appmarsh | Fossil Hybrid HR overview: Fantastically unsuitable

It is 2019. 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 bought via Fitbit, and e-ink smartwatches most commonly stop to exist. This is, till now.

The brand new Fossil Hybrid HR moves a novel mix of vintage analog aesthetics and simply sufficient sensible options, making for an attractive package deal for many who do not want a supercomputer on their wrist. The Hybrid HR is not going to be for everybody — particularly the ones considering health. However for a definite form of consumer, this could be one of the easier buys this vacation season. Learn appmarsh’s Fossil Hybrid HR overview 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 used to be paired with a Google Pixel 4 XL throughout this overview.

Display Extra

Fossil Hybrid HR overview: The large image

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

Simply do not name this an Apple Watch competitor. It is a smartwatch for individuals who don’t need the problems usually related to conventional smartwatches: particularly, deficient battery lifestyles and a step down in aesthetics.

Design and reveal

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr on wrist 2

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

You would be forgiven for considering that is an analog-only watch in the beginning look. The Fossil Hybrid HR unquestionably has analog watch parts, just like the bodily watch palms and quantity markings across the bezel. However the giant information this is the reveal.

Fossil is not calling it e-ink (the corporate prefers “read-out” reveal), however that is necessarily the similar tech you’ll to find in a Kindle or an previous Pebble smartwatch. E-ink has its execs and cons, so now not everybody can be on board with this kind of reveal. In my opinion, I find it irresistible, despite the fact that there are some downsides you will have to are living 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 price. I have not had mine for that lengthy so I will’t say needless to say, however I’ve been inspired thus far. My unit tired about 7% after going during 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 would say Fossil’s battery estimates are spot on right here.

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr 4

This sort of reveal 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 wish to have to test notifications or do one thing with the watch. It simply makes the watch glance a lot sleeker than something with an AMOLED display.

E-ink shows have very low refresh charges, inflicting them to hold for a couple of moments prior to appearing the following display or updating with the right kind data. Pebble were given this right down to a science in later years, and the ones smartwatches in fact felt fast. The Hybrid HR lags somewhat, despite the fact that. I have discovered myself intentionally now not checking thru notifications or pulling up the elements in order that I did not need to look forward to the OS to meet up with my button presses. The reveal is solely 1/2 the problem; we’re going to discuss instrument navigation in a little bit bit.

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr on wrist backlight

Fossil Hybrid HR’s backlight

The Hybrid HR’s reveal is not lit up via default, so it is tricky to peer in low lights stipulations. Fossil integrated a backlight for those circumstances. You’ll be able to turn on it with a double-tap of the watch glass, however you should definitely’re tapping onerous sufficient — the backlight does not love to activate each time.

The bodily watch palms did not get in the best way too continuously. When they are overlaying data like the elements or your doorstep rely, a snappy flick of the wrist will ship either one of them spinning in reverse instructions to get from your manner. Additionally, the palms will routinely transfer to the three and nine positions when scrolling thru menus.

Talking 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’ll be able to program each and every of the aspect buttons to accomplish a selected motion. I’ve mine programmed to my job abstract (most sensible), notification hub (center), and climate (backside). Sadly, that center button that absolutely 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. Right here, it is the make a selection button typically, and it nonetheless throws me off. Perhaps it is because I have been the usage of the Fossil Gen 5 just lately? When you are in a menu, you do not press the middle button to head house. You navigate to the house icon, then hit the button to choose it… however solely in positive situations.

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

Do not leave out: Fossil Gen 5 review: The best Wear OS watch you can buy

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr buttons

Small gripes like that apart, I dig the glance of the Hybrid HR. It is stylish {and professional} with out taking a look too similar to a smartwatch, and numerous folks will recognize that. Now if Fossil may simply get that button state of affairs found out.

The darkish brown leather-based straps that got here with my Hybrid HR overview unit are truly great. They are fabricated from high quality leather-based, and they have got plastic beneath so you do not sweat in every single place the leather-based. It is a great contact.

