Fossil Gen 5 LTE review: Untethered and outdated

Although Wear OS may not be the most well-known platform, it is beginning to get better. Fossil, which has been a core part of the platform for many years, makes some of the most beautiful Wear OS watches available today. Fossil has been a strong supporter of Wear OS, even when Google seemed to have lost its way. Fossil hadn't explored LTE before, so smartwatches that were tethered with smartphones still had many useful functions. Fossil Gen5 LTE changed all that. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is still the only smartwatch that has cellular connectivity, even with the Fossil Gen 6 now out. Fossil's Gen 5E, which was a slightly modified version of the original, was released last year. Fossil has since refined the Fossil Gen 5 and introduced a sleeker design that is consistent with the Gen 6. The Fossil Gen 5LTE is worth looking at, especially with all the new models. VPN Deals: A lifetime license is $16, with monthly plans starting at $1.
Fossil Gen 5LTE Summary: The Fossil Gen 5LTE smartwatch is a respectable device that offers all the benefits of the original Gen 5 but also has cellular connectivity. It is mostly unchanged in hardware, which is both good and bad. The watch does a decent job with Wear OS, but it lacks the latest software. The Good Streamlined Design

LTE connectivity can be very helpful

Wear OS isn’t terrible

Built-in GPS is great to track your fitness. The bad battery life is reduced by LTE

There is no new hardware except the cellular modem.

Best Buy - No Wear OS 3 Upgrade $349

Verizon: $349

Fossil: $349

Fossil Generation 5 LTE Price and availability. The Fossil Gene 5 LTE can be purchased directly from Fossil or at Best Buy. The watch does not support all carriers and is only compatible with Verizon's U.S. network. It's best to buy it directly from Verizon as you can break down the payment into smaller installments rather than paying it all at once. Fossil Gen5 LTE: What I love

Source: Derrek Le / Android Central

The Fossil Generation 5 LTE's design is simple. The style and hardware are almost identical to the original Gen 5 (the Carlyle HR is closer to the new Black Silicon) and the pink Blush Silicon colorway, which is very similar to the Rose Gold Julianna HR. I was comparing them so much that I spent much of my time comparing them. However, there are some subtle differences that make the newer model more appealing to the eye. The large, protruding buttons on the hardware have been replaced by smaller, slightly recessed buttons. Because the watch's case is more slim, the center dial protrudes less. The watch's case has been made larger by the addition of an LTE modem. However, it is only a millimeter wider in diameter and thickness. This watch fits comfortably on my wrist every day, and the silicone strap keeps it in place even when I'm running. Although the circular OLED display is slightly larger than the original model, it retains the same resolution and size. However, it is barely noticeable. The display is visible in direct sunlight for most of the time.

I used only Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to the watch for part of my time. Surprisingly, the battery life was much longer than my Gen 5 which used about 10% less power. All the connections and services are on. Average daily use was around two days before smart battery mode switched to the Time-Only mode. This is pretty standard Wear OS. LTE is a smartwatch that's worth buying, even if Wear OS is used. The LTE connection is, however, the most important feature of the watch. Fossil's first LTE connection is a welcome addition after years of producing some of the most reliable Wear OS smartwatches. The watch can receive calls and texts from Verizon's Number Share service for $10 per month. The speaker can be a little tinny and calls are sometimes a bit unpredictable if they are not connected via Bluetooth. Despite this, text messages are fairly consistent thanks to Verizon's Message+ application. You can also pair Bluetooth headphones with the watch to make it easier to call. I find that leaving my smartphone behind is the best use case for the Fossil Generation 5 LTE and all smartwatches. LTE is a great option for fitness lovers, even though Wear OS is not the most popular. My runs are being tracked by the watch's GPS untethered. Fossil recently added the Wellness app to its watch. This allows it to automatically track certain metrics. You can run without leaving your phone at home and still be able to listen to music while on the go with the Spotify or Pandora app. Wear OS 2 also offers better app experiences, such as Google Messages and YouTube Music. Fossil Gen5 LTE: What I don’t like

Source: Derrek Le / Android Central

LTE is incredibly useful for this Wear OS smartwatch but it also reduces battery life, especially when streaming music or making calls. Sometimes I could still use the watch for more than 24 hours, but I found that I was able to stop using it after just 24 hours. The watch would also activate Time-Only mode much more frequently than I wanted. You should expect frequent charges for average usage, especially if the Fossil Gen5 LTE is used for fitness. The watch wouldn't work well if you were to track your progress after a few hikes.

