Fossil Gen 5 evaluation: Model overcomes the failings of Put on OS
“Nice seems to be and clean efficiency set the Fossil Gen 5 aside.”
Glossy seems to be
Customizable battery modes
Snappy, clean efficiency
Put on OS wants extra app assist
Health options want growth
Google’s Put on OS watches have a tough time distinguishing themselves, however a couple of poke their head simply above the established order with slick seems to be and first rate efficiency. That’s the case with the Fossil Gen 5.
The $300 price ticket is nicely inside an inexpensive vary for a stainless-steel, fashion-first Put on OS watch resembling this one, however as regular, the issues with Put on OS smartwatches revolve across the software program expertise, which frequently appears like an afterthought.
Fashionable, versatile, and well-made stainless-steel casing
Most Put on OS watches attempt to appear to be conventional watches, and the Fossil Gen 5 is not any totally different. It does go for a extra understated, masculine look with out trying too daring. It suits in simply as nicely on the fitness center because it does with a swimsuit and tie, although you could wish to do some watch face customization, because the preloaded choices aren’t significantly pleasing.
We reviewed the ‘Carlyle’ type, the extra masculine choice. There’s additionally a ‘Julianna’ mannequin that takes a extra female strategy. The variations are completely beauty, as each are the identical dimension and have the identical options.
The watch can be three ATM waterproof and completely effective to swim with, however not dive, and the watch straps are interchangeable with any 22mm bands. I’m fairly pleased with the default silicone strap, although.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits
Determining what buttons you’ve and what they do is at all times a guessing sport with Put on OS watches. The Fossil Gen 5 has three on the best facet — the one within the center doubles as a rotating crown for scrolling by way of lists. True to Fossil’s stylistic roots, the default motion for the highest button is a shortcut to preset watch faces you’ve custom-made, making it easy to swap your watch’s look. Double-clicking this button may carry up Google Pay. The center button is what you’d count on, a house button, which is able to carry up your app checklist once you’re already house.
An app switcher could be excellent right here, if Put on OS supported it, however I’d at the very least accept music controls, so I don’t have to make use of up one of many different buttons for this. The underside button is about to Google Match, however you’ll be able to simply as simply get there by swiping proper on the display as soon as. Fortunately, each the highest and backside buttons may be configured to launch any app of your alternative (although there aren’t many to select from) however inexplicably you’ll be able to’t select shortcuts for double-presses.
The fundamentals are lined
By way of first-party purposes, the fundamentals are lined. You could have an alarm clock, agenda, stopwatch, climate app, Google Match, and some different requisite apps. These all work nicely and serve their capabilities correctly, with the alarm clock being a minor exception. There’s a persistent glitch that forces you to go discover the alarm clock software (or verify notifications) to show off the alarm when it wakes you up. This glitch occurs once you flip off the show earlier than mattress, and the alarm doesn’t present up on the display when time is up. Leaving it on, nonetheless, makes this glitch disappear.
Google Match additionally does an honest job for health monitoring which, paired with the center price sensor and GPS, can log your train information from any exercise with the final exercise choice, or extra particularly with sure actions. You’re not going to get essentially the most full well being suite right here as you’ll discover neither the extra granular and assorted train monitoring choices of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Energetic 2, nor sleep monitoring performance. For these unconcerned with a watch that may extra precisely rely your reps, monitor particular workout routines, and quantify your sleep at any capability, the Fossil Gen 5 ought to do the job effective.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits
Google Assistant’s additionally on-board for you translate languages, set reminders, or ask it questions in any approach you may on one other different sensible machine. It’s somewhat gradual right here, although.
General, Google’s Put on OS performs nicely. With an atypical 1GB RAM and the most recent Snapdragon Put on 3100, it’s the smoothest-operating Put on OS watch I’ve used. I skilled no lag, freezes, or stutters in my use; the Fossil Gen 5 at all times did what I wished and did so promptly.
I fairly just like the rotating crown for scrolling by way of lists, regardless that it inexplicably doesn’t work on a couple of specific screens. Very similar to navigating the OS, the rotating crown is satisfying and responsive with the correct quantity of resistance to maintain the scroll tactile and correct. I truly want it to the texture of the Apple Watch’s rotating crown, which is somewhat unfastened and delicate for my liking.
