Earlier than a bit of know-how turns into ubiquitous, there exists a interval the place you might have early adopters going all-in on the shiny new toy and others who proceed to cling to the previous, comfy methods of doing issues. The smartwatch remains to be form of in that part, the place some individuals are reluctant to surrender their acquainted look ahead to one thing that gives extra performance, but additionally probably extra problems.
Conventional watchmakers equivalent to Fossil are doing their finest to usher these individuals into the brand new period by manufacturing hybrid smartwatches which have the feel and appear of conventional timepieces—showcasing traditional mechanical motion atop a show for options like step trackers, climate studies, plus textual content and electronic mail alerts, and so on. The Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR—probably the most fully-featured of the Fossil smartwatch related lineup with the inclusion of an always-on show and coronary heart price monitor—could not market itself as a “Smartwatch for Individuals Who Don’t Like Smartwatches,” however it could as effectively.
A fantastic smartwatch design for newcomers
Fossil has lengthy been identified for making trendy—however finally simple—watches. The corporate places years of design expertise behind its Fossil watches, and the top consequence exhibits. The Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR has the heft of a great sports activities or diving watch, and it doesn’t scream “smartwatch” in your wrist.
The Fossil Latitude’s beauty cleared the path
Proper out of the field, probably the most putting factor in regards to the Hybrid HR—like all of the Fossil Latitude lineup—is, effectively, how very similar to a watch it appears to be like. The hybrid Fossil smartwatch we examined was black and silver, with pink highlights. It was easy, traditional, and will simply be paired with work garments or exercise garments. It merely appears to be like like a top quality timepiece, good capabilities apart, which is to be anticipated for a timepiece that retails for $195.
The analog arms and enormous watch face are straightforward sufficient to learn with none backlighting or digital show, and the watch’s 50mm case has appreciable heft to it. It feels sturdy. The primary downside to this as a smartwatch is its weight. The Hybrid HR clocks in at a comparatively hefty 5.6 ounces, which is appreciable when measured towards the Fitbit Versa 2 (1.41 oz) and the Apple Watch (1.07 oz); once more, extra consistent with a “common” Fossil watch that’s sometimes round 6 ounces. The addition of additional weight renders a few of its exercise and health monitoring capabilities moot, because it’s not comfy as an all-out health accent.
The silicone watchband of the Fossil Latitude likewise feels sturdy and comfy. At 24mm broad, it sits comfortably and doesn’t irritate nor does it really feel prefer it’s ever at risk of overstretching or sporting out throughout typical day-to-day exercise and even average train. Being a typical band measurement, as effectively, means it’s swappable based mostly in your preferences.
The eyes have it
The Hybrid HR makes use of an e-ink show just like the one you’d discover on a Kindle, so it doesn’t glow just like the OLED on an Apple Watch. It is a standout characteristic, as a result of it may possibly stay on on a regular basis with out consuming up the battery life as greedily as a powered display. The one downside is that e-ink has a slow-ish refresh price, so it could really feel a bit sluggish in comparison with lit screens. Nonetheless, it’s simpler on the eyes, however it may possibly make the digital readouts powerful to see at a look. A agency double faucet on the crystal kicks on a backlight in these cases.
One of the best characteristic so far as the Hybrid HR’s total design is how the timepiece handles switching between conventional watch features and the digital show. If you press the primary facet button to entry digital data, the hour and minute fingers mechanically go to 9 and three to get out of your approach.
Straightforward setup with iPhone or Android smartphone
If easing into smartwatch use is your plan with the Hybrid HR, then you’ll not be dissatisfied with this Fossil smartwatch. All you actually must do is obtain Fossil’s smartphone app, which is suitable with Android gadgets working OS 5.zero or increased and iOS gadgets on 12.zero and up. When you achieve this, it walks you step-by-step by way of syncing and customizing your Fossil Latitude watch.
The watch additionally comes with a USB wire for magnetic charging/syncing with a desktop system for downloading music or aligning calendars. Solely two to 3 hours on its USB charger ought to present a full, lasting cost of its lithium-ion battery. That juice-up can final effectively over every week: We tried the Hybrid HR with a reasonably constant quantity of use and made it about 11 days earlier than the battery was depleted.
Like different choices within the Fossil Latitude line, the Hybrid HR doesn’t have a ton of customization choices, however it does permit you to prioritize sure features and make them simpler and faster to entry. The readout on the watch face itself is minimal, based mostly on the corporate’s customized software program, versus a extra sturdy OS like Google Put on. So, for instance, if you happen to intend to make use of this primarily for health, you can also make exercise trackers (equivalent to steps and coronary heart price) your default show. If you’re extra considering climate studies, you’ll be able to bump these up simply as effectively. Via the smartphone app, you additionally choose the apps you’d prefer to obtain messages from—equivalent to Gmail, Fb Messenger, and even Slack—and you may set the watch to obtain all messages from everybody, or solely from favourite contacts.
The training curve with the Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR comes from getting used to which buttons on the watch itself do what. The primary “huge” facet button is the “enter” button in most cases, which is totally different from different hybrid smartwatches that have a tendency to make use of that because the default “again” button. As a result of the Hybrid HR’s crystal isn’t a touchscreen, scrolling can be button-based: the opposite two smaller buttons act a bit like scrolling cursors.
The remainder of what you might want to know
Though not probably the most refined or detailed smartwatch accessible—being a hybrid, it’s a little bit of a dilettante—it combines sufficient to persuade you of its usefulness past telling time.
The step tracker and coronary heart price monitor present some perception, however the truth that it isn’t one of the best health tracker (coupled with its total bulk), which can possible make it a poor substitute for a devoted monitor if you happen to’re centered on extremely correct monitoring. We used the Hybrid HR just for mild exercise (brisk walks, jogging), however did recognize which you can set a “Problem Profile” by way of the app to ascertain health targets, equivalent to variety of steps per day). The data can be simply accessible within the app and even shows alongside a helpful calendar for conserving tabs on progress.
The Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR options an alarm clock operate, textual content alerts, and the flexibility to sync with social media for notifications. You’ll be able to settle for textual content messages and emails, management music, and entry a calendar and climate alerts. It’ll additionally notify you of incoming calls, however there isn’t a speaker or microphone on the watch itself, so that you’re not capable of settle for calls as you’d an Apple Watch. When a name comes the watch fingers transfer to their horizontal positions, with textual content on the display notifying you of an incoming name, which you’ll be able to settle for or decline with a push of the facet button.
It additionally has requirements like a stopwatch. Once more, not extraordinarily deep or refined—you gained’t be capable of sync up contactless fee, for instance—however useful sufficient to do fundamental jobs.
So, who’s the Fossil Latitude for?
On the finish of the day, the Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR is a superb choice for many who wouldn’t thoughts a number of bells and whistles, however possibly aren’t able to dive right into a full smartwatch. Total, it’s a nice-looking timepiece at the beginning, with a number of added features, just like the step tracker and coronary heart price monitor, and so on., that will not be mandatory for all of us. Hardcore health lovers who wish to monitor and accumulate knowledge would possibly discover this Fossil smartwatch too cumbersome to be used throughout train, and too slight in terms of numbers and measurements. Individuals who like the feel and appear of a standard Fossil watch, nonetheless, will recognize the general simplicity of the person expertise. Weight is an element, nonetheless: It’s not the form of wearable that blends in and also you nearly overlook it’s there. Total, although, the Fossil Latitude Hybrid HR may be very well-constructed and feels more likely to survive as one’s on a regular basis look ahead to a great lengthy whereas.