Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch Review – 2020 Deep Dive

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A Deep Dive Into The Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch:

The Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch is a stylish smartwatch in a rustically colored leather wristband that provides the functionality of a smartwatch without sacrificing the respectable appearance granted by more traditional wristwatches. Along with the round screen and realistic wristband, it further preserves the appearance of a traditional wristwatch by including dials and buttons mounted on the side of a chrome-colored exterior reminiscent of those used to the traditional analog watch.

Once you get past the outside appearance though, this watch offers far more than any analog ever could. To begin with, it is fully compatible with Android 4.4 and above, as well as iOS 9.3 and beyond. This allows you to sync with your choice of mobile devices, sharing time and date information, location tracking, messaging, and more across all operating systems via Bluetooth 4.1.

The main function of this product, as with nearly any smartwatch, is as a fitness tracker. Ever since the Fitbit models that pioneered the field nearly every smartwatch has included options for tracking your lifestyle and activity such as step counters, running, GPS distance trackers, and vital sign monitors integrated into the smartwatch to check how intense you are working and how many calories you are burning as you do. The Fossil Gen 3 takes the most commonly desired functions of a calorie counter, step counter, and distance tracker and puts them into a single proprietary app preloaded onto the device.

This device supports many apps for any operating system, and will automatically adjust them for the miniature touchscreen interface that using a smartwatch requires. Among the more useful instances of this function is its ability to receive and display notifications on your wrist, without needing to take out and open your mobile phone or laptop.

A modified version of the Google Play Store or Apple Store is fully supported on this device, and will easily download any apps you want to have with you all the time. Please note that not all apps are supported on the smartwatch interface. Apps that are incompatible will be marked and not available for download onto this smartwatch.

As music is one of the most common uses of a Smartwatch (whether at home, at work, or working out, everyone likes a good tune to help them along), this watch includes easily accessible volume controls and provides an easy platform from which to play all music to a nearby speaker or computer. The Bluetooth connection works both ways so you can also receive a stream from another device if you don’t have the desired music saved on your Fossil Smartwatch.

The watch can run for up to a full day on a single charge and adds a measure of resilience with IP67 waterproofing that keeps it safe from splashes and rain. Please note that this watch is not submersible and should not be used for swimming or diving.

In terms of physical characteristics, this watch is 45 mm across and features a 22 mm wristband. All wristbands are completely interchangeable between Fossil products, allowing you to stylize your watch to fit your outfit and customized with accessories from other Fossil purchases.

Who’s It For?

This won’t be recommended for anyone who leads a generally healthy and active lifestyle, especially those with a job in a modern workplace or in conditions where frequent access to one’s phone is not a given, like driving or operating machinery come to mind. For anyone looking to have a watch optimized for a specific activity, this watch’s fitness tracking while serviceable does not include a pre-programmed sports calculator to adjust for exact fitness measurements in different activities.

As previously mentioned this watch is also not for anyone planning to have their hand submerged for long periods of time. IP67 waterproofing will protect the watch from splashes and moisture but is not meant to keep working if completely submerged in water for any length of time.

What We Like About Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch

The most likable thing about the Fossil Gen 3 is by far it’s versatile nature. This watch will be a trusty companion to the vast bulk of the workforce. With messaging support, a wide variety of mainstream apps adapted for the small interface, and a Bluetooth connector, it will be easy to integrate into the everyday life of the average working citizen.

Additionally, the manufacturers were clearly sensitive to the fact that unlike many mobile devices a smartwatch is not just a messaging device but also a piece of apparel and needs to be able to integrate into any ensemble that the user should choose.

By introducing modular and user-serviceable straps to a relatively neutral watch color, the Fossil Smartwatch gives the user a stylish accessory that can be adjusted for any outfit in a matter of moments.

What We Don’t Like About Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch

The Fossil Gen 3 falls short of other smartwatches in terms of battery life. Most smartwatches these days support at least one week of operation on a single charge. This model is only rated to last 24 hours on one charge making it significantly less efficient and higher maintenance than other Smartwatches.

The Fitness Suite on this watch is not optimized for any particular sporting activity, instead of focusing on generic Fitness statistics. Given that many smartwatch users want at least some degree of sports tracking from their device, it should not have been too much to include the more mainstream sports as a pre-programmed function.

Although these functions can be disabled, many users are unsatisfied with the third-party software installed on this watch. Along with your choice of Apple or Android smartwatch operating systems, the manufacturer has included a system known as Wear OS to adapt mobile apps to a smartwatch interface.

Wear OS is not up to the same standards as Apple or Android operating systems, and many users disable it to save operating power in favor of smoother user experience and better syncing with their mobile device.

