THE BEST HY­BRID SMART­WATCH IS

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

BEST PER­FOR­MANCE: FOS­SIL Q NATE

This shootout was a dif­fi­cult one to call, as each of th­ese hy­brid smart­watches is a tale of trade­offs. They bring more of the tra­di­tional watch, while sac­ri­fic­ing the smarts that a full-on dig­i­tal smart­watch can pro­vide.

Let’s start with the easy one; the Garmin vivo­move is the most af­ford hy­brid, but also the one with the least fea­tures. If you just want a nice-look­ing watch that also tracks your steps, you can con­sider it, but for just a bit more you can move up to the Mis­fit Phase.

The Phase gives you the most no­ti­fi­ca­tions, even though it doesn’t have a wide range to choose from, and vi­bra­tions are weak. It also looks chunky. Nei­ther the vivo­move nor the Phase can show you the date.

I re­ally wanted to like the Withings Steel HR. While I can for­give its er­ratic heart rate mon­i­tor, its no­ti­fi­ca­tions game is weak; it only sup­ports no­ti­fi­ca­tions for calls, text and cal­en­dar events.

Other­wise, the dig­i­tal dis­play is a per­fect way to meld the best of me­chan­i­cal and dig­i­tal into one — a true hy­brid. Plus, it ac­tu­ally tells you the date! If the Steel HR ever gets up­dated to sup­port app no­ti­fi­ca­tions, it’s the one I’d rec­om­mend.

Now we come to the Fos­sil Q Nate. I didn’t think Fos­sil would fig­ure hy­brids out, but they have. The Q Nate looks like a proper watch, and it’s a no­ti­fi­ca­tions beast. You only get six no­ti­fi­ca­tion slots, but it sup­ports up to 54 apps at the time of this writ­ing, and you can even set the strength of the vi­bra­tions.

True, the Q Nate is a more ba­sic ac­tiv­ity tracker than the rest of the other hy­brids. And it’s big, which might not fit your style. It doesn’t tell you the date (well), and it doesn’t tell you which no­ti­fi­ca­tions are com­ing in. But it doesn’t let you miss one, and that’s the real strength of a hy­brid smart­watch for me — some­thing that lets me keep my phone in my pocket or bag, with­out hav­ing to worry about stay­ing in touch.

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