The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 ($199.99) is a stylish Wear OS smartwatch with fitness capabilities.
The fashion-minded will love this Fossil Group production. In development, it had the same treatment as the fourth-generation smartwatches. This translates to contactless payments, a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS and the safety of water-resistance. There are very few reasons to take it off. Which you’re unlikely to, as it carries a design iconic to Diesel fans.
The first version of the On Full Guard was clunky. The software was a little underdeveloped. The battery life was poor. The 2.5 sees improvement across the board.
Let’s take a look:
Design and features
- Masculine 47mm case
- 13mm thickness
- Water-resistant to 50m
- Heart rate monitor
- Google Pay contactless payments
- Built-in GPS
- 300mAh battery
- Microphone and speaker
If you’re into Diesel already then you’ll love what you see. It’s inspired by the classic Diesel watch design. Very industrial.
There are 4 options. You can choose brown leather or silicone strap. The former is a little more expensive but looks awesome with the stainless steel.
Whilst the case is a hulk, this version isn’t as cumbersome as the first iteration. The diameter is the same, it’s 1mm thinner and considering the additional features, it’s actually lighter.
Some features remain. Two twistable personalised buttons. These sandwich the rotating crown which then gives you a way of navigating the menus. Great for those who don’t want to totally rely on the touchscreen alone.
The screen is a bold AMOLED that reads perfectly. It’s been shaved by 0.1mm to 1.39mm.
The best bit about this version is that it’s water-resistant. Similar to the Skagen Falster 2, you’re able to swim in this watch. It’ll track your activities via a third-party app. The silicon strap is certainly better if you’re a swimmer.
As with the first version, the 2.5 operates on Wear OS. This means you get notifications, bespoke watch faces (including a funky neon), Google Assistant and third-party apps.
If you’ve been a Wear OS user before then you’ll get everything you’re used to. Google has made improvements to the interface. Google Fit had a software revamp. You swipe for notifications. It’s easy to turn Do Not Disturb on or change the brightness of the screen.
Wear OS is a fair contender but it doesn’t hold a torch to alternatives like Apple, Samsung or even Fitbit. The core features work consistently, but it’s just not as evolved as the others.
Diesel made this feel like more than just a host for Google software. They have given the user a load of individual watch faces. Some are very on-brand for Diesel.
There’s an additional app called Dial Effects. This lets you see secondary information like the weather or your activity.
There’s the stylish T-On-i, which gives you an overview of your day which includes the weather and your step count. It’s more novel than the choices that come with the watch, but it’s another way to make it uniquely yours.
There are no major complaints about the software. The watch is run on a Snapdragon 2100 Qualcomm processor. There is a newer version of this, the 3100, but Diesel didn’t put it in. Reasons unknown. Perhaps the hardware isn’t able to handle it. This can give a laggy performance at times. It’s possible there could be an update in the future which would fix any frustrations.
Fitness Features & GPS
Some question their necessity. It’s a smartwatch with fitness features, not a fitness tracker. This is similar to the likes of Fossil for the recreational fitness fan. They’re alright, but if you’re serious about sport then this isn’t the brand you want on your wrist for your training sessions.
Accuracy of the GPS seems to be fine for 5k runs. Heart rate tracking for exercise is generous in comparison to a heart rate chest strap for measure. Again, this watch is better for its convenience than as a dedicated fitness tracker.
If you’re relying on Google Fit, you’re advised to try a third-party app instead. The Google experience is a little lacking. It’s alright if you want an overview of your activities during the day but it can be underwhelming on data.
The battery power is a lot better than the first version. You’ll get two days out of it. The first Full Guard would give you a day at best.
For Wear smartwatches, between one and two days is about what you get. Two days is wishful thinking. The brightness and apps drain it pretty quickly.
If you’re a Diesel fan this is a great smartwatch for you. If you have a casual interest in your fitness level and want something that looks masculine, you’ll love it.
However, if you’re looking for more of a sports watch with smart capabilities, we point you to the Garmin Forerunner 945.