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Diesel is opening up its smartwatch portfolio to a wider cross-section of society - or, at least, that's what it hopes it'll do with the introduction of the Diesel On Fadelite at CES 2020.
It moves away from the industrial, over-sized design of previous Diesel branded smartwatches, instead opting for a slightly smaller form factor and no metal, resulting in a brighter, lighter and arguably more accessible wearable.
The unusual Fadelite name references not the watch itself, but the strap, which fades from one color to another, providing the piece with a distinctive aesthetic.
Whether this redesign is enough to win over a wider range of consumers remains to be been, but the Diesel On Fadelite seems to have all the right features to give it a fighting chance.
Diesel Fadelite release date and price
The Diesel On Fadelite release date is set for March in a number of countries including the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan and China. We wait to hear whether it will be made available in other regions, such as Australia - we wouldn't be surprised if it does receive a wider roll-out further down the line.
As for the Diesel On Fadelite price, the smartwatch will set you back $275 / £249 (around AU$400) when it goes on sale, putting it in the middle of the Wear OS wearable market.
Design and display
Pick up the Diesel On Fadelite and instead of the weight and cool-to-the-touch nature of a metal frame, it's surprisingly lightweight. That's due to its nylon body, which provides a less serious look, although one which does feel a touch cheap.
The chunky strap, as previously mentioned, fades from one color to another, with three options to choose from; red to black, black to clear, blue to clear. There's also an all-clear strap, but where's the fun in that?
The strap is stamped with a large Diesel logo and they are, themselves some of the chunkiest watch straps we've come across. Such is the thickness, the plastic isn't overly easily to bend around your wrist, and doing up the strap is fiddly.
It's also not the most comfortable material to have against your skin. We expect the plastic to loosen up and soften over time, but during the initial period of ownership it may be a small frustration.
Shifting focus back to the 43mm watch body, and you'll find a crown on the right side, which can be rotated to allow for easy scrolling of on screen menus.
It also includes a button which lets you launch into the app list, and then acts as a back button as you move through various menus and apps.
The touch screen is bright, clear and reasonably sized, which makes reading what's on it easier.
Features and performance
Diesel has packed a range of features into the On Fadelite, including GPS for location tracking (no need to take your phone with you on a run, the watch can track it all), NFC for contactless payments and a heart rate monitor.
One feature it doesn't have is a speaker, but you can pair a set of Bluetooth headphones with it if you want to listen to music.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 3100 chipset is in charge of running Google's Wear OS software, which is pretty much identical to all other Wear OS watches aside from a couple of exclusive Diesel watch faces.
The Diesel On Fadelite makes a compelling play for the unisex market with plenty of features and a distinctive design which will help it standout from its slightly blander competition - especially at its price point.
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John joined TechRadar a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs of some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.
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Diesel's super hot Wear OS watch is finally on sale (Updated)
Update: September 16, 2020 (3:30 AM ET): After a lengthy delay, Diesel is finally making its Fadelite smartwatch available to purchase. Four color options are available — clear, black, blue, and red — but you really should just buy the all-clear model. You can find it at Diesel.com at the link below for $275.
Check it out from Diesel
Original article: January 6, 2020 (8:42 PM ET): The smartwatch market can get a little boring from time to time. Wearable hardware doesn’t progress as quickly as smartphone hardware, so new smartwatches can feel iterative. That’s why I’m excited for Diesel’s new Fadelite smartwatch.
Just look at this thing. All four colors of the Diesel Fadelite come with different levels of transparency in both the case and the straps. The all-clear model (above) is my favorite. It doesn’t even look like a smartwatch, which I love. I seriously didn’t want to take this thing off at my demo at CES today.
For those not all-in on the fully transparent look, the Diesel Fadelite comes in three other colors: blue to clear, black to clear, and red to clear.
Diesel is attempting to make this smartwatch appeal to men and women, unlike the company’s Axial smartwatch that was really only marketed towards men. The Fadelite has a 43mm case, so it should look better on people with smaller wrists. I don’t have gigantic wrists and the Fadelite looked fine on me.
Despite the Fadelite having the upgraded Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC, I’m a little concerned about its internals. It only has 512MB of RAM (half that of other well-performing Wear OS watches) and just 4GB of onboard storage for music and apps. This is a bummer considering the Fadelite’s price tag and the fact that Fossil and its partner brands have launched other watches with better specs. We’ll have to wait and see if performance takes a hit because of that low RAM amount.
