The first ever smartwatch that I reviewed professionally is the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
It’s a fantastic smartwatch but just has one big problem.
Luckily, I think it still has its niche, especially because its price is so friendly as is its very compact watch case. No other smartwatch out there reminds me of the good old watches that I used to wear in the ’90s.
But if we look at smartphones today, you might see a trend. Remember how small and compact the original smartphones were? Where are we today? Let’s put it this way: the new iPhone SE is bigger than the original SE, and this is a trend replicated by other smartphones too. One also has to look at the original Fiat 500 or Mini and compare it with today’s iteration and see the differences.
The TIcwatch Pro 3 GPS is bigger than the Fossil Sport Smartwatch but it’s actually one of the more compact smartwatches out there. Unlike smartphones or cutesy cars which have bloated over time, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS has shrunk as compared to the original Ticwatch Pro, while retaining all the great features and then some.
Entry-level vs premium smartwatch
The biggest difference between the two smartwatches starts at its price. You’ll notice the difference between the two, especially when the Fossil Sport Smartwatch is on sale.
Of course, being entry level does have some sacrifices. If you are used to having a hefty watch that makes you aware that you’re wearing something, then you might find the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS to be more suited to you. It’s more substantial of a watch while the Fossil Sport Smartwatch might not even qualify as a paperweight.
That said, if you want a smartwatch that’s out-of-mind, then you are better off with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
On the topic of hardware, the two smartwatches aren’t that far apart. The Fossil Sport Smartwatch comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 and 512MB of RAM while the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS has the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 1GB of RAM.
If there were a smartwatch that would suffer slowdowns, it would be the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. It was quite horrible back in January 2020, but has considerably improved over the last year.
That said, if you have software updates running in the background, the Fossil Sport will suffer greatly while the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS will sail through it.
Why Wear OS?
The Fossil Sport Smartwatch offers great value for money. It just can’t be beaten by any other watch out there, at least not as of yet.
What I love about it is that it runs in Google’s Wear OS. The Wear OS is a really good platform because it is backed by Google’s prowess in speech to text transcription.
That said, the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS also runs on the Google Wear OS platform so whatever you can do on the Fossil Sport, you’ll be able to do it on the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS, except everything is faster and smoother.
One of the most annoying this about the Wear OS is the time it takes Google Assistant to activate. That’s a bit of a pain with slower smartwatches.
The Fossil Sport suffers in this regard. If you activate Google Assistant, you’ll have to wait a little while before it’s ready to take your query.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS is instantaneous, which is a rare thing for Wear OS smartwatches. I think this really changes the game.
Emails and text
On both smartwatches, you can reply to texts and emails when paired to an Android smartphone, whether you’re on the Fossil smartwatch or on the Ticwatch Pro.
I really love replying to messages using the speech to text system because not only is it accurate, it’s also very convenient. Imagine if your phone is tucked in a bag and you want to reply to a message quickly — you’d want a Wear OS smartwatch because you can be assured your messages will be transcribed accurately.
With the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS, you’ll be able to make calls and that’s great because it’s an added convenience to be able to make outgoing calls as well as answer incoming calls. The Fossil Sport does not have such a feature which is typical for an entry-level smartwatch.
Wow, the battery life between the two smartwatches couldn’t be any more different.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 has the dual screen feature that is only available on Mobvoi’s Ticwatch Pro series (both the older one and this Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS). With the Ticwatch Pro 3, Mobvoi has really improved upon its battery life and in tandem, the quality of the screen.
The Ticwatch Pro 3 has a full colour LED screen underneath the see-through LCD screen and tries to keep the former turned off for as much as possible. You get essential information on this screen including time and date.
The Fossil Sport Smartwatch really struggles to keep itself afloat if you use the always-on screen. I find this the biggest issue that the Fossil Sport Smartwatch has.
No other smartwatch that I have reviewed has this issue and that’s a problem for the Fossil. I like having my watches’ always-on screen turned on so that I can see the time without having to jerk my wrist to wake the watch up.
In my experience, the Fossil Sport will through a workday, but beyond that, it’s all up to your luck.
Fortunately, that watch is very lightweight and kinda reminiscent of a regular digital watch. So when it inevitably goes into power saving mode, at least you’re not wearing a large and heavy watch without all the smart features.
I’d say 2020 is the year where we saw manufacturers increasingly trying to innovate by adding new health metrics to track. The biggest of them all was the tracking of blood oxygen saturation.
You’ll be able to get this metric on the Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS, but no on the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.
But honestly, I don’t really feel like something’s amiss if the smartwatch can’t track SpO2. Like, OK, when was the last time you wanted to know how much oxygen was in your blood?
The Ticwatch Pro 3 has some other interesting health metrics that it can measure including noise levels, stress and the standard stuff like heart rate and steps.
The Fossil Sport Smartwatch is a bit more limited, being able to only measure steps and heart rate. And because of its poor battery life, you don’t want it to continuously measure your heart rate.
If you want the best Wear OS smartwatch out there, then you should really get the Ticwatch Pro 3. The Fossil Sport is a good smartwatch but it’s significantly marred by the poor battery life. Otherwise, I quite enjoyed wearing it because of how compact it is and how feature rich it is.