Someone Finally Made a Good Android Watch

Updated

Fossil is single-handedly aiming to make Android smartwatches worth buying, and its newest Fossil Sport watch just might be the perfect package.

The $255 Fossil Sport, available to order on Fossil’s website today and in Fossil stores Nov. 12, is the first fitness-focused Wear OS smartwatch built on Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The new chip has a co-processor designed to make Wear OS watches more power-efficient, so they can handle more tasks without lag or battery drain.

Features and Battery Life

The Fossil Sport has every feature we’ve come to want and expect from a smartwatch: a beautiful touchscreen display, a heart rate sensor and built-in GPS for accurate workout-tracking, a microphone for Google Assistant commands, and 24-hour battery life, with the ability to squeeze out two more days on a charge in battery-saver mode. (Basically, you’ll only be able to use the watch to tell time.)

I’m hopeful that the watch will last longer than 24 hours, especially with a 350 mAh battery. Samsung’s smaller 42mm Galaxy Watch has a 270 mAh battery and easily lasts two days on a charge, though Samsung uses its own chipset and operating system to better manage performance and battery life.

Fossil Sport has rapid-charging technology to juice up from 0 to 100 percent in about an hour, Fossil says. We’ll put those claims to the test.

Wear OS + Spotify

Fossil Sport will come with the newest version of Wear OS installed, which has done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to improving the Android smartwatch experience. The latest software delivers a redesigned interface with a new proactive Google Assistant view and shortcuts to Google Fit and most-used settings.

Fossil is also preloading the Sport with Spotify for streaming music, though the company didn’t say whether the new watch offers offline playlist playback.

Signature Fossil Style

If there's one thing Fossil is known for, it's sleek, stylish watches. Fossil Sport isn't as glitzy as some of Fossil's other smartwatches, but its understated look is better suited for a fitness-focused device.

The Sport also comes in two sizes, 41mm and 43mm, which are slightly smaller than Samsung’s 42mm and 46mm Galaxy Watches. The smaller Galaxy Watch is a comfortable size for people with smaller wrists, myself included, so I expect Fossil’s 41mm Sport to fit well, too.

The round watch case is made of aluminum and nylon and comes in six colors. Fossil is selling 28 shades of interchangeable silicone straps to customize the Sport’s look.

Outlook

Wear OS needs new hardware to make Android smartwatches worth buying. Montblanc’s high-end Summit 2 smartwatch was the first wearable on the market with the latest Qualcomm chip, but that watch is $995. Fossil Sport is decidedly more affordable, and with a faster, more powerful processor than past generations of Android smartwatches — even Fossil’s own new Q Venture HR — it might be the Wear OS watch to beat.

Stay tuned for our full review.