PROS

  • Interchangeable wristbands for greater customization
  • Stainless steel watch case is exceptionally durable and gives a dignified air
  • IP67 waterproofing prevents splash damage from rain and handwashing
  • Exceptionally versatile, with numerous third-party apps and support for both iOS and Android
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity to support wireless pairing with a wide range of devices.

CONS

  • This watch has only the most basic and generic fitness tracking
  • The device comes pre-programmed with a highly cumbersome third-party OS.

What’s Included?

The Fossil Gen 3 is as minimalistic as one would expect from a smartwatch. After all, the bulk of the value lies in its compact size and easy portability. Extra accessories would make it harder to carry around and less convenient to the user. While sometimes added equipment is a selling point, with a smartwatch, less is very much more.

With that said, buyers will receive the watch face and a wristband in their choice of color. Also included is an instruction book in the language of choice (please note that some languages may not be available in your region) and a proprietary charger that is powered by an ordinary USB connection and connects to the watch with a specialized adapter.

Not included in this package is any kind of home audio devices, such as a Bluetooth earpiece, or a memory card to expand onboard storage. Both of these are frequent additions to a smartwatch and have been omitted in this device.

Overview Of Features

An overview of the smartwatch features should start the same way that ordinary watches would be reviewed: from the outside. This watch’s exterior is built of sturdy stainless steel with a chrome finish and three control buttons on the side that manipulate a number of apps.

The wristband on this watch is made of genuine leather for durability and appearance; additionally, leather has proven stronger than many alternatives in other products. The band is 22 mm wide and the watch face 45 mm; the band is perforated along nearly its entire length to accommodate many different wrist sizes and closes with a buckle of the same metal used in the casing.

It is worth noting that the wristbands are entirely interchangeable, not only between this watch and similar ones but between all Fossil products. This allows you to customize across several different products, blending your smartwatch seamlessly with your other apparel.

This watch’s connectivity is provided by a Bluetooth 4.1 and above adapter for Universal device pairing and 880 2.11 Wi-Fi adapter that allows it to support the App Store, Google Play, email and text messaging, and a variety of other apps. It is compatible with Google’s Android 4.4 operating system as well as iOS 9.1, both of which can be operated in tandem with the manufacturer’s Wear OS system for scaling regular apps to fit a smartwatch interface.

Mini smartwatch users will expect their device to function as some form of fitness tracker. Well, this watch does have a step counter, distance tracker, and calorie burned log. It does not come with many features beyond these and has relatively imprecise sensors for these measurements as well. This watch does do an excellent job of displaying notifications from the user’s phone, making it a trusty companion for the high-tech workplace.

This watch has one weakness: its battery. Where other smartwatches can last a week or more on one charge this watch will need to be recharged every 24 hours to ensure continual function.

Review Summary

This is a highly reliable watch that can handle the many demands of the modern lifestyle, from hands-free convenience to keeping in touch with the outside world on a near-constant basis. Although optimized to meet most everyday demands with ease, it does not handle specialist tasks such as swimming and diving or tracking a particular sport.

People looking for a smartwatch with something specific, especially requiring precise measurement, should focus on a watch specially designed for their chosen pastime.

FAQ

You said that this watch does not include many fitness options. What is the point of a smartwatch that I can’t use to track my workout or run?

Even without a task-specific calorie counter, this device can give you a good overview of your personal fitness habits. It may not record to the last gram how much food you take in or catch every step you want, but we’ll still be able to give you the general data that you need to properly re-engineer your lifestyle for a more active daily routine.

Additionally, the smartwatch is no longer only for fitness tracking. You can use it to stay connected to your phone without needing to occupy a hand, play music for a variety of purposes, and download compatible apps such as a remote control or calling app that will let you operate devices in your smart home or your phone without getting up to access them.

You continually mention that the device is splash-proof, yet you also say that it will be damaged by water. What does that mean?

There are many different ratings of waterproofing in manufacturing standards, especially for electronics. These are standardized in a system known as the IP system to give consumers an objective measure of what their device can withstand.

This Fossil Gen 3 Smartwatch is rated IP67, or ‘splash-proof.’ While it will withstand small quantities of water, which would sometimes seep into and damage less protected devices, it will not resist the pressure or damage that can be caused by full submersion.

Although it can still function after having been splashed while washing hands or doing the dishes, it is not suitable or recommended for swimming, diving, or holding the device under a running faucet.

Additionally, keep in mind that the wristband is leather, and is not IP rated even though the watch case is. Leather has been known to be irreversibly damaged by water so take that into account if you are planning on getting this device wet.

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