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.
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.
Best hybrid smartwatch
Garmin Vivomove HR
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
The VFX-1. We can’t do a list about the history of Virtual Reality and not include the VFX-1. Released in the middle of the 1990s, the VFX-1 system was one of the most capable virtual reality headsets released on the market at the time. With stereoscopic 3D, multi-axis head movement detection and rotation, and the ability to play games that were not truly supported by the system, the VFX-1 was the true Virtual Reality deal at the time. Furthermore, their price tag was relatively cheap compared to other products on the market, coming at a mere $600. However, the VFX-1 was too advanced of a technology and it didn’t really take off. Later on, the company Vuzix that made the glasses was bought by Forte Technologies, which released a more expensive VFX 3D version, but it also didn’t manage to achieve huge success.
Best hybrid smartwatch for design
Skagen Jorn/Hald Connected
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 this year 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 or want a potential price reduction of older models.
Read now: Skagen Connected 2017 review
Best hybrid smartwatch for notifications
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.
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.
As with Skagen, Kronaby also used the Baselworld platform to announce its 2018 collection, which comprises of new models for the Apex, Sekel and Nord ranges including the model pictured above.
Wareable verdict: Kronaby review
Best hybrid smartwatch for fitness tracking
Withings Steel HR Sport
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.
Facebook is estimated to have more than 400 employees working on developing VR. Other companies known to have VR in development include Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google.
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 Steep 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.
Best hybrid smartwatch for iPhones
Fossil Q Neely
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 – 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
Best hybrid smartwatch for simplicity
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.
It Can Take You Places. One of the best experiences of virtual reality is using the technology to travel to places that you haven't been to. The right simulation can allow you to walk around some of the most important places around the world. In addition, virtual reality allows users to watch special documentaries that put them right in the middle of the action. Some of the top film companies are now producing documentaries made specifically for virtual reality headsets.
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.
Read now: Misfit Command review
Best hybrid smartwatch if money is absolutely no object
Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture
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.
Verdict : Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture review