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 early 2020. That’s why we’re rounding up the best Fossil smartwatches you can buy.
Fossil Group, the Fossil brand’s parent company, actually 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 as well.
The best Fossil smartwatches
Note: We will update this list of the best Fossil smartwatches as new devices are announced. This post was last updated July 29, 2020, with no major changes from the previous month.
Fossil Gen 5: The best Fossil smartwatch
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 our pick for the best Wear OS watch overall.
A sleek design, great performance, a beautiful display, and plenty of color options are all factors in the Fossil Gen 5 topping our list. It also has a long-lasting battery 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 during Christmas time last year it could be found for under $200.
Skagen Falster 3
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 are the same between both devices. However, the Skagen Falster 3 is newer so we have yet to see it drop in price. You may have to pay a bit more for this one from some retailers.
Fossil Hybrid HR
The Fossil Hybrid HR is the least smartwatchy device on our list. It’s technically a hybrid smartwatch, so it doesn’t have third-party app compatibility, onboard music support, or NFC for contactless payments. It does have an e-ink display, just like your old Pebble smartwatch. This allows it to last over two weeks on a single charge. It also looks great outdoors.
I wouldn’t recommend buying the Hybrid HR for its fitness features — I found the heart rate sensor to be erratic, and there are no GPS options here (onboard or connected GPS). Sleep tracking is not great either.
However, I think the Fossil Hybrid HR is one of the best looking smartwatches you can buy. That e-ink screen is seriously wonderful to use.
Also read: The best fitness trackers you can buy
Fossil Gen 5e
If you’re after the Fossil Gen 5 but want something a bit 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, same amount of 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.
Michael Kors Lexington 2 and Bradshaw 2
Michael Kors fans will love the new 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.
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.
The new Diesel Fadelite is one of my 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 my 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.
That’s it for our list of the best Fossil smartwatches. Did we miss anything? Do you own any of these devices? Let us know in the comments.