Fossil Sport full review
If you are looking for a sport-oriented smartwatch that doesn't look like one, then the Fossil Sport is a decent option. For less than £250, it monitors your athletic performance and heart rate, and its "hybrid" aspect will elegantly dress your wrist in all circumstances.
It has many qualities, but it also has its shortcomings that can tip the balance and divert the most athletic and active among us. It has tough competition from the likes of the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music.
Read our Puma Smartwatch review from IFA 2019.
Its price is £10 less than the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, with which it shares many features such as GPS and contactless payment.
If we compare it to one of Fitbit's best watches, the £249 Ionic could be a much better choice since the Ionic can last a lot longer. You could argue the Apple Watch Series 4 is a rival but it costs, whose standard version starts at £399.
Check out our chart of the best smartwatches.
So is the price of the Fossil Sport worth it? Read on to find out.
Design & Build
The Fossil is a watch with a very beautiful design. Neat and refined so that it can be worn both at work and during your sports sessions (naturally). We really like this style, which reminds us a little bit of the Withings Steel HR Sport.
We tested the Fossil Sport with a red strap at the top and white at the bottom, which is closer to the coral colour. However, it is also available in 6 colours (black, light blue, grey, neon, red and blush pink) so that everyone can find something they like.
Moreover, if you are not satisfied with any colour, know that the strap is interchangeable, Fossil offers a plethora of them on its website, from under £20.
Silicone has been chosen to guarantee more flexibility, a pleasant and lightweight fit, but also to resist perspiration and rain.
The watchface is rounded with 3 circular aluminium buttons on the right side. The middle one corresponds to the main crown, like the Apple Watch, and is used to access all the features and scroll through them. You can also use the touch screen.
The other two buttons are customisable, they are used to create shortcuts and access the desired functions more quickly. On the right side, a microphone has also been introduced so you can interact with the Google Assistant.
The screen is the strong point of this Fossil, measuring a typical 1.2in, it is quite thin and can be worn on small wrists. There are two sizes of watch too choose from - 41- and 43mm - but they both have the same screen.
On the back of the watch you'll see the heart rate monitor and there are no metal contacts because the Fossil Sport features wireless charging.
The Fossil Sport is certified waterproof to 5ATM, so you don't need to remove it to wash your hands, wash dishes, shower and swim in deep water (up to 50m). However, even if it includes some aquatic activities, such as canoeing, stand-up paddling or sailing, we recommend that you do what is necessary to avoid falling into the water.
We like the Fossil Sport sport with its wide appeal. Now let's see if its performance and features are convincing.
Specs & Features
Let's now move on to its different features for everyday use.
The Fossil Sport has an OLED touch screen with a resolution of 390x390 which is higher than most. It displays sports features, notifications and data beautifully. The colours are superbly reproduced and the information and graphics are clear and distinct.
The default brightness setting is sufficient, but if you wish, you can always adjust it to your preference.
You also have the Sunlight Boost option to optimize the brightness of the Fossil Sport when you are in direct sunlight.Note that it is also possible to change the font size.
An issue is that the screen isn't always responsive, requiring more than one tap to register on occasion.
The Fossil Sport has everything you would expect from a connected watch. Once synced via Bluetooth and/or connected to Wi-Fi with the Wear OS app installed on your phone, you will have access to all your notifications from your wrist.
Modify your watch face as you wish because you will be spoilt for choice! Fossil even allows you to use a personal photo as the background if you wish.
Sports functions aside, there's a lot of regular smartwatch things you can do with the wearable: manage audio files (stored, from Spotify, Google Play but also from Apple Music), answer incoming calls and messages via the virtual keyboard, pay for items via Google Pay, schedule appointments and activities with the Google calendar and use the Fossil Sport as an alarm clock.
As mentioned earlier, you can use the two small physical buttons as shortcuts for faster and more efficient control of the watch.
What about the sports features of the Fossil Sport? Is it worthy of that name? We're not totally convinced.
The Fossil Sport looks good in terms of training, with more than 50 different sessions available and the integration of the major components that any athlete can expect.
It is equipped with an optical heart rate monitor for a detailed analysis of your heart during exercise and at rest. It also works for things like kickboxing, MMA or boxing but we don't think it is very practical to wear the Fossil Sport under a glove.
There's also an altimeter to analyze the height you've climbed - whether it be up a mountain or the office stairs.
Furthermore is GPS which is certainly not a given on many smartwatches. This means accurate tracking and not needing to go on runs etc with your smartphone to provide that functionality.
In practice, though, we encountered some problems with it finding a signal so had to use the GPS via an Android phone. It is quite possible that this laborious experience is inherent to us, at least we will have warned you...
We really appreciate its wide range of activities, but where the problem is that the Fossil Sport does not automatically detect them which is a shame. So, don't forget to switch them on before you start.
Core specs and performance
The Fossil Sport is the brand's first watch to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which can be found on more expensive devices, such as the Mont Blanc Summit 2.
This promises, at least on paper, a more fluid and reactive experience but unfortunately this has not totally been the case during our testing. We would say that the navigation is pleasant but the Fossil Sport could have been a little more lively.
As for its storage space, Fossil allows you to back up up to 4GB of files, which is quite convenient.
The least sporty and enduring aspect of this Fossil is its 350mAh battery. Some smartwatches last a few days but the Sport can only manage one. And, if you enable its screen saver function, it will only last a few more hours.
It therefore need to be recharged every evening via the (slightly fragile) cable provided. The advantage is that it charges fairly quickly, in just under 2 hours.
Fossil Sport: Specs
- Case size: 41 or 43mm
- Display: 1.2in touchscreen, OLED, 390x390
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
- Memory: 512MB
- Storage: 4GB
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Operating system: Wear OS
- Compatibility: from Android 4.4 (except GO edition) and iOS 9.3
- Apps: Google Fit, Play Store
- Battery: 350mAh, charger included
- Functions: Heart rate monitoring, Google Pay, GPS, Altimeter, Accelerometer, Microphone
- Waterproofing: 5ATM
- Weight: 40g