Source: Derrek Le / Android Central

Wear OS 2 is likely to be a factor in this. It's not the most efficient battery-saving software. The experience with Wear OS on the watch has not been terrible, which is due to the 1GB RAM. Both Google and Fossil recently released their respective updates, which focus on battery life and speed. The Fossil Gen5 LTE will not receive the Wear OS 3 update, which will be available on all smartwatches by next year. This is the main reason why this device might not be considered. This update will greatly improve user experience, but it is only available for devices that have the most recent Qualcomm chip.

This is another area in which the Gen 5 LTE falls short. It's powered by the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, instead of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100. Although the watch performs well for most of the time, there are still instances when it won't register my input and the overall experience is still inconsistent. The Fossil Gen5 LTE's 310mAh battery is also an issue. It would have been nice to have more battery capacity, given the LTE modem. This watch has limited carrier support, so it only works on Verizon's network. Verizon's coverage is not the best in Seattle. This can affect LTE performance. There are many factors that affect coverage, so some people may have better connectivity than mine. However, Gen 5 LTE is less accessible than the original Gen 5 because it launches on one network. There is competition


Fossil Gen6 is now available. If you are able to live without LTE connectivity, and are willing to wait for Wear OS 3, this watch could be for you. This smartwatch is the only one with Snapdragon Wear 4100+. Wear OS runs very smoothly, thanks to the coprocessor that powers the background. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is currently the only smartwatch to run Wear OS. This watch is recommended if you are looking for the best experience from Google or Samsung. It can be difficult to use Google Assistant, and there are other issues. You have the option of a variety of models, sizes and styles as well as LTE connectivity from different carriers. The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3GPS is the only Wear OS smartwatch that can be used without LTE connectivity. The low-powered LCD is topped by a 1.4 inch OLED. It offers excellent battery life and smooth Wear OS. The TicWatch Pro 3 GPS will receive the latest Wear OS 3 update and offer superior Wear OS experience even without cellular connectivity. Fossil Gen5 LTE: Should You Buy

Source: Derrek Le / Android Central

This smartwatch is a good choice if you're a Verizon customer looking for a decent smartwatch. The Fossil Gen5 LTE smartwatch is a great option. LTE allows you to connect remotely to your smartwatch from anywhere in the world. This is what makes cheaper fitness trackers more affordable than higher-end models. Fossil Gen5 LTE convinced me that even if you spend $350 on a smartwatch, one with LTE is worth it. The original Fossil Gen 5 LTE is now a less-capable, overpriced fitness band. Google Assistant is embedded in Wear OS, making it much easier to use on smartwatches with LTE connectivity. Google Messages supports RCS via the watch, Google Pay allows for contactless NFC payments and Google Fit tracks your health. You can also download additional apps from Google Play Store. This product is not recommended for anyone who is not a Verizon customer. The Fossil Generation 5 LTE can only be used with Verizon's network. It will not sync with your smartphone if you are on T-Mobile, AT&T or any other carrier. The latest and greatest is what you want. Because of its old chipset, Fossil Gen5 LTE isn’t the most current smartwatch. This will be even more apparent when Wear OS 3 launches. While the watch receives some newer apps, the watch will not get the most important update. The watch is compatible with an iPhone. While the Fossil series can be used with iPhones in some cases, the Gen 5 LTE does not have this capability. There's no telling when or if it will. 3 out 5 The Fossil Generation 5 LTE makes the most of the Wear OS situation. The Gen 5 LTE is similar to the Gen 5 models, but has a more sleek design. Fossil's smartwatch line has seen an improvement with the addition of cellular connectivity. Gen 5 LTE can be used as a fitness watch. It allows you to stream music, leave your phone at home and connect to Google Fit in real time. Fossil failed to distinguish this model from previous Gen 5 smartwatches. Except for a few design tweaks, hardware is the same. This includes the battery size and the processor. This adversely affects the battery's life, something Fossil apparently did not consider when adding LTE modems to three-year-old hardware. The watch doesn't have the most recent software from Google.

Fossil Generation 5 LTE Summary: The FossilGen 5 LTE is a Wear OS smartwatch with cellular connectivity. It combines the best of Fossil’s range with the advantages of LTE. It's not the best LTE-enabled smartwatch and Fossil hasn't done enough to make it stand apart in 2021, when newer hardware will be available. Best Buy: $349

Verizon: $349

Fossil: $349

Review Changelog, Oct 2021. This article was first published in February 2021. This article was revised in October 2021 to reflect these changes. Section on Availability and Price Added.

Here are the most recent news about Wear OS 3 as well as app updates.

Updated the competition section to include some of the most recent products.