The Fadelite isn’t expected to launch for a few months, so there weren’t any full working models at my demo — I only saw retail mode units, so I wasn’t able to test out its performance.
Elsewhere, the Diesel Fadelite comes with a built-in GPS, heart rate sensor, NFC for Google Pay, and a redesigned globe dial that allows you to see two additional time zones.
Interested? You’ll be able to buy the Diesel On Fadelite from Diesel stores, diesel.com, and other retailers for $275.
I want to hear your thoughts on this translucent watch. Hot or not? Let me know in the comments.
NewsCES 2020, Google Wear OS, smartwatches, Wearables
Diesel On Full Guard 2.5
Diesel On Full Guard 2.5
Design – Diesel continues to bring masculine sport smartwatch in the market. One of the latest is the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5. It is a sporty type smartwatch with a 47 mm case and 11 mm thick, the design is intended for men with a bigger wrist. Its metal body looks masculine and rugged with that classic genuine leather strap, you can say that the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 looks premium, even at first glance. The smartwtach has a 1.39” inch touch screen display, the screen is an AMOLED providing sharp and vivid colors. The smartwatch overall is waterproof up to 3 ATM.
Under the Hood – just like other Wear OS smartwatches, the Diesel on Full Guard 2.5 runs the low power consumption Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor. The processor is optimized for Google’s Wear OS, so no issues with the performance here. The smartwatch features heart rate monitor, GPS as well as NFC. Additional features include Google Assistant, Weather, Call and message notifications, Watch faces, alarm, calendar, social app notifications and more.
The smartwatch has 300 mAh battery with the battery life of up to 2 days in normal usage.
We have been waiting for a magic bullet to fix all of our Wear OS complaints ever since it was released. Fossil, increasingly associated with the future of the platform it seems, has done an admirable job with their Gen-5 smartwatches — who would have thought that all it required was better specs? Now it’s time for that technology to make its way to the other brands in Fossil’s portfolio, starting with Diesel’s On Axial.
Diesel On is fashion label Diesel’s wearables brand. I loved the design of last year’s smartwatch, but the initial press images for Axial left me a little cold.
Despite this, I thought it would be worth having a look and seeing if the tech outweighed the looks and decides whether Axial is worth my hard-earned.
They say first impressions are everything and the Axial did not let me down. It came in some stunning packaging (always a good start) with the box housing the watch looking very Diesel.
The watch itself was also jaw dropping, wiping away any doubts I had over the design.
In person, Axial is absolutely stunning. The oversized watch face with large casing and thick, brutal industrial design made for an amazing first impression.
From the outset I was hoping the performance matched the design, because if it did then this could be the smartwatch for me.
It’s a Fossil Gen-5 smartwatch.
Inside there’s a Snapdragon Wear 3100 SOC paired with 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Bluetooth, WiFi, inbuilt GPS and NFC for Google Pay.
On the outside, there’s a 1.3 inch OLED display, 3 buttons with the middle button including a digital crown, speaker, microphone. With the body being a little larger than other watches, it’s not surprising that it connects to slightly larger 22mm interchangeable bands.
For more on the internals, check out Duncan’s Fossil Carlyle HR review.
It’s the design that is different
In my old age I have tended towards designs that are stronger and more industrial for personal fashion and gadgets. Hell, maybe I trying to stay young, but either way I love the larger, less aesthetic design of the watches. I prefer a large watch on my wrist and I like the way they look. Diesel On Axial fits the bill for both of these.
It may not be for everyone the design — some have described it as “brutal” — but I like that. The 1.3 inch display is surrounded by a large dial — in this case it’s bronze/gold, but it’s also available in silver and grey as well on different coloured cases with different bands.
The bands are a basic 22mm band and are easily interchangeable if you should wish to. The Diesel On bands are quick-release so they are swapped in and out with ease.
The three large buttons on the right hand side add to the industrial aesthetic. Two are large rectangles, and in the centre there’s a large round button — a digital rotating crown button that aids navigation as the watch’s UI responds to such turns.
Performance has finally improved
WearOS has been a dog for so long. Watch interactions have been slow at times and dead at others. It’s been frustrating watching Google’s early smartwatch lead eroded by others that understand users don’t want to be left looking at a frozen screen or a loading spinner.
Fossil seems to have solved the issue by installing twice as much RAM and using the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100. We’ve seen the 3100 in other watches too, and we know it’s not the saviour we’d hoped for, but it is an improvement.
