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A primer on the hottest hybrid smartwatches

What exactly is a hybrid smartwatch? To the naked eye, this new breed of tech watches may look just like a traditional watch, but what lies inside makes them truly unique.

All hybrid smartwatches have Bluetooth capability, which syncs up to an app on your phone. This is essentially the bread and butter of the watch. It is how the watch activates all of its digital features without having a digital screen of its own.

Through the app, you can use your watch to do just about everything from tracking your steps and calories to controlling your music and even activating notifications when your BFF or mom is calling or texting you.

My favorite feature is the camera component. While the watch does not have a camera of its own, you can link your watch to your smartphone’s camera. So if you were to place your phone on a shelf and huddle your friends together, you could easily snap a photo by simply pushing a button on your watch. No selfie stick or extra-long arms needed anymore.

The Apple Watch is old news — ahead is a new league of affordable yet sophisticated smartwatches that are tapping into a new generation.

Fossil 

Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch Q Accomplice Rose Gold-Tone Stainless Steel, $175, fossil.com

Fossil has been at the forefront of the hybrid smartwatch evolution. Unlike the Apple Watch, which can cost upwards of $1,000, Fossil’s wearable tech option doesn’t cost a fortune. If you’re like me and have veered away from smartwatches because of their obvious digital, “techie” aesthetic, this watch is for you. Fossil offers its hybrid collection starting at $155.

“We know that this is a pivotal moment in the watch industry, and Fossil is leading the revolution to reinvent the traditional watch through the innovative design and technology found in our Hybrid Smartwatches,” Jill Elliott, Fossil chief creative officer, said in a press statement. “Our ability to merge fashion and design with emerging technologies makes us the perfect choice to be our customer’s first smartwatch.”

Main features include: 

Tracking (fitness progress, steps, calories, distance, sleep patterns)
Notifications (when someone texts, calls, or emails, or from other apps)
Functions (take a picture, check the date, control your music, set an alarm, sync your time zone)

Check out the video below to learn more:

Mondaine

Mondaine Helvetica 1 Smartwatch, $920, mondaine.com

Swiss watch maker Mondaine has delved into the hybrid smartwatch industry with its Helvetica 1 smartwatch collection. The hybrid version has similarities to its traditional Helvetica watches, which all feature a clean, minimalistic face — just like the sans-serif typeface Helvetica. This watch features an antireflective-coated sapphire crystal glass and leather straps and is made in Switzerland — which may play into its higher cost; it retails for $920.

Main features include: 

Tracking (fitness progress, steps, sleep patterns)
Notifications (activity goal alerts)
Functions (set an alarm, set a nap time frame, sync your time zone, receive fitness activity coaching)

Skagen

Skagen Hald Connected Leather Hybrid Smartwatch, $175, skagen.com

Skagen is a watch brand whose collection reflects the covetable Danish style of living — modern, clean, minimal. These smartwatches are perfect for any modern-day minimalist. Skagen wearables start at $175.

Main features include: 

Tracking (fitness progress, steps, calories, distance, sleep patterns)
Notifications (when someone calls, texts, or emails, or from other apps)
Functions (take a picture, control your music, set an alarm, sync your time zone, ring your phone when you’ve misplaced it)

Misfit 

Misfit Phase, $150, misfit.com

The Misfit Phase smartwatches are the closest version to a typical fitness watch. They can also last in the shower and up to 50m while swimming. Mistfit Phase watches start at $150.

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