The Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch lasts 2 weeks on a charge thanks to its E Ink display
Smartwatches are useful tools for tracking fitness goals, catching notifications, and telling time (go figure). However, they all have a critical flaw - battery life. Fossil’s latest smartwatch aims to bridge the gap between feature set and battery life, and if the company’s claims are true, it may span that expanse quite well.
The Hybrid HR is a “hybrid” smartwatch, meaning it features a traditional face and hands for telling time while using an electronic display to convey information from a synced phone. Instead of a more common LCD or OLED panel used in many other wearables, the Hybrid HR uses an E Ink display to show current weather, heart rate, the date, steps, and more.
Thanks to this E Ink panel, Fossil claims the Hybrid HR can last up to two weeks between charges. E Ink and E-Paper displays are a boon for battery life in other smartwatches, most notably the now-dead Pebble family of wearables. For example, the Pebble Time Steel could routinely go about 5 to 7 days between charges without issue. Considering the hardware and software improvements since the Steel’s launch, it’s feasible for the Fossil Hybrid HR to hit two weeks.
There are a few caveats with the Hybrid HR. While the watch can sync with Google Fit and can connect to both iPhones and Android handsets, it does not run Wear OS like the company’s other smartwatches. That means the proprietary software on the Hybrid HR won’t be compatible with at least some third-party apps out of the box. That means it's unlikely the Hybrid HR could ever be used to control your Spotify playlist, make payments, or do many of the other things an Apple Watch or Wear OS smartwatch can do.
Still, if you’re looking for a nice-looking watch that can show notifications, fitness information, and the weather, the Hybrid HR may be a good option.
The Hybrid HR is available from Fossil starting from US $195 in multiple styles.
What are your thoughts on smartwatches? Is a hybrid smartwatch’s battery life worth the feature sacrifice? Let’s start the discussion in the comments.