The Fossil Gen 5 is the primary Put on OS machine to assist tethered cellphone calls on iPhones.
Talking of Apple, the Fossil Gen 5 is the primary Put on OS machine to assist tethered cellphone calls on iPhones, because of Fossil’s personal work on the matter. Taking calls on the Gen 5, the speaker performs nicely sufficient that you just don’t should have the watch straight in your ear, however ought to be alright to listen to a name with the watch close to your mouth.
The one different drawback I’ve with the core expertise is a somewhat constant subject with connectivity. On each my iPhone 11 Professional and Galaxy Be aware 10, I’d typically discover my cellphone had notifications my watch by no means obtained, solely to appreciate it’s been disconnected from my cellphone for an unknown period of time. Every time this occurred, I had to enter settings, flip Bluetooth again on, as it will mysteriously be flipped off, and anticipate it to hook up with my cellphone once more. I examined this on one other unit and didn’t have an issue, so it’s doubtless a defect with my unit, however you’ll wish to ensure you contact Fossil assist in case you hare having the identical subject.
Put on OS is letting down good producers
It’s unlucky however true: Google’s Put on OS is the one viable choice for Android-compatible smartwatch producers not named Samsung. Put on OS doesn’t wrestle an excessive amount of with polish or performance, however the place it lags behind is within the app experiences supplied. Whereas Samsung’s Tizen struggles with third-party app assist as nicely, it’s nonetheless forward of Google on this and likewise gives a extra full first-party app expertise.
As I discussed earlier, if health is your focus, you’re a lot better off with a Samsung Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch, and that’s additionally the case in case you need sure third-party app integrations. Put on OS has apps like Strava, Google Maps, Uber, and Spotify, but when there’s an app you’re in search of outdoors of these, or Google’s app suite, you’re not left with many choices.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Traits
The app retailer for Put on OS is fairly barren, and lacks the standard and amount discovered on the Apple Watch. Even Samsung’s watches do higher with third-party assist, however not by a lot.
As a lot as I like Samsung’s watches and Tizen OS, there are particular navigational, aesthetic, and practical decisions that I merely want on the Fossil 5 and Put on OS. However with lackluster well being options, and poor third-party app assist, it’s onerous to throw on the Fossil Gen 5 over its non-Put on OS competitors for something far more than its seems to be.
Lasts a few day
Fossil hasn’t added a bigger battery, however as an alternative now presents a couple of battery modes you’ll be able to make the most of to squeeze out a bit extra juice. Every one takes a chunk out of performance in service of the battery, however a customized mode lets you select which of them you are able to do with out to avoid wasting hours of use.
Every day mode, which leaves your watch at full performance does final by way of the day, however you’ll undoubtedly have to pop it on the charger earlier than mattress. And not using a sleep monitoring characteristic compelling you to not, that’s a reasonably small ask.
Worth, availability, and guarantee
The Fossil Gen 5 retails for $300 and comes with a two-year restricted guarantee for defects.
If Put on OS is your jam, then the Fossil Gen 5 is the perfect you are able to do. It balances versatile seems to be with strong, stainless-steel development.
Are there any options?
For Put on OS, you’ve a couple of choices from designers like Michael Kors, Montblanc, Armani Trade, and extra. For about $50 much less you can too nab a Mobvoi Ticwatch Professional, although it’s a bit bulkier and comes off much less aesthetically refined than the Fossil watch.
Past that, you’ve Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Energetic 2 for both $20 much less or the identical value, relying on the scale of the casing you select. This watch retains a minimalist look however has deeper well being and exercise options in addition to barely higher third-party app assist.
After which there’s the Apple Watch. The Gen 5 is appropriate with iPhones however there’s actually no purpose anybody would ought to get one as an alternative of an Apple Watch. When you may argue the Fossil Gen 5 seems to be higher, it may’t compete in nearly another side. Plus, you’ll be able to seize a Collection three for as little as $200 and get all the identical options or spend $50 extra for ECG performance on the Collection four.
How lengthy will it final?
With a beneficiant two-year guarantee, three ATM water resistance, and a strong stainless-steel development, it’s a lot possible to have this watch for 2 to 3 good years earlier than battery life turns into too massive of an issue.
Must you purchase one?
Sure. It’s one of many higher trying, best-performing Put on OS watches.