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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Many functions available independently of a phone
Issues with third-party app support
Fitness tracking not quite as in-depth as competitors
The Fossil Sport is a capable smartwatch that is both good looking and affordable. The only downside is that there are some app compatibility issues.
We purchased the Fossil Sport so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Fossil has a reputation for making cool watches, both of the traditional and smart variety, and Fossil Sport is no exception. The question is, does it work as well as it looks?
The Fossil Sport is one slick looking watch, and it’s impressively customizable. There are a number of different colors to choose from, as well as varying colors of extra bands you can buy as accessories. I tested the Smoke Black model and appreciated its understated and elegant appearance. If that’s not your thing, you can go crazy and make the watch as gaudy and unique as you like.
The included silicone band feels durable and high quality, as does the aluminum upper half of the case. The lower half of the watch is made of nylon to reduce weight, making this smartwatch only 0.88 ounces. The Fossil Sport is charged using a magnetic, wireless charging pad that snaps onto the rear of the watch.
The Fossil Sport is controlled using both a touchscreen and three dedicated buttons. The central button features a rotating dial that’s great for scrolling through menus and notifications. The other two can be programmed as shortcuts to access different functions. It’s water-resistant down to 5 ATM, or 164 feet, though it’s not a diving watch.
The Fossil Sport is one slick looking watch, and it’s impressively customizable.
The Google Wear OS setup experience is decently streamlined, though be prepared to sit through plenty of prompts for the various permissions needed to fully utilize the capabilities of the Fossil Sport. Once you’ve got the Wear OS app installed on your phone, it will guide you through the pairing and setup processes. When you’re through with this initial setup, the other aspects of the watch (like Google Fit, apps, Bluetooth headphone connections, etc.) require their own separate setup processes.
I appreciated that Fossil included a watch band large enough to fit my extra-large 9-inch wrists with room to spare. I found it comfortable to wear all day long; its lightweight prevented it from being overly burdensome on my wrist.
I was impressed by the accuracy of the Fossil Sport’s heart rate sensor and its other fitness tracking features. It read my correct heart rate right off the bat, which is something other smartwatches have failed to do due to my chunky wrists. The GPS and pedometer accurately kept track of my progress on walks and other activities, and these statistics are handled and gamified to some degree through Google Fit. This makes detailed statistics readily available on your phone, though it doesn’t provide quite as much detail and analysis as other fitness tracking software.
The 1.2-inch 390 PPI AMOLED display is wonderfully crisp, clear, and bright enough to see even in strong sunlight. It’s so pretty to look at with deep blacks and bright colors that I found myself occasionally glancing at the watch just to enjoy this startlingly nice screen.
I found that I was easily able to get through a day or two without having to recharge the Fossil Sport. Its 24-hour battery claim is accurate under average daily use conditions. Once you do run the battery down, the watch switches into a battery saver mode where only the time is displayed. In this mode, you can expect a week's worth of battery life.
Fossil Sport utilizes Google’s WearOS, which is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, WearOS supports a range of devices, which means the Fossil Sport isn’t dependent upon a closed ecosystem. On the other hand, I had some issues with the compatibility of WearOS apps on Fossil Sport.
On the upside, the interface is great to use, highly responsive, and almost lag-free. Pretty much everything is customizable in terms of both form and function. You also get Google Pay, which enjoys relatively wide support, and there’s a large library of WearOS compatible apps.
However, my issue lies with the fact that just because an app runs on WearOS, this doesn’t mean it will run flawlessly on any WearOS device. I was able to download a really cool barometric altimeter, but with other apps, I experienced more mixed results. For example, Spotify installed just fine on my Fossil Sport, but it was very buggy.
The Fossil Sport does feature 4GB of storage space and can connect to Bluetooth headphones, so it’s possible to download music and listen offline. However, due to my issues getting Spotify to function, this capability is somewhat hobbled.
Just because an app runs on WearOS, this doesn’t mean it will run flawlessly on any WearOS device.
Since launch, the MSRP of the Vivoactive 3 Music has plummeted from $275 to just $99, making it a genuine bargain. The watch is ridiculously high quality for such a low price.
If you want to dive deeper into fitness tracking, then you may want to consider the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music. The Vivoactive 3 Music (view on Amazon) features a wide range of granular fitness tracking capabilities that outclass Fossil Sport in this respect. However, it’s twice as expensive as the Fossil Sport, which is superior in most other ways. It’s worth mentioning that the Vivoactive 3 Music easily ran Spotify, which was a definitive advantage for me.
Fossil Sport has all the basic features a Smartwatch needs at an attractive price point.
The value of Fossil Sport is beyond dispute. Between its capable feature set, excellent design, and bargain price point, this smartwatch is a versatile and good looking companion.
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