Specifications for Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Heart rate|
|Design||Hybrid, mechanical watch hands on top of an e-ink screen|
|Battery life||2 weeks (official estimate)|
|Controls||Three side buttons|
|Notifications||Yes, shows notifications from whitelisted applications|
|Water resistance||3 ATM|
|Models||HR Character, HR Collider|
|Price||$195-215, depending on model|
The Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch is the new line of smartwatches that Fossil has created. The watch has physical watch hands that work on top of what is called the e-paper screen. The watch uses up so low-power that the watch can last for almost a couple of weeks on a single charge. With this, you get the benefit of a traditional watch without a big glowing screen with the availability of useful information and notifications.
Fossil’s new beautiful Hybrid HR platform has all of the right ideas however of them feel unfinished, but that might not be a huge problem because there is a lot of potential inside the watch.
The Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch comes in two different models which are the Gold HR Charter and the Black HR Collider. There are several frame and band styles for both of the models and you can also use a custom 22 mm straps.
The watch face is a small, circular e-paper screen, surrounded by a ring with hourly indicators. Two watch hands sit on him. It all feels well integrated and clockwise, though I think the screen feels tight, especially when you are trying to read a notification about it.
The core of the Hybrid HR software on the watch is a simple, somewhat customizable clock with four spots for complications. Your choices for what information go into those locations are somewhat limited: the weather, some fitness options, and the date.
Unlike most smartwatches, which display time and other information on a digital screen, the Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch places the physical clock on top of the e-ink screen. The tips of the hands blend into the background of the e-ink screen, and there is no hand for seconds, but I really have no complaints otherwise. If the hands are obscuring the screen, a flicker of the wrist will rotate them around for a second.
The e-ink part of the clock face displays four widgets. The default set includes the current temperature, daily phase count, date, and last-recorded heart rate. You can change these, but there are only a few additional options – the possibility of rain, a second-time zone, and the number of minutes spent in physical activity.
If you’re in a dark room and you can’t quite see the screen (or where the hand is pointing), Fossil has integrated a backlight into the Hybrid HR. Tapping on the face twice will activate the illumination for a few seconds, although tactile detection leaves much to be desired – powerful taps may be required.
You can customize various button configurations and watch faces in the smartphone app so that you can theoretically switch between workout mode and work mode. In practice, ticking Fossil’s smartphone app is enough of a hassle than you haven’t bothered.
When you click into one of these apps, the watch hands point to 9 and 3, so they are horizontal, and then the information is displayed above and below them. It works, but it’s weird. Worse: This means that very little information can fit on the screen at any time. This would be fine if you could scroll quickly, but the refresh rate on this screen is quite slow which is annoying.
The third page is for alerts, where you can enable/disable app notifications/settings, alarm sets and filter calls / SMS for specific notifications. This seems fine and dandy, until you realize that Fossil only allows alerts to be reflected from 13 applications. If you get information from an unsupported app, nothing appears on the clock.
The Hybrid HR system has better fitness tracking than with steps, workout times, calorie burn and heart rate statistics. You can sync it to Under Armor or Google Fit but not to Fitbit. If you are mostly interested in fitness, then a Fitbit or Apple Watch is a better bet.
Hybrid HR can show you notifications, but mysteriously, it can only do so for more than a dozen hand-picked apps, though a few more are reportedly on the way. So while you can be notified about calendar alerts and Facebook likes, it cannot be an alert for slack messages or signal text.
Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch has an always-on display but it does not hamper the battery life in anyways since it has the LCD e-ink display. The watch is said to last 2 weeks before needing to charge but anyways it will last at least 10 days before the battery completely runs out.
The charging is wireless and can be charged through a wireless Qi charger.
Pros and Cons
|Good looks||Clunky software|
|Long battery life||Limited software features|
|2+ week battery life||Limited notification options|
|Display is great for battery and visibility||No GPS options|
|Heart rate monitor is unreliable|
The Fossil Hybrid HR Smartwatch uses a unique display to blend the traditional and the smartwatch together to save the price. This watch is highly recommended for people who like a very minimalistic hybrid watch with a high battery life.
Considering the design and the quality of the watch the price point of $200 is not a bad price. The watch costs around Rs.15,000 in the Indian market and will probably cost around Rs. 25000 in Nepal.