Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch Wear OS GPS issues officially acknowledged, fix in the works

Google has often been accused of neglecting its Wear OS smartwatch platform. Despite this, Fossil, the leading Wear OS vendor, hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

While Google continues to ignore the existence of Wear OS, Fossil is busy churning out new smartwatches that take advantage of the Google platform. One of the best hardware available is the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch.

Matter of fact, the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch is easily the best Wear OS hardware money can buy today. Unfortunately, the watch has been acting up for some people over the recent past.


Reports dating back to February can confirm the Fossil Gen 5 GPS issues are affecting several owners of the watch. Apparently, the GPS issues showed up after the watch picked up a Wear OS software update.


Hey everyone! I’ve had my Fossil Gen 5 for almost a week and in that time I’ve gone on two runs with it using Strava to track my stats. The first run was within 10 mins of completing all of its updates on the day I unboxed it, and the second one I just finished moments ago.

Both times it’s taken far too long to start tracking me with its GPS. The first run it found me about a half-mile in, and today it marked where I started correctly but didn’t begin to follow me until more than halfway around my loop, and there’s a long straight line through a forest on my map.

Besides the support for GPS tracking, the Fossil Gen 5 packs some cool hardware that include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 processor, an in-built speaker, and a heart-rate sensor. But despite these goodies, it seems the Wear OS software experience remains a concern.

Matter of fact, the ongoing GPS issues do little to redeem the Wear OS experience on the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch. On the brighter side, a Google employee has acknowledged the bug, confirming that a fix is in the works.


As of this writing, no one knows when Google will release this fix, but it’s good to learn that the team is aware and is working to address it.

Meanwhile, you may want to check out the workaround below and try it. Note that it may not work for everyone despite fixing the issues for some.

1. Put phone into airplane mode (so that watch does not get location from phone)
2. Start up Strava
3. Go outside and tie my shoes, stretch, etc until the Strava location pin goes solid (phone itself has location)
4. Run
5. When back from run, to phone out of airplane mode.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.