Fossil has a wide variety of smartwatches, but which should you pick?

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If you’re in the market for a new Wear OS smartwatch and happen to like classically styled watches, then the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle is going to be for you. Fossil is one of the few Wear OS watchmakers out there that continues to produce not only good-looking wearables but also adds top-of-the-line specs to the equation. The Carlyle has a classic look that can work for almost any occasion with swappable bands, snappy performance, and a speaker for calls. Fossil has some other great choices as well. Whether it’s a sports focus, fashion, or even a hybrid watch — Fossil has an option for you.

Best overall: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

While Wear OS may have some shortcomings, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle does a fantastic job making the best of an okay situation. From a style standpoint, the Carlyle has all the makings of a classic watch with its round casing and three-button layout. You have a rotating crown that lets you scroll through notifications, apps and make selections for navigating the OS. Programmable buttons flank the crown on either side that maps to specific apps or functions of your liking.

Back to the case for a moment, the 44mm watch comes in two color choices with a stainless steel silver and a black steel option. They can each be customized with a standard 22mm watch band that allows for a bit of flexibility to better mesh with your style. It’s easy to find Fossil Gen 5 bands that match your style. Considering the amount of tech packed into this watch, the device is surprisingly slim and light which lets it nearly becomes an afterthought until you need it.

As for the tech inside, you’ll get a vibrant AMOLED display that offers an always-on view. The main drawback of this display is that it can be a tad on the dark side in direct sunlight. Inside the watch comes with the Snapdragon 3100 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, NFC for payments, and GPS. Along with the GPS for tracking, there is also a heart rate monitor to aid in fitness tracking. Throw in 3 ATM water resistance, and the Carlyle is a complete package of style and performance that helps make this the best Fossil has to offer.


  • Snapdragon 3100 and 1GB RAM
  • Lightweight and stylish
  • Microphone & speaker


  • Battery life could be better
  • The screen is a bit dim in daylight

Best overall

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch

Classic out, future in

The Carlyle is easily the best Fossil smartwatch for most users. It can go anywhere while getting you through the day in style.

Best value: Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR

Much like our overall winner, the Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR offers classic watch stylings with robust internal features for an excellent wearable experience. It comes in a 40mm case with multiple color options and 18mm swappable watch bands, letting you find a combination that best fits your style. The stainless steel case houses several sensors, including NFC, GPS, and a heart rate monitor. You also get the same benefits of the three-button layout as we did from the Carlyle with two programmable buttons and the rotating crown.

This watch comes with the aging Snapdragon 2100, and while it is still a reliable processor, with only 512MB of RAM, the watch can be a bit sluggish at times. The vivid display is a welcome setup, albeit dim in direct sunlight, with its exceptional colors and always-on option. The included 3 ATM water resistance means your watch is safe from spills, showers and can even track your swimming.

So, if you’re seeking an attractive Fossil smartwatch and you’d like to save some money, the Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR is a good one to check out.


  • Stylish and solid build
  • Multiple design options
  • 3 ATM water resistance


  • Older processor and only 512MB RAM
  • Battery life is lacking

Best value

Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR

Good looking watch, and a palatable price

The Fossil Venture HR is a Gen 4 watch, but it still has a lot to offer. You get all the key sensors with slightly older tech.

Best for fitness: Fossil Sport

When it comes to a fitness-focused watch, a few key factors need to be met. The watch needs to have sensors for data tracking, be lightweight, and a battery to get through your training sessions. The Fossil Sport has all of that and then some. Fossil has come up with a watch that not only runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor but looks good while keeping up with your workouts.

The design of the Sport features a 41mm two-tone case with a nylon base and an anodized aluminum top. These material choices allow for lots of color options, from standard silver and grey to red and blue, with pink and gold in the mix. Utilizing the same three-button layout as the Carlyle, the Sport has the style and functionality to keep up with you in any situation.

