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Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle HR review: A winner in the looks department, but WearOS may be a deal breaker

It is one of the best-looking smartwatches in the market right now.

, TOI Contributor|
Updated: Nov 29, 2019, 03.19 PM IST
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When it comes to battery, the watch works for an entire day even when the 'Always On' feature is enabled with several other sensors running in the background.
Get it for: Rs 22,995
Highlight: Good looks

Ever since smartwatches caught the fancy of buyers, almost every brand - tech and fashion - has been making an attempt to crack the market. Lifestyle brand Fossil in the last two years has been refreshing its smartwatch line up to emerge as a worthy alternative to the Apple Watch. The latest in line from Fossil is the new Gen 5 Carlyle HR. You will have to fork out Rs 22,995 for Fossil’s latest smartwatch, but is it worth it?

For us, Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle HR appears to one of the best-looking smartwatches in the market now. The Stainless Steel variant that we reviewed gets its premium touch, courtesy metal casing and the metal strap. The dial on the side with two buttons and a speaker on the left side complement the appearance, something most smartwatches fail to do. Yes, all things metal does add to the weight but that is not a deal breaker.

What might be a deal breaker, for now, is the software that powers the smartwatch - Google’s WearOS. After several iterations and upgrades, Google still seems to take a backseat when it comes to the operating system and the amount of productivity you achieve from it.
The build and design are not really meant for those who are looking for a smartwatch for their workout sessions.​
The build and design are not really meant for those who are looking for a smartwatch for their workout sessions.

Sure, it is one of the most customisable software you can get on your wrist but doesn’t score high on utility.

Needless to say, WearOS works well with Android as compared to iOS (iPhones) and shows all the message notifications, third-party app alerts and keeps track of your health using Google Fit and Nike Run Club app.

However, the build and design are not really meant for those who are looking for a smartwatch for their workout sessions. The device can be more easily placed in the fashion accessory segment.

In battery performance, Gen 5 Carlyle HR works for an entire day even when the Always On feature is enabled with several other sensors running in the background. Heavy users might reach for a charger before the end of the day. What may be annoying for many are the several battery saving options including Daily Mode, Extended Mode, Time Only mode and a Custom mode that requires you to manually select features that will stay active.

On the whole, Fossil Carlyle HR is appreciable in terms of design and performance. Navigating is a bliss and accessing features just takes a couple of swipes. WearOS, however, still has a lot of room for improvement. However, if you want to show off, this may probably be the right smartwatch.

(The writer is with gadgetsnow.com)

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