With a history of producing luxurious and chic watches for women, Michele has made the plunge into the tech industry with the Michele Hybrid Smartwatch. It blends the elegant style of an analog watch with the useful features of a smartwatch when paired with the Michele Connected app for iOS and Android. In our review, we found a smartwatch with stunning design and good performance, but a far too high price tag.
Comfortable and sporty watch design
The Michele Hybrid’s watch face is bigger than most other women’s smartwatches on the market, which also means it’s a little heavier. We were particularly excited to see a 38mm stainless steel case with large bezels, because it made the watch look thicker and less delicate than other ones on the market. Regardless of the color variant, it’s a watch we were able to wear during the day and night without feeling like it threw off an entire outfit.
It comes in different color options – two tone white and navy, navy and gold, all black, and rose gold tone with grey. Michele will also be adding a two-tone rose colorway to the collection on January 25. Each watch face is attached to an alligator strap with an inner silicone lining. They’re also interchangeable with any 18mm strap from the Michele Collection. We had the all-black model, and it looks a tad sportier than the others.
We had the all-black color model, which looks sleek out of the box. The alligator strap hugs the wrist without feeling stiff and the silicone lining adds an extra layer of comfort. There are also enough notches to make sure the watch sits securely on your wrist without cutting off circulation.
The glass of the watch face is made of sapphire crystal which is highly scratch-resistant and durable.
If you’re not a fan of the alligator strap, Michele does offer a huge variety with different colors and patterns made with materials like leather, alligator, stainless steel, or lizard. They aren’t cheap though – on top of the $495 price tag, interchangeable straps start at $100 each.
On the side are three buttons – more on this later – one of which is a rotating watch crown that includes Michele’s signature logo with a splash of red. As for the watch face, we thought choosing white for the hands and tick marks cheapened the sleekness of an all black watch. Each other color variant had a gold accent, making it look far more luxurious.
The glass of the watch face is made of sapphire crystal which is highly scratch resistant and durable. But we did immediately notice how easily it became filled with streaks and fingerprints. Thankfully, this hybrid watch doesn’t require touching the screen so you won’t be wiping off the glass too much.
Michele Connected app
The watch and app connect via Bluetooth and syncs wirelessly to one another. It’s compatible with Android 5.0 devices and above, as well as iPhone 5 and up running iOS 9 or higher. Aside from receiving notifications and tracking basic fitness activity, the watch can do a whole lot more with the Michele Connected app.
For example, you can set the buttons to perform actions such as control music – whether it’s play, or raising and lowering the volume. There’s also the option to take a photo using the button, ring your phone in case you’re unable to find it, and check multiple time zones. Other options include setting it to check on fitness and sleep tracking, but since it’s a smart hybrid, it’s important to remember you’ll be checking the app more often than not.
Even though there were a variety of customizable options, we ended up using the watch for notifications from either apps or text messages. There’s no touch screen interface like regular smartwatches, where you’re able to read all of the notifications. The Michele Hybrid watch forced us to come back to our devices when we actually had a reason to look at it.
Notifications and fitness tracking
While you don’t have the luxury to see the notifications on a hybrid smartwatch, it’s still capable of notifying you of incoming messages and calls. Using the Michele Connected app, you can customize which contacts and apps you get alerts from.
The app does track sleep as well, but the watch was uncomfortable to wear to bed.
Once you choose a specific contact, you can assign which number the watch hands move to when they text or call you. You can also choose to have it only vibrate it if you prefer. You’re only limited to six contacts but you can set “All Texts” as another notification option for all your other contacts. The same goes for assigning different social media apps as well — such as Instagram, Facebook, Slack, and more.
As for health and fitness, it tracks the basics such as how many steps you take, calories you burn, and miles you walk. For those who like to set daily or weekly goals, you can set goals in relation to exercise and staying hydrated. There’s also an option to create your own custom goals, if you prefer.
The Michele app does track sleep as well, but we found the watch was uncomfortable to wear to bed. Fitness trackers are more lightweight, making them a better and more comfortable option. We couldn’t go a full night without waking up in the middle of the night and taking it off — it was that uncomfortable. If you do want to track your sleep, the app informs you of the hours you’ve been awake, along with the hours of light and restful sleep you got.
For both fitness and sleep, it compares the data you had for that exact day last week. The numbers are illustrated via a diagram that compares the amount of steps or hours you set for yourself to hit, which and it slowly fills up until you’ve reached your goals for the day. There are also sections that highlight your lowest, highest, and average amount of steps for the entire week.
If you use other apps to track these types of metrics, the Michele Connect app allows you to connect with Apple’s HealthKit, Under Armour Record, and Up By Jawbone. As long as you allow permission, Michele will send your daily activity data to these platforms in order to keep everything up to date.
Warranty, price, and availability
The Michele Hybrid Smartwatch comes with a two-year warranty which covers manufacturing defects. It doesn’t cover accidental damage, wear and tear caused by the wearer, cases or crystals, straps, bracelets, or batteries.Our Take
The Michele Hybrid Smartwatch is comfortable, easy to operate, and stunning on the wrist. But we found that even with all of the different customizable settings, we only took advantage of a few of them – particularly notifications for text messages and apps.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes. Although, it might be a little big for women’s wrists, the Fossil Q Crewmaster Hybrid Smartwatch brings you the exact same experience and style for half the price. It also includes a similar easy to use app and tracks the exact same activities. Similar to the Michele Hybrid Smartwatch, it also doesn’t look too sporty and has a sleek design to wear throughout the day and night.
If you’re looking for a full on wearable, there’s the Michael Kors Access Sofie Android Wear smartwatch, which costs $350 and lets you fully interact with all your notifications. For Apple users, we recommend the Apple Watch Series 3, which packs a lot of tech into a sleek, and small package.
How long will it last?
The Michele Smart Hybrid Smartwatch is battery powered, and it lasts up to four to six months. Once you’re connected to the app, you’re also able to check the battery percentage on your phone. We used to watch for a full week and it was still at 100 percent with notification settings on.
With its stainless steel case along with high-quality watch straps and durable sapphire crystal watch face, it should last you well more than five years.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Michele Smart Hybrid is chock full of features, has a beautiful design and fits comfortably, though it’s a little heavy. It’s not as useful as a smartwatch, but reasons for buying a hybrid watch largely tilt towards design. It’s expensive at $495, but most other Michele watches are far more pricey.
Update: The Michele Hybrid Smartwatch is now available in a two-tone rose colorway