Diesel On Axial is faster than other Wear OS watches I’ve used, but it’s still not the same instant interaction you see on a smartphone.
Apps opened quickly and touch responses were decent. The Fossil-made Gen 5 smartwatches definitely have the chops to make you believe that Wear OS may have a future.
If spec bumps are the solution, maybe 2GB of RAM and the new SD3300 processor will be the solution to ALL the issues.
What’s good about it?
Normally here we discuss the reasons we like the device but I won’t go into too much detail as Duncan hit the nail on the head — it’s a jack of all trades.
It benefits greatly by fixing past issues. It is not slow as treacle and actually responds to you in a timely fashion — still not as fast as a phone might might much better than previous generations of WearOS smartwatches.
Here’s what I liked about this particular smartwatch, aside from the improved performance:
- Design is right up my alley
- Digital crown is handy
- Contains all the specs including NFC, a microphone and speaker (for phone calls if you want), and heart rate sensor
- The added buttons — my previous Wear OS smartwatch only had a single button.
The extra buttons on the Axial allow for further customisation
- Battery life
Can it last a day?
In a simple word, yes. When used from around 8am until about 6pm when I got home the watch would have about 30% battery remaining. That’s a comfortable buffer for lasting an entire day without any issues.
That should not be surprising though, because a watch that can’t last a day would never fly. Charging a watch is more difficult than charging a phone.
Battery life is the next thing manufacturers need to tackle once they finally solve the performance issues in Wear OS. Lasting a day is good but a few days would be much more acceptable in case you forget one night (or two). Other manufacturers are tackling this challenge.
The watch is charged via pins on a magnetic charger that’s supplied in the box. The magnets guide the pins into position on a circular ribbon around the heart rate sensor, so it’s impossible to get them out of alignment.
This does mean you’ll need to remember to bring your charger if you go away for the weekend – otherwise you’ll find your watch is flat after a day.
Custom additions by Diesel On
With the heart of a Fossil Gen-5 beating within, it’s not surprising to find the same battery life control features, and they are pretty great. Axial allows you to fine tune your power consumption and functions of the watch so that only what YOU want is left turned on, enhancing the battery life.
Some of the options you can choose to turn on or off include always on screen, system sound, Wi-Fi, location, phone audio, touch and tilt to wake, NFC, OK Google detect and Bluetooth.
As this is a review unit, I wanted to put it through its paces so I had every single function enabled – I daresay that once I turn off some functions the battery may last longer.
There’s also a couple more extra apps.
Firstly, there is a Dial Effects app that places an overlay on top of the watchface based on which option you choose –weather mode, activity mode, DND mode or nothing ( preferred nothing, as the effects hid the time — what’s the point of a watch if you can’t see the time?)
The second app is the Diesel T-ON-I app. This app gives you notifications based on your steps, weather, schedule and basic life in general. It started out very handy, and it got sassier and sassier. It is a fun app and a fun way to receive these notifications. Check out some of the more out there things this watch has said to me:
Of course there’s also the custom Diesel On watchfaces. These watchfaces match the design and slightly alternative aesthetics of the watch and I actually kept using them – they’re not just a good look, but decent options for colours and complications on the face.
What’s it not so good at?
I’m not sure on this one. There is no LTE, but I never saw the point of LTE on a smartwatch.
The performance, while better, could still do with some improvement. Maybe next year manufacturers get serious about this (or maybe it’s Wear OS). There is no Wear OS watch with better performance, though.
The design may not be for everyone, but if you want a slightly alternative, industrial, steam-punk style design then this is perfect for you.
If you’re into the specs but not the design, Fossil’s got other options in their product range that might be a better fit. This one works for me.
Should you buy one?
The best test of a review device is whether you would put your money where your mouth is and purchase one yourself — back the device with your own funds. In this case yes I would and yes I am. As soon as this one is returned there will be a purchase made in this Plowman household of on Diesel On Axial smartwatch. I am undecided on the colour of the dial to go for because the black and bronze look is amazing but the silver may suit me better.
The design is different but perfect for me. The watch is big, there is no way around that. It is big but that is the fashion these days. Have a look in a watch shop next time you are passing and see how big the expensive stylish watches are. This fits right in with that.
The specs and performance cannot be beaten in the WearOS world and the customisation by Diesel, while mostly of limited use is fun. Their watch faces match the style of the watch and suit it perfectly.
