Should you buy the Fossil Gen 5 or the Fossil Gen 5E?November 25, 2021
A perfect lifestyle watch
Fossil Gen 5
Only one size option
If you want to go big or go home with your smartwatch experience, the Fossil Gen 5 is a worthy contender. It’s nearly identical to the Fossil Gen 5E, with a few key exceptions. On this model, you get onboard GPS, more internal storage, and a rotating crown. It only comes in one size, though.
Lite yet efficient wearable
Fossil Gen 5E
Lacks onboard GPS
No rotating crown
If looks are more important to you than interior features, you might find yourself favoring the Fossil Gen 5E. You’ll have two size options to choose from, which is ideal for users with smaller wrists. It’s slightly more affordable, but you’ll sacrifice GPS and a few other features.
Fossil Gen 5 vs. Gen 5E: What’s the difference?
Choosing between two smartwatches will depend on a few important factors, especially when you’re dealing with two similar wearables from the same company. Take the Fossil Gen 5 and the Fossil Gen 5E, for example. While the design varies slightly, there are some bigger differences at play.
Fortunately, both models are packed with plenty of useful features. As for the differences, the Fossil Gen 5 includes onboard GPS, 8 GB of internal storage, and a rotating crown for seamless navigation. The Fossil Gen 5E is a lite version of the original model, if you will. You only get 4 GB of internal storage, and you’ll need to rely on your phone for connected GPS. While there’s a side button, it doesn’t have a rotating crown. Finally, the Fossil Gen 5E is available in two sizes: 44mm and 42mm.
If you care more about design and simplicity, you’ll likely prefer the Fossil Gen 5E. If you want more features for your money, the Fossil Gen 5 is the better option. It’s more expensive and only comes in one size, but you can’t beat the extra perks that this wearable offers. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that neither of these watches will be eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3 in 2022.
The Fossil Gen 5 offers a few important extras
When the Fossil Gen 5 was first released, it was pretty impressive on multiple levels. While that may still be true, times have changed, and it’s becoming less impressive with age. Our latest Fossil Gen 5 review offers some insight into what these wearables are like one year later. In short, the once-new Snapdragon 3100 is no longer the latest processor — and it shows.
Even with the addition of 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage, Wear OS on the Fossil Gen 5 still has its pitfalls. Hopefully, more companies will follow Mobvoi’s lead with the TicWatch Pro 3, and the Snapdragon 4100 chipset will start popping up in Wear OS devices sooner rather than later.
Fossil Gen 5
Fossil Gen 5E (Men’s)
Heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, altimeter, ambient light
Heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope
1 GB RM, 8 GB Storage
1 GB RM, 4 GB Storage
Two size options
Extended battery modes
The Fossil Gen 5 might be the older model between the two, but it still has a stunning design. It only comes in one size (44mm), but there are multiple variants to pick from depending on what look you’re after. You also get a bright 1.3-inch AMOLED display. The watch has two easy-to-use side buttons and a rotating crown for navigating through menus. These models are compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands. So when you want to shop for a new Fossil Gen 5 band, you’ll have an array of choices.
Another perk that may come in handy is the various battery-saving modes. While these modes can limit functionality, they’re mainly designed to prolong your battery life in between charges. For instance, Extended Mode allows you to use essential features daily while only needing a charge every few days. If you don’t want to be limited in using your smartwatch, Daily Mode will still require you to charge it each night.
While the Fossil Gen 5 offers 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage, there’s still room for improvement.
While the Fossil Gen 5 offers 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage, there’s still room for improvement. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor provides you with decent performance, but there are still typical software bugs that cause Wear OS to lag behind its competitors in this department.
If you’ve been keeping up with wearable news, you know that things are changing for Wear OS watches. Now that Wear OS 3 is on the horizon, this is something you’ll want to think about when shopping for a smartwatch. We’re hopeful that the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset that comes with the new Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch will take performance to the next level.
While the Fossil Gen 5 isn’t exactly a fitness smartwatch, it has the main features you need to track your health and activity. This model has built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, and water resistance up to 30 meters. You also get a wide range of smartwatch features, including Google Assistant, Google Pay, music storage, and a mic/speaker for taking Bluetooth calls on your wrist.
The Fossil Gen 5E cuts a few corners
When you buy the lite version of any device, you can expect it to cut a few corners. In the case of the Fossil Gen 5E, there are a few missing features you’ll want to consider. Most importantly, you won’t have onboard GPS with this model. As a result, you’ll need to have your phone with you to track your route during an activity. If activity tracking isn’t your primary goal, it might not bother you that the Fossil Gen 5E lacks onboard GPS.
The Fossil Gen 5E is missing an altimeter, a compass, and an ambient light sensor.
There’s also a slight downgrade in terms of storage. The Fossil Gen 5 offers 8 GB while the Gen 5E tops out at 4 GB. While storage might seem trivial, considering this is a brand-new watch running on an old chipset, it can affect the overall performance. This might not be a deal-breaker for everyone, but it’s worth mentioning that the Fossil Gen 5E is missing an altimeter, a compass, and an ambient light sensor.
Now that we know what’s missing, let’s talk about the one advantage the Fossil Gen 5E has over the original Gen 5. This time around, you can choose between two case sizes. Not surprisingly, the larger 44mm models come in a few different masculine designs, including Black Stainless Steel and Brown Leather. The smaller 42mm models are available in more feminine designs, like Blush Silicone and Rose Gold Stainless Steel. Regardless of which model you choose, you’ll have access to a wide variety of interchangeable Fossil Gen 5E bands.
Fossil Gen 5 vs. Gen 5E: Which should you buy?
If you’re a fan of extra perks and don’t want to miss out on key features such as built-in GPS, you’ll probably want to stick with the original Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch. It also provides you with more storage and a satisfying digital crown for easier navigation. If you can live with the one 44mm case size option and want these few extra features, you’ll be happy to choose the Fossil Gen 5.
Perhaps those extras don’t really jump out at you. If you’re buying a Fossil wearable to enjoy the gorgeous design and a few smartwatch perks, the Gen 5E might be more your speed. You get two different size options with this watch, which is a departure from the original models. The only other major differences are the lack of GPS, less internal storage, and a slimmed-down side button setup.
There isn’t a huge price gap to consider when choosing between these two Android smartwatches, either. Your ultimate decision will determine what features and design elements matter most to you in a smartwatch. If you want more bang for your buck, then it makes sense to consider the Fossil Gen 5. If you want a specific size or design and won’t miss the extra features, you might prefer the Fossil Gen 5E.
Perfect lifestyle watch
Fossil Gen 5
The full experience
If you want every feature possible, then you probably don’t want to compromise on GPS. If this is a must-have perk in your eyes, you’ll want to go with the Fossil Gen 5. You also get more storage and a smooth rotating crown.
Lite yet efficient wearable
Fossil Men’s Gen 5E 44mm Stainless Steel Touchscreen Smartwatch
Lite, but still impressive
Those who like having options will appreciate the Fossil Gen 5E. You get to choose between a 42mm and 44mm case size. You won’t have onboard GPS, and there’s less storage, but these might not be major drawbacks for you.
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