The Fossil Sport Smartwatch has been getting a ton of attention since it’s December unveiling and there’s a good reason for that. If you use an android phone, it’s one of the best smartwatches you can buy today. A careful listener will accuse me of damning this watch with faint praise, so right up front I’ll say it, yes. Wear OS still has potholes to patch before anyone can call this the best smartwatch overall. I’ll share them as we go, but the biggest is battery life. Despite the new Snapdragon 3100 processor. The Fossil Sport is still a one-day smartwatch, two days if you’re careful. Same complaint was about the only other watch running on the 3100 in last year’s Montblanc Summit 2 but that watches thousand-dollar price tag brought with it a spec advantage that does give it an edge over Fossil Sport, an extra half gig of RAM which makes it incredibly responsive.
The Fossil Sport is more like the Android wear of years past, fast sometimes, very not fast at others. When you get a phone call it sometimes takes up to six or seven seconds for the caller ID info to pop up on the screen, not ideal. But Wear OS has a lot going for it too, as a frequent traveler. I love the fact that the assistant feed keeps my upcoming flights and hotel info on deck without me having to do anything, it’s just there. I love that I can program each of these pushers to do what. I want even if it’s just boring old shortcuts to stopwatch and timer, and the Sport includes what I consider a must-have for Wear OS, the rotating side button. It’s a little stiff, and in what I take to be a software bug it sometimes stops working forcing you to use the touchscreen, that’s frustrating but I can live with it, in the hopes that it’s a quick software fix.
From a hardware standpoint I’m just glad it’s here, it’s rare to have a functional crown at this price point which I’ll share in a second. First, I want to talk about the other hardware wins though, FS doesn’t just stand for Fossil Sport, it stands for fling small, my 41-millimeter review unit is the more petite of two available sizes with a two-layer casing that some say makes it look thick. I say at 12 millimeters this is thinner than the last five smart watches I’ve reviewed. A combination of aluminum and nylon means it’s the lightest one I can remember wearing, period. Fossil sent over some dummies along with my review sample and it’s legit hard to tell it from the fix, it’s ridiculously light. And it doesn’t leave features at the door to hit that weight the holy trifecta of NFC, GPS and a heart rate sensor are accounted for along with a microphone for talking to Google Assistant. The whole thing gets a five-atmosphere water resistance rating too. About the only thing missing is a speaker which I don’t care about almost as much as. I don’t care about fitness features, but you rightly object, the watch is called the Sport, surely, your goanna at least touches on the sporty side? So okay, I will, I’ve read from people I trust, namely the folks that the heart rate sensor registers a few more BPM’s than a chest monitor does. But I continue to believe that people who are serious about their fitness shouldn’t buy a smartwatch, they should buy a fitness tracker from Fitbit or Polar or Garmin. So, if you decide to buy the Fossil Sport, buy it for what it is: a WearOS watch running on the best silicon available for the platform with very few missing features, in a casing so light you can barely feel it on your wrist. As for the price, when I drafted this script, the Fossil Sport was selling for 199, that sale has since ended and the price has reverted to the full 255 but the next time that price drops, because they’ve done it once, they’re going to do it again, I say buy it, because for now this is the best WearOS experience you’re going to get if you don’t want to pay Montblanc prices, and if you don’t want WearOS at all stay with me through the sponsor spot and I’ll tease what I’m hoping to review next.