At a not-so-cheap price of $599 it is definitely not an impulse purchase for most of us and I would suggest you head into your local JB HiFi, Myer and David Jones to have a look for yourself before making any decision. It can be purchased from these retailers either instore or online for $599.
If you are in need of a good looking smartwatch, now is the time to go and have a look.
DIESEL WATCHES & JEWELRY
Watches by Diesel Add Color to Your Day
Some people are hesitant to add color into their looks – opting instead for a lifetime of neutrals. While there’s nothing wrong with that and everyone’s style is cool and authentic, we know that watches by Diesel are made for people who live out loud in color and design. Whether it’s the only pop of color in your ensemble or it’s one of many bright hues, Diesel watches provide personality and unforgettable details.
Diesel watches are big, brilliant and unapologetically different. No level of conformity to be found here. An enlarged watch face provides standout, get-noticed style no matter what you pair it with. On top of that, watches by Diesel feature stunning details, usually on the dial, so no look is ever boring or simple. Even though these iconic watches are bold, they seamlessly fit in with any look. Wear them to work, out with friends, on vacation, to concerts and everywhere in between. The distinctive look of a Diesel watch makes it instantly recognizable. Both men’s and women’s watch designs provide timeless style that sets the trend for every season and that last well beyond.
Take your look one step further with Diesel smartwatches. These high-tech accessories help you stay connected to what’s important without giving up an ounce of your unique style. Create custom watch faces and enjoy features like multi-day battery life, heart rate tracking, GPS, activity tracking, a speaker, smartphone notifications and so much more. A smart watch by Diesel is the perfect combination of unapologetic style and innovative technology. Don’t be afraid to be loud, bold and creative – it’s part of the Diesel DNA.
Jewelry Designs & Watches by Diesel Move Your Style Forward
Once you’ve selected the perfect watch by Diesel, it’s time to find the perfect piece of Diesel jewelry. Masculine bracelets and jewelry take things a step further in helping you express your individual style. Layer your watch with a stainless steel ID bracelet or create a new look entirely – the choice is yours. Shop the bold Diesel designs you love at Watch Station and discover everything you love in one convenient place. You’re confident, uncomplicated, bold, loud, iconic and distinctive, which is what makes these watches perfect for you. Explore unique ways to keep your style on the cutting edge of fashion and ensure your trendsetter reputation with Diesel watches from Watch Station.
Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones review: The smartwatch your heart will want
Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones review: The smartwatch your heart will want
“The Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones limited edition smartwatch has a unique, eye-catching design, but the tech inside lags behind its space-age looks.”
- Eye-catching artwork
- Second strap in the box
- Limited-edition packaging appeals
- Slim and lightweight
- Ambient light sensor is poor
- Stiff strap can be uncomfortable
People I speak to have taken a shine to the Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones smartwatch. I’ve been told it is exactly the kind of watch they’d wear, and that it really catches the eye. These kind of compliments about a smartwatch are unusual, as most examples tend to come in black and look quite technical, without any significant visual flair to attract admiring glances.
The question is, what’s my response at this point? Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as giving a hearty recommendation to go out and buy one. Buying any WearOS smartwatch requires thought, and although the On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones gets the look right, there are other aspects that can’t keep up. However, this still isn’t the full story, as these downsides haven’t stopped me from wearing it.
Confused? Don’t be. This may just be the first smartwatch you should buy with your heart and not your head.
I don’t usually wear a watch to tell the time. It’s actually not rare for me to wear a watch that shows the time from a different time zone, or that hasn’t been adjusted for daylight savings, simply because I’m so much in the habit of looking at my phone for the time. I wear watches that I think look brilliant, as an accessory rather than a strict timepiece. Design and style wins over functionality, and I’m willing to bet there are others who feel the same.
The Diesel On Fadelite gets the design right regardless of the model you choose. In standard form, the transparent straps and bold colors look fantastic, are in keeping with Diesel’s brand, and tap into summer trends. The Mad Dog Jones version swaps the summer-cool vibe for custom cyberpunk-style art, a transparent case, and eye-catching rainbow ionized aluminum metalwork. It’s unlike any other smartwatch I’ve seen.
