root | Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate: Beautifully mistaken

It’s 2020. You glance down at your Pebble smartwatch and suppose, “E-ink shows are ideal for smartwatches. Why do not extra corporations use those?” A couple of years later, Pebble is purchased through Fitbit, and e-ink smartwatches most commonly stop to exist. That is, till now.

The new Fossil Hybrid HR moves a singular mix of vintage analog aesthetics and simply sufficient sensible options, making for an attractive bundle for individuals who don’t want a supercomputer on their wrist. The Hybrid HR is not going to be for everybody — particularly the ones curious about health. But for a undeniable form of consumer, this may well be one of the easier buys this vacation season. Read’s Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate to determine why.

Fossil Hybrid HR
Fossil Hybrid HR review notes: I used the Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR) for kind of one week, operating instrument model DN1.0.2.12r.v2. It was once paired with a Google Pixel 4 XL throughout this evaluate.

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Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate: The giant image

Hybrid smartwatches are available in a couple of other flavors: Some will merely stay observe of your day-to-day task and not anything else, whilst others are full-fledged smartwatches with hidden shows. Some units are someplace between the two. The Fossil Hybrid HR falls on the smarter finish of the spectrum. It provides way more capability than the Withings Move or Move ECG, and less sensible options in comparison to the brand new Garmin Vivomove 3.

Just do not name this an Apple Watch competitor. It’s a smartwatch for individuals who do not want the problems usually related to conventional smartwatches: specifically, deficient battery existence and a step down in aesthetics.

Design and show

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr on wrist 2

  • 1.06-inch always-on “read-out” e-ink show
    • Non-touchscreen
  • Case measurement: 42 x 13mm
  • Stainless metal case
  • Interchangeable 22mm straps
  • 2+ week-long battery existence

You’d be forgiven for pondering that is an analog-only watch in the beginning look. The Fossil Hybrid HR no doubt has analog watch parts, just like the bodily watch arms and quantity markings across the bezel. But the massive information here’s the show.

Fossil is not calling it e-ink (the corporate prefers “read-out” show), however that is necessarily the similar tech you would to find in a Kindle or an outdated Pebble smartwatch. E-ink has its execs and cons, so now not everybody might be on board with this sort of show. Personally, I adore it, even though there are some downsides you will have to reside with.

First, the positives: E-ink does not use a lot battery, permitting the Hybrid HR to ultimate upwards of two weeks on a unmarried fee. I have not had mine for that lengthy so I will be able to’t say needless to say, however I’ve been inspired up to now. My unit tired about 7% after going in the course of the setup procedure, receiving a instrument replace, and monitoring a 45-minute treadmill run. On lighter days, the watch solely drops a couple of proportion issues. I’d say Fossil’s battery estimates are spot on right here.

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr 4

This form of show additionally blends in a lot more properly with the watch face. It remains within the background for essentially the most section, and also you truly solely understand it when you want to test notifications or do one thing with the watch. It simply makes the watch glance a lot sleeker than one thing with an AMOLED show.

E-ink shows have very low refresh charges, inflicting them to hold for a couple of moments ahead of appearing the following display or updating with the correct knowledge. Pebble were given this right down to a science in later years, and the ones smartwatches if truth be told felt fast. The Hybrid HR lags somewhat, even though. I’ve discovered myself intentionally now not checking thru notifications or pulling up the elements simply so I did not need to stay up for the OS to meet up with my button presses. The show is solely 1/2 the problem; we’re going to speak about instrument navigation in a bit of bit.

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr on wrist backlight

Fossil Hybrid HR’s backlight

The Hybrid HR’s show is not lit up through default, so it is difficult to look in low lighting fixtures stipulations. Fossil incorporated a backlight for those cases. You can turn on it with a double-tap of the watch glass, however remember to’re tapping arduous sufficient — the backlight does not love to activate each time.

