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Fossil Gen 5E review: A smartwatch with premium looks and performance

R. Dinakaran | Updated on September 01, 2021

Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch

The Fossil Gen 5E runs Google’s WearOS

There are smartwatches that look like toys and require some convincing to make others believe it is really a fully functional smartwatch. This, for many is a dealbreaker, watches are part of their personality.

Here comes Fossil Gen 5E. It is one of the best-designed smartwatches and oozes premium in every detail, including the strap. The watch is encased in aluminum, which accentuates the looks.

The Fossil Gen 5E runs Google’s WearOS and has access to all the applications unlike some watches that run on proprietary OS and lack access to many apps.

 

Right from the moment it is powered on, and the OS kicks in, the watch is a pleasure to use. The compact and slim design also makes it comfortable to wear for an extended period.

Features

The watch comes with just one button that acts as the power button, accesses the app menu and Google Assistant. It does not act as a back button. Pressing it while you are using an app takes you back to the main screen. Those like me who are used to using buttons in smartwatches as a back button tend to press it only to find it go back to the watch face. (For going one screen back, you must swipe right, which is quite easy once you are used to it)

It takes around five minutes for the initial set up – including connecting to the phone. Once activated, we realise Fossil has ensured that the ‘premium’ is not in the looks alone. The AMOLED screen is bright clearly visible even under sunlight, which is extremely important as we cannot afford to cover the watch every time we have to see the time or find who is calling. The Gen 5E scores over other watches in this aspect too. I was surprised to find lack of support for adaptive brightness.

The interface is buttery smooth with absolutely no lag. It is a pleasure even to look at the watch screen when we scroll. The touch sensitivity is also great. Even a light tap opens apps or functions – like attending calls.

Yes, you can attend calls from the watch itself. The sound is loud enough and clear, but I have not seen many use watches to talk. It looks awkward and not exactly comfortable. But it is useful for quick calls especially when the phone is not easily accessible. I was riding my bicycle and had kept the phone in my backpack. I stopped and answered the short call without taking the phone out of the bag. This feature is also useful for women who keep the phone in their bags.

For responding to messages, there are quick basic replies that pop pup helpfully. You can also send voice replies. Yes, there is the keyboard, but you need tons of patience to use it.

The biggest gripe is about the battery. The battery lasts hardly for 12 to 14 hours. Yes, there is an ‘extended battery’ mode, but that added just a few hours more. I had to delay writing the review as I thought I was doing something wrong.

What worsens the situation is that most of Fossil’s watchface don’t display the battery percentage. There is no warning. We realise the battery is down when the watch starts displaying only the time as a power saver mode when the battery is down to a certain percentage.

 

Most watchfaces from Fossil concentrate more on aesthetics and miss out on giving other info. But there are lots of third party watchfaces (with the information you require, like battery percentage) you can install.

Apart from this, there is no other major drawback. On the health tracking front, the watch allows continuous heart monitoring which ca be a lifesaver. The steps tracking is also quite accurate. You can also track sleep, but it will mean charging the watch fully before you sleep. And yes, you have to charge it again the first thing in the morning.

 

The Fossil Gen 5E is more of a smartwatch than a fitness tracker. If you a fitness enthuisast, this watch may not be for you. There is also no SpO2 sensor.

Did I mention no major drawbacks? Well, there is one more, if you think it is important – there is no inbuilt GPS! You must be connected to the phone to use the GPS tracking.

There is a proprietary magnetic charger bundled with the watch, which is quite easy to use. There is no need to fumble around looking for aligning charging connectors. The charger just snaps into place. Not once did I face the problem of inaccurately placing the charger as it happened with other watches and trackers. It takes hardly an hour to charge fully. For a watch that drains battery fast, this is a boon.

Fossil Gen 5E is the watch for you if you like your watch to look good and classy and are also not a fitness freak.

Price: Rs 18,500

 

Pros: Premium looks

Smooth UI

Range of apps

Cons: Poor battery

No inbuilt GPS

Published on September 01, 2021

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