Mad Dog Jones (hereafter known as MDJ) is an artist who publishes his work on Instagram, and he worked closely with Diesel on the design of this special edition. The strap is emblazoned with custom art, he designed two special watch faces, and the special packaging comes complete with a cloth featuring a larger piece of his art. You’ll find a second, completely transparent 22mm strap inside as well. MDJ’s artwork is “under” the strap to give it a 3D look, and it also has a subtly embossed Diesel logo. It’s colorful and eye-catching, and it’s highly unlikely it’ll lose its luster over time due to the way it’s made.
The On Fadelite’s lightweight 44mm nylon case is only 12mm thick, and paired with the modest 1.2-inch, 390 x 390 pixel screen, it’s suitable for most wrists. I’ve been wearing the watch for more than a week and I’d hoped the strap would shape itself to my wrist more, but it remains exceptionally stiff, and if it’s done up too tightly, it becomes uncomfortable and hot. The material grips on to your wrist and the strap’s keeper too, and it’s a struggle to get it undone.
This smartwatch is the pair of shoes you really love that pinch your toes. The Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones is a bit uncomfortable, but it looks so damn good, I simply didn’t care. I wear it loosely, which helps, and wouldn’t ever consider wearing it to do much heavy exercising in, or sleep with it on either. Does this defeat the objective? I don’t think so. The Diesel On Fadelite is a fashion smartwatch, designed to look amazing rather than be worn in all situations, 24/7.
Software and performance
The On Fadelite was announced at CES 2020. Delays meant the MDJ version is only now making it onto wrists, and it does so with the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor inside. This is unfortunate as the Snapdragon Wear 4100 has since replaced it, promising a significant performance increase this watch will never see. Worse, the On Fadelite has 512MB of RAM and not 1GB, usually considered a minimum to get wheezy old Wear OS working at an acceptable pace.
In reality, the On Fadelite does handle these poor on-paper specs better than expected, but it’s no rocket ship. Activating data-heavy features like Google Maps or Google Fit takes a few beats longer than you want, and it’s often slow to react after being awakened, especially when you then ask it to show notifications. Sighs of frustration as the smartwatch considers what it should do before actually doing it are common.
Once it’s going, the On Fadelite keeps up a decent pace, and it handles the animated watch faces better than I expected too, as this was a serious problem on the Diesel On Full Guard 2.5. On the subject of watch faces, the MDJ-designed Vision Room face is perfectly in keeping with the strap’s artwork, but I still can’t quickly work out what time it’s supposed to say. So, add in “can’t read the time on preferred watch face” to the list of things that should, but don’t, stop me wearing it.
What do I like? Google’s Wear OS is controlled using swipes and the oversize rotating crown — a Diesel design trait — on the side of the watch, which is sized just right for scrolling though the long lists that dominate Wear OS’s design. What don’t I like? Setup is irritatingly ponderous on an Android or iOS phone, and the ambient light sensor is poor — I ended up just leaving the screen brightness on level 4 or 5, which obviously impacted battery life.
Notification alerts have a mind of their own. It usually displays alerts multiple times, and often chooses to show an old notification on the screen when a new one comes through. Oddly, the notifications work far better connected to an iPhone than an Android phone. However, many other features don’t work on iOS, including Apple’s own Messages and associated Memoji. There’s also an inability to respond to notifications on your wrist, plus the Wear OS weather app won’t work either.
All this does make the On Fadelite sound much worse than it actually is, but many of the problems affect all Wear OS smartwatches. My expectations were low based on the processor and RAM configuration, but the On Fadelite turned out to manage better than I feared it would, and is an adequate performer for casual everyday use.
Fitness tracking and battery
Google Fit remains one of the easiest-to-use fitness trackers, and yet still delivers plenty of data to keep the more hardcore users satisfied. I find racking up heart points during the day motivational, and appreciate the range of activities it can track. Everything is displayed in the attractive app on your phone, and it all works in the background, with limited interaction from me until I want to track a workout. There’s a heart rate sensor on the back, but it doesn’t have features like SpO2 monitoring or an electrocardiogram (ECG), which are quickly becoming more common smartwatch features.
The On Fadelite isn’t really a watch you’ll want to wear to the gym, or during an especially sweaty activity. Not because it isn’t capable enough, but because it’s a lifestyle smartwatch, not a sports smartwatch. For example, the strap isn’t very flexible and doesn’t wick away moisture like others specifically designed for sports, so it becomes uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to knock or damage the pretty case either. It’s fine for general fitness tracking, and I wore it for ordinary activities at home and outside, but if you’re looking for a smartwatch to wear on a marathon or headed down the ski slope, there are more suitable choices out there.
