Picking a good smartwatch is no longer a straightforward task. Even when you narrow things down to one company, like Fossil.
Competing with Apple, Fitbit and Samsung, Fossil is among the biggest names in the world of smartwatches. And not only does the Fossil Group operate as the parent to wearables from countless fashion houses, such as Armani and Michael Kors, it also delivers plenty of its own wares.
Read this: The best Wear OS smartwatches
With such a wide range of choice, we’ll be focusing on guiding you through the top Fossil watches currently available. Whether your priority is style or activity, touchscreen or hybrid, we can help you out through this buying guide.
We’ve detailed each choice below in our extended reviews, but here’s the best place to get a condensed look of the latest and greatest Fossil tech.
Quick view: Top Fossil picks 2019
Best Fossil for fitness
Best for activity: Fossil Sport
Though features like NFC, GPS and heart rate monitoring are now a staple among the Fossil clan, the Sport is the only one to come with a design to back them up. It’s colourful, comes in size options for bigger and smaller wrists and is also one of the few smartwatches on the market to be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 3100 smartwatch chip.
Best Fossil for styles
Best for style: Fossil Q Venture HR
Melding together a sleek design with heavyweight tracking features, the latest iteration in this women’s line is the best yet. Now packing NFC for payments, GPS for proper sports tracking and waterproofing for swimming, the Q Venture HR is able to handle your daily workout and still look stylish enough to keep on for the rest of the day. It comes with both metal and silicone bands.
Best Fossil hybrid smartwatch
Best for hidden smarts: Fossil Q Neely
Among the troupe of hybrid smartwatches produced by Fossil, the Q Neely is among the best in class. It’s affordable, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on features, handling phone alerts, music control and basic activity and sleep monitoring. And nobody will ever know this isn’t a regular watch.
Just announced: Fossil Gen 5
Fossil recently announced its Gen 5 smartwatch collection, which should provide some serious competition for the watches on this list.
The Julianna HR and Carlyle HR pack the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor, which should lead to improved battery performance. Theyâre also slated to get 24 hours of battery life, but could last longer given that upgrade.
The headline change, though, is the inclusion of a speaker on the watches. This means that they can play music, respond to your queries using Google Assistant, and allow you to take calls. At the moment, that calling functionality is for Android users only, though Fossil is planning to launch an app to allow iPhone users to do the same.
They also run the latest version of Wear OS, bringing widgets to the table, called Tiles in the Google ecosystem, to give you quick access to your most-used features.
With 8GB of onboard storage and a fully gigabyte of RAM, you should get really smooth performance and be able to store plenty of music and apps. The watches are available now, and we look forward to testing them soon.
Best sporty smartwatch
The Sport is Fossil’s first smartwatch to feature two case sizes â 41mm and 43mm. As we mentioned above, the touchscreen smartwatch is one of the few to feature Qualcomm’s battery-extending Snapdragon Wear 3100 technology, too.
So, what are the other key selling points? Well, if you’re in the market for a sporty smartwatch from Fossil, it doesn’t come more focused on activity tracking than the Sport. Features like heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking may be available in other devices from the company, but none come with the same design. That’s an important factor, because, after all, nobody wants to run with a metal or leather band on their wrist.
In total, the Sport comes in six different colours (silver, blue, red, gold, rose gold and grey), with 28 band and bracelet styles available for customisation. Whichever option you plump for, the AMOLED display (offering a pixel resolution of 390 x 390) is, on paper, as strong as the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. And its 35-40g weight also makes it significantly lighter than rivals, which, again, makes it ideal for activity.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Sport review
Best touchscreen smartwatch for women
Undeniably one of the premier women’s smartwatches on the market, the Q Venture HR is the fourth generation touchscreen device from the company. This iteration brings a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, waterproof design and NFC, and Fossil did a strong job of keeping the 40mm design relatively slim despite all the technology packed inside.
Speaking of design, there are more options than ever. Nine cases are available to choose from, all 13mm thick, and interchangeable bands allow you to switch between metal, silicon and leather straps with ease.
This offers a more general, lifestyle design when compared to the Fossil Sport, despite the same activity monitoring smarts. It’s also able to leverage Google Pay and let you pay directly from the wrist. All in all, if you’re looking for a stylish all-rounder with a touchscreen from Fossil, this is your best bet right now.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Venture HR review
Best touchscreen smartwatch for men
Like the Q Venture detailed above, the male-friendly Q Explorist was improved and updated for the fourth generation.
The main changes through the Q Explorist HR? Well, as the name suggests, this smartwatch has more of an emphasis on activity tracking. Alongside the heart rate monitor is built-in GPS, a waterproof design and an NFC chip for Google Pay.
The headline act here, however, is still its looks, which makes the arrival of the other features all the more impressive. This is one of the best looking touchscreen watches you can buy for men. If you’ve got smaller wrists, it may not be as great an option, but for everyone else, there are very few smartwatches that look better.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Explorist HR review
Best hybrid smartwatch
Fossil has mountains of hybrid smartwatches to choose from for both men and women, but one of our favourites in the space remains the Q Neely women’s watch.
Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, the 36mm case is light, classy and relatively slim, coming in at 12mm. Of course, what’s even smarter than the physical design of this hybrid is the fact that all the tech is hidden under the surface.
Basic activity tracking is joined by vibrations for phone alerts, while the three buttons on the side let you access the likes of music control, camera control, the stopwatch, a second time zone and the date.
You’re not getting the same interaction and tracking experience as you would with the touchscreen options above, but this is a great option for beginners or those who don’t want the look of a traditional smartwatch.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Neely review
Best cheap option
As we’ve mentioned already, Fossil has a veritable tsunami of smartwatches out in the wild â and that means you can pick up older models along with a nifty saving.
The perfect example of this is the Fossil Q Explorist (and the woman’s equivalent, the Q Venture), a third-gen smartwatch still available for a slight reduction on its upgraded counterparts.
Unlike the fourth or fifth gen editions, you won’t get the contactless payment support or the same activity tracking smarts, but considering the line is lifestyle-first anyway, there’s a good chance these won’t be deal-breakers for you. And, of course, it’ll still be offering smartwatch basics such as Android and iOS compatibility, step tracking, notifications and music control.
Wareable verdict: Fossil Q Explorist