Fossil’s Hybrid HR wants to one up the Apple Watch 5’s best feature

Fossil’s unveiled a new Hybrid HR series of smartwatches featuring an atypical type of face that combines an always-on screen with mechanical watch hands.

The new line was unveiled on Wednesday. The first device will reportedly be able to display “at a glance” alerts for things like calls, incoming messages, its users heart rate and real-time weather information.

Fossil executive vice president Steve Evans said the new screen type will let users enjoy the benefits of a smartwatch on a device that looks like a regular time piece from the days of yore.

“We know our customers desire both form and function. They have loved how our hybrid smartwatches look like a watch, but act like a smartwatch, but have requested additional ways to stay connected,” he said.

‘’We are so excited to bring to market this version of hybrid that adds features like heart rate tracking and an always-on read-out display to make notifications easier to see – two big unlocks for our customers. They want to stay connected while enhancing their personal style and these new hybrid smartwatches do both. We pride ourselves on being innovators in the fashion watch space, and we believe that the hybrid smartwatch is the future of fashion watches.”

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Fossil claims the custom screen design will also help devices conserve power. The company quotes the first watch as offering up to two weeks battery life off a single charge.

Outside of the screen the watch will feature a heart rate monitor and offer basic fitness and sleep tracking services and feature a 3ATM water resistance rating.

Always-on displays are a vogue item in the world of smartwatches. They are a useful feature that lets users quickly check the time and incoming alerts without having to manually power up their smartwatch. The only downside is that they are usually a serious power drain.

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Apple added an innovative OLED always on display to its latest Apple Watch 5. It worked to counter the increase power consumption by giving the screen a variable refresh rate that can drop to 1Hz when the watch face is idle. This conserves power by making it display less images per second. We were a big fan of the screen, listing it as a key selling point in our Apple Watch 5 review.

The new Hybrid HR hasn’t been given a price or release date, though Fossil has confirmed it will be available for pre-order later today.

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