The Sport goes toe to toe with the Gen 5 Carlyle in many aspects, but the one area where it falls short is RAM regarding the internal specs. Though they opted for the newest processor, unfortunately, it’s hampered by the inclusion of only 512MB of RAM, which causes the OS to be far more sluggish than one would like. Aside from this misstep, Fossil crammed GPS, heart rate tracking, 5 ATM water-resistance, an altimeter, NFC for payments, and more into a very lightweight watch. So if you want a watch with some pizazz while you get your sweat on, the Fossil Sport is just the ticket.


  • Many color options
  • Lightweight design
  • Snapdragon 3100 processor


  • Only has 512MB RAM
  • Struggles in the battery department

Best for fitness

Fossil Sport

Sweatin’ with tech

Fossil’s Sport has all the sensors for tracking workouts. It’s only missing a bump in the RAM and better battery life.

Best LTE: Fossil Gen 5 LTE

Nowadays, more and more companies are coming out with connected tech, changing the wearable industry as we know it. One example is smartwatches with LTE connectivity, like the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, for example. This is the first LTE smartwatch from Fossil, so it’s kind of a big deal.

If you’re expecting a major change from the original Gen 5 models, you might be disappointed. The main difference is that your smartwatch will have LTE connectivity through Verizon. This means you’ll have the option of leaving your phone at home when you go for a run or hit the gym. You’ll still receive calls, texts, and notifications on your watch. You still get the 45mm stainless steel case with interchangeable bands. The only two color options are Smoke and Rose gold.

To recap, the core features on the Gen 5 models that carry over to the Gen 5 LTE include GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/health tracking, Google, Pay, and Google Assistant. Once again, Fossil has opted for the outdated Snapdragon Wear 3100 process. The performance is still decent on the Gen 5 LTE models, but it could be worlds ahead with the 4100 chipset. If you’re set on a Fossil smartwatch with LTE connectivity, you might not mind these drawbacks or the high asking price.


  • Attractive design
  • Activity/health tracking
  • Microphone & speaker


  • Missing Snapdragon 4100 processor
  • Only compatible with Verizon Wireless
  • Only two color options/variants

Best LTE

Fossil Gen 5 LTE Smartwatch

Get your LTE on

Perhaps you’ve been holding out for a Fossil smartwatch with LTE connectivity. If so, you’ll love the Fossil Gen 5 LTE!

Best for fashion: Fossil Gen 5 Julianna

If the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna looks familiar, that’s because it’s a women’s version of the Carlyle. You’ll have all the same great features with more feminine design options. Not to mention that there are multiple different Julianna models to pick from, so you can select the one that best matches your aesthetic.

With the Julianna, Fossil has packaged everything the Gen 5 Carlyle has to offer into a wearable with just a bit more fashion sense. The Julianna gets the same Snapdragon 3100 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, microphone, speaker, and all the other excellent internal specifications — while wrapping them up in a stand-out package.

The Julianna offers two case styles for its 44mm in black and rose gold, and then a rose gold with rhinestones encircling the case. The watch also includes Fossil’s three-button layout, and a standard interchangeable 22mm watch band. The Julianna is a smartwatch for a person who wants to avoid FOMO while looking great doing it. Not to mention it’s one of the best smartwatches for women.


  • Unique fashion style for the case
  • Snapdragon 3100 and 1GB RAM
  • Inclusion of a speaker and microphone


  • The display is too dark in direct sunlight
  • Unsatisfactory battery life

Best for fashion

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch

Look good while staying connected

Generally, fashional smartwatches tend to skimp on tech, not so with the Julianna. The tech is as good as its design.

Best for basics: Fossil Gen 5E

At this point, there are many different Gen 5 models in the Fossil lineup. One of the latest additions is the Fossil Gen 5E. This Fossil smartwatch is available in numerous variants geared toward both men’s and women’s fashion. The only difference between these models is the design. The men’s models are available in a larger 44mm case compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands. The women’s models are available in a smaller 42mm case compatible with 18mm interchangeable bands. Whichever model you prefer, there are tons of Fossil Gen 5E bands to pick from.

