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The Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch lasts 2 weeks on a charge thanks to its E Ink display

Image via Fossil.
Image via Fossil.
The Fossil Hybrid HR is a new hybrid smartwatch that mixed the traditional face and hands of a mechanical watch with an E Ink display for notification and fitness tracking information. The watch runs proprietary software rather than Wear OS, limiting the feature set. However, the Hybrid HR can still sync with Google Fit for fitness tracking.

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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 11 > The Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch lasts 2 weeks on a charge thanks to its E Ink display
Sam Medley, 2019-11- 6 (Update: 2019-11- 6)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.