Smartwatches nowadays look rather generic with most brands copying one or the other. Just take a look at Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch, or the Xiaomi Band and the Galaxy Fit. Don’t they look so similar from afar? That is what the Diesel smartwatch is here for: to give a head-turning element to your wearable companion.
Two of its latest smartwatch models, the Fadelite and the Axial, have unconventional designs — one being lightweight and the other rugged — that could easily catch an eye. Beyond design, both models have fairly good performances at par with more known brands. But if you only have to choose one, which Diesel smartwatch should you get?
We won’t just give you a hearty recommendation on which smartwatch from Diesel to get, though. First, we compare Fadelite and Axial in terms of price, performance, special features, and everything else you consider in buying a smartwatch. So hop on as we get hands-on with Fadelite and Axial.
Inside This Article
Diesel On Fadelite
The Diesel On Fadelite is truly a unique-looking smartwatch with its TPU transparent strap and a form factor that diverts from the usual oversized design. Besides the unusual look, this lightweight smartwatch has a mid-ranger performance. It has the basic features a smartwatch should have: a heart rate monitor, Google Fit for fitness, and NFC for contactless payments.
Diesel On Axial
The Diesel On Axial is a sturdy-looking timepiece. Although marketed as a no-gender accessory, it tends to appeal more to the male populace because of its ruggedness and toughness. Beyond its striking look, The Diesel On Axial packs a solid performance that is typical of a