You’ll get one day from the On Fadelite’s battery, and no more. This is with the brightness set at level 4 too, which is something of a surprise, and with the always-on display active as well. It’s charged using the standard plastic plinth you get with all Fossil-made Wear OS smartwatches, and the battery takes an hour and 20 minutes to fully charge. The On Fadelite has stand-alone GPS, NFC for Google Pay, 4GB of storage space, and some preinstalled apps including Spotify.
Price and availability
The Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones costs $300 and will be available in strictly limited numbers. If you want an On Fadelite smartwatch and aren’t worried about it being the MDJ edition, the standard watch comes in red, black, blue, and clear color schemes for $275 U.S. or 249 British pounds, and is technically identical to the MDJ model. All are available through Diesel’s own online store.
The Diesel On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones is a beautifully presented, desirable, and highly unusual special edition smartwatch. I feel good wearing it, it attracts compliments, and it brings essential identity to what’s often a rather characterless piece of technology on our wrist. However, the delays in release have not been kind to it, as the underlying tech is outdated and the performance suffers because of it, which in turn affects longevity. Your head will tell you it’s not a good buy, but once you see it, your heart will tell you something different.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, the Apple Watch Series 5 or Series 6 are better alternatives if you own an iPhone. They perform better, work with your iPhone more cohesively, and have great health tracking and a wealth of capable apps. They’re also highly customizable for that unique look. However, at $399 to start, it’s also more expensive.
If you own an Android phone ,the $279 Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the $429 Galaxy Watch 3 have better software than the On Fadelite, and in the case of the Watch Active 2, it’s priced similarly. You’ll pay more for the Watch 3, but the control method is excellent, it comes in two sizes, and looks great too.
Can’t find the Mad Dog Jones version of the On Fadelite? The transparent body with ionized metal case is available with the clear strap in the standard range, just without Mad Dog Jones’ artwork on the strap, cloth, or box. Want more health-focused features and a stylish design? The $299 Withings ScanWatch is excellent.
How long will it last?
The On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones’s unusual design means it’ll stay fresh-looking for several years. It’s swim-proof and water resistant to 30 meters, and the nylon case should be relatively hard-wearing too. Google does send out regular software updates to Wear OS, but don’t expect them to contain new features very often. The battery will eventually degrade through regular use and return less standby time, but this shouldn’t be a problem for at least two years.
Should you buy one?
No. At least, this is what the head will tell you, because there are far better smartwatches available. However, the On Fadelite X Mad Dog Jones looks so damn fantastic that it may not matter. I love that it exists, appreciate the synergy between Mad Dog Jones and Diesel, and still have it on my wrist right now even though it’s not a brilliant smartwatch. This could be the first smartwatch that’s a true heart-rather-than-head purchase.
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Diesel, a sub-brand of Fossil, is launching a new, bold-looking Wear OS smartwatch today at CES, dubbed the Diesel On Fadelite.
The Fadelite looks slick, and Diesel says it’s designed to be worn by both men and women. The watch has four different colorways, and Diesel says most of them feature fading colors (hence the “Fadelite” name). There’s one that fades from red to black, one from black to clear, one from blue to clear, and one that’s clear with what Diesel describes as an “iridescent” case.
With its 43mm case, the Fadelite is also considerably smaller than other Diesel smartwatches; Diesel’s Full Guard 2.5 has a 56mm case, by comparison. Even though 43mm is small for a Diesel watch, that size still makes it larger than a lot of other smartwatches.
Diesel says the Fadelite has a “Globe” dial with a globe you can manipulate using the watch’s touchscreen and a tile that automatically updates with the current and forecasted weather conditions.
The Fadelite is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset (which is found in many other Wear OS watches), and Diesel says the watch is swim-proof and will support Google Assistant, GPS tracking, and heart rate tracking.
This isn’t Diesel’s first Wear OS smartwatch — it released the Axial last fall and the Full Guard 2.5 in 2018, for example — and Diesel parent company Fossil is no stranger to Wear OS watches. It most recently released the Gen 5 Carlyle in August. Fossil even sold some secret smartwatch technology to Google last January. But Wear OS watches are still mostly just fine, as my colleague Dieter Bohn has said repeatedly, and it doesn’t seem as if the Fadelite is going to change that — though it could look cool on your wrist.
Diesel says the Fadelite will cost $275 in the US and £249 in the UK when it releases in March.
Update January 7th, 12:26PM ET: Added UK pricing.