Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatches hide impressive tech inside analog design

New Fossil Hybrid HR brings a heart rate sensor to a classic watch design

New Fossil Hybrid HR brings a heart rate sensor to a classic watch design

Today, it's taking a step out from Google's shadow with a new hybrid analogue watch, the Hybrid HR.

Thanks to this E Ink panel, Fossil claims the Hybrid HR can last up to two weeks between charges.

The display is hidden behind traditional analog watch hands, so you might not even be able to tell this is a smartwatch at first glance.

What's the difference between a hybrid smartwatch and a regular smartwatch?

The Hybrid HR uses physical clock hands on top of a "power-efficient display" (presumably a form of e-ink), so there's no LCD screen using up the watch's battery.

Other features of the Hybrid HR smartwatch include water resistance up to 3ATM, rapid charging for 100 per cent battery in an hour of charge and a front light for low light visibility.

That's a pretty potent combination of functionality, style, and price.

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Despite having a basic display and limited operating system compared to full-on smartwatches, there's a considerable amount of functionality packed into the Hybrid HR. That said, the Steel HR isn't exactly new and reading notifications is limited due to the display. Is the Fossil Hybrid HR for you? Like its other hybrid watches you can see all of the data it collects in the companion app on your phone - which also syncs up with Google Fit and MapMyFitness - but now with a display you'll be hopping to your phone far less often to get the basics done.

On the watch face there are four complications where information can be displayed and what gets displayed can be customized by the user.

There was some debate over what operating system Fossil's hybrid watch would use, since the interface in previously-leaked images looked an terrible lot like Wear OS.

Here's what a demo version of the Hybrid HR looks like in person. That means it's unlikely the Hybrid HR could ever be used to control your Spotify playlist, make payments, or do numerous other things an Apple Watch or Wear OS smartwatch can do.

We'll have to try out the Hybrid HR for ourselves to see how accurate its fitness and heart rate tracking are. It can also track your heart rate and control your music. When I tested the Q Tailor, metrics like steps and sleep were inconsistent, to say the least.

All five of Fossil's Hybrid HR watches are available on the company's website beginning today.

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