Facebones ,

I actually really like mine, but it does seem like they were always kinda half ass in supporting it. At least other options are round now, when I first got a Fossil it was the only one that looked like a watch which is why I jumped on it.

Gruntyfish ,
@Gruntyfish@lemmy.world avatar

My first smartwatch was a fossil and it almost made me give up on smart watches entirely. It was pretty nice for the first 6 or so months but the battery deteriorated quickly and it only lasted like half the day. I didn't even last a whole year before I gave up on it and just assumed Android smartwatches were kinda trash.

I actually got the free pixel watch 2 promo deal for preordering the pixel 8 pro thinking I could just sell it, but I decided to give it a shot and I actually really like it.

Pantherina ,
@Pantherina@feddit.de avatar

Psst... if you havent already, install GrapheneOS!

Gruntyfish ,
@Gruntyfish@lemmy.world avatar

Totally would if I didn't have to have a work profile and my bootloader was unlocked.

Pantherina ,
@Pantherina@feddit.de avatar

How does a work profile work... regularily? I only use it through shelter.

You need an invasive app that can completely control it, right?

Its still so much better than ios. Thanks Google for compartimentalization

Gruntyfish ,
@Gruntyfish@lemmy.world avatar

Your organization can control things only in the work profile, but it's completely sandboxed and your personal profile can't access any data there and vice versa.

JokeDeity ,

About time. I liked mine for about a week then the battery went to absolute shit.

isVeryLoud ,
@isVeryLoud@lemmy.ca avatar

Good. They fucking sucked, and they never supported them.

We bought 2 of their watches, brand new. The gen 4 literally had like 6 months of life in it before they stopped supporting it, and apps stopped working on it.

It had abysmal battery life and performance, basically unusable.

We also had the Sport. The front fell off. Which is not very typical, I'd like to make that point. The screen kinda opened up, flopped over and ripped itself off when going to bed. We got a replacement, horrible customer service, we had to hunt down a store that had the watch in stock, and then argue with them to make them understand that we're here for a warranty replacement, and they didn't know what to do.

That watch then proceeded to live for 3 months before they suddenly cut support and new apps stopped running on it.

dantheclamman OP ,
@dantheclamman@lemmy.world avatar

I had one that also had some sort of charging reliability issue, and I decided to return, so I agree it isn't a huge loss. Still, a lack of competition is usually bad in terms of prices for the rest of us. And WearOS getting even smaller means even narrower dev community. Easier to fully wall off the garden and close the OS when there are fewer and fewer people in it

isVeryLoud ,
@isVeryLoud@lemmy.ca avatar

Ah yes, the famous charging ring getting unglued issue.

I think they picked subpar glue for the whole unit tbh.

Starayo ,
@Starayo@lemmy.world avatar

I've said it for years on Reddit and I will continue saying it here on lemmy. I miss Pebble.

I use a galaxy watch 4 now but while it can do some more thing it still doesn't fully match the functionality of my pebble time. So many stupid software limitations that shouldn't exist.

If the battery hadn't degraded I'd still be using it.

I've looked at fossil multiple times and they've never matched the functionality I need. No current watches really do.

OriginalUsername7 ,

I have a Garmin Forerunner 55. It's light on my wrist and the battery lasts 2 weeks. I don't think it's lacking any functionality I had on my OG pebble, but it's got a few more bells and whistles.

JackGreenEarth ,
@JackGreenEarth@lemm.ee avatar

The garmin is too expensive for a watch, but my £50 Huawei GT2 also has a 2 week battery life and all the features I need.

detalferous ,

What functionality is missing?

jrgd ,

Not the same person, but I greatly enjoy my (now second) Pebble classic for several reasons, which I imagine some are shared between Starayo.

