Two of the latest wearable devices on test, the Misfit Command and MyKronoz ZeTime Premium, are part of a new subgroup of smartwatches known as hybrid smartwatches. So what exactly is a hybrid smartwatch, and would it be a good choice for you?
We’ve also tested the Garmin Forerunner 30, a GPS fitness watch costing less than £130 – you’ll be able to find out its features below. Plus, you can learn more about the difference between a hybrid smartwatch and a full blown smartwatch.
Best Buy smartwatches – see which smartwatches are top of the class.
What is a hybrid smartwatch?
A hybrid smartwatch, sometimes called an analogue smartwatch, looks like a traditional watch but has added smart features such as the ability to buzz when you receive a text or call on your phone.
Some have basic activity-tracking, such as steps taken and distance travelled, too. The main focus tends to be on style, with designer brands such as Armani, Guess and Kate Spade offering hybrid smartwatches in their ranges.
When it comes to deciding between a smartwatch and hybrid smartwatch, it’s important to consider the features you want: do you want to be able to read and reply to texts, emails and social media notifications from your wrist? Is the ability to add apps such as Strava or Spotify to your watch important to you? Or do you want a stylish, traditional device that you can wear all day, every day?
To find out more about the difference between a smartwatch and hybrid smartwatch, and to discover if any devices offer the best of both worlds, head over to our ‘What is a hybrid smartwatch?‘ guide.
It looks like a regular watch with an analogue watch display, but it can track steps, sleep, distance travelled, calories burned and also logs ‘activity points’.
There’s a small dial for viewing your progress towards a daily activity points score, and a smart button for controlling the music and camera on your phone. The watch will vibrate to let you know you’ve got a notification on the paired phone too.
It looks stylish, but is this hybrid smartwatch comfortable? And how did it fare in our tough activity-tracking accuracy tests? You can read the full Misfit Command review to find out.
MyKronoz ZeTime Premium
MyKronoz raised more than $6m through crowdfunding sites IndieGoGo and Kickstarter for the ZeTime Premium. It promises an impressive 30 days of battery life from the device, and it pairs analogue watch hands, which are operated mechanically like a traditional watch, with a colour touchscreen.
It gives notifications of calls, texts, emails, calendar and social media alerts from a paired smartphone. When it comes to activity tracking, it counts your steps, distance travelled, measures sleep and logs calories burned. There’s a built-in heart-rate monitor too.
It sounds like a perfect pairing of analogue and smart features, but does it live up to the hype? Or is it just a gimmick? We reveal all in our full MyKronoz ZeTime Premium review.
Garmin Forerunner 30
If you’re keen on a more traditional activity tracker, Garmin claims the Forerunner 30 is a simple-to-use GPS fitness watch with wrist-based heart rate monitoring. It has a square bezel with a 128×128-pixel display, and the strap is made of silicone and fastened using a traditional watch buckle.
So could this be your perfect running partner? See if it wins the race in our full Garmin Forerunner 30 review.
If you are interested in a Garmin device but aren’t sure the Forerunner 30 is the one for you, head over to our Garmin fitness watch and activity tracker reviews.
Still undecided? Read our guide to find out if you should buy a fitness tracker or a smartwatch.