The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 is getting the Fossil 4th generation smartwatch treatment. And by that we mean it's getting loaded with features that are going to make it a whole lot smarter than the third gen.
We're talking about adding a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, waterproofing and Google Pay support, matching the upgrades we've already heard about with the Michael Kors Access Runway and Fossil's own Venture and Explorist HR smartwatches.
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Google's Wear OS will, of course, be at the heart of how those new hardware features are brought together and while I didn't get to see them all in working action (I only got to see versions in demo mode), the new Diesels will support the new changes made to Google's operating system. That includes the new Wear OS interface redesign and the access to the rebooted Google Fit.
We're yet to track down US pricing for the next generation Diesel watches, but we do know the UK details. The matte black steel case on a black silicone strap, gunmetal steel case on a brown leather strap and matte steel case on a black leather strap models will all sit at ¬£319, while the all-over gunmetal steel case design will be ¬£329.That's roughly the same price that the original Diesel on Full Guard came in at, and we expect US pricing to be in the same ballpark, too.
Diesel On Full Guard 2.5: Design and build quality
As far as the design goes, these are still watches every bit inspired by traditional Diesel watches. You've got those industrial-style, machined metal bodies and robust-looking strap options. They're big and unapologetically brash, but that's what Diesel is all about and that's exactly what you get. They certainly feel more manly than some other watches in the Fossil smartwatch family, but that bulk doesn't feel as noticeable as it did on its predecessor. Shaving off a millimeter in thickness to 11mm and dropping down slightly in the case size has worked wonders for the new Diesel.
Some redeeming features remain, like the two physical customisable buttons which sandwich a rotating crown to offer an alternative to navigating screens on the watch. Speaking of the display, that's dropped down in size to a 1.39-inch, which is slightly smaller than the 1.4-inch AMOLED one on the first Diesel On Full Guard. But there's no drop down in quality. It's still sharp, vibrant and proves Fossil is getting things right on the screen front.
Diesel On Full Guard 2.5: Software and performance
As mentioned these watches were in demo mode, so I couldn't get a proper feel of what they are made of on the software features front. But this is Wear OS, and it'll be a similar if not identical experience to other watches from the Fossil Group. Diesel does have a few little extras in the way of watch faces and what Fossil calls micro apps that might not be groundbreaking, but they're nice enough additions to what Wear already has to offers
On the performance front, we're talking about Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 2100 running the show, which means it won't be running on whatever the chipset maker has in store when it announces its next-gen tech for smartwatches in September.
Battery life should be a maximum of two days thanks to a 300mAh battery, but that's entirely based on what features you're regularly putting to use. We don't have word yet on GPS battery life, but we imagine this might give the performance a bit of hammering.
I remember picking up the first Diesel Wear smartwatch and being taken back by the sheer size of it. Even for a Diesel watch. The new On Full Guard 2.5 really does feel like an entirely different prospect on the wrist. Yes, it's still a big ol' watch, but dropping down in thickness and case size means it handles that heft much better. And that's all with packing in all those extra features like GPS and a heart rate monitor. If it has remedied the issues we had with battery life on the first On Full Guard, the Fossil Group may well have another hit on its hands.
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