  • Always-on Display
  • Week-long battery life
  • High contrast display that can be read easily in low light as well as in direct sunlight
  • Simple notifications support, with quick canned replies
  • physical button navigation that make the watch easy to use without needing to look at it
  • Isn't obscenely large
  • quick launch application shortcuts from holding side buttons
  • simple media playback control that is responsive
  • Doesn't attempt to be another smartphone, but rather as a local companion to your existing smartphone (doesn't thrive on individual apps, but rather companion apps to complement smartphone usage)
  • Customizable and relatively simple to write applications and watchfaces for.

Unfortunately for me, fossil's watches do not match up. Looking at the gen 6, still uses an ill-suited AMOLED display that is bound to have poor contrast in direct sunlight unless the brightness is cranked so far that it will blow through the battery. Even then, the average battery life on the gen 6 is atrocious compared to most Pebble models as many reports say it can make it through one day. I'm sure by now, WearOS devices have worked out some of the kinks to make them easier and faster to use, though I am not sold on needing a personal assistant in order to do basic tasks (as Fossil markets their gen 6 smartwatch; I do doubt that this is necessary for general function).

Also, this might be controversial, but I personally feel that a device that has Bluetooth and is intended to communicate with a device that is often within ten feet of it really doesn't need to waste resources and probably become more of a privacy nightmare by including Wi-Fi, LTE, and other data communication methods (beside NFC). Furthermore, pretty much every WearOS device I have seen has had a struggle to keep battery life for more than a couple days, and everyone deems that devices that can should be praised for whatever reason. Seeing as my ancient smartwatch that does most of what these newer watches do yet can effortlessly hold a six day battery life at worst, I seriously question why newer watches that have so much compromise and are incredibly misguided as to what a complementary wearable should be are what are being developed. Not to mention that the Pebble classic on launch was $99 USD whereas one can easily find $400+ smartwatches that still have way too much compromise in comparison.

detalferous ,

Fantastic reply. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

couscouscivil ,

PineTime, ~25$, is the spirit child of Peeble. Its OS InfiniTime is on github. And boy that battery, I can go way past 1 week, close to 2 weeks.

jerb ,

How are you getting multiple weeks? Mine barely lasts a few days.

poke ,

I have the always on screen turned off and the only way to turn it on is the button or when a notification comes in. My battery lasts almost a month.

jerb ,

That might be it- my screen is configured to turn on when tilted up, too. I'll try that out.

FuzzChef ,

So you have to turn it on manually? Or does it react to movement?

Starayo ,
@Starayo@lemmy.world avatar

Holy hell, that's cheap. I'll have to look into grabbing one to play around with.

root ,

I upgraded from a Pebble Time to a Garmin Vivoactive 4. Quite a bit more expensive but I'm really liking it.

I'm just sad that Garmin is slowly replacing their Memory-in-pixel display in favor of AMOLED screens. MIP displays seemed to me to be the next best thing to e-ink type displays - always on with minimal battery drain.

I'll just need to keep my watch for as long as I can.

Telodzrum ,

Garmin is making the best smartwatches by far and has been for a while. I’ve been through Samsung, Google, and Apple offerings and I’m not leaving the Garmin lineup for the foreseeable future.

root ,

Yes but I'm sad they are moving away from MIP and switching to AMOLED. That said, I recently discovered Coros smartwatches and they are still using "memory LCD". Only time will tell if they'll stick to it or transition to AMOLED as many others have.

Omega_Jimes ,

I'm still using my Pebble Time. I've tried the Apple watch during my IPhone experiment, a fitbit, and a Garmin. Honestly the pebble is head and shoulders above any of them.

Chozo ,
@Chozo@kbin.social avatar

Not surprising. Their watches weren't really priced well enough for a product that has such a short lifespan. They were charging as much as an actual designer watch which would otherwise last decades, for a product whose non-replaceable battery has a lifespan of only a few years.

I can't imagine they had many repeat customers, as a result.

generic ,
@generic@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

I had a Fossil Wear OS smartwatch, I liked it but I barely used any of its features. Basically, I'd use it to notify me of messages and then I could see whether or not to pick up my phone.