Smartwatch options

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr notifications

  • Smartphone notifications
  • Silent alarms
  • More than one time zones
  • Suitable with Android 5.0+/iOS 10.0+
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Instrument options are restricted at the Hybrid HR. If you happen to desire “dumber” smartwatches, you can really feel proper at house right here. If you wish to have all of the further stuff — LTE connectivity, contactless payments, smart home controls, onboard music storage, and so forth. — transfer alongside. 

As discussed, you’ll assign shortcuts to the aspect buttons. Your choices are: exercise mode, wellness dashboard, stopwatch, song keep watch over, timer, and climate. The wellness dashboard presentations your earlier evening’s sleep, in addition to your day-to-day steps, energetic mins, energy burned, and resting and max middle fee (extra on the ones later).

fossil hybrid hr review fossil smartwatches app customize watch face

The watch face choices are lovely restricted. You solely have one structure choice. You spot the ones four headaches at the watch face above? You’ll be able to trade the ones or take away them, however the basic structure wishes to stick the similar. You’ll be able to choose between a couple of other backgrounds, too, despite the fact that I might have favored to peer a white watch face choice with the colours reversed. This limitation is most likely in position so the black background blends in with the bezel.

Since that is technically a smartwatch, I used to be hoping to peer extra watch face choices. Perhaps a virtual watch face? Or perhaps one thing that is not so… structured? Either one of the ones issues would’ve helped deliver a little bit extra customization to the Hybrid HR.

You’ll be able to make a selection seven other headaches to place for your watch face: day/date, energetic mins, steps, present climate, probability of rain, middle fee, and 2d time zone. Easy. No longer a lot to choose between, however most of the people will have to be proud of the ones choices.

The Hybrid HR additionally options silent alarms, transfer indicators, and app notifications. You’ll be able to settle for or decline calls, learn texts (no MMS), and notice notifications from quite a few apps like Google Calendar, Gmail, Instagram, Hangouts, and extra. The listing of supported apps is lovely slender at the moment — I rely 13 — however I suppose this quantity will develop in time. Nonetheless, it is a disgrace Fossil could not construct in make stronger for extra Android apps. Competition like Fitbit, Garmin, and Wear OS permit any smartphone app to reveal notifications. 

Additionally learn: Fitbit vs Garmin: Which ecosystem is right for you?

Fossil Hybrid HR overview: {Hardware} and function

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr activity dashboard

  • Optical middle fee sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • No GPS choices (hooked up or integrated GPS)
  • 3ATM water resistance

If you wish to use the Fossil Hybrid HR for health and well being, you’ll, however I would not suggest it.

It may possibly stay monitor of your steps taken, energy burned, energetic mins, resting and energetic middle fee, and sleep. Step monitoring used to be in fact slightly correct in my trying out. In comparison to the Fitbit Versa 2 and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, the Hybrid HR’s step counts had been a lot nearer to the Forerunner 245’s counts on the finish of every day, whilst the Versa 2 manner overshot my day-to-day step rely, as it’s wont to do.

There is additionally no built-in GPS or connected GPS choices right here, so it would possibly not come up with very correct distance metrics when you are out on a run.

Learn extra: Fitbit Versa 2 review

The Hybrid HR has an optical middle fee sensor for maintaining a tally of resting and energetic middle fee all over the day. Taking into account the Fossil Gen 5 middle fee sensor’s tendency to overshoot most readings throughout workout routines, I did not be expecting a lot from the Hybrid HR. The screenshots beneath just about verify 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. Notice that the Wahoo Tickr X chest strap readings in fact get started at across the 24-minute mark after the dip — it all started routinely recording previous than I anticipated.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Wahoo Tickr X recorded the similar most middle fee of 176bpm at across the 33-minute mark. The Hybrid HR’s max studying used to be 187bpm, despite the fact that it is tough to inform precisely what time this came about. Fossil’s smartwatch app does not precisely make it simple to peer detailed middle fee readings. And no, there is not any internet interface both.

Do not leave out

You’ll be able to additionally understand the couple of hours within the Fossil screenshot that the heart rate monitor simply lower out totally. That day, I wore the Hybrid HR actually all day and solely took it off in brief after my exercise. Frankly, I am not positive what is going on right here. Fossil has been notified of this factor, and we can replace our overview as we be told extra. It is imaginable Fossil may 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 identical readings all over 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 is very tough to inform if the Hybrid HR’s recordings are correct because of the compact view of the knowledge within the Fossil app. So far as I will inform, there is not any technique to export middle fee knowledge for manually importing to a greater app.

