Looking for a sub-36mm hybrid smartwatch
December 30, 2017 2:32 PM   Subscribe

I have a tiny (6") wrist and any watch with a face bigger than 36mm in diameter looks cartoonish and ridiculous. I was gifted a Fitbit Ionic for Christmas, and I'm really grateful for the generous gift, but I just can't wear it. It's way too big and I'm really lukewarm about wearing a screen on my wrist. It's just not my style. I realized that a hybrid watch is the best option for me... but most sizes are in the 40mm-and-over range. Help me find one that will fit my petite wrist!

I created a table of the Skagen Hald, Fossil Q Accomplice, Garmin VivoMove HR, and Nokia Steel HR. The Nokia, Fossil, and Garmin are all disqualified due to their size, which is unfortunate because the Garmin VivoMove HR fits the bill. I was leaning toward the Nokia Steel HR but I'm perplexed and discouraged by the terrible reviews on Amazon.

My "wish list" is small - I don't need a GPS (in fact, I'd rather not have one to extend the battery life). Mostly I want to be able to wear it to the gym, work, and out to dinner. I'm concerned about accuracy, but none of the reviews really discuss this. My specs are below.

"Must-haves" are:
  • Heartrate monitor
  • Calories burned
  • Able to view progress on the face
  • Step counter
"Nice-to-haves" but not dealbreakers are:
  • Calendar/text notifications
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Altimeter
posted by onecircleaday to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Garmin Vivosmart HR is quite small & does all the things you want, but is a 'screen' vs a 'watch' face, so you may not like it for that reason. But it's only $80 now at Amazon.

I had one of those & liked the principle but felt it was just a little limited (ie, no stopwatch) and swapped up for a Vivoactive HR, which is just a little wider, color screen, does just a few more things, has more apps, and somewhat longer battery life. It's still relatively inexpensive and relatively simple, but has just enough features. I'm very happy with it so far. However, it is again a 'screen' vs a 'watch' in look so maybe you won't like that aspect.

FYI the screen of the Vivoactive HR is 26mmX43mm and what I would call that a medium to medium small watch. The Vivosmart HR is about 2/3 as wide and I would classify it as small. I would guess the Vivosmart HR would fit your smallness requirement whereas the Vivoactive HR might be OK but also might be a little too large.
posted by flug at 2:42 PM on December 30, 2017

Greetings fellow tiny-wrists. 5.5” checkling in here. I have a 38mm Apple Watch. I thought it would be too big. I never wore watches for this reason. It took me about 2 days to get used to the size, but now I don’t notice it, and neither do most people.

A good friend of mine has similarly small wrists and she got used to the look pretty quickly as well. I am short and thin, she is tall and thin.

What helped me was wearing the 42mm Watch in the store. Then sizing down seemed easy (though I sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t go for the banging big watch look and upgrade to the 42mm.)

Anyway, I don’t think you’re looking for an Apple Watch, but I wanted to share my experience because I had a similar fear. I suspect you just need to Love It and it will become natural to you.

Also big watch on small wrists is kind fun.

(I do, however Love Love Love my Apple Watch. I cannot imagine life without it now. If you have that ecosystem or can dip into that, it is the most pleasing wearable experience imaginable. I just cannot imagine life without it. And I’ve only had it for a year. It was like the piece of technology that was missing from my phone all these years, and wearing it was like coming home. I am the machine.)

((I am also a big as nerd and get excited by simple things. YMMV.))
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:29 PM on December 30, 2017

And to add, I resisted watches for years. Even when I wanted one, I could not get into the hang of wearing one. I guess I just didn’t have Apple Watch yet. Memail me if you would like to know all the ways it changed my life for the better. ;)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:32 PM on December 30, 2017

I'm male, and got an 38mm Series 3 Apple Watch for an early Christmas present. I believe it has all your requirements and nice-to-haves. I didn't like the large size of the 42mm on my wrist, either; it looks cartoonishly large on the wrists of my friends (please don't let them know I said that).
posted by willF at 1:18 AM on December 31, 2017

I have several friends who have the FitBit Charge HR. It's significantly smaller and less obtrusive than the Ionic. It does not look like a watch, though.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:36 AM on December 31, 2017

Another 38mm Apple Watch owner here. I have the first version of the watch, so mine has fewer features, but it has all of your must-haves and one of your can-haves (notifications.) Mine isn't waterproof as in being able to submerge it. I don't believe there's an altimeter, but that might be possible via an app. Or an iPhone app with a companion watch app.
posted by emelenjr at 10:57 AM on December 31, 2017

« Older I'm self-teaching math. Help me pick out a...   |   Looking for a discontinued dog toy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.