Fossil Gen 5: is it worth your purchase?
This new generation of Fossil’s Smart Watch shows us that there is still room for watches based on the operating system of Google’s OS. This not only exploits its potential, but improves its hardware performance and power management.
These improvements have raised the price of the device slightly compared to previous Fossil models, but it remains a series choice for the best-selling smartwatches in the Apple and Samsung market.
Retail price (PVP)
Review of the Fossil Gen 5
Today there is a wide range of smart OS smartwatches to wear, and the Fossil Group, which includes brands such as Armani and Diesel, has been the main reason behind Google’s continued relevance and presence of the platform in the wearable devices space.
If you eliminate the presence of physical activity wristbands and look at smart watches, when it comes to manufacturers, the three most important players are Apple, Samsung and Fossil.
So, when the company launched this new generation of smartwatches of its own brand, we were waiting to find the key to competition in this market.
Fossil smartwatches, and one of the most important aspects of all Wear OS smartwatches, is that manufacturers do not have so much control over the software or hardware they carry.
The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches produce some notable improvements in both aspects, and our pulse does not tremble when we confirm that they could become the very valuable alternatives adopted by the next Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch.
Price and availability
Although the price of Fossil smart watches has gradually increased over the years, they still remain at competitive margins if we compare them to the Samsung Gear model, or the very Apple Watch Series 5 that the company recently Is introduced in
Among the six different dial styles available at launch, all Gen 5 variants are priced at € 299, approximately € 150 lower than the price of the new Apple Watch Series 5 and roughly the same price as the Samsung Galaxy Watch by 42mm.
Fossil launched its Gen 5 range in early August 2019 in various markets including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan. In Spain, you can buy it through Amazon, or use the platform’s financing program and pay it in 4 installments.
Design and build quality
There are six different finishes to choose from in this new generation of fossil Gen 5, divided into two types of discrete dials called Carlyle and Juliana; The first one is capped in titanium gray or black, while the second one gets ornaments with rhinestones or rose flowers to appease all tastes.
Regardless of the model you choose, the Gen 5 uses a 44mm case with a well-used screen and design that is well-habituated to thin wrists. Its thickness of 12 mm means that the watch does not stretch very much.
The stainless steel housing itself is a mixture of polished and brushed finish that captures the light evenly. On the left is the output for the new integrated speaker, while on the right are two physical buttons with a central rotating crown, which can also serve as a button by itself.
Our test unit was clearly elegant with its judicious all-black finish and with a black silicone strap that is flexible and comfortable to wear, even when you exercise.
However, the Fossil Gen 5 is more professional or supports leather straps, straps with steel links, and even other options of a fine metal.
The watch design also does not limit you to the strap options of the fossil, as it is compatible with any standard 22mm watch strap. In addition, the included quick-release pin makes it easy to change the belt without using additional tools.
Rotate the clock and you’ll find a smooth, round plastic with an optical heart rate sensor in the center, surrounded by two concentric silver rings. This is a feature that Fossil first introduced in its Gen 4 last year, which completely revises how these smartwatches load. All a great improvement.
And these rings serve as contact points for the updated USB charging cable, which is directly connected to the power supply instead of wireless induction.
The wireless induction was not only slower than the current, but it could also cause the base of the two to not match well, causing the clock to not charge after charging at night.
To complete the design, Gen 5 retains information related to swimming, already shown by its predecessor, which means it has a rating of up to 3 ATM (30 m immersion).
Fossil states that you can use it while swimming in shallow water or in the shower, and although we have not tested it in the open sea, we verify that it supports well exposure to an open tap or when showering.
Most manufacturers are limited to being able to customize the original Ware OS user experience. However, as we have seen, Fossil’s Gen 5 still examines the core to offer you some news.
For starters, the user experience now has a section that allows you to add new widgets to the interface. Try swiping left from the main screen of the watch and it will take you to the Google Fit Goals screen, but with timers, weather, news headlines and other additional information such as mosaics.
This is a great improvement over the experience offered by any watch with the wearer’s OS, without having to go to the application menu (accessed by pressing the crown). In addition, the software experience and interface remain relatively unchanged compared to the previous generation of fossils.
The Fossil brand has been very attentive to the new and excellent Wear OS applications appearing on the Play Store. Now there’s a Nike Run Club application and Spotify application, preloaded in Gen 5, perhaps as a way to attract Apple Watch Renegades
However, Spotify does not yet offer playback support in offline mode, which we found in the Samsung Galaxy Watch range.
There are three watch faces to choose from, all interchangeable combinations such as access to Google Assistant and a touch cardiogram application. However, immerse yourself in the complementary Wear OS application on your smartphone and you will find many more areas to choose from.
Many of the newcomers pay homage to the company’s more traditional analog covers. Changing the clock faces is simple by long-pressing the current, selecting an option, and then pressing again to select it.
