Fossil Gen 5E review

With the Fossil Gen 5E, the Texan watch manufacturer offers a competent smartwatch that particularly convinces with its sharp OLED display and good performance in the test. Google’s WearOS offers extensive functionality including voice assistants and Google Pay.

Some vital sensors are also on board, but the scope of an Apple Watch is not offered. The only real disappointment is the battery life, which is already too short at around 16 hours when purchased new. We’ve taken a look and checked out the popular Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch – with all its positive and negative aspects.

Technical details

Screen size1, 19 inches
Wrist materialPlastic, Rubber / Silicone, Metal, Stainless Steel, Synthetic Leather, Real Leather
Size watch case42 / 44 mm
ConnectivityNFC, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi
Battery lifeup to 3 days
Supported systemsWear OS, Android, iOS
Water resistance3 ATM / 5 ATM
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Pulse monitor, Pulse monitor without chest strap, Sleep monitoring
Microphone includedYes
Speaker includedYes

Fossil Gen 5: OLED in a classic design

Unlike the Apple Watch, Fossil (check out the Fossil online shop) relies on the classic wristwatch design for the Gen 5. On a diameter of 1.3 inches, which is about 33 millimeters, the round touchscreen gathers 416 x 416 pixels, which results in a high pixel density of 325 ppi – content is always sharp and legible. The OLED panel offers rich contrasts and dark black levels, but the display could have been a bit brighter especially in daylight.

Thanks to the “Always On” technology within the Fossil Gen 5E , important facts like the time can be read immediately without prior activation. The watch faces can be replaced as desired, as can the wristbands, where Fossil sells an extensive selection of leather, stainless steel and silicone straps. The exchange itself is straightforward. The case is also available in several designs and form factors, and according to the 3ATM rating, it is protected against splashing water.

The basic operation is done via the rotating crown on the side of the case, as known from the Apple Watch, for example. The other two “pushers” are freely configurable. Alternatively, control via Google Assistant is also possible thanks to WearOS and a built-in microphone.

Fossil Gen 5E Smartwatch
Th Fossil Gen 5E combines a classic and elegant design with lots of modern features.

Round features with familiar functions

The fifth generation of the Fossil smartwatch is powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 as well as one GB of working memory. This allows a generally very smooth operation without jerks or too long loading times. Google’s WearOS operating system provides access to the extensive app selection from Google Play – unlike the Huawei Watch 3, for example, Spotify can also be loaded.

In terms of wireless, the Fossil Gen 5E is equipped with all the important technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE cellular via eSIM, GPS, and NFC for mobile payments with Google Pay are on board. This makes the smartwatch completely independent of the smartphone – the internal 8 GB storage also provides music and co. offline.

Learning from Android watches

WatchOS allows some features known from Android watches. Among them is the Google Assistant, which can be used to check the weather or create a new appointment. The smart home can also be controlled via Google Home, which makes the Fossil Gen 5E a fun tool for those of us who are into those features.

The Fossil Watch has several sensors and measuring instruments for sports and measuring vital functions. Compared to the newer models of the Apple Watch, however, the Android watch does without a fall detection, an ECG function and the monitoring of the oxygen saturation in the blood.

Fossil Gen 5E Smartwatch
You can easily pick your favourite features and use them in your everyday life.

Fast charging, fast discharging

While the fifth generation of the Fossil smartwatch excels in terms of display, operation and performance, it unfortunately shows significant weaknesses in one of the most important disciplines: The battery performance.
The 310 mAh battery of our as-new review sample only lasts for 16:30 hours before it completely shuts down. That can be sufficient for normal everyday use, but since runtimes generally decrease over time, it will soon become tight. In the long run, the watch might have to be plugged in before nightfall.

To counteract this, Fossil integrates several energy modes in the Fossil Gen 5E. While the “Daily” mode activates all functions and is designed for nightly charging, the “Extended” mode restricts the functionality a bit and is supposed to extend the runtime to several days. About a week of juice is provided by “Time Only”, where all smart aspects are disabled. An individual determination of the allowed functions is also offered. The watch is recharged quite quickly within about an hour.

Fossil Gen 5E Smartwatch
The Fossil Gen 5E comes in different colors, shapes and formes.


Even in the Gen 5E version, the latest Fossil smartwatch is very chic around the wrist. The versions with black silicone, brown leather, gray stainless steel and also as a rose gold ladies’ watch are all available for 229 euros. However, without GPS and with many other sacrifices that were probably made in favor of the price, the Fossil Gen 5E looks more like a step backwards. Even the control elements have been scrapped, and the remaining button cannot even be freely assigned.

If you don’t mind paying a bit more, we recommend taking a look at the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, which comes with more features and especially a longer battery life.


Author: Smartwatch Fans

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