The company behind one of my favorite budget smartwatches lately, the Fossil Sport (check out the video here) just released the fifth generation of their flagship smartwatch line up and happened to send me one.
This is the new Fossil Smartwatch Gen 5 and since I have one, figured I’d try and do a complete walkthrough for you guys on it.
Now, in case you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try and go through every feature I can on a new device so you are better prepared should you be in the market to go buy one.
With that said, there is a lot to go through, so let’s get started with the hardware.
Firstly, there are two models: The Carlyle HR that I have here and the Julianna HR. As far as I can tell, the only differences are the colors. The Julianna casing is available in rose gold or studded rose gold while the Carlyle comes in a grey and black.
Regardless of which color casing you get, there is only one size option: 44mm. Which, when matched with the pretty slim bezels on the thing, I think is a great middle of the road size actually.
Now besides the three stainless steel case colors, you can choose band options, as well. Brown leather, dark stainless steel, and black silicone for the Carlyle or a dark woven band, gold stainless steel, or pink silicone for the Julianna.
It does, however, thankfully support quick release 22mm bands so you can easily go on Amazon or wherever and buy your own bands for it.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of Fossil smartwatches (and their subsidiary companies like Skagen) because of the simplistic and minimalistic style. They’re slim, clean-looking, and lightweight and the new Gen 5 of the Fossil Watch is no different. Light enough to work out with, but heavy enough that you still feel like you’re wearing a proper watch.
This new watch is also swim-proof up to 3 ATMs (or 3x normal atmospheric pressure). That is slightly less than the 5 ATM we’re used to seeing but still plenty enough for doing laps or going for a swim if you ask me and they even now have a speaker included (something the Gen 4 watches didn’t have).
One of the things you can now do because of that speaker is take calls on the watch (Dick Tracey style, which I always find awkward, but maybe that’s just me), and, for the first time on a Wear OS watch apparently, you can also do this while connected to an iPhone and not just an Android phone. This is made possible thanks to custom software Fossil has added to WearOS to allow for better iPhone integration.
The screen is a 1.28″ round AMOLED touchscreen that you can use to interact with the watch along with three physical buttons.
We have two push buttons (that will dive into more of what they do in a sec) and a third middle one that is also a turnable crown that you can use to more easily navigate things on the screen.
For sensors, we have a heart rate monitor that can be used with Google Fit (it’ll even take your heart rate automatically every 20 mins or you can tap the heart icon to have it take it manually).
We also have NFC so you can tap your watch to a terminal to pay using your Google Pay or similar account. We have GPS built-in, an altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, and a microphone, too.
Powering the watch is the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset that was released not too long ago as a WearOS specific chipset.
That is paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GBs of internal storage (double that of the Gen 4 watch). The storage allows you to download songs to the device, for example, so you can play music from it via Bluetooth without needing to bring your phone with you
For battery, we have a 310 mah battery that is fast-charging capable and can apparently get the Fossil Watch to 80% in 50 mins. Subscribe for my real-world test video on it coming soon that I’ll test just how long that battery actually lasts.
Now, for software, we are running the latest version of WearOS so any other WearOS watch is going to work very similarly. If you aren’t familiar though, I’ll quickly run through the basics.
When you wake the watch you’ll be greeted by your chosen watch face which sort of acts as your home screen. You can tap and hold on this screen to get to all the watch faces you currently have installed and swipe between them to choose a different one.
You can also tap the gear icon under any of these to be able to customize that watch face. Each watch face has its own options; think adding widgets for your upcoming events, shortcuts to workouts, etc.
Swiping over to the left gives you your Google Assistant section that you can tap to talk to the assistant like you would your phone (and you can hold down the crown button for a shortcut to that instead, as well) and scroll through to see upcoming cards for events, traffic, etc. like on your phone, too.
Swiping down from the top brings you to your quick settings to turn on and off various items, control your music from, etc. and if you swipe down further you can tap the gear icon to get into all the watch’s settings.
Swiping to the right brings you to the newer Tiles section. You can continue to swipe to the right to get to each of the tiles that range from Google Fit, to the weather, to your upcoming events, news headlines, etc. (and you can tap and hold in here to customize them).
Swiping up from the bottom gives you the big reason I use smartwatches for: notifications.
You can then swipe any of them away to dismiss them or tap on them to expand them and be given more options to interact with them (reply with canned responses, swipe on the keyboard or talk to the watch to compose a message, archive an email, etc.).
Pushing in the crown while on the watch face will bring you to your installed apps (and you can tap and hold on any of them to pin them to the top of the list). Otherwise pushing the crown on any other screen will bring you back to the watch face.
Swiping to the right on any screen will take you back to the previous one.
And, finally, you can customize what apps you want the other two buttons to launch when they are pressed as well.
Now, again, all of that is very standard fare for WearOS and will be the same for the most part across any WearOS-enabled watch, but Fossil did add a few extra features using their own software: namely the better iPhone integration I mentioned and a collection of Extended Battery Modes.
Since this was running pre-release software, not everything was working yet, so stay tuned for when I do that real-world test and get to test it all properly, but the concept behind the battery modes is that you can choose from three different options to adjust how the watch uses the battery (and thereby hopefully extending it beyond WearOS’s traditionally not great runtime).
By swiping down from the top of the watch you can then tap on the battery icon and choose from the following:
- Daily Mode: Essentially, let’s all the features work and is the default mode.
- Extended Mode: Disables always on display, turns off touch/tilt to wake, turns off wifi and the speaker, and disables OK, Google hotword detection but still leaves notifications, heart-rate and everything else running normally. Frankly, the mode I would probably put the watch in myself.
- Time Only: Does what you think. Limits the watch to only be able to tell the time and thereby increase battery life for up to a week supposedly.
The new watch will cost $295 starting today and here’s a link to the best price I could find on it. Stay tuned for my real-world test coming ASAP and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss that. Also, let me know in the comments below what you guys think of the watch, of this video, etc. always love hearing from you guys and as always, thanks for watching!