First Impressions of the Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Fossil Sport Smartwatch
Fossil Sport Smartwatch (in red)

Yesterday I got the new Fossil Sport Smartwatch delivered and today I’ve been putting it through its’ first few tests and in the full review I’ll be going over GPS accuracy, heart rate accuracy, and a whole lot more but today I’m just going to write about my first impression and why I chose this particular smartwatch to review.

Right off the bat, I guess I’ll just admit it, the red color had me at hello. Red is my favorite color and if there were a car with this red and white color combination you couldn’t take my money fast enough to suit me. I’m a sucker for it!

Don’t worry if you’re not into the more flashy red color because the Fossil Sport comes in a variety of colors.

First of all, I’ll take you through the specs of the Fossil Sport. As its’ name implies this is meant to be a sporty watch. It’s lightweight due to its construction of aluminum and nylon.

Advantages to being lightweight is that it is comfortable to wear, even when sleeping. There’s no native sleep tracking app but you can download third-party sleep tracking app and I’ll try one and see it works. A disadvantage to being lightweight is that it isn’t a super rugged sport watch (you wouldn’t want to bang it against a rock) but that’s not really its’ purpose. It’s meant to be an everyday watch with some good fitness features and a comfortable fit.

It has quick release silicone straps that are 18mm wide.

Really the first thing that jumped at me when I opened the box was the size of the watch. For a smartwatch it’s smaller than most and I think a lot of women, especially, will appreciate that.

I’ve reviewed several smartwatches and some are really too big to be practical on a daily basis. I don’t mind a large watch when I’m out hiking and I need that larger screen for maps and such but in my normal daily routine, a large watch usually just winds up getting banged up against walls and doorways.

Plus, they can look kinda funny on a smaller wrist.

So the moral of the story is that the Fossil Sport is a good size for everyday practical usage.

So onto those specs!

The Fossil Sport is one of the first smartwatches to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip. The chip is supposed to have improved efficiency for better battery life especially for sport activities when the GPS and heart rate sensor are being used.

But don’t expect a greatly improved battery life – just yet. So far, battery life is certainly improved over the Ticwatch E for comparison but you’ll still need to charge the Fossil Sport every day.

And I think there’s some confusion about the new chip. I’ve watched and read a number of reviews and they seem to think that the processor means faster processing and that isn’t really the advantages that the chip brings. Again, the advantages are mainly focused on greater efficiency of battery usage. But we may have to wait until after a few Wear OS firmware updates to really see the difference.

Probably the biggest advantage to choosing a Wear OS watch with the 3100 chip is that it will be able to support more Wear OS updates in the future. The performance and features of the watch may improve over time. Whereas, if you go with a Wear OS watch with an older chip it may not be able to support as many future updates.

Love that red!

Case Size: 41 mm
Case Thickness: 12 mm
Case Material: Aluminum and nylon
Storage: 4 GB
Operating System: Wear OS
Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
Compatibility: Android 4.4+; iOS 9.3+
Sensors: Built-In GPS, optical heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, gyroscope, microphone (no speaker!), NFC, ambient light
Supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Supports Streaming Music: Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, etc
Supports Music Storage for Offline Listening
Water Resistant: 5 ATM (you can swim with it!)
Strap: Silicone, 18 mm quick release for easy replacement
Warranty: 2 year limited
Price: Full Retail $255 as of 1-5-2019

Besides the look of the watch, another reason why I chose it over the Ticwatch C2 specifically (although I’ll probably be reviewing it too), is because it does have the latest chip as I discussed earlier and it has a better water resistance rating.

This is a watch that you can truly swim with and with better water resistance ratings, you’re usually getting a better overall build quality because the construction of the watch has to be engineered well to achieve a 5 ATM rating.

So even if you don’t ever plan to swim while wearing the watch, you’re getting a watch that can take getting wet or dirty without any problem.

So what are my impressions of the Fossil Sport? Are they favorable off the bat or do I have concerns?

So far, I love the look of it and I’m glad I decided to be bold and go with red because I’m tired of bland looking watches that try to appeal to everybody. Now if I didn’t have plenty of other watches to choose from, since I review them and have quite a few, I probably would have gone with the neon silicon color option.

The reason I would go with the neon is because the case is silver so I could swap out the strap with a much wider variety of strap colors to change the look. With a red case, I’m more limited in what straps will look right with it but I’m okay with that.

I asked Google how far away the moon is and here’s the answer!

Just be aware that the strap that comes with the red watch is more of a salmon/pinkish color. The case is red but the strap color is more feminine.

Setting up the watch was easy, once I set up a new password for my Gmail account. I had forgotten it, even though it was set up on my iPhone XR so I had to go through the process of removing my Google account on the iPhone and setting it back up again with the new password.

Once I did that, set up was easy. You’ll need to download the Wear OS app and the process is simple from there on out.

I am using this with an iPhone as I mentioned. You’ll lose some functionality of the watch when it is used with an iPhone, such as replying to text messages. You’ll get the best experience pairing it up with an Android smartphone but most of the features are available for iPhone users.

However, since the Fossil Sport doesn’t have a speaker, I’m not also losing the ability to answer phone calls through it. A lot of people have complained that there isn’t a speaker and that’s understandable. It does have a microphone so I can use Google Assistant but I’d sure love to be able to reply to text messages by voice and other means through the watch.

Blame Apple that we can’t. Apple just doesn’t allow it.

I have briefly tested out the GPS and it worked very well when using GPS on the watch with the GPS on my phone. I still need to test the built-in GPS without the phone. Hopefully it works well.

Three physical buttons on the Fossil Sport including a rotating crown to scroll through the display

And as I wrote at the beginning of this article, the full review will have the results of the GPS, heart rate sensor and more.

Overall, I love the look and the size of the watch. The screen is easy to read in bright sunlight so you can truly use it as an outdoor fitness watch.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the 3 physical buttons on the side of the Fossil Sport. The top and bottom buttons can be customized to open certain apps. I have the top bottom programmed to open Google Fit and the bottom to open the weather app.

The middle button, or crown, can be pressed to bring up the main Wear OS menu to select from whatever apps you have installed or to take you back to the previous screen. The crown can also be turned to scroll through the screen and it works very well.

There’s a variety of watchfaces to choose from and through Google Play you can download from a wide variety of third-party watchfaces. Just be careful about which ones you use because some will eat up the battery on any Wear OS watch.

Anyway, I will be back with the full review in a couple weeks. I want to make sure I spend enough time with the watch to give a decent review. When the review is ready I will update this article with the link.

The Fossil Sport is available for order through the Fossil website or in their physical stores. I’m sure it will be available through other retailers soon.