Garmin Vivomove HR vs. Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR: Which should you buy?

Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch
Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR

Fossil Hybrid HR

Fossil's newest hybrid is dressed to impress. In addition to a gorgeous selection of designs, it also delivers heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, smartphone notifications, music controls, and outstanding battery life.

Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR

Brilliant battery

Gorgeous design
Outstanding battery life
Customizable display
Heart-rate monitoring
Activity and sleep tracking
No GPS options
Not fully waterproof

Garmin Vivomove HR

Garmin Vivomove HR

The Vivomove HR hits many important marks of a solid hybrid smartwatch, including heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, water resistance, smartphone notifications, music controls, and a stylish design.

Garmin Vivomove HR

Pretty performance

Stylish design
Customizable display
5 ATM water resistance
Heart-rate monitoring
Activity and sleep tracking
No GPS options
Touchscreen can be tricky
Hard to read in sunlight

When it comes to choosing a watch, it's often about finding the perfect balance between an attractive design and useful features. If you're not set on having a full-fledged smartwatch, you might be happier with a hybrid. The Garmin Vivomove HR and the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR are two exceptional contenders in this category.

While you won't find any premium smartwatch features on either of these hybrids — like color displays, GPS, NFC payments, or music storage — they do offer some other desirable perks. Both of these watches come with a heart rate sensor, activity and sleep tracking, smartphone notifications, water resistance, and long-lasting battery life.

When form beats function

The most popular reason for choosing a hybrid smartwatch is that you're more concerned about how it looks than how it functions. Sure, it's nice to have a handful of smartwatch features in the mix, but if you're looking for a more traditional watch design, a hybrid is definitely the way to go. The Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR is one of the best out there at the moment.

As the name indicates, you'll get a heart rate sensor along with other helpful features, including activity and sleep tracking, 3 ATM water resistance, smartphone notifications, a customizable display, and two weeks of battery life. It has an innovative E-ink display, which is responsible for the long-lasting battery.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Garmin Vivomove HRFossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR
SensorsHeart rate, barometric altimeter, accelerometer, ambient lightAccelerometer, heart rate
ConnectivityBluetooth® Smart and ANT+®Bluetooth Smart Enabled / 5.0 Low Energy
Water Resistance5 ATM3 ATM
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: 5 days
Watch mode: additional 2 weeks
2 weeks+
Onboard GPS
NFC payments
Interchangeable bands✔️✔️
Music controls✔️✔️

While the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR doesn't have a touchscreen, the three side buttons will be enough for most users. Behind the watch's hands, you'll be able to see details of your choosing, like the date, weather, fitness goals, and notifications. If the hands are obstructing your view, simply flick your wrist and they'll move in opposite directions. There's an optional backlight for when you're in low-light conditions, which is a nice addition. Sunlight visibility isn't an issue with this unique display.

The 42 mm stainless steel design is highly appealing, especially if you're a fan of traditional watches. It also comes with 22 mm interchangeable watch bands, so you can swap it out for a style or material you like better. The watch itself is available in various colors, including Black, Black Brown, Silver, and more.

Garmin Vivomove HR

Source: Garmin Pictured: Garmin Vivomove HR (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

When it comes to the Garmin Vivomove HR, this hybrid smartwatch is all about style. In fact, most people won't even be able to tell it's a hybrid at first. The hidden OLED display won't appear until you want it to. A flick of the wrist or raise of the arm will activate the screen. Similar to the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR, the watch hands on the VIvomove HR will also move out of your way if they're obstructing your view. One mark that Garmin missed is sunlight visibility, which is difficult at best.

The 43 mm stainless steel case is available in Rose Gold, Slate, and Silver. It also offers 20 mm quick release bands so if you're not fond of the silicone material it comes with, you can easily change it. The battery life is slightly shorter here, but still decent. You'll get up to 5 days in smartwatch mode and an additional two weeks in watch-only mode.

Many of the tracking and performance features are the same, like activity and sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring, smartphone notifications, and music controls. You'll also enjoy a 5 ATM water resistance rating and stress tracking with the Vivomove HR. Again, you won't have the privilege of GPS or NFC payments here. Alas, that is often the compromise you make when you opt for a hybrid over a full-fledged smartwatch.

Final verdict

While both of these options will meet basic tracking needs, the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR has the upper hand when it comes to battery life, sunlight visibility, and a greater variety of design options. It might be slightly more expensive, but not by enough to make a major impact on your decision. It's the newer hybrid smartwatch as well if that makes a difference in where you stand.

The Garmin Vivomove HR might be the better option for someone who's already invested in Garmin or someone who needs a fully waterproof watch. Aside from that, it's not too different than the Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR. If you don't mind a shorter battery life and a screen that can be difficult to read in sunlight, you'll be just as happy with the Vivomove HR.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.