The Fossil smartwatches ain’t competing with the best of the fitness trackers on the market available today.
Rather, Juliana has found its own little niche of style-conscious hipsters who sort of seek the best of both worlds – the style and the substance. Substance comes to the Fossil Gen 5 in the form of a heart rate sensor and in-built GPS; you can also take it for a Sunday swim at the pool too.
Fossil Gen 5 Design
The new lineup consists of Juliana for the women and Carlyle HR for those with thick beards. Both look fantastic – women’s reaction to the Juliana is that of love at first sight, while men look at the Carlyle as if they just saw a fresh pint of beer. Put the Fossil Gen 5 up against Samsung’s Galaxy Watch and you instantly start to wonder why Samsung couldn’t come up with something a little better looking.
Available in silicone, leather and stainless steel strap options, Fossil really opens up the window to pick and choose your strap according to your style and beats most smartwatches in the swag department without trying too hard. We got the stainless steel version of the Juliana Black. It comes with a golden bezel that looks absolutely stunning with the black stainless steel strap that’s classy and feels light on the wrist. The point is, these watches look like they’re worth much more than just the ₹23,000 you pay.
Loading the ammo
It is an AMOLED display and it certainly isn’t afraid of showing off the fact. You are greeted to a vibrant and bright circle with inky blacks and some great colours. At 44mm, it might look a bit chunkier on smaller wrists, but you’re soon distracted by how good its design really is. Juliana also gets a ‘Sunlight Boost’ mode that further brightens it under direct sunlight, but will cost you quite a bit of additional juice.
Getting around Wear OS on Fossil’s Gen 5 is done via the traditional swipe left, swipe right method and the main rotary dial can be used to quickly navigate through the apps and functions. It works, but we sure do miss that clicky Samsung bezel-wheel and the one-finger operation it makes possible so seamlessly.
The tiny rotary middle dial you get on the watch is quite tricky to get a hold of if you have giant fingers as the thing is made keeping in mind puny humans and french fry fingers. Just as puny is the built-in speaker that you use to get a hold of the voice assistance, which by the way is a real joy since you get all of Google’s smarts and AI abilities.
Tracking its best
After experiencing and living in the Tizen-induced Galaxy, the Android Wear OS just feels like a step back into a past where tech giants have yet not figured the best UI for a wearable. It’s not the most intuitive out there and you could certainly have a better experience with a different OS.
That’s not to say Juliana doesn’t extract every ounce it possibly can. Keeping things ticking along at a healthy pace is the Snapdragon Wear 3100 that absolutely makes the experience butter-smooth. There’s no random stutters or lag and your apps and activity is handled with the same grunt you put into those reps.
It uses Android Wear’s extensive list of Google Fit workouts of which there are plenty to choose from. It won’t auto detect the activity you’re doing as neatly as Samsung, but the stats that the Fossil collects are close to the others, even when you take it to the deep end for a swim.
Fossil Gen 5 Battery Life
Juliana runs on the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and, this time around, comes with in-built GPS, which if you make use of, drains the battery like a biker downs a pint after finishing an afternoon ride. Use it sparingly, though, and Juliana has enough juice to last the entire day and go on for more with power saving options. The charging magnets have also been improved from the previous gen and now provide a more secure grip over Juliana.
Fossil Gen 5 Verdict
The Fossil smartwatch series have festered this reputation of being more lookers than doers, and the Gen 5 breaks that image like hammer on glass. It can track and swim like the others and now gets enough juice to last you the entire day and more. But you still will buy it for the style, pizzazz first, and then the tech that surrounds it.