The bodily watch arms did not get in the best way too steadily. When they are protecting knowledge like the elements or the doorstep depend, a handy guide a rough flick of the wrist will ship either one of them spinning in reverse instructions to get from your means. Also, the arms will mechanically transfer to the three and nine positions when scrolling thru menus.

Speaking of scrolling thru menus, the Fossil Hybrid HR is not a touchscreen system, so all navigation will happen by way of the three pushers at the proper aspect of the case. You can program every of the aspect buttons to accomplish a particular motion. I’ve mine programmed to my task abstract (most sensible), notification hub (heart), and climate (backside). Unfortunately, that heart button that completely looks as if a rotatable crown is not one.

Brace your self for Nitpicky Jimmy: Years of the usage of smartwatches inform me that the bodily button (or the middle bodily button on this case) is the again button. Here, it is the choose button normally, and it nonetheless throws me off. Maybe it is because I’ve been the usage of the Fossil Gen 5 not too long ago? When you might be in a menu, you do not press the middle button to head house. You navigate to the house icon, then hit the button to make a choice it… however solely in positive eventualities.

For example, clicking at the climate panel, then settling on your location with the bodily button pulls up detailed climate information. But to get out of that detailed climate menu, you want to make use of the center bodily button — what is usually the choose button — to return! If you might be at a loss for words, do not be concerned. So am I.

Don’t pass over: Fossil Gen 5 evaluate: The easiest Wear OS watch you’ll be able to purchase

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr buttons

Small gripes like that apart, I dig the glance of the Hybrid HR. It’s elegant {and professional} with out having a look too similar to a smartwatch, and numerous other folks will respect that. Now if Fossil may just simply get that button scenario found out.

The darkish brown leather-based straps that got here with my Hybrid HR evaluate unit are truly great. They’re made from high quality leather-based, and they’ve plastic beneath so you do not sweat far and wide the leather-based. It’s a pleasing contact.

Smartwatch options

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr notifications

  • Smartphone notifications
  • Silent alarms
  • Multiple time zones
  • Compatible with Android 5.0+/iOS 10.0+
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Software options are restricted at the Hybrid HR. If you favor “dumber” smartwatches, you’ll be able to really feel proper at house right here. If you want the entire additional stuff — LTE connectivity, contactless bills, sensible house controls, onboard song garage, and many others. — transfer alongside. 

As discussed, you’ll be able to assign shortcuts to the aspect buttons. Your choices are: exercise mode, wellness dashboard, stopwatch, song regulate, timer, and climate. The wellness dashboard displays your earlier night time’s sleep, in addition to your day-to-day steps, energetic mins, energy burned, and resting and max center price (extra on the ones later).

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatches app customize watch face

The watch face choices are beautiful restricted. You solely have one structure possibility. You see the ones four headaches at the watch face above? You can trade the ones or take away them, however the common structure wishes to stick the similar. You can choose between a couple of other backgrounds, too, even though I might have appreciated to look a white watch face possibility with the colours reversed. This limitation is most certainly in position so the black background blends in with the bezel.

Since that is technically a smartwatch, I used to be hoping to look extra watch face choices. Maybe a virtual watch face? Or possibly one thing that’s not so… structured? Both of the ones issues would’ve helped convey a bit of extra customization to the Hybrid HR.

You can make a selection seven other headaches to place for your watch face: day/date, energetic mins, steps, present climate, likelihood of rain, center price, and 2nd time zone. Simple. Not a lot to make a choice from, however most of the people must be pleased with the ones choices.

The Hybrid HR additionally options silent alarms, transfer indicators, and app notifications. You can settle for or decline calls, learn texts (no MMS), and notice notifications from a lot of apps like Google Calendar, Gmail, Instagram, Hangouts, and extra. The checklist of supported apps is beautiful narrow at this time — I depend 13 — however I suppose this quantity will develop in time. Still, it is a disgrace Fossil could not construct in reinforce for extra Android apps. Competitors like Fitbit, Garmin, and Wear OS permit any smartphone app to show notifications. 