I sold it and bought a Fossil hybrid (Collider HR) and I love that thing. The battery lasts about 2 weeks and people always think it's so cool that it has physical hands.

It shows me whenever I get a message or calendar notification (or whatever notifications I want) and that's all I care about.

I haven't looked at the newer generation of watches, but I don't think I'd upgrade or anything.

I also have other Fossil stuff, like belts. They make cool stuff, but they've always been a fashion brand first before a tech brand.

If they stop making smartwatches, are there any other brands that make good hybrid, eink watches?

Also, the article just mentioned they'd stop making Wear OS devices so maybe they'll still make the hybrid watches?

mudeth ,

Not hybrid watches but Garmin watches have a passive LCD screen that is readable under reflected light and the app is excellent, albeit proprietary.

I have a Fossil hybrid and Garmin Instinct and wear the instinct most of the time. I find the Fossil app too basic and it drains battery. I have heard about an open source app that can sync to them however.

generic ,
@generic@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

I recently switched to using GadgetBridge with my Fossil Hybrid. It was a little annoying to set up, but it works.

mudeth ,

That's the one, thanks! I better get to it before Fossil pulls the app. You need to extract a private key from the paired app correct?

generic , (edited )
@generic@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

Yes, there are a few ways to do it. You need to have logged into the Fossil app with an email/password, it didn't seem to work with "login with Google."

I used a python script that I ran on my computer that got the private key from the Fossil servers.


NOTE: You need to add the private key before pairing with GadgetBridge, if you add it after then it won't work.

mudeth ,

Appreciate the pointers!

Moonrise2473 ,

With the state of wearos where both the os maker and the chipset maker aren't believing in the platform, it's difficult to blame them.

The best way to do a smartwatch is using an embedded dedicated os that uses minimal resources to save battery. It's the reason a ten year old pebble smartwatch with 128k of ram and a 64 MHz CPU feels faster than a brand new wearos smartwatch with 2gb of ram and a 2 GHz CPU.

If for example you want to show a barcode for a membership card on the watch screen, you shouldn't run a full 100mb app on your watch with a database, internet connection, 2mb high res PNG files for icons and other shit. There's a powerful smartphone in the pocket that can do all the hard work like syncing, adding, editing or deleting cards and so on, and when a card need to be showed on the screen the phone just tells the watch "ok so using the embedded library just show this barcode, and to make it fancier use a green border because it's Starbucks"

But when people are purchasing it they're directly comparing it to the Apple Watch with beautiful display, fancy animations, and the numbers on the spec. "What? This watch only has 128k of RAM? LOL this other one with 16000 times more memory gonna be much better"

So, instead of doing it the right way and investing millions on an embedded os with fancy animations everyone took the shortcut of using wearos. "The chipset and the operating system is already done for us, just need to customize it!" And spend millions in customizing it.

But then, those Qualcomm "smartwatch" chipset are just ten year old smartphone CPUs in disguise and the operating system it's the full android os with a different skin. Congratulations, you got a ten year old smartwatch sized smartphone with bad performance and short battery life! Good luck selling that shit. Ah, forgot to mention that the company that is selling you the operating system is directly competing with your sales and at the same time it's holding exclusive features for themselves and/or delaying them for months. And they're using an exclusive chipset that's way better than whatever you can get. Yeah, customers gonna be pissed that your expensive smartwatch sized smartphone doesn't have all the features of the pixel watch.

sin_free_for_00_days ,

My pebble was the only "smart" watch I've had that I liked. I've given up on wearing a watch for now.

mp3 ,
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

I should introduce you to the Bangle.js 2

sin_free_for_00_days ,

Oh wow. How had I not seen this before? This looks super fun. Thanks for the link.