On the surface, this smartwatch might not appear to be more than your standard lifestyle wearable. Take a look under the hood, and you’ll see there’s plenty to love. The Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch runs on the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and offers 1GB of RAM, so you’ll appreciate the smoother performance. You also get heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, music controls, Google Assistant, NFC for Google Pay, and VO2 max estimates. You can even take Bluetooth calls on your watch with the built-in microphone and speaker. Unsurprisingly, the battery will last for a day at best, but the Gen 5E models have a rapid charging feature that can get your watch up to 80% battery in less than an hour.

What’s missing? First and foremost, this watch could’ve been much more impressive with the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset and additional storage. It also doesn’t offer onboard GPS, so you’ll have to connect to your phone’s GPS to track your route during workouts. With that said, it’s a solid option for those who want the basics and a premium design at a fair price.


  • Heart-rate monitoring
  • Numerous men’s women’s models
    -Activity/sleep tracking
  • Microphone & speaker


  • Short battery life
  • Lacks onboard GPS
  • Missing Snapdragon Wear 4100

Best for basics

Fossil Gen 5E

All the essentials

If you want a stylish smartwatch that can handle the basics, look no further than the stunning and functional Fossil Gen 5E.

Best hybrid watch: Fossil Hybrid HR

Sometimes you want to enjoy smartwatch features while still enjoying a classic design. That’s where hybrid smartwatches come in. These unique designs allow you to sport a traditional aesthetic while still having a solid set of features. It may not be identical to some of the other advanced options on this list, but the Fossil Hybrid HR has just enough features to earn it the “smart” title.

One of the key differences is that you won’t have a touchscreen. This means you’ll need to be comfortable doing all of your navigating with the three side buttons on the watch. While we’re on the topic of the screen, you also won’t have a colorful display. If it’s any consolation, this results in over two weeks of battery life.

You’ll also have the option of customizing the display to meet your preferences. You can quickly glance at all of the information that matters to you, like daily steps, weather, and smartphone notifications. Other than standard activity/sleep tracking and heart-rate monitoring, don’t expect in-depth data like many other smartwatches offer. It’s called a hybrid for a reason: you get the best of both worlds. Some of the other features you’ll be giving up when you buy a hybrid smartwatch include GPS options, mobile payments, and music storage.


  • Attractive design
  • Activity/health tracking
  • Customizable display
  • Over two weeks of battery life


  • Features are somewhat limited
  • No touchscreen
  • No GPS options
  • Not for those who want in-depth tracking

Best hybrid watch

Fossil Hybrid HR

Let’s give it a hand(s)

Looking to enjoy some amazing smartwatch features without sacrificing battery life or style? The Fossil Hybrid HR is a great pick.

Best fossil smartwatch: Making a choice

There are so many great Android smartwatches on the market. It should come as no surprise that many of them are running Google’s Wear OS software. However, not all Wear OS devices are created equal. The good news is that Fossil has a wide variety of smartwatches for you to pick from.

It’s not the newest model from the company, but the Gen 5 Carlyle is still one of the best Fossil smartwatches you can buy. There’s so much to enjoy, including elevated style with excellent performance. This is why the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna is also a fantastic pick if you want a high-performing watch with some added fashion flair that’s geared toward women.

Of course, there are many other options to consider. If your performance demands aren’t too high and you want to save some money, then you’ll likely be happy with the Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR. When fitness is your main focus, you need a watch that does the same — and the Fossil Sport is a perfect fit. Keep in mind that the price often fluctuates for these older models, but they’re typically available at lower price points than the new models.

Perhaps you’re content with the basics and want one of Fossil’s newer smartwatches. If so, the Fossil Gen 5E might be more your speed. If you don’t mind spending a pretty penny and want a model with LTE connectivity, you’ll appreciate the new Fossil Gen 5 LTE models.

No matter what type of experience you’re seeking, there’s no shortage of options. You can rest assured that you’ll receive a solid wearable that’s packed with features when you buy a Fossil smartwatch.

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