Best hybrid smartwatches 2020: great tech that looks like a regular watch
Max smartwatch smarts without the nerdy look.
The functionality of the modern-day smartwatch is pretty impressive considering what was available just a few years ago, and there's a decent range of them that don't look like watches at all. Welcome to the world of the hybrid smartwatch.
When one of the first cross-platform smartwatches, Pebble, started shipping to its Kickstarter backers in 2013, the tech world was in awe of not only what it was capable of, but what it could mean for the future.
Fast forward to today and features such as Pebble’s text-syncing ability is probably one of the least impressive things you'll find on a smartwatch.
Still, most techy timepieces these days don’t really look like actual watches, and there’s still a huge market for the orthodox design. The distinct change in aesthetics and lack of style of the average smartwatch can be off-putting for the undecided.
However, there are now plenty of watches that are both traditional-looking and smart, meaning you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Hurrah! Here are ten of the best hybrid smartwatches you’d only know were smart upon closer inspection.
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Best hybrid smartwatches
1. Honor Magic Watch 2
This watch doesn't have physical dials but it does it's best to imitate them, with an extensive range of minimal analogue style watch face designs on a super detailed 1.39-inch AMOLED Display that could trick anyone into thinking it's a classic timepiece. Under this is all your standard activity tracking tools alongside some intelligent power-saving technology giving wearers an incredible two-week battery life.
2. Tag Heuer Connected 2020
The creme-de-la-creme creator of premium smartwatches, Tag Heuer, just launched the Connected 2020 and, boy, it’s a stunner. On this fashionable smart ticker you’ll find top notch craftsmanship (and a price to match) as well as a super elegant design featuring a ceramic bezel and some clever functionality that you’d not expect from a watch of this stature, including GPS, compass and heart sensor.
With physical push buttons and crown alongside a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal display, this beast looks too well polished to be a smartwatch. Then you tap the screen and Android Wear pops up. A gorgeous smartwatch that will complement any suited and booted situation.
3. Withings Move ECG
This is what Withings is calling “the world’s first analog watch with a built-in electrocardiogram” and you’d have no idea just by glancing at it. Despite looking like a pretty standard timepiece, it has the clever ability to detect atrial fibrillation at any time, making it ideal for those with any underlying heart conditions or health concerns.
For example, if you feel palpitations or an irregular heart rhythm, simply press the side button and place your finger on the bezel. In 30 seconds, your medical-grade ECG is ready for you to examine the next time you’re in the companion smartphone app.
4. Huawei Watch GT 2
Powered by Huawei’s self-developed wearable chip, the Kirin A1, the Watch GT 2 brings wearers some pretty powerful specs. But what makes it really special is that these are subtly hidden beneath a minimal and elegant design.
A bezel-less 3D curved glass screen is not only able to display plenty of traditional watch face designs, but has been made using a gemstone processing technology which helps make it withstand harsh elements and resistant to water and dust. It’s also very comfortable on the wrist thanks to its 9.4mm ultra-thin watch body. A really well-crafted, classic-looking smartwatch.
5. Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR
Fossil went down the Android Wear route for the first time when it launched the Fossil Sport a few years back with the Q Founder. However, it realised many like both its smart functionalities and the designs which made Fossil famous in the first place. Enter the Hybrid Smartwatch HR.
It works with Android and iOS and tracks heart rate, activity and sleep alongside in-depth wellness stats. And the advantage of not having an all-digital display? Over two weeks of battery life on a single charge.
6. Garmin Vivomove Luxe
You’d usually associate Garmin with bulky all-singing, all-dancing sports watches aimed at the more serious fitness enthusiasts. However, its Vivomove Luxe takes a bunch of these tracking capabilities and bundles them into a stainless steel watch case with a polished finish and domed sapphire crystal lens for a more elegant appearance.
The classic watch face has two small “secret” AMOLED colour displays under the arms, which only appear when you need them. Interact with the touchscreen and the hands dynamically move in coordination with the graphics. An impressive watch bursting with features considering its design, including smartphone notifications, NFC payments and five-day battery life.
7. Skagen Falster 3
Skagen’s latest wearable removes the physical dials and replaces it with a full 1.3-inch, vibrantly rich OLED display running Google’s Android Wear. Despite this, the wide range of perfectly-designed watch faces, such as a special-edition X by KYGO, ensure you’d never know it was smart on first glance.
The design helps with that, too. A very stylish yet robust stainless steel construction with strong gunmetal mesh strap are a great combination for those looking for an expensive and traditional-looking watch with lots of smart features.
8. Withings Steel HR Sport
Withings is already well known for creating well made, traditional-looking smartwatches with a great range of quality features. Its latest launch - the Steel HR sport - is no exception. Underneath that analogue clock face lie some pretty smart features, including automatic exercise recognition so you get credit for all your moves, as well as a proprietary artificial intelligence, which learns your specific moves for each activity for more accurate and personalised sports tracking. It even has vibration, smartphone notifications as well as GPS baked in for more accurate route tracking.
9. OAXIS Timepiece
Touted as “the smartest analogue dress watch”, the OAXIS Timepiece is fresh off of the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and now shipping after meeting its funding goal. Boasting 2-pin hybrid quartz Swiss movement by Ronda for accurate analogue time keeping, this more conventional-looking wearable doubles up as a fitness tracker, offering heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring and call and text notification, to name a few - all via a subtle LCD display under the physical clock dials.
On top of that, each Timepiece comes with an additional silicone strap when you want more comfort during a sweaty workout, and features a quick-release valve so you can swap it back to a more sleek strap once your workout is over.
10. Skagen Hagen Hybrid Smartwatch
Skagen is one of the top makes of stylish and convincingly conventional-looking smartwatches. It is your best bet if you want a minimal and quintessential "watch" look with techy features to boot. One of our Skagen faves is the Hagen Hybrid, which has the physical dials you’d find on your average analogue watch but with discreet smart functions under the hood, such as activity and sleep tracking and music control - all without the need for a digital screen.