Fossil is pretty much the only company making smartwatches that look and feel like a true timepiece and offer you all the functionalities you expect from a smartwatch. However, Fossil smartwatches have always been on the expensive side. To make their smartwatch a bit more accessible, Fossil has launched the latest Gen 5E smartwatch. But is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
Fossil Gen 5E Review: Design and DisplayThe design on the Fossil Gen 5E looks like a traditional Fossil watch. With the black stainless steel band and a notched edged black stainless steel chassis and a button that looks like a crown on an old school chronograph watch, the design is made to mimic a chronograph watch. From a distance, it really looks like an elegant timepiece and not a piece of technology or a toy. The weight of the 42mm chassis with all that stainless steel reminds me of my Casio Chronograph watch. The stainless steel bands are standard and can be replaced down the line or changed for silicon or a leather-based one and are not proprietary which is nice.
The back panel of the watch includes the heart rate sensor, Fossil branding and charging circles so that the charger pins will always be aligned no matter what direction you put it on. Unlike the 5th Generation Carlyle HR, the Gen 5E comes with one crown looking button, which is not rotatable. I was very disappointed to find out that the crown cannot be rotated for scrolling. Scrolling through the menu items with a small touch screen can be hard, and the scroll wheel of the crown was a really good feature on the earlier Fossil Smartwatches.
The Watch comes with a speaker and microphones, which makes it a great tool to take calls directly on the watch. Overall, the design of the Fossil Gen 5E makes it look like a traditional watch and not like a piece of technology or a toy. This is really good for people who want the look and feel of a traditional watch and the versatility and functionality of a smartwatch.
The 1.19 inch AMOLED display is the only way to scroll through the menus. The really good colour reproduction of the AMOLED display makes the included watch faces really good. You can choose between digital, traditional watch looking or some funky watch faces. However, it's an Android Wear-OS based smartwatch and you can easily use the Play store to get any watch face you may desire. The panel is overall really crisp, the colours are good and the sunlight visibility is great too. The always-on display is good but can be a bit dull in direct sunlight
Fossil Gen 5E Review: Software and Performance
Software is the most important part of any smart device. The Fossil Gen 5E runs on Android Wear OS by Google which makes it quite versatile. The Wear OS software is really straightforward and easy to use. There is also a tutorial while setting up the watch to help you get up to speed. Being an Android Wear OS watch, it allows a plethora of apps from the google play store and access to the Google Assistant built right in. Overall, the Wear OS software is really good and a far better choice than any proprietary OS on a smartwatch.
When talking about performance, the Fossil Gen 5E is powered by the older Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, instead of the latest Wear 4100 processor. Overall, the performance of the Wear 3100 is smooth. The app opening times and the transitions were smooth, navigating the UI was not at all stuttery, The gestures like tilt to wake worked always.
There is a built-in Heart Rate sensor that is fairly accurate and the step tracker is one of the accurate, but there are more accurate tracking options out there. However, Fossil has removed the GPS from the Gen 5E which is a bit of a miss. However, it can connect to your phone's GPS tracker and the results are fairly accurate. The Sleep tracking features work really well, However, we would recommend getting a silicon strap if you plan to use it for sleep tracking as it would be a bit light and more comfortable to use while sleeping.
While using the watch for notification tracking and basic replies, the alerts were good enough to catch my attention, and while reading long emails were hard, but possible on the watch. You could make quick replies easily using predetermined responses, which were fairly basic, or you could use your voice to dictate the response. If you were feeling adventurous, you can also use the 1.19-inch display to type in the response on the on-screen qwerty keyboard. You can also use the watch’s inbuilt speaker and microphone setup to answer calls, which is really nice. The voice quality is good enough, but not loud enough, so that might be an issue. Also, the microphone is clear and the people at the other end didn’t complain about the voice quality.
Fossil Gen 5E Review: Battery
With all the gizmos turned on including the Heart Rate Monitoring, notifications, auto-brightness and AOD, the watch went from 100-0 in about 10-12 hours depending on how many notifications I got during that workday. Turning off the AOD and tilt to wake, and constant heart rate tracking made the watch run around a day which is really good. A full charge with the included charger and a standard 5W charger took around an hour and 10 minutes which is not bad.
Fossil Gen 5E Review: Verdict
The Fossil Gen 5E costs Rs 18,495 with a black stainless steel strap as reviewed here. For that price, it's definitely cheaper than the Fossil Gen 5 watches, However, it is considerably more expensive than a normal smartwatch like the Oppo Watch. However, Fossil has been making watches for more than 37 years and they know how to make a watch look and feel great in hand.
The premium here is for the great look and build quality of the Fossil watches and the fact that it looks and feels like a traditional timepiece and not a piece of toy. Sure, it misses out on SPO2 tracking, wireless charging or a built-in GPS, but it still offers great flexibility of a Wear OS smartwatch while maintaining the look and feel of a traditional watch.
If you want your smartwatch to look like a traditional watch, or you want a good looking feature-packed smartwatch, in any case, you cannot go wrong with the Fossil Gen 5E.