mp3 ,
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

You can even submit PR if you think you can improve the apps or even the OS on GitHub :D

sin_free_for_00_days ,

I am really liking all the tinkering it seems to allow you to do with pretty rudimentary programming skills. I almost bought one, but I've learned to force my self to sleep on just about any purchase these days.

mp3 ,
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

That's a good habit to have :)

AHorseWithNoNeigh ,
@AHorseWithNoNeigh@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar

Loved owning Fossil watches growing up and when I discovered that they came out with smartwatch, I decided that I should try the Carlyle the had. Unfortunately, the charging connection stopped working after a year and then the watch itself got kinda bugged. Turned me off from owning a smartwatch all together tbh.

jenny_ball ,
@jenny_ball@lemmy.world avatar

circle is absolutely the wrong form factor for a smart watch. I'm so annoyed only apple does rectangular. and Fitbit i guess. but we need more flagship rectangular watches and ideally not paired to any existing ecosystems

morrowind ,
@morrowind@lemmy.ml avatar

Fossil is a fashion brand, not a tech brand.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

I like my hybrid Fossil a lot..

variants ,

If a circle is good enough for 007 in golden eye 64 it's good enough for me

generic ,
@generic@iusearchlinux.fyi avatar

I had an LG smartwatch that was rectangular.

al177 ,

I got one of those ten years ago when they came out. It was a little ugly but it was snappy and could go for a couple of days on a charge. I can't say the same for any of the WearOS watches I had since then.

CameronDev ,

I went through 3 of them, the charging pins kept corroding within a few months. Seemed to be something to do with my skin. Only paid for 1 fortunately. It was a good watch otherwise, I even wasted my time making a wear os app.

OhNoMoreLemmy ,

Lots of the cheap Chinese watches Xiaomi, amazfit etc do a rectangular face. Rectangular lets you use standard screens and is cheaper and easier to get.

Empricorn ,

I don't know why you're getting downvoted. A circle made sense for an analog clock face. But if you prefer that, just... use a regular watch. Everything else from digital time, to notifications, to texts, to fitness trackers look better, fit wrists better, and display more information.

Apple is an annoying company but I would buy one of their watches if it worked with my Android phone.

jenny_ball ,
@jenny_ball@lemmy.world avatar


woelkchen ,
@woelkchen@lemmy.world avatar

circle is absolutely the wrong form factor for a smart watch. I’m so annoyed only apple does rectangular.

Apple Watches and their copycats (which exist) are ugly as hell.

ramble81 ,

I loved the design of their watches, they looked like a watch first and foremost, but their speed and battery life was atrocious and I owned 3 generations of them before switching to Apple.

Bob_Robertson_IX ,

That's the story of Fossil: great looking watches, that are subpar quality. I've owned 4 Fossil watches over the past 30+ years and I've regretted each one. The last was the Carlisle smartwatch, and that will be my last a Fossil.

scrubbles ,
@scrubbles@poptalk.scrubbles.tech avatar

Exactly why I never pulled the trigger on them. They always looked so nice, but they just couldn't get the tech to match. I'm not going to wear a watch that doesn't even make it through a workday.

somegadgetguy ,

Can't blame them. Google cut mobvoi and fossil off at the knees, while courting Samsung. Why would they stay?
I hope they try another hybrid watch.

youngalfred ,

Second the hybrid. I had a nice one - bronze face and the gold hands would move to indicate notification type etc. had some complications for step count etc. It looked great, I reckon it'd be even better with a small eink screen to show who the message was from etc. Kind of like the withings

popekingjoe ,
@popekingjoe@lemmy.world avatar

Their 6th gen hybrid does indeed have a 1.1in 240x240 E-ink display that can display the message! :)

somegadgetguy ,

I really want to try the withings. The new fossil hybrid is more like a Pebble. It's a solid little notification machine.

const_void ,

I personally quit smart watches. I owned an Apple Watch 2 and 'downgraded' to a Garmin Instinct. Couldn't be happier.

