Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch: Smart tracking meets traditional watch

Venkatesh Ganesh | Updated on July 28, 2020

The Indian wearables market in 2019 saw a record year of growth, which research firm IDC said had grown 177 per cent over 2018. Then Covid happened. But that has not diminished the enthusiasm of players in this segment, Virtually all tech and watch companies from Samsung to Huawei and Xiaomi to Timex, have launched smartwatches. So has Fossil.

The Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch is the latest from their stable. Much of the design hallmarks of Fossil can be seen in this smartwatch. It’s comfortable to wear, it’s classy, and feels more like a regular watch. It is 13mm thick and 42mm in diameter, comes with a steel strap and is more or less in line with a conventional watch. It comes with options of interchangeable straps in leather, silicone and stainless steel.

The face of Hybrid HR is circular, has hour indicators and has number markings around the bezel. It combines mechanical watch hands with a full round read-out display. The display isn’t lit up all the time. It lights up when you double-tap the watch.

The Hybrid HR features call and text previews, heart rate and workout tracking, which would be handy nowadays with people increasingly looking to work out indoors. One needs to download the smartwatches app from the Play Store and then can hit the ground running.

Once the app is downloaded the full spectrum of features begin to unfold — such as real-time weather notifications, preview texts/emails, answer calls, and all this can last a whole week, without the need to recharge the smartwatch (The company claims 2 weeks of battery life on a single charge). Also, the notifications are for a select set of apps such as Facebook, which is surprising considering the vast Android apps ecosystem. Further, you can’t use voice to reply to the notification and all alerts are enabled through vibrations.

You can also customise the buttons on the smartwatch to help you do specific things. So you could switch between a workout mode and a work mode. Honestly, with Work From Home and the given a high intensity of work, it is doubtful whether people will toggle modes, but nevertheless the option is available.

The Hybrid HR smartwatch has good fitness tracking which is detailed. It comes with the optical heart rate sensor, for keeping track of resting and active heart rate throughout the day , workout times, stats for steps, calories burned, amongst others. One can comfortably wear the watch throughout the day and it feels comfy on the wrists.

The sleep tracking is a bright spot for the Hybrid HR, is the detailed dashboard that it puts out regarding your sleep and a 3ATM water resistance rating is handy too.

One of the challenges was the availability of very little information on the screen and it felt cramped. Also, the screen refresh rate is slower.

This Hybrid HR retails for ₹14,995, is compatible with iPhone 5/ iOS10+ and Android OS 5.0+. The verdict: Fossil Hybrid HR seems to be positioned at people who do not want a supercomputer around them but still look to many of the features that a Galaxy Watch Active 2 or Apple Watch brings to the table. If you are on the prowl for a feature-obsessed smartwatch, then you can give this a pass. However, if you want a mix of old and new world designs, this is worth a try.

Price: ₹14,995

Pros: Retains the look of conventional watches while still being filled with smart features, includes sleep tracking, water resistant, comfortable, detailed fitness tracking

Cons: Cramped screen, slow screen refresh


Published on July 28, 2020

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