Fossil has been making great watches for quite a while now, but only (somewhat) recently dove headfirst into the world of smartwatch options.
In the last couple of years, though, Fossil has been particularly active in launching new smartwatches – making sure that they had different products to cover different customer categories and price points.
The trouble now, of course, is sifting through the options to find the one that’s best for you.
But that’s where this guide comes into play.
Below we dig deep into two of the best Fossil smartwatch options available, the Fossil Sport vs Gen 5, shining a light on what both of these watches do well as well as where they fall short – ultimately breaking down how they stack up against one another.
If you’re in the market for a new smartwatch and love the way that Fossil pieces look, the odds are pretty good you’re going to be picking between these two choices.
Let us help you make that decision a little easier.
Shall we get started?
Fossil Sport vs Gen 5 Smartwatch – Breaking It Down
Fossil has a couple of different smartwatch choices available to pick and choose from, but these two – Fossil Sport vs Gen 5 – definitely stand head and shoulders apart from the rest of the pack.
Well-made, well-designed, and definitely jam packed with all kinds of smart technology, both of these choices look like fantastic pics on the surface.
But what’s the reality of the situation when you start to dig a little deeper?
That’s what we’re going to cover right now.
To put it simply, the Fossil Sport is definitely the “leaner” of the two smartwatches from this company – knowledge when it comes to overall size (the Sport is available in 41 mm and 43 mm configurations) but also when it comes to the kind of tech “under the hood”.
Definitely designed for people that lead active lifestyles, the Sport is carefully crafted to be durable, rugged, and capable of top-tier performance in less than ideal conditions.
This smartwatch takes advantage of a Snapdragon 3100 processor, a next-generation processor designed by the folks over at Qualcomm.
A processor like this practically guarantees that the Sport is going to be very responsive and very snappy. It also guarantees you’re able to run more powerful and resource-intensive applications (multiple applications at once, too) thanks to this “digital brain”.
Combine that with 512 MB of RAM onboard and you are looking at a smartwatch that isn’t going to have much trouble with most modern applications.
These specifications can go toe to toe with the overwhelming majority of Android smartwatch options out there (aside from flagship Samsung choices), though these specs are a little underwhelming compared to the Apple iWatch series.
Onboard storage with the Sport is pretty decent, giving you 4 GB of space to take advantage of.
That’s a pretty decent chunk of storage space for a watch of this size, and definitely more than enough space to hold your favorite applications, workout data, and music with room left over.
Obviously, the ability to pair and synchronize your watch with your Apple or Android phone is another big advantage of using Fossil Sport.
It also (somewhat) renders that onboard storage limitation of 4 GB a nonissue for the most part, unless you are hoping to use your watch “untethered” more often than not.
Some people are looking to do exactly that (specifically those that want to wear the watch in the gym or in the pool without bringing their phone with them), and that’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Getting back to the design of the Sport a little bit here, this is certainly a watch that was carefully crafted with fitness enthusiasts and athletes/those that lead active lifestyles in mind more than anything else.
The watch itself is very lightweight, very durable, and ready to rock and roll right out of the box.
A number of onboard sensors help you get great workouts in while tracking your progress every step of the way, including components like an:
- Heart rate monitor
… You’ll also find an ambient light sensor built right into the Sport, making sure that the brightness of the watch face is custom-tailored to the lighting in your active environment.
This not only helps to cut down on unnecessary battery use and prolongs the light of your watch but improves readability in different lighting conditions as well.
Battery life on the Sport is decent though not spectacular, particularly when compared to the battery life of the Gen 5.
You’ll get 24 hours of battery life on a single charge when the Sport has been put into “Active” mode, but if you run it in “Watch Only” mode you can usually stretch that life out to three or four days – if not even more.
That’s not bad for a watch like this!
- Advanced processor from Qualcomm really makes using this watch quite snappy
- Integrated GPS, heart rate monitor, and other fitness tracking components are top-tier
- Fitness tracking capabilities and synchronization with popular fitness apps
- Super lightweight, gorgeously designed, and nearly bombproof
- Onboard memory is a little light for this processor
- Onboard storage is somewhat lacking compared to similar options, too
- Performance degrades a little bit over time until you “reset” the watch with a dead battery
Fossil Gen 5
If the Fossil Sport is overwhelmingly focused on those that want to lead a more active lifestyle with something simple, straightforward, and technically sound the Fossil Gen 5 takes all of that to the next level with a watch that looks far more like a premium or luxury timepiece than anything else.
Available in both men’s and women’s configurations with a whole host of colors and styles to boot, the Gen 5 is definitely on the larger side of things compared to the Sport.
The smallest size of the Gen 5 is 44 mm, a full millimeter larger than the biggest size you’ll get out of Sport!
