Fossil Sport review: Improvement still needed

Fossil Sport review: Improvement still needed

Our Rating Price when reviewed 250inc VAT

It’s Fossil’s best smartwatch to date, but the Sport still left us feeling somewhat underwhelmed

  • Pros Lightweight, attractive design GPS and NFCSnapdragon Wear 3100 chip
  • Cons Disappointing battery life mediocre performance

The Fossil Sport is the most exciting Wear OS smartwatch in recent memory. Why? Because it uses the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, which Qualcomm promised would deliver improved performance and extended battery life over its previous Wear OS chipset.

Sadly, although it is the best smartwatch the company has made, the Fossil Sport still doesn’t make the big strides we’d hoped for. It looks and feels great on the wrist but, in terms of performance, the new Wear OS device still lags a considerable way behind Apple and Samsung’s latest wearables.

Fossil Sport review: What you need to know

Despite using the ‘Sport’ moniker, the Fossil Sport actually isn’t very different from Fossil’s 4th-gen smartwatches – the Q Explorist, for example. Just like those watches, it runs Google’s Wear OS, which manufacturers don’t get much of a chance to stamp their own identity on.

Buy now from Fossil

t does mean, however, that you can use the Fossil Sport with both iOS and Android devices. The watch also has built-in NFC, so you can make contactless payments when you don’t have your phone or wallet handy, and has GPS and heart-rate tracking as well.

The watch is swim proof, although you’ll need to use a third-party app if you want to record swims. While there’s a microphone for interacting with Google Assistant, there’s no speaker, so you won’t get audio feedback from the watch.

Fossil Sport review: Price and competition

At £250, the Fossil Sport’s most direct competition comes from the excellent Mobvoi Ticwatch E2 (£146), at least as far as Wear OS devices are concerned. Although it’s powered by the older Snapdragon 2100, it offers relatively solid performance and battery life along with swim tracking.

If you’re not fussed about owning a Wear OS device, the best smartwatches on the market include Samsung’s Galaxy Watch (from £280) and the Apple Watch Series 4 (from £399).

Image of Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mm - UK Version - Midnight Black

Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mm – UK Version – Midnight Black

£246.13Buy now

If it’s the ‘sport’ aspect of the Fossil that appeals most, you might be better off choosing a sports specific watch such as the Garmin Vivoactive 3 (£180), which delivers more accomplished activity tracking, or the even cheaper Garmin Forerunner 35 if you’re after a dependable GPS watch at a very low price.

Fossil Sport review: Design

The Fossil Sport is one great looking smartwatch. I was sent the “Smoky Blue” model but you can also buy it in red and grey. Whichever variant you choose, it has a part-aluminium, part-coloured plastic casing, and comes with a matching silicone rubber strap.

Measuring 43mm in diameter, the Sport is noticeably smaller than the 4th-gen Fossil Q Explorist and it should suit a much larger range of wrist sizes as a result. The only problem is that those with the skinniest wrists might be left wanting an additional hole or two on the strap. Thankfully, the Sport is compatible with all standard 22mm straps so you can easily swap to something else if that’s the case.

Along with its diminutive size, the Fossil Sport is also exceptionally light, tipping the scales at 28g without its strap. That’s 2g lighter than the 40mm Apple Watch 4 and 9g lighter than the larger 44mm version. If you’ve previously been put off Wear OS smartwatches due to their heft, that’s certainly not a problem here.

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