I have many Apple hating frineds who always ask me: "What's the best Wear OS smartwatch?" And I always say the same: they are all bad. Having said that, Fossil Sport may be the first spokesman for the title.
Why is it? At the moment, Sports is the only Android watch besides Montblanc Summit 2 powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 3100 processor. That's a big deal because Wear OS as a platform has long been held back by relying on the already two-year Snapdragon 2100. So theoretically, the sport must be able to last longer and could support more powerful features. And on paper it seems to be the case. It has heart rate monitoring, NFC payments and GPS not too shabby for a smartwatch priced at $ 255.
The big question is whether Sports new processor can handle wearOS redesign Google rolled out a few weeks ago. I tested the changes last month on a slightly older fossil watch and were unimpressed by slow loading times and battery life in 12-15 hours. So far, I've only spent some hours with the sport, but already the faster swiping gives me a little hope that this will not be totally dud.
In classic fossil fashion, the sport is elegant and I liked how it does not dwarf my whole wrist. You can choose between a 41 mm or 43 mm case, and the nylon housing with aluminum top ring makes it easy to look at. Older Android clocks used to be lumpy, heavy and obviously not meant for women or any kind of strict activity. It looks like the old LG Watch Style-a good thing since it was one of the smaller fugly smartwatches from the last two years. The main difference is that the sport's design is dependent on a nice color like a baby-G-clock of yesteryear.
And boy, sports come in many colors. Six to be exact: blush, black, gray, light blue, red and neon. Each is matched with an equally colorful strap, so much that it stared at a bunch of them was like being beaten with a rainbow. And if the basic color combinations are not enough, there are also around six gazillion swappable straps. So when Fossil says that the combinations are infinite, I'm here to confirm that yes, the only limit is your accessory budget.
Whether it's good for sports, but I have my doubts. Wear OS watches are not exactly known to be super accurate with tracking and they are much better for monitoring your overall activity than being a hardcore fitness companion. I have to see how it is done in testing, but I would not be shocked if Fossil Sport was more of a casual watch with sporty aesthetics than a real fitness smartwatch. However, it's waterproof, so yay for swimmers!
With regard to specifications, sport is nothing completely out of the ordinary. You get your usual altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensors. The sport also comes with a fast charging function, which probably brings you from zero to 80 percent battery in 50 minutes.
With regard to battery, the sport must have "24+" battery life. How much more depends on usage, but it's still a shock from the gloomy 12-16 hours you'll get on older Android watches running the 2100 processor. And if you go well without smart features, Fossil once told me Sport beats 9 percent battery, it enters an ambient, time-dependent mode that can last around five days. Nevertheless, "improved battery life" here is a little disappointing. No matter how you get it, a vague 24+ hours a hell is much less than the 3-5 days you get with Samsung Galaxy Watch and literally all Fitbit out there. Having said that, Apple Watch is in one category, so it's clear people still do not require more, even though it's inconvenient.
So when I say that Fossil Sport could challenge the title of the best Wear OS smartwatch, do not get excited. For now, it's the best processor to run a new Wear OS, the design is slim and training-friendly and you will not need a new mortgage on your house to buy one. It's a bar of course, which tells you all you need to know about Wear OS watches – but stay tuned to see if Fossil Sport clears it.