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Before things went digital and the world began to become more advanced in technology, most watches were mechanical. Mechanical watches are traditional style watches and most exude a look of elegance when worn. Once smartphones came into the picture, it was only a matter of time until we saw that same technology in the form of a watch. Smartwatches are great devices to partner with a smartphone, but most do not have the same look of elegance that traditional style watches have. This post will cover what is a hybrid smartwatch as they blend the functionality of a smartwatch with the looks of a traditional watch.
What is a Hybrid Smartwatch?
Simply put, a hybrid smartwatch is a watch that combines some of the features of a smartwatch with the design of a traditional mechanical watch. A hybrid smartwatch isn’t going to have a touchscreen like a smartwatch typically does and will not require the wearer to charge the device each day.
A hybrid smartwatch will have a traditional analog face with the hour, minute, and second hands. The bands will also be similar to those that are found on mechanical watches and can be interchanged to fit your desired look.
What does it do?
Hybrid smartwatches and normal smartwatches share some of the same functions. Just like a normal smartwatch, a hybrid is capable of counting your steps and tracking other health and fitness things. Hybrid smartwatches are able to connect to your smartphone by using an accompanying application.
You can receive notifications to the watch, but it’s typically not handled the same as a normal smartwatch is. While it varies from model to model, in most cases, the hands of the watch are used to indicate when a notification comes in. For example, Fossil hybrid smartwatches uses the hands to point to a specific number when one of your contacts is calling you. This allows you to still see who’s calling you while not having to pull out your phone.
Since there isn’t a touchscreen, hybrid smartwatches won’t be able to run most of the apps you’ll find on a normal smartwatch, like a texting app, for example. Despite this, there are still plenty of advanced features that you’ll find in a hybrid smartwatch, however, it varies between models. Some features you can come to expect are notifications, Bluetooth connectivity, activity tracking, setting up multiple alarms, and controlling music on your phone remotely, just to name a few.
It’s also worth noting that hybrid smartwatches are usually water resistant down to around 50 meters.
Battery Life and Charging
Since the majority of hybrid smartwatches are not equipped with a touchscreen display, the energy consumption is way less than a normal smartwatch. Hybrid smartwatches use Bluetooth Low Energy to handle connections to your smartphone and does not need to be charged nightly.
In most cases, hybrid smartwatches are powered by a replaceable coin cell battery that can hold a charge for around 5 months or so. To make it even better, the battery can often times be replaced at home and are relatively inexpensive to replace.
Hybrid watches are very similar looking to their more traditional mechanical cousins. With a hybrid smartwatch some models allow for some degree of customization to the face, although not quite as intensive as a normal smartwatch. Also, almost all of them have standard size lugs, which allows for the wearer to easily swap the straps whenever needed.
In addition to being able to replace the straps, you have a wide range of looks to choose from when it comes to hybrid smartwatches. For example, you can get a watch that has a more minimalist look with a sleek face and a single crown or one that has a chronograph style setup with a crown and two pushers.
The face can be different colors, just like a mechanical watch. For example, you can get a hybrid watch that has a gold bracelet along with a green face.
Who Makes Them?
Hybrid smartwatches are produced by a wide variety of manufacturers and there are a wider range of options to choose from than normal smartwatches. From what I see, a lot of the fashion brand watchmakers are producing hybrid smartwatches. Fossil is one of the leaders in this space and they have several stylish and affordable options to choose from.
Garmin, Nokia, and Timex are other companies who are also involved in the hybrid smartwatch space. There are even luxury watchmakers who are producing their own hybrid smartwatches. For example, Frederique Constant has a lineup of beautiful hybrid watches that have their timeless looks along with the basic features of a smartwatch.
There are a ton of options to choose from, not just from a style perspective, but from a manufacturer’s standpoint too. When it comes to hybrid smartwatches, you shouldn’t have any problems finding one that fits your personal style and, in most cases, brand choice.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that hybrid smartwatches are typically compatible with Android or iOS smartphones and will need to connect to them via Bluetooth and an application by the manufacturer. That being said, expect to have to download extra software to your smartphone when picking up a new hybrid smartwatch.
Hopefully this post answered your question of what is a hybrid smartwatch. As you can see, hybrid smartwatches are becoming more and more popular and there are choices for literally everyone. Whether it’s a minimalist style with a clean face or a style leaning more towards the chronograph or diver look, or even something sportier looking. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding one to your liking and it’s safe to say that hybrid smartwatches will be around a while.
Any thoughts on hybrid smartwatches? Do you own one or not sold on them? Let us know in the comments below.