Modern and timeless

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Smartwatch

Dashing and feminine

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Smartwatch

The Carlyle offers some great improvements, like Snapdragon Wear 3100, increased RAM and storage, and an external speaker. It sports a modern yet timeless design that's available in black and smoke, so it'll blend well with just about everything. It offers the same functionality as the Julianna, so your choice will come down to aesthetics.

$295 at Amazon

Pros

  • External speaker
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
  • Sleek and timeless design

Cons

  • Battery life isn't great
  • Hard to read in direct sunlight
  • Battery-saving modes are restrictive

It's easy to see that the Fossil Gen 5 Julianna smartwatches are geared toward those who are seeking a more feminine design. These models also with Snapdragon Wear 3100, increased RAM and storage, and an external speaker. If you were hoping for a dazzling rose gold option for your next smartwatch, this just might be it.

$295 at Amazon

Pros

  • External speaker
  • 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage
  • Stylish feminine design

Cons

  • Battery life isn't great
  • Hard to read in direct sunlight
  • Battery-saving modes are restrictive

When you compare the two new Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches, there are some physical differences you'll notice right off the bat. The Carlyle watches come in deep black and smoky gray variants while the Julianna watches come in a few of dashing rose gold variants. Other than that, there are no functional differences between them. The good news is that both of these watches boast significant improvements from the previous Gen 4 models.

Stunning new designs

Before we jump into all the performance-related updates the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches have received, we should address the obvious: The Carlyle and the Julianna are basically the same watch, just available in three color variants each. While this is less than was offerred by the Gen 4 Explorist and Venture, there's enough variation in the options to justify the limited selection.

Caryle Julianna
Dimensions 44 x 44 x 12 mm 44 x 44 x 12 mm
Display 1.28-inch AMOLED touchscreen 1.28-inch AMOLED touchscreen
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2 LE,
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE,
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Sensors Accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, heart rate, NFC Accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope, heart rate, NFC
Processor Snapdragon Wear 3100 Snapdragon Wear 3100
Water resistance 3ATM 3ATM
Battery life 24+ hrs 24+ hrs
Colors Black, Black/Brown, Smoke Rose Gold, Rose Gold/Black, Rose Gold/Blush
Interchangeable bands 22 mm 22 mm
Built-in GPS ✔️ ✔️
Notifications ✔️ ✔️
External speaker ✔️ ✔️

With the Carlyle, you can choose from a black case with a black silicone band, black case with a brown leather band, or smoke case with stainless steel band. The Julianna comes in rose gold with a stainless steel band, rose gold/black with a smoky black stainless steel mesh band, and rose gold with a blush leather band. If you decide you're a fan of everything the new Gen 5 smartwatches offer, all that's left to do is decide which design you prefer.

Gen 5 improvements

Pictured: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle smartwatches

There's a lot more to these new smartwatches than their stunning designs. Gen 5 has proven to be a significant upgrade over Gen 4. Fossil has finally incorporated the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which is said to improve battery life and overall performance. This has been a long awaited improvement, so it's nice to see that Fossil delivered. Battery life with these watches is now said to last 24 hours or more. Of course, battery life will vary depending on your usage.

If you plan to use your smartwatch to its full potential, be prepared to charge it daily.

With that said, you'll have a few battery-saving modes that claim to give you more usage between charges. Extended mode shuts off nonessential features, including Wi-Fi, "OK Google" detection, always-on display, speaker, and touch to wake. Additionally, location tracking and NFC are set to on demand so that the radios are only turned on when apps are using them. Time Only mode will buy you a few extra hours when the battery is low by functioning as a watch and nothing more. If you plan to use your smartwatch to its full potential, be prepared to charge it daily.

Pictured: Fossil Gen 5 Julianna smartwatches

While the previous Gen 4 models came with a microphone, they lacked an external speaker. This is another improvement that Fossil added to the Gen 5 smartwatches. You'll find that this convenient new feature will come in handy in multiple situations, especially when you're using Google Assistant and want to hear the response rather than having to glance down and read it on your wrist. You'll also be able to take calls on the watch and hear audible notifications for texts, emails, and more.

The Fossil Gen 5 watches come with increased RAM and storage capacity.

Last but not least, the Fossil Gen 5 watches come with increased RAM and storage capacity. Previously, you only got 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Now, you can look forward to 1GB of RAM and double the internal storage space at 8GB. For those who heavily rely on their smartwatch throughout the day, this will definitely be an appreciated upgrade.

You'll get a lot of the same features this time around, too. The Gen 5 models come with a rotating crown, untethered GPS, activity and heart rate tracking, music storage, Google Pay, and they're 3 ATM water resistant. You'll also have the opportunity to swap out the 22 mm interchangeable bands as you see fit.

Bottom line

Since there are no functional differences between the Carlyle and the Julianna, your decision will come down to the physical design that suits you best. If you're partial to rose gold, you'll be happy with one of the soft but dazzling designs that the Julianna offers. Don't forget when you're choosing your watch that you can easily switch to another band that better matches your style.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more classic look, such as black on black or a cool smoky gray option, you might find yourself eyeing the Carlyle watches. At the end of the day, your wrist is going to be in good hands with either one of the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches and all of its well-deserved improvements.

Modern and timeless

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Smartwatch

A modern yet timeless design

If you're looking for a modern yet timeless design, you'll enjoy the Fossil Gen 5 Caryle smartwatches. In addition to the new designs, you'll enjoy increased RAM and storage, an external speaker, and the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

Dashing and feminine

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna Smartwatch

A more feminine option

If you've been seeking a feminine design in the form of a robust smartwatch, look no further than the Julianna. With the dashing designs, you'll also get increased RAM and storage, an external speaker, and the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

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