Hybrid Versus Smartwatch, Guess Which One Came Out On Top? [Review]

Alternating between two good looking timepieces, The Skagen Connected Signatur and the Fossil Q Venture, only one continues to reside on my wrist.

The last few weeks I have been lucky enough to adorn two very different watches, The Skagen Connected Signatur and the Fossil Q Venture. One is a hybrid and the other is a smartwatch. Alternating between the good looking timepieces, was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t long before only one of them found a permanent home on my wrist.

Before I wore either the Skagen or the Fossil Q Venture, I had been wearing the tech packed Amazfit Pace by Huami. Smart and orange, my favourite feature about this watch was the freedom it gave me when it came to filtering all the noise. It gave priority to the messages that need my immediate attention. After a year with Amazfit, it was lovely to graduate to the latest smartwatch offerings by Skagen and Fossil.

When Traditional Meets Functional

I am definitely old school when it comes to how my watch looks, so from day one the Skagen Signatur T-Bar Hybrid Smartwatch caught my attention more than the Fossil Q Venture. Right up my street, the Signatur T-Bar makes for an excellent starter watch for those looking to explore the smartwatch arena. The feature that stood out for me the most was the fact that the timepiece does not need to be charged.  Running on a standard replaceable CR2025 coin-cell battery, I did not have to always think about charging my watch. With the Pace there were many times that I shook my fist in frustration when I realised that I forgot to put it on charge overnight.  The other thing worth mentioning, just in case you hadn’t noticed, the Signatur timepiece is very good looking, which made it easy to match 90% of my outfits.

When it comes to the bad, there were a few irritating issues that made me want to reach for my Pace again. Firstly, I was unhappy to find out in the early hours, that when I wanted to find out the time, I could not wake up my watch. My face watch remained dark. This, unfortunately, meant that I was not able to find out what time it was without having to get out of bed to switch on the light. I had gotten so used to wearing a watch that you could wake up with a push of a button. Instead, when I pushed one of the three buttons on the Skagen’s right side, the music on my phone started to play. Not a great thing to do at 3 am in the morning. I was also unimpressed with the basic features that felt a bit too 2013 for my liking. Although the watch was supposed to be able to send discreet notifications when I receive a text, email or call, I could not get my watch to do this for love nor money. That being said, I did manage to get the alarm set up.

A Stylishly Feature-rich Smartwatch

When I switched to the Fossil Q Venture smartwatch, a feeling of familiarity came over me. Offering multiple features the Q Venture bragged all kinds of party tricks expected of a smartwatch these days. Think customizable faces, discreet notifications and automatic activity tracking. Powered by Android Wear™ 2.0, I was wearing the rose gold version with a gorgeous OLED screen. The good was that the ticker was not too bulky for my wrist. Other good things that I discovered, was the watch’s ability to work with my mobile when with it came to showing me map directions on the screen and vibrating before I needed to turn. The battery power wasn’t too shabby, it lasted more than a day with heavy usage.

The bad has to be the tiny the keyboard. It made typing an absolute task.  The only way to prevent the painful process was to rely on pre-saved responses. Another issue that I had was that the watch had no speaker, which meant that I was not able to answer my calls like you can do with the Apple Watch 2. Another downside is that the Fossil Q Venture does not have NFC so, therefore, I could not use Android Pay. Overall, the Fossil Q Ventures does get the basics of a smartwatch right and looks good doing it!

Conclusion

A few weeks in I knew what worked for me. Hybrid is what I thought I wanted, a smartwatch is what I ended up needing. This was mainly driven by my need to always be connected.  I wanted to know straight away when an email came in. I also preferred to be notified when someone was calling me. So in the end, as much as I was attracted to the Skagen Connected Signatur, the Fossil Q Venture suited my startup life better.

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