I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating – not all smartwatches are created equal. By that, I mean that while many have similar functionality, they tend to have differentiated purposes, or use cases. For instance, if you want to have something that gives you precise tracking for your workouts, you’d probably look at something like the Amazfit we recently reviewed. On the other hand, if you want something more for day-to-day, you might be thinking about an Apple Watch or something with WearOS. If battery life is the most important to you, though, I’d suggest you give some consideration to the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR.
Now, to start with, the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR is much like many other smart watches. You can get notifications from your phone, track your steps and heart rate, control your music, and track your workouts. There are a few very notable differences, though. First, let’s focus on the “hybrid” part of the name. For this watch, it means that you’ve got traditional analog hands spinning over the dial (which is also a display, more on that in a moment). This means, no matter what the screen is showing, you can always see the time. Additionally, it means they can be filled with luminous paint (like a regular watch) allowing you to read the time in the dark.
Past that, depending on the “face” you choose for the dial, it means the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR rather looks like a traditional watch. You’ve got a crown and pushers (and really, the crown is a pusher as well, and not a crown), those old-school hands, and just a look that says, hey, I’m a watch. Closer look at the display, well, that let’s you know there’s more to it. Specifically, the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR is utilizing a e-ink display (yes, similar to what a Kindle uses). Why is this critical? Given that it can hold a display static without much battery use means you’ll get some really amazing battery life. Potentially two weeks plus between charges, depending on your usage.
Now, if you’re using the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR as a workout watch (I did, for a few days) it will use more battery, as it’s running the HR constantly, and it’s talking with your phone for A-GPS location and distance tracking. Or, if you have a lot of notifications going on, well, there, you’ve got more battery consumption again. On the other hand, if you’re just wanting some basic sleep and step tracking, and have the occasional notification going to your wrist, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see that long battery life.
That is all due to the e-ink display. It also means that you won’t be swiping with a touch screen (because there isn’t one), you’ll instead be interacting with the pushers on the right-hand side of the case. Perhaps not as intuitive as a touch screen is, but it gets the job done. Everything else on the dial (and you can choose other dial layouts via the app on your phone), well, that stays as static as it can be, and the analog hands are the most kinetic bit of the whole package.
So, who is the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR? Not me, so much, as I don’t have a great need in my life for a smartwatch, past the very fitness-focused type that I use in the mornings (and to track my sleep) that has a bright full color display. No, the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR is for someone who really just wants a watch – first and foremost – and wouldn’t mind having some of the additional niceties (step tracking, say, and some minor alerting) that a smart watch gives you. Past that, if you find yourself in that camp, well, you need to decide if you want something that looks like a hunk of glass and plastic on your wrist, or something that really hews much more closely to a classic watch look.
If you find yourself in that latter camp, the Fossil Collider Hybrid Smartwatch HR can be picked up for $215 (on the hollow-link bracelet, as we reviewed) or $195 on a silicone or leather strap (including one in a very earthy brown, a tone we don’t often see for smart watches). My recommendation here is really to think about what you want a smart watch to do (functionality) and how often you’ll be wearing it, and then how it fits your personal style (form). That will help you settle in on the watch that you’re looking for. If you’re thinking more traditional, this (or other hybrid smartwatch offerings from Fossil or sister brand Skagen) watch will definitely get the job done, at a rather affordable pricepoint. fossil.com
Tech Specs from Fossil
- Sku: FTW7009
- Notifications: Alarm Clock, App Alerts, Calendar Alerts, Email, Multiple Time Zones, Social Media, Text
- Functions: Activity Tracker, Challenge Friends to a Workout, Control Your Music, Customizable Buttons, Heart Rate Tracking, Interchangeable Watch Band, Notifications, Personalize Your Dial, Visualized Workout Routes
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart Enabled / 5.0 Low Energy
- Compatibility: Android™ 5.0+, iOS 12.0+
- Battery Life: 2+ Weeks **Based on usage**
- Case Size: 42MM
- Dial Color: Black
- Interchangeable Compatibility: 22MM
- Operating System: Proprietary
- Platform: COLLIDER HYBRID SMARTWATCH HR
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Heart Rate
- Storage: 16MB
- Strap Width: 22MM
- Water Resistance: 3 ATM
- Battery Type: SP380922SE
- Battery Charge Time: Charge Time 50 min to 80%