To further sweeten the experience, Fossil also includes a dedicated Wear OS application on the Gen5 that allows you to save and sort any custom clock face.
Screen and sound
Adding a speaker to the Gen 5 means that alarms now come with sound (if you wish), Google Assistant can respond with your own voice (not just with the information on the screen) and, if you wish , You can answer the call without anyone, as long as you have a watch with your smartphone then a Bluetooth headset.
The speaker is loud enough for most situations and the clarity is also decent, given that the entire device in which it is contained is too small.
Being able to answer calls directly on the wrist is not a great experience. However, the integrated microphone does a decent job of making sure that the person on the other side will understand, even in road noise situations.
As for the case of the watch, its fully rounded screen is 1.28 inches, 416 x 416 (surrounded by a somewhat thick bezel) that serves as the face of the Gen 5. It is always better to use AMOLED technology in the field of wear, as it has been observed that they consume much less energy.
The screen is crisp, colorful and supports viewing angles from the outside, an idea that is more relevant in a smart watch than a smartphone.
However, one area where the Gen 5 does not reach the screen is in the brightness ratio. The watch comes with five levels of defined brightness, plus an “automatic” setting, thanks to its integrated ambient light sensor. Nevertheless, the calibration feels off, and the watch typically appears somewhat dark in front of ambient light.
The always-active display mode may be perfect for receiving notifications, but its default low brightness is almost impossible to see in full sun. Even with the Sunlight Boost feature enabled, the material still looked a bit darker.
Performance and battery life
Without a doubt, the most exciting thing we’ve found in the Gen 5 is not that it’s the second Fossil Watch, which benefits from Qualcomm’s most advanced chipset, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, but for the first time, the experience feels receptive it happens.
Despite Google’s promises, the wearer’s OS always felt low power, with most entries in recent years adding an older Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip with an average amount of 512 MB RAM (4 GB internal storage).
Some offers, such as the Huawei Watch 2 (with its 768 MB RAM), have helped reduce this problem, but the Gen 5 shows that if the amount of memory is doubled, the user experience improves integer And becomes more stable and agile.
With an experience in models with wear OS, try pressing buttons, touch and buttons, and all have an instant response. It is big news to see that the latest version of Ware OS improves integers for the user.
Fossil has also doubled internal storage compared to the previous generation (8GB), meaning more space for applications and, if developers like Spotify allow it, offline media storage, allowing users to flee from home Time will allow you to leave your phone.
Battery and autonomy
Wear OS has previously offered a battery expansion mode that disables some of the watch’s features to prolong longevity, but with the Gen 5, you actually have four different power modes to choose from: Daily , Extended, custom and schedule only.
In practice, the new Gen 5 significantly improves the autonomy section, although it won’t stop you from charging almost daily to be able to enjoy its full potential without restrictions on a daily basis. Our tests varied between 40% and 15% depending on the intensity of use.
If you accidentally or intentionally omit a nighttime charge, the watch still retains functionality, not only with its extended power mode, but also with time only mode, which Fossil calls the traditional watch form. I am good for many days. .
As it seems obvious, the use of functions such as continuous monitoring of heart rate or Google Pay payment via NFC contributes to reducing the autonomy time of 5 January. During the tests, our device lost 30% of its 30% charge — the minute run with GPS activated.
It should be noted at this point that the fast charge of the clock is another great improvement. According to Fossil, it grants 80% of the 310 mAh battery charge after one hour connected to the network. In practice, our sample improved by reaching a 95% load over that time period.
The small adjustments made in relation to the Wear OS user experience, combined with improved specifications and a longer battery life, make the Fossil Gen 5 an excellent off-road smart watch.
This “all-in-one” approach means that it is well suited to any person profile. We would have liked more case sizes, however, as the style and design of the Samsung Galaxy watches is also not as available as the Gen 5 range.
Meanwhile, Apple’s current and next generation watches still outnumber the hardware available in Gen 5, but as always, you’ll have to pay more for them as well as improve the experience on your iOS devices.
If you’re looking for a watch that focuses more on the physical issue, check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
Despite being slightly higher in price than the Gen 4, the company’s new generation finally addresses once and for all the biggest shortcomings that have plagued the watches offerings with Wear OS, the experience of use and handling
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n
- Display: 1.28 inches AMOLED type, 416 x 416
- Battery: 310 mAh with charger included
- Water resistance: up to 3 ATM
- Operating System: Wear OS
- Sensors: accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, heart rate, microphone, NFC, GPS without ties
- Functions: ‘OK Google’ detection, Google Pay, Cardiogram, Torch
- Compatibility: Android 4.4+ (except GO edition), iOS 9.3+
- Applications: Google Fit, Play Store, Spotify, Nike Run Club
- Belt Width: 22mm
- Case size: 44 mm
- Memory: 1 GB and 8 GB of
- Weight: 99 grams