The way we look at it, the best technology is always going to combine performance and value. You don’t want to pay too much, but you also don’t want something that barely works. That’s why when we’re presented with a smartwatch that’s right down the middle, like the Fossil Sport, we pay attention.
This mid-range smartwatch is focused primarily on fitness, and is built for the task. It’s light, attractive and durable. It even comes with a sporty silicone strap.
The hardware is also suitably up to date, but it’s not exactly bursting with high-end features. The question, then, is going to be how well this all translates to real-world performance.
So, is the Fossil Sport the best smartwatch for you? For avid runners, it just might be. However, those looking for a premium accessory might want to look elsewhere, especially if you’re using iOS.
Fossil Sport release date and price
- Out now
- Costs $275 / £219 / AU$469
Luckily, if you’re looking to get your hands on the Fossil Sport, you won’t have to wait. It’s available for purchase worldwide, both on Fossil’s own website and through third-party retailers.
At the time of writing it’s the most recent and advanced smartwatch in Fossil’s line-up, so its price rivals other recent Fossil wearables, such as the Fossil Q Explorist HR.
You can pick the Fossil Sport up for $275 / £219 / AU$469, which places it solidly in the mid-range. However, compared to something like the Misfit Vapor 2, which is a bit cheaper at $249 / £215 / AU$349, the price looks a bit sour. But the bulkier aesthetics and weaker water resistance of the Vapor 2 might put some people off.
Design and display
- Extremely lightweight
- Aluminum body
- Water resistance rating of 5 ATM
When you’re shopping for a smartwatch, particularly if you’re looking for a new workout companion, you’re going to want something that’s both lightweight and durable. And, well, the Fossil Sport delivers in spades. The body is entirely composed of aluminum, and the strap that comes with the watch is lightweight silicone and won’t absorb sweat.
On the side of the Fossil Sport, you’ll find a dial in the center, with a customizable button above and below. By default the bottom button is programmed to Google Fit, and the top to Fossil’s own proprietary software.
The Fossil software lets you save different configurations, or 'looks' for the home screen, but it’s so arcane that we doubt many will find a use for it. We reprogrammed the button to launch a stopwatch instead.
These buttons are a little stiff, but we think that’s actually a good thing. While they can be a little hard to depress, it does mean that you won’t accidentally start setting stuff off while working out.
On the bottom of the Fossil Sport, you’ll find a heart rate monitor, and two metal contacts for the charger. As far as we can tell, the heart rate monitor is glass, so it might get a bit cold, depending on the weather.
Flip the watch around, and you’ll be able to take in the 1.19-inch 390 x 390 OLED display. It's that size whether you choose a 41mm or 43mm case, and the Fossil Sport's display is definitely colorful enough, but it’s not very bright. So you’ll have to squint to read the smartwatch’s screen in bright sunlight.
The Fossil Sport’s display will get the job done, especially if you’re heading to the gym instead of jogging around your block at noon. But, with a smartwatch so focused on fitness, it would have been nice to see a brighter display.
Bezels are pretty thick, too, but that’s to be expected in a mid-range smartwatch. Unfortunately, bezel-less screen technology hasn’t made it to smartwatches yet, though we’re not sure it needs to.
The wristband, however, is a highlight. Not only is it swappable, but the Fossil Sport is compatible with pretty much any 18mm or 22mm wristband (depending on whether you opt for a 41mm or 43mm case). This is excellent, because it means you’re not locked to a proprietary connection, and you can save money on a new strap.
However, we have to say that the lime green strap that came with our review unit looked good anyway.
If you want to replace the strap, just flip the Fossil Sport around, and you’ll notice two metallic switches on the end of each half of the strap. Pull these, and the strap will come right out. Reattaching the strap proved to be a little more troublesome, but that's in part because we're clumsy.