Hands on: Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 review

The biggest Wear OS watch around

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 won't be for everyone, but if you're a fan of the brand you'll be happy with how much tech Diesel has packed in its latest edition.

For

  • Large, clear display
  • Unique design

Against

  • May be big for some
  • No wireless charging

The Diesel On Full Guard didn't light up the wearable world, so the company is giving it a second attempt by packing lots of new features into its second generation watch.

It's called the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 and while the name may suggest this is a stepping stone between two product generations, this is in fact only the second watch from the company.

We've yet to learn why it has that '2.5' name, but this new upgrade includes all of the tech we've seen in the range of smartwatches made by Fossil (who makes Diesel Wear OS products) so you'll get some serious upgrades here.

Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 price and release date

The watch will be ready to buy in October this year, and we're hoping it'll be up for grabs in a selection of markets all around the world.

Pricing is still unclear, but we'd expect it to be a similar level to the original Full Guard watch that cost $325 / £329 (around AU$435).

Design and display

Before you know anything else, you need to know the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 is massive. It is as big as it looks in the pictures in this hands on, and that feels appropriate for the Diesel brand.

The original Diesel On Full Guard watch was a different proposition that reflected some of the brand's unique design, but this one takes it to a new level with a big 1.39-inch display embedded in the watch that takes over your wrist.

At the time of writing, this is the largest Wear OS smartwatch on the market.

The Full Guard 2.5 is made of a premium feel metal, which means it feels heavy on the wrist. You'll notice it as soon as you put it on, but at the time of writing we've yet to learn the exact weight.

We do know the case size is 56mm, which isn't something you often see on a smartwatch. Remember the largest Apple Watch 3 model is 42mm. The lug width is also 24mm... we can't hammer home enough that this is a massive watch.

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Two programmable buttons side on the right hand side of the watch seem useful, while there's also a rotating crown in the middle of the two that will help you cycle through the menus within Wear OS.

Color wise you've got the choice of a silver and black combination that you can see in this article, but our favorite is the black mixed with bright red that gives a bold and (somehow) even more unique look to the watch. 

This watch isn't for everyone. If you're a fan of chunky watches and the design elements of Diesel, you'll likely get excited as soon as you see it in the flesh.

Specs and features

Fossil is in the process of upgrading the tech in all its watches (the brand currently makes Diesel Wear OS devices) hence why the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 has a big upgrade under the hood compared the last version.

Inside is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset that we've seen in most watches over the last two years, and we found this to be speedy enough in our limited testing.

This may soon become out of date as Qualcomm is readying itself to make a new watch chipset, but we don't yet know when that'll launch.

Google Pay is possible on this watch thanks to an NFC chipset, plus you'll be able to use this for more than just you step count when it comes to exercise as it has a GPS tracker, heart rate monitor and it's swimproof too.

Exactly why you'd want to use this huge watch for exercise is unclear to us. We think this will feel particularly heavy on your wrist while working out, but we'll be sure to put the comfort element through its paces when we try this one out for a full review.

The newest Wear OS software is on the Full Guard 2.5 so you'll get all of the benefits of Google's latest update plus Fossil currently estimates the battery life of the watch will last between 1 to 2 days.

That's not particularly great - and it's something we'll push to its limits in our full review - but it does have rapid charging that should allow it to get from 0% to 80% in around an hour.

Early verdict

The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 has embraced the look Diesel fans love about its products, and if you're into the brand you may want to buy this watch.

It's heavy, large and we don't know how it'll fair when you're working out, but it so far looks to be a capable Wear OS watch.

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What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.