Also learn: Fitbit vs Garmin: Which ecosystem is best for you?

Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate: Hardware and function

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr activity dashboard

  • Optical center price sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • No GPS choices (attached or integrated GPS)
  • 3ATM water resistance

If you wish to have to make use of the Fossil Hybrid HR for health and well being, you’ll be able to, however I would not counsel it.

It can stay observe of your steps taken, energy burned, energetic mins, resting and energetic center price, and sleep. Step monitoring was once if truth be told relatively correct in my checking out. Compared to the Fitbit Versa 2 and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, the Hybrid HR’s step counts have been a lot nearer to the Forerunner 245’s counts on the finish of every day, whilst the Versa 2 means overshot my day-to-day step depend, as it’s wont to do.

There’s additionally no integrated GPS or attached GPS choices right here, so it may not provide you with very correct distance metrics if you end up out on a run.

Read extra: Fitbit Versa 2 evaluate

The Hybrid HR has an optical center price sensor for maintaining a tally of resting and energetic center price right through the day. Considering the Fossil Gen 5 center price sensor’s tendency to overshoot most readings all the way through exercises, I did not be expecting a lot from the Hybrid HR. The screenshots beneath just about ascertain the Hybrid HR runs into the similar problems because the Fossil Gen 5.

fossil hybrid hr review wahoo tickr x heart rate sensor

The screenshots right here display a four-mile treadmill run lasting about 35 mins. Note that the Wahoo Tickr X chest strap readings if truth be told get started at across the 24-minute mark after the dip — it all started mechanically recording previous than I anticipated.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Wahoo Tickr X recorded the similar most center price of 176bpm at across the 33-minute mark. The Hybrid HR’s max studying was once 187bpm, even though it is tricky to inform precisely what time this happened. Fossil’s smartwatch app does not precisely make it simple to look detailed center price readings. And no, there is not any internet interface both.

Don’t pass over

You’ll additionally understand the couple of hours within the Fossil screenshot that the center price observe simply minimize out utterly. That day, I wore the Hybrid HR actually all day and solely took it off in short after my exercise. Frankly, I’m now not certain what is going on right here. Fossil has been notified of this factor, and we can replace our evaluate as we be informed extra. It’s imaginable Fossil may just repair this factor previous to the Hybrid HR’s liberate date; the watch formally is going on sale November 29.

The Forerunner 245 and Wahoo Tickr X reported equivalent readings right through the exercise. There have been no main dips or irregularities with both system, and each even recorded the slight dip on the 28-minute mark. It’s very tricky to inform if the Hybrid HR’s recordings are correct because of the compact view of the knowledge within the Fossil app. As a long way as I will be able to inform, there is not any option to export center price information for manually importing to a greater app.

Bottom line, I’ve had relatively a couple of problems with the Hybrid HR’s center price sensor. It’s inconsistent, and clearly the truth that it cuts out each as soon as in awhile isn’t a just right signal. 

fossil hybrid hr review fossil app sleep tracking 2

Sleep monitoring is a brilliant spot for the Hybrid HR, when it tracks your sleep. I’ve worn the Hybrid HR to mattress each night time because it was once despatched to me, and it flat-out did not report my sleep within the Fossil app one night time. Luckily the sleep information was once populated in Google Fit so it wasn’t all misplaced, however nonetheless, that is… now not a just right glance. Again, Fossil has been notified of this factor.

When it does observe your sleep, it does so beautiful as it should be. Most of the time, it was once ready to as it should be report after I fell asleep and awoke all the way through the night time, in addition to my mild and deep sleep patterns. I’ve a 14-year-old pug who has to get up each morning at round 4 a.m. to head outdoor. Each night time I wore the Hybrid HR to mattress, it recorded the ones occasions I awoke and the days I fell again asleep.

