Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 hands-on review

Don’t be afraid of the size, Diesel’s bold On Full Guard 2.5 belongs on your wrist

The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch grabs your attention like no other. Ignore the size, and embrace the boldness.
The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch grabs your attention like no other. Ignore the size, and embrace the boldness.
The Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch grabs your attention like no other. Ignore the size, and embrace the boldness.

Highs

  • Eye-catching, bold design
  • Interactive crown for software control
  • NFC for Google Pay
  • Strong line-up of bands and case finishes
  • Compatible with new WearOS

Lows

  • Still uses the Snapdragon 2100

I’m going to start with a disclaimer. I like Diesel watches. The big, bold, take-no-prisoners designs are unique, and instantly recognizable on your wrist. The sheer size of most means you can’t miss someone wearing one either. I always hold a special kind of admiration for anyone I see wearing the Mr. Daddy 2.0 Diesel watch, all 57mm of it. This makes me pre-disposed to like Diesel watch designs; but would that carry over into Diesel smartwatches? After all, tech and watch design doesn’t always mix.

Not to worry. The new Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 is fabulous. Yes it’s large; but at 47mm it’s quite compact by Diesel’s standards, and it’s also surprisingly slim, an aspect emphasised by the clever design. The red and black color scheme is our pick, which takes on the knurled case feature seen on some of this year’s traditional Diesel watches. The case is packed with interesting visuals, from the textured bezel to the two tone buttons. It’s fantastic looking.

The new Diesel On Full Guard 2.5 is fabulous.

The silicone rubber strap is pliant and comfortable, and a textured underside promises to be grippy and also help keep your wrist cool, plus it’s easily changed for another if you don’t like it. It’s light too, even the version with the metal strap. Diesel told Digital Trends in an interview that loyal fans of the brand are happy to wear big watches, regardless of wrist size. If you like the jazzy look of the On Full Guard 2.5, don’t be afraid of putting it on, even if you think your wrist is small. You may be surprised at how great it looks as an accessory.

How about the technology? There’s plenty, particularly compared to the first On Full Guard. The new watch has GPS, a heart rate sensor, NFC, and a 1.39-inch screen; but the real triumph is the crown. Turn it to scroll through WearOS menus, rather than using your finger on the touchscreen. A feature promised for ages, we’re happy this has properly made its debut, as it transforms the way you use the watch. It’s more natural, easier, faster, and more precise than finger scrolling. The On Full Guard 2.5 watch we tried had a demo version of the revised WearOS platform onboard.

The On Full Guard 2.5’s design and operation is excellent, but here comes the complaint: It still uses the Snapdragon 2100 wearable platform, which is old and often a little slow, plus there’s only 512MB of RAM. Qualcomm is expected to release a new wearable chipset in September, and although the 2100 won’t become obsolete, it will be a generation behind the latest. That said, the new WearOS software will hopefully give all the compatible 2100-powered watches a new lease of life.

Ignoring the processor news, we’ll still be beating a path to Diesel’s door when the On Full Guard 2.5 comes out later this year, and suggest anyone who likes their smartwatches bold and eye-catching does the same. The On Full Guard 2.5 comes in several different styles, including a gunmetal grey with a bold metal link bracelet, but we adore the black and red model here. Prices vary and start at $325, depending on the combination you choose.

Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

Here's a look at what's inside Fossil's Pop-up Shop in New York

Fossil has released its first-ever smartwatch featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100. The Fossil Sport comes packed with a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, NFC, and Google's latest version of Wear OS. Here's everything you need to know.
Wearables

The Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch will soon be available in ceramic

Michael Kors has brought back the Access Runway name it last used in 2016, and this time attached it to a Wear OS smartwatch, complete with new tech, and a cool way of customizing the watch face, too.
Product Review

The new Palm phone resurrects a brand that should've stayed dead

Verizon's exclusive Palm syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device, with features to help balance smartphone usage. But after spending some time with it, its limited capabilities don't live up to its high price.
Music

It’s about damn time: Spotify is coming to Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers will soon be able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has begun beta testing its official Apple Watch app.
Outdoors

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.
Wearables

Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Fitbit Versa: Which one should you choose?

Fitbit's latest fitness tracker -- the Charge 3 -- comes with smartwatch capabilities similar to the Fitbit Versa. With only a $50 difference between them, we pit the two wearables against each other to find out which one is worth the…
Mobile

Following reports of bricked devices, Apple’s WatchOS 5.1.1 fixes the issue

Apple pulled its WatchOS 5.1 software update after users reported their Apple Watch was bricked after installation. A new version of the update has been released, WatchOS 5.1.1, which should prevent the same issue from happening.
Wearables

Fitbit's latest update brings 'Quick Replies' feature to the Charge 3

Back in August, Fitbit confirmed its new wearable -- the Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Wearables

Wearable in Google patent will shake, bake, and shine to signal notifications

A new Google patent suggests that Google may be working on getting into the wearable game after all. The patent describes a wearable device that can vibrate, light up, and pulse when notifications arrive.
Wearables

Hublot’s newest luxury watch costs $25,000, and you can only pay in Bitcoin

The Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 P2P is the latest luxury timepiece from the watch brand, and is a special limited edition made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin. Eager buyers must use the cryptocurrency to buy one.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…