Apr 11th, 2020

The Puma Smartwatch is a Wear OS device built under the Fossil brand. In fact, it’s very similar to the recently discounted Fossil Sport. However, it has that sporty Puma twist that some fans will love. The neon green color, the logos (one of which is on the crown), and the two piece looking design ensure it’ll get noticed and stand out in the sea of generic smartwatches. Unfortunately, the Puma name also brings a price premium.

Hardware

On the front is a 1.19-inch AMOLED display that, paired with a black watchface, looks larger than it is. However any other color and you’ll see the sizeable bezel around the display. I wish they had used that area for more display, as the screen is on the small side. However it is vibrant and sharp at 328ppi, so no complaints there.

My main compliant is auto brightness. Similar to the Michael Kors Access Lexington 2, the auto brightness seems to be totally broken. In every lighting environment the display is super dim, sometimes being hard to even see. I ended up setting it manually and leaving it on a bright setting for a better experience. Auto brightness is great, but it doesn’t work right here.

Inside you’ll find a Snapdragon 3100 paired with 4GB of storage and a surprisingly small amount of RAM. All you get is 512MB of memory, the same as the first wave of Android Wear smartwatches. Yes, the Moto 360 and Huawei Watch both shipped with 512MB of RAM so it’s odd we’re seeing it in a modern smartwatch paired with a modern processor.

This means that, despite the quick processor, you will see occasional stutters and slowdowns during regular use. The performance isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. We just wish for more at $275.

In terms of sensors you do get a heart rate monitor, GPS, NFC, and a mic. There’s no speaker but it’s a pretty good array of sensors for the fitness focus of this watch, missing only the top end sensors you’d find on an Apple Watch.

Build quality

Software

On this watch you’ll find Wear OS, and like with any other watch, it’s pretty much unchanged. Puma added a few fitness apps and a few custom watch faces, but otherwise it’s exactly what you’d expect from Wear OS. Either you like it or you don’t, and I know a lot of people don’t, but it’s generally well designed and functional.

Surprisingly, Puma has only included a few watch faces by default, and they’re all in your face and sporty. Luckily you can download more from the Play Store, and there are plenty of free ones.

Battery Life

The Puma smartwatch enjoys acceptable battery life of about a waking day. With the always on display feature on, all gestures on, and full time heart rate monitoring, I can usually make it from morning to bedtime on one charge. I value the end of the day just as much as the work day, so having it last all day is very important to me. Once in a while it’ll miss the mark, and workouts will shorten the battery life quite a bit, but it’s capable.

Still, it’s not great battery life considering other watches like the Huawei Watch 2 could manage two full days. The day of battery life also keeps you from using the sleep tracking feature with ease, though a short charge before bedtime will quickly fill the battery. In the end, most Wear OS devices are not ideal sleep trackers anyway.

Comfort

Thanks to a silicone band and a weight of just 28 grams, the watch is very comfortable for long term wear. You can barely feel it on your wrist. The soft, stretchy band ensures a tight fit without too much pressure, and if you don’t like it, it features quick disconnects so you can replace it with a band of your choice. Cheap bands tend to be compromises though, so keeping the factory band is often the best choice in cases like these.

Conclusion

Puma Smartwatch Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_75star_0 (3.75 / 5)

The Good

  • Comfortable band
  • Nice AMOLED display
  • Good array of sensors

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Bezels are large
  • Battery life is mediocre
  • Auto brightness doesn’t work well

The Puma smartwatch has a lot to like about it. It has decent specs, a nice display, a sporty design, and a comfortable band. And it has almost every feature you would want in a smartwatch, from fitness to contactless payments.

However, it’s extremely similar to the Fossil Sport, which now goes for $100. At nearly triple the price, it’s hard to recommend unless you love Puma. And if you do, you won’t be disappointed.

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