The Fossil smartwatch app

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatches app activity

Since the interface at the Fossil Hybrid HR is so minimum, you’ll be able to spend your time having a look at health stats and customizing watch faces within the Fossil Smartwatches app. There is not an entire lot to do on this app, however I’ve to commend its intuitive and blank design.

Fitness and well being information is located at the first display. There are Apple Watch-like task rings on the most sensible, appearing your day-to-day step depend, energetic mins, energy burned, and sleep. You cannot click on at the rings to turn additional info, which I assumed was once a bit of unusual.

Below that may be a collection of five task tabs, once more appearing your steps, energetic mins, energy, center price, and sleep. Click on any one of the ones tabs to view task knowledge for the day, week, and month. It’s all beautiful easy to navigate. If I had one criticism, it will be that the task information monitors don’t seem to be just about as full-fledged as every other health apps.

To assist with this, you’ll be able to pair your Fossil smartwatch with Google Fit or Under Armour Record if you want to see your task information in one of the ones apps. Personally, Google Fit is not for me — it is a lot too easy and naked bones for my liking. If you wish to have to look your health stats in a extra detailed capability, you must transfer to Under Armour Record.

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatch app screenshots customization watch face fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatch app screenshots app notifications fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatch app screenshots profile tab

The subsequent tab over is the Customization tab, the place you’ll be able to edit your watch face. Again, the entirety here’s beautiful simple to navigate.

Following that’s the Alerts tab. This is the place you’ll be able to set alarms, trade name and notification personal tastes, and activate/off transfer indicators. Remember, the Hybrid HR’s on-device controls are restricted, so that is the one position you’ll be able to regulate most of these settings.


  • Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR): $195
  • Fossil Hybrid HR (Charter HR): $195

The Fossil Hybrid HR is to be had from and Amazon for $195. That’s round $20-$50 costlier that Fossil’s display-less hybrid smartwatches, and $100 inexpensive than the Fossil Gen 5 Wear OS watch.

It is available in two kinds — the extra masculine Collider HR (our evaluate unit) and the extra female Charter HR — however each are functionally the similar.

All issues thought to be, I believe $195 is a good worth to pay for the Hybrid HR. It will get you extra capability than a hybrid watch and not using a show, however a long way fewer options than a Wear OS watch. With that stated, the contest is tight, and the Hybrid HR’s competition should not be overpassed at this worth vary.

Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider HR)
Fossil Hybrid HR (Charter HR)

Garmin’s new Vivomove 3 and 3S may well be $50 greater than the Hybrid HR, however they will most probably get you a extra correct and feature-packed hybrid watch enjoy. The Vivomove 3 and 3S even have analog watch arms, however they arrive with hidden shows that solely display up when you want them, in addition to attached GPS, confirmed center price sensors, and Garmin Pay (if you do not thoughts spending additional for it).

Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate: The verdict

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr 1

Fossil were given so much proper with the Hybrid HR — I really like the e-ink show, I really like how it seems, and I really like the two-week battery existence. It’s one of the one watches on my table that I’m keen to put on on a daily basis in spite of its flaws. A large number of that has to do with the show; e-ink on a smartwatch makes such a lot sense.

If you glance previous the pretty aesthetics, you’ll be able to sadly to find some half-baked options that tarnish the enjoy. Don’t purchase the Fossil Hybrid HR for its health or well being monitoring — you’ll be able to be sorry if you happen to do.

You’ll love the Fossil Hybrid HR — so long as you do not depend an excessive amount of on its health options.

But in case you are keen to spend $200 on a smartwatch and now not depend at the health options, I believe you’ll be able to be pleased with the Fossil Hybrid HR. It’s a cast first check out for what I believe will make for an excessively a success product line down the street. I’m going to proceed dressed in mine on a daily basis, however I will be able to’t stay up for the second one or 3rd era when Fossil makes some {hardware} enhancements.

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That’s it for our Fossil Hybrid HR evaluate. What are your ideas? Let us know within the feedback.

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