On top of that, this is a decently “chunky” smartwatch that you are going to have strapped to your wrist.
All the extra technology that Gen 5 has requires a bit of a larger footprint and brings a little bit of extra weight, but the extra power and performance are definitely worth the trade-off here.
Men and women’s configurations are both going to use a 22 mm sized wrist strap, with a variety of different styles and colors (and materials) available to really make this watch your own.
The AMOLED screen on the Gen 5 looks absolutely gorgeous in every lighting condition, including in pitch darkness (when the backlight is really shining) as well as in the middle of the day with a lot of glare.
Fossil included a “Sunlight Boost” feature here with the Gen 5 that takes the brightness to another level when the ambient light sensors pick up extra sunlight. This gives a blast of extra brightness that allows you to read the screen with perfect clarity, even if it does sacrifice a tiny bit of battery at the same time.
Fossil also dramatically improved the charging set up of the Gen 5 compared to the previous generation, a generation of watches from Fossil that really struggled in this department.
You won’t have any problems getting a good charge connection, quick charging your watch from a dead or nearly dead battery, or have any issues with overcharging, either.
The loudspeaker technology built into Gen 5 is significantly better than what you’ll get out of the Sport, too. This means you’re going to enjoy a much better Google Assistant experience than you would have otherwise, especially if you haven’t yet paired this Bluetooth enabled watch to a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers just yet.
The inclusion of the superpowered loudspeaker also means you’ll be able to take calls directly from your phone on your watch, something that’s tough to do when you are running the Sport.
Like the Sport, though, the Gen 5 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 Series processors.
This is a fantastic “brain” for a watch like this, providing plenty of juice and bandwidth for you to tap into when you are using this watch.
The Gen 5 also doubles the amount of onboard RAM that you have access to (1 GB of RAM compared to the 512 MB of RAM on the Sport), and then doubles the amount of onboard storage that you’ll have access to – pushing it from 4 GB on the Sport to 8 GB with the Gen 5.
Having double the resources and the Snapdragon 3100 processor guarantees that this timepiece is going to absolutely fly, no matter what you throw at it.
Multitasking is effortless. Handling calls, streaming music, and even composing text messages with the voice to text capabilities on this watch – all at the same, even – isn’t going to slow things down much if at all.
Like the Sport you’ll also get a couple of important fitness sensors, including an:
- Heart rate monitor
- Gyroscope and
- Ambient light sensor
GPS technology is built right into Gen 5, too.
The Gen 5 does come up short when compared to the Sport in one key area, and that’s in overall waterproofing.
The Sport has a 5ATM waterproof rating while the Gen 5 only has a 3ATM waterproof rating.
That’s not a super difference between the two, but it may mean everything when you’re trying to decide which of these two smartwatches are safe enough to bring with you in the pool.
Battery life with the Gen 5 is solid, giving you 24+ hours of “Active” runtime and 72 hours or more of runtime when you are in “Watch Only” mode.
Quick charging capabilities on the Gen 5 are fantastic, helping you go from a 0% battery to a 50% battery in about 30 minutes. You’ll be able to get up to 100% battery life in another hour.
All in all, the Gen 5 is a fantastic smartwatch that takes everything good about the Sport and just sort of ratchets it up to another level.
- Relatively lightweight for a smartwatch of this size
- Extra onboard storage and RAM makes this one of the most high-performance smartwatches today
- The inclusion of GPS, NFC, and Bluetooth technology is a big bonus
- The external loudspeaker sounds great and makes phone calls really easy
- A watch this large probably has room for a bit of a bigger battery
- The display can be somewhat dim in direct sunlight until you kick it into Sunlight Boost mode
Winner – Fossil Gen 5
At the end of the day, while both of these smartwatches are really solid performers – and significantly better than most of the other options you can buy from other companies today – the Fossil Gen 5 is just on another level.
Well-made, well-designed, easy to use, and loaded to the gills with some of the best hardware in the smartwatch world right now, everything about the Gen 5 is just top-tier.
This is not to suggest that the Sport isn’t a worthwhile contender, not by any stretch of the imagination.
In fact, if you lead a particularly active lifestyle and need a watch that you won’t feel bad beating up a little bit then the chances are you want to go with the Sport over the Gen 5.
But if you’re in the market for one smartwatch and one smartwatch only, a watch that has everything you need from power to performance to battery life, and to overall style and usability, then the Gen 5 wins this – and it wins this almost running away!
Only slightly more expensive than the Sport, the Gen 5 is just a better all-around package for most people right now.
Everything it offers is just a step above the Sport and the price point between the two really isn’t enough to make the Sport value the way to go.
Check out both of these watches today, though.
You’ll like what they have to offer!