Mh, difficult to summarize... I don't like fat bulky smart watches that only display the time when I wiggle my wrist or press a button.
On the other hand, features like motion sensors and whatever on your wrist, and phone notifications, can be helpful at times. I was very interested when learning about the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR smart watch (a rebranded Fossil HR Hybrid smartwatch), which still looks ok in size, an uses an always-on epaper display.
Unfortunately, it seems to require a Fossil online account for everything, even to display local notifications from my phone, or to perform sleep recording, which is a no-go for me.
While trying to validate whether this is true, I also learned about the Sigma iD.RUN HR, which claims to also work "offline", but does not really look like a classical watch.
I'm not really looking for recommendations, which by nature are strongly opinion-based, but rather hints which smart watches are there at all which come close to what I have in mind (in descending order of priority/importance):
- Does not require an online "Cloud based" account to which it transfers data. (Fetching updates from some server is fine with me.) (Well, at least does not transfer much data during operation, even if it may require the account to set it up.)
- Looks somewhat like a classical watch, but not too bulky. Mechanical watch hands would be nice, but not mandatory. (The Skagen HR actually looks quite ok in this regard.)
- Connects to an Android phone (e.g. Bluetooth and/or NFC) and can show notifications and reminders from this phone (and maybe provide a way to dismiss those notifications).
- Time (and preferrably date) are always readable.
- Has motion sensors for gimmicks like step counting or sleep tracking.
- Has even more obscure sensors like pulse/heart rate sensor and/or blood oxygen sensor.
- Preferrably runs for a week or longer before it requires recharging.
Especially information about whether a cloud / online account is required, and for which features it's needed / which data is exchanged seems to be really hard to come by. For the Skagen HR, even the tech specs on the website didn't mention the mandatory online account.