fossil gen 5 lte review vs gen 5 carlyle
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Fossil has always made great watches, but the company didn’t start getting into the smartwatch game until a few years ago. Initially starting with hybrid smartwatches, Fossil eventually transitioned to full-fledged smartwatches running Google’s Wear OS platform. In fact, Fossil is one of the only brands keeping Wear OS afloat in 2021. That’s why we’re rounding up the best Fossil smartwatches you can buy.

The best Fossil smartwatches

Fossil Group, the Fossil brand’s parent company, owns popular accessory brands like Skagen and Misfit and licenses products from brands including Puma, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors. Many of these brands’ smartwatches share the same specs and receive updates at the same time, which is why we’re going to include these companies on our list in addition to other Fossil smartwatches.

Fossil Gen 5: The best Fossil smartwatch

fossil gen 5 smartwatch review display watch face 5

If you’ve read my writing before, you can say it with me: The Fossil Gen 5 is the best Fossil smartwatch you can buy. Period. It’s also one of the best Wear OS watches you can buy right now.

A sleek design, good performance, a beautiful display, and plenty of color options are all factors in the Fossil Gen 5 topping our list. It also has decent battery life thanks to Fossil’s custom battery modes, which have since made their way to all Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100-powered smartwatches in Fossil Group’s lineup.

Be sure to check Amazon for price drops. The watch’s price is normally $295, but it’s regularly on sale for under $200.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Gen 5.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE: The best Fossil smartwatch with LTE

Looking for a Fossil smartwatch with cellular connectivity? The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is the smartwatch you’re looking for. It’s essentially the same watch as the Gen 5 Carlyle (above), only you can activate it on Verizon’s network to receive calls and texts on your wrist without a nearby phone.

There are some limitations. It’s only available in the US, can only be activated on Verizon’s network, and is only compatible with Android phones.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Gen 5 LTE.

Skagen Falster 3: The best Skagen smartwatch

skagen falster 3 review watch face on wrist 1

The Skagen Falster 3 fixes all the performance and battery issues that plagued the first two Falster smartwatches. It has essentially the same specs as the Fossil Gen 5 (above), as well as its fantastic custom battery modes that really help it eke out as much battery as possible. There’s also a built-in speaker, so you can hear Google Assistant talk to you and answer phone calls directly on the watch through Bluetooth.

Really, whether you should buy the Fossil Gen 5 or Skagen Falster 3 depends entirely on which design you like more. The specs, performance, and pretty much everything else is the same between both devices. However, the Skagen Falster 3 is newer, so sales are more rare.


Check out our full review to learn more about the Skagen Falster 3.

Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR: The best Skagen hybrid smartwatch

Fossil Group has brought its Hybrid HR platform to the Skagen brand with the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR. This is our favorite hybrid smartwatch from the company due to its improved design over the Fossil Hybrid HR (below), long battery life, and of course, the innovative e-ink display.

The Jorn Hybrid HR’s e-ink display is bigger than the tiny screens found on most other hybrid smartwatches. This allows you to see more information on your wrist at one time without the need to interact with the watch. Again, there are some usability issues with Skagen’s watch, but we’re big fans of the platform overall.


Check out our full review to learn more about the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR.

Fossil Hybrid HR: Fossil’s best hybrid smartwatch

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr 3
Fossil Hybrid HR

The Fossil Hybrid HR is nearly identical to the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR in functionality. The main differences between the two are the overall build quality, the companion app, and the price.

While our Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider model) looks wonderful, its build quality is noticeably lacking compared to Skagen’s offering. However, you might find this one on sale more often. The watch was announced in 2019, so it receives regular discounts on Amazon and Fossil’s website.


Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Hybrid HR.

Fossil Gen 5E: The best cheap Fossil smartwatch

If you’re after the Fossil Gen 5 but want something slightly smaller, look no further than the Fossil Gen 5E. Available in 42 and 44mm sizes, the Gen 5E smartwatches boast many of the same Gen 5 features at just $250.

The Fossil Gen 5E has the same processor, RAM, custom battery modes, built-in speaker, and NFC for Google Pay as the Gen 5. However, the Gen 5E has a slightly smaller display, 4GB of storage instead of 8GB, and you only get connected GPS instead of built-in GPS. Also, it has a physical pusher on the side, but it’s not rotatable to scroll through Wear OS.

While the Gen 5E sounds like a decent smartwatch overall, we’d recommend buying the standard Gen 5 if you can find it on sale.


Also read: Here’s what we’d like to see from the Fossil Gen 6

Michael Kors Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2: The best Michael Kors smartwatches

Michael Kors Lexington 2 Wear OS smartwatch 3
Michael Kors Lexington 2

Michael Kors fans will love the Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2 smartwatches. Announced at IFA 2019, these two classy smartwatches bring Fossil’s generation 5 upgrades to the Michael Kors brand. That means both of these watches have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 SoC, 1GB of RAM, a built-in speaker, and custom battery modes like the Fossil Gen 5.

The Lexington 2 is more expensive than the Bradshaw 2, but functionality should be the same across both devices.



Related: The best Michael Kors smartwatches you can buy

Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3: Another great Gen 5 smartwatch

Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 Wear OS 3
Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3

The Emporio Armani Smartwatch 3 is expensive but damn, is it a nice watch. It features all the same specs as Fossil’s other fifth-generation watches, complete with a speaker for answering calls and hearing Google Assistant replies. It has a sportier, lighter design compared to the other options on our list. It also comes in a ton of different colorways


Related: The best smartwatches you can buy

Diesel Fadelite: The best looking Fossil Group smartwatch

diesel fadelight smartwatch 6

The Diesel Fadelite is one of our favorite-looking smartwatches of all time. It doesn’t even look like a smartwatch! It comes in four colorways, but the clear (above) is by far our favorite. There are also transparent blue, black, and red colors if you’re not digging the all-clear look.

The Diesel Fadelite has the latest Snapdragon 3100 processor but only 512GB of RAM, while other competing Wear OS watches have 1GB of RAM. We’ve found the best Wear OS performers have the 3100 SoC and 1GB of RAM, so performance might be an issue. We haven’t reviewed the Fadelite yet, though, so we can’t vouch for its performance or battery life.