Final analysis, I have had slightly a couple of problems with the Hybrid HR’s middle fee sensor. It is 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 shiny spot for the Hybrid HR, when it tracks your sleep. I have worn the Hybrid HR to mattress each evening because it used to be despatched to me, and it flat-out did not file my sleep within the Fossil app one evening. Fortunately the sleep knowledge used to be populated in Google Are compatible so it wasn’t all misplaced, however nonetheless, that is… now not a just right glance. Once more, Fossil has been notified of this factor.

When it does monitor your sleep, it does so lovely as it should be. As a rule, it used to be in a position to as it should be file once I fell asleep and awoke throughout the evening, in addition to my gentle 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 out of doors. Every evening 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

For the reason that interface at the Fossil Hybrid HR is so minimum, you can spend your time taking a look at fitness stats and customizing watch faces within the Fossil Smartwatches app. There is no good deal to do on this app, however I’ve to commend its intuitive and blank design.

Health and well being knowledge is located at the first display. There are Apple Watch-like job rings on the most sensible, appearing your day-to-day step rely, energetic mins, energy burned, and sleep. You’ll be able to’t click on at the rings to turn additional info, which I believed used to be a little bit atypical.

Underneath that may be a sequence of five job tabs, once more appearing your steps, energetic mins, energy, middle fee, and sleep. Click on on any one of the ones tabs to view job data for the day, week, and month. It is all lovely easy to navigate. If I had one criticism, it might be that the job knowledge monitors are not just about as full-fledged as every other health apps.

To assist with this, you’ll pair your Fossil smartwatch with Google Fit or Under Armour Record if you desire to see your job knowledge in one of the ones apps. In my opinion, Google Are compatible is not for me — it is a lot too easy and naked bones for my liking. If you wish to see your health stats in a extra detailed capability, you will have to transfer to Below Armour File.

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 following tab over is the Customization tab, the place you can edit your watch face. Once more, the whole lot this is lovely simple to navigate.

Following that’s the Indicators tab. That is the place you can set alarms, trade name and notification personal tastes, and activate/off transfer indicators. Keep in mind, the Hybrid HR’s on-device controls are restricted, so that is the one position you’ll keep watch over a majority of these settings.


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

The Fossil Hybrid HR is to be had from and Amazon for $195. That is round $20-$50 dearer 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 overview unit) and the extra female Constitution HR — however each are functionally the similar.

All issues regarded as, I feel $195 is an even worth to pay for the Hybrid HR. It will get you extra capability than a hybrid watch with out a reveal, however a ways fewer options than a Put on 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 could be $50 greater than the Hybrid HR, however they will most likely get you a extra correct and feature-packed hybrid watch revel in. The Vivomove 3 and 3S even have analog watch palms, however they arrive with hidden shows that solely display up when you wish to have them, in addition to hooked up GPS, confirmed middle fee sensors, and Garmin Pay (if you do not thoughts spending further for it).

Fossil Hybrid HR overview: The decision

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 reveal, I really like how it appears to be like, and I really like the two-week battery lifestyles. It is one of the one watches on my table that I am keen to put on each day regardless of its flaws. Numerous that has to do with the reveal; e-ink on a smartwatch makes such a lot sense.

If you happen to glance previous the gorgeous aesthetics, you can sadly to find some half-baked options that tarnish the revel in. Do not purchase the Fossil Hybrid HR for its health or well being monitoring — you can be sorry for those who do.

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

However if you are keen to spend $200 on a smartwatch and now not depend at the health options, I feel you can be proud of the Fossil Hybrid HR. It is a cast first take a look at for what I feel will make for an overly a hit product line down the street. I will proceed dressed in mine each day, however I will’t look forward to the second one or 3rd technology when Fossil makes some {hardware} enhancements.

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That is it for our Fossil Hybrid HR overview. What are your ideas? Tell us within the feedback.

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Published by Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).