Strayce , (edited )

Agreed. Got the instinct 2 Solar. It does everything I realistically use a smartwatch for, the battery lasts 2+ weeks, and no fiddly little touchscreen to fuck out if I have water or grease on my fingers. Had it longer than I've kept any other smartwatch.

bradboimler ,
@bradboimler@startrek.website avatar

I agree I got rid of mine until smart watches can last 2 days minimum on battery I won’t use one the die so quickly.

pdxfed ,

I was gifted a Garmin 235 in 2015 and the battery lasted a week. At this point it still lasts 3-4 days. I'm great about always having my devices well-charged, can't imagine what many folks go through with the atrocious battery life on some of these "smart" watches that can barely go overnight.

youngalfred ,

Galaxy watch 5 pro would be best of the Samsung ones for that - lasts two days and does all the stuff.
It's got nothing on a Garmin for battery life though.

mp3 ,
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

Honestly all I want from my "smart watch" is to see notifications as they come in, and to see my upcoming events from my calendar(s) from a quick glance. That doesn't require a powerful CPU or an hi-res LCD display.

I don't want to do voice commands either.

thegreekgeek ,
@thegreekgeek@midwest.social avatar

Damn straight! I miss pebble. :(

mp3 , (edited )
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

You and me, comrade.

I went with the Amazfit Bip because it had a similar form factor and there were alternative firmwares for it, but after growing tired of fiddling with what is a hack-ish workaround, I decided to switch to the BangleJS2 when it came out. It's not as polished as the Pebble Timeline UI, but it works well enough and it's open-source.

thegreekgeek ,
@thegreekgeek@midwest.social avatar

Yeah I'm rolling with the GTS2 myself, I was thinking about the PineTime but I haven't seen the new bangle! Might have to get one of those.

mp3 ,
@mp3@lemmy.ca avatar

I was thinking about the PineTime but what made me change my mind was the shipping cost. The thing cost $27, and they charge $30 of shipping where I live.

thegreekgeek ,
@thegreekgeek@midwest.social avatar

Yeesh lol. Also It looks like the software offering is better with the bangle than it is with the PineTime.

n2burns ,

I keep buying used ones. The problem is they're starting to get harder to find and the price it's going up.

machinaeZER0 ,
@machinaeZER0@lemm.ee avatar

Love my Pebbles! Thank goodness for Rebble.

morrowind ,
@morrowind@lemmy.ml avatar

You want a hybrid watch. I had one, a withings for a couple of years before it decided to stop charging (completely unrepairable of course). Does precisely what you describe and lasts for a month on a single charge

Poggervania ,
@Poggervania@kbin.social avatar

How is the Garmin? I personally downgraded to a “dumb” Casio watch for my daily watch, but I still want something to at least track my heartrate and steps for whenever I exercise.

dmtalon ,

Garmin makes good watches, and the data capturing goes to Garmin connect without any subscription fee / pay wall to see all the data it tracks.

I've had a bunch of them (as a runner). I currently have a Fenix 6X partially because I was doing long runs and wanted the battery to last without worrying. I recently tried a pixel watch 2 for a few weeks and did really like the extra "smarts" but the battery life sucked.

Obi ,
@Obi@sopuli.xyz avatar

I've just got the vivoactive 5 for the purpose of health tracking and weight loss / fitness. It's my first SmartWatch. I'm very impressed with it, looks/feels great, full colour amoled but still over 10 days of battery life easily, etc.

The problem with Garmin is the amount of artificial segmentation they do, I know my watch is randomly crippled on some stuff (like no altimeter) to push people to the more expensive models, but since it's my first one I don't really know what I'm missing and the price/feature ratio felt good for me, maybe in a year if I keep at it I'll miss some of that but for now it's really helping me out with my lifestyle changes.

DrFuggles ,

Sad, but I guess somewhat understandable given the R&D competitors are putting in.

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