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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Fossil Sport smartwatch review: A watch for all seasons

Fossil Sport smartwatch review: Primarily aimed at the fitness enthusiast, it is a watch for all seasons. Its round-dial design with aluminum casing on the top and a rotating crown on the side gives the watch a refined look.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Rs. 17,995
Written by Leela Prasad | New Delhi | Updated: June 11, 2019 12:40:43 pm
Fossil Sport smartwatch review: Primarily aimed at the fitness enthusiast, it is a watch for all seasons. (Express Photo: Leela Prasad)

The Fossil Sport smartwatch, true to its name, tracks over fifty activities — from playing cricket to Zumba workouts. Now, terrain, talent, or the lack of it, and time did not permit us to test each of the dizzying list of activities (it even tracks paragliding!) but the ones we tried threw up mixed results. And the knock-on effect of reviewing the smartwatch was being more regular, at least for a few days, at the gym.

The Fossil Sport costs Rs 17,995 and comes in two sizes — 41 mm and 43 mm — and four colors: black, gray, “smokey blue,” and “blush”. The smartwatch’s silicone straps can be easily swapped for other colours, but the price for the replacements start from Rs 1,995. However, it is free to change the watch face by using the Watch Os app which has a huge list of designs to choose from.

Though primarily aimed at the fitness enthusiast, it is a watch for all seasons. Its round-dial design with aluminum casing on the top and a rotating crown on the side gives the watch a refined look. It is also a very lightweight watch.

Fossil Sport smartwatch review, Fossil Sport review, Fossil Sport, Fossil, smartwatch, Fossil smartwatch, Leela Prasad, Indian Express Round-dial design with aluminum casing on the top and a rotating crown on the side gives the watch a refined look. (Express Photo: Leela Prasad)

When not in workout mode, the smartwatch acts as an extension to your smartphone. Setup app notifications, call alerts, reminders, control your music, and more. It supports fast charging but the battery life is a serious letdown. Expect the battery to drain quickly even when it is unpaired with the phone and in standby mode. It comes with a magnetic USB charger that is quite easy to use. The USB charger’s magnetic strip strongly secures the smartwatch while powering up but takes a minimal amount of force to detach.

Fossil Sport has its limitations when it comes to strength training. Powered by Google’s Wear OS, it easily recognises most of the basic exercises like bicep curls, bench press, tricep extension, etc. Try variations of the above exercises and it fails you. That doesn’t mean it can’t be taught how to track a new variation. Save the new exercise with a name or any of the available emoticons, and the next time you do a ‘skull crusher’, it won’t have any problems detecting it.

It is also quite accurate at tracking the number of repetitions in a set, but is not reliable when it comes to measuring the weights being lifted. But what surprised us was it can detect drop sets, too. If you drop the weight in the middle of an exercise and continue with the reps, the smartwatch splits the set into two columns and separately keeps a tab of the numbers.

Fossil Sport smartwatch review, Fossil Sport review, Fossil Sport, Fossil, smartwatch, Fossil smartwatch, Leela Prasad, Indian Express When not in workout mode, the smartwatch acts as an extension to your smartphone. Setup app notifications, call alerts, reminders, control your music, and more. (Express Photo: Leela Prasad)

All this number crunching has a downside, however. The Fossil Sport can’t track the workouts on its own. It continuously needs user feedback — in real-time. So you are constantly prodding it to correct the rep count, weights used, and exercise performed after every set. While that means more rest in between sets — which is a bad thing — at least now we know how long those breaks are costing us. It has a default “time-out” of sixty seconds but it can be skipped. There is also the risk of forgetting to “start workout” which can be frustrating if you had already powered through a couple of sets. Workouts can also be paused and resumed without a hitch. At the end of a workout, it gives a summary of all the exercises performed, calories burned, and average heart rate.

Also read: Jabra Elite 85h review: Very elite indeed

Overall it is a smart smartwatch with a few minor issues that could be ironed out in the next Watch OS update.

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