Fossil Q Carlyle Gen 5 review

 

Smartwatches are revolutionizing the way we think about wearables and, of course, watches. Gone are the times when the simplest of information was transferred and displayed through a mashing of gears and winding of springs.

Now, all of this data and more can be had at your fingertips, or wrist to be more accurate. And it’s not just tech companies that’re cashing in on this new fad of wearable tech. Traditional watchmaking companies and high fashion houses are too, with industry giants like Hublot, Tag Heuer and Louis Vuitton jumping onto the smartwatch bandwagon (though it’s certainly no coincidence considering that they are all under LVMH’s wing), and even brands like Hermes, known for their luxurious leather work have started to specifically make straps for apple watches.

 

These branded smartwatches and accessories are clearly made and designed to meld luxurious materials, design and craftsmanship with modern technology. But what if we want something fashionable and just as technologically capable but without having to shell out 4 figures on a stunning looking smartwatch? Well fret not, because the Fossil Carlyle Gen 5 FTW4024 is here to scratch that itch.

There’s no getting around the fact that the Gen 5 Carlyle looks great. In fact, at a glance, it looks more like a traditional wrist watch than an actual smartwatch. Which is a good thing, in my opinion. It keeps an incredibly useful piece of tech stylish and makes it an actual accessory to your outfit rather than an afterthought. Available in a slew of different colours, straps and design variations and powered by Google’s Wear OS, the Gen 5 Carlyle is as much a fashion statement as it is a useful piece of technology.

 

The one we’re looking at from Fossil's line of smartwatches today is the FTW4024, in a rather sleek and stealthy brushed gunmetal finishing; very cool. Coming in at 12mm thick and 44mm wide, it is by no means a small watch. But it wears relatively slim, and will easily slip under a cuff.

The 1.28in AMOLED screen is crisp, clear and bright enough to be easily legible even under direct sunlight thanks to its automatic adjustment too. The display is always on by default, so you’ll be able to take a look at the time and your notifications at a glance. Wear OS does offer different battery saving options that can change that setting, but we’ll look into that later. The watch is available with plenty of customizable ‘dials’ right off the bat from Fossil, and you can download hundreds more from the Google Playstore. The amount of customization that can be had with the watch paired with its svelte stylish designs truly makes this one of the best-looking smartwatches in the market today.

 

The new Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle also manages to solve the issues of poor performance and battery life of Wear OS in the past. Performance is good, if not relatively on par with Apple’s Series 5 offering, with no noticeable lag or drop in speed during general usage. All these are aided by the 1Gb of RAM and the much newer Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

The battery life has also been improved along with the performance, being able to last a full day in ‘Daily mode’ which as we previously mentioned, keeps all the functions of the watch turned on. The watch comes with 3 battery management modes; Daily, Extended and Time-only. Extended mode shuts down some of the features, including the always-on display, and keeps the watch running for a respectable 2 days, while Time-only mode keeps it going for much longer.

 

Wear OS has certainly improved over the past year. Although as with everything, there is still room for improvement, it certainly provides a much more user-friendly experience now. Navigation is done via swiping the screen left and right, right for Google assistant, and left for various widgets such as timers, Google Fit and an array of widget options called Tiles. The quick settings can be accessed by swiping down, allowing you to activate flight mode, adjust the volume, switch battery modes or access Google Pay. You can change the watch face too by simply long pressing on it.

Your list of apps can also be accessed by pressing down on the crown, and if you’re already somewhere else, it’ll bring you back to the watch face. The interface is rather easy to get the hang of, in typical Android fashion, by simply swiping left, right, up or down.

 

The Fossil Q Carlyle Gen 5 is easily one of, if not the best, Wear OS smartwatches available in the market today. It solves the problem of performance and battery life with the upgraded processor and array of battery management options available, along with a much improved and more intuitive OS too. It looks pretty damn good doing what it does as well. With a wide variety of styles and colours available, you’ll certainly find that the Carlyle will effortlessly fit your style every time.

 

Specifications

  • Screen: 1.28in AMOLED (328ppi)
  • Case size: 44/46mm
  • Case thickness: 12mm
  • Lug width: standard 22mm
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Operating system: Wear OS
  • Water resistance: 30 metres (3ATM)
  • Sensors: altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, heart rate, microphone, speaker NFC, GPS
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, wifi