on a single charge. Compatible with iOS and Android. Alexa compatible. Sleek & attractive design.
Can be difficult to read the hands in low light.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
These days, gadget fanatics are crazy about their smartwatches — it feels like you can’t go out in public anymore without seeing at least a few people wearing Apple Watches or Android Wear smartwatches. These watches aren’t for everyone, though, and they have some key drawbacks, namely that most of them only last a day on a single battery charge.
Thankfully, watch purists have another option: hybrid smartwatches. Hybrid smartwatches are traditional watches complete with moving hands and gears that incorporate key smartwatch functionality like notifications and fitness tracking. They look like normal watches, but they can provide haptic feedback vibrations and monitor key health metrics like your heart rate or daily step count. While hybrid smartwatches don’t have a touchscreen to interact with, they use Bluetooth to communicate with an app on your smartphone so you can customize your experience. Perhaps best of all, the big names in wristwatches — from Fossil to Rolex — are getting in on the fun, so if you’re a watch connoisseur, you won’t have to compromise your taste.
Whether you’re looking for your first hybrid smartwatch or a new upgrade for your existing one, we’ve got you covered.
Hybrid smartwatches are lifestyle devices, so the one that’s right for you is going to depend heavily on how you plan to use it. Before you start comparing models, consider these questions to help you narrow your search.
Do you have a favorite brand of traditional watches? If you’re a fan of a particular watch brand, you’ll want to explore their particular hybrid smartwatches. Most established wristwatch brands make hybrid versions of their most popular designs, so you can stick with your favorite brand without having to sacrifice any functionality (or fun).
Are you a serious swimmer? One of the biggest advantages that hybrid smartwatches have over regular smartwatches is that they can be truly waterproof. Some smartwatches will claim to be waterproof, but that usually only means they’ll be fine if you accidently shower with one on. With hybrid smartwatches, waterproof models can be submerged up to 150 meters without a problem — so if you’re serious about spending time in the water, you’ll want to pick up one that’s truly waterproof.
It can be hard to differentiate hybrid smartwatches because they look so much like traditional watches, but there are definitely some key differentiators in the tech inside. Here are the four hybrid smartwatch features to pay attention to.
Programmable buttons: Many hybrid smartwatches have a physical button that can be programmed to support a specific functionality. For example, on some hybrid smartwatches, you can program the button to make your phone emit a sound in case you can’t find it, or get live updates on traffic.
Extra-long battery life: Most hybrid smartwatches have great battery life, especially when compared with traditional smartwatches; you can expect most models to last at least a month on a single watch battery. However, some models offer extended battery life, so a single battery can last up to six months. If you often forget to charge your devices, go for a hybrid smartwatch with an extended battery life.
Health and wellness features: The majority of hybrid smartwatches support fitness tracking, but the devil is in the details. Sometimes that can mean a full complement of services from step counting to heart rate monitoring, and other times, it means the watch only handles sleep tracking.
Most entry level hybrid smartwatches cost between $50 and $100. Watches in this range are fairly straightforward, featuring simple designs and budget materials like fake leather or silicone. If you prefer functionality over looks, you’ll find a lot to like in this price range.
The best values in hybrid smartwatches cost between $100 and $150. Hybrid smartwatches in this range offer a strong compromise between features like fitness tracking and popular styles like gold accents or mesh watch bands. If you want the full experience of a hybrid smartwatch will all the bells and whistles and you don’t need high-end looks, stick to this price range.
Luxury hybrid smartwatches start at $150 and can be as expensive as $500. Watches in this price range are functionally equivalent to less-expensive models, but they often carry designer brand names. If you’re a fashion mogul, you’ll want to look closely at hybrid smartwatches in this range. Otherwise, you don’t need to spend this much.
When comparing different hybrid smartwatches, spend time focusing on reviews of their respective companion apps. All hybrid smartwatches communicate with your smartphone through custom apps, so a lot of your experience with your watch will actually take place on your phone. Some hybrid smartwatch apps are intuitive and fun to use, while others are clunky and barely functional. As you’re reading reviews, take note of how people describe the app — it could help you make your purchase decision and save you from a sub-par experience.
If you’re interested in using a hybrid smartwatch specifically for tracking your sleep, get a thinner model. Sleep tracking is great for anyone who wants to learn how to get better Zs at night, but it requires you wear your watch all night long. Sleeping with a watch isn’t usually a big deal, but if you buy a bulky one, you might have trouble sleeping with it. Thinner hybrid smartwatches are usually easier to sleep with, so pay attention to how thick each model is so your watch can track your sleep and not disrupt it.
Q. Can I set an alarm using a hybrid smartwatch?
A. Yes. Hybrid smartwatches can receive notifications from your smartphone, so the best way to set an alarm is to establish the alarm on your phone and then enable notification feedback on your hybrid smartwatch.
Q. Can I use a hybrid smartwatch to make and receive phone calls from my smartphone?
A. You can only receive calls on select models. To use your watch as an extension of your phone, you’ll need a hybrid smartwatch that has both a speaker and a microphone. A few models out there have them, but they’re rare. Just be forewarned: using your watch to conduct phone calls is a battery-killer, so consider it carefully before you buy a hybrid smartwatch that can take phone calls.
Q. Why do some hybrid smartwatches have GPS?
A. Some hybrid smartwatches are made for runners, and with GPS, they can track their runs. Having GPS on board your hybrid smartwatch can be really useful for seeing the path your runs take or tracking your running distances, but like most add-on functionality, GPS can be a battery hog, so expect models with GPS to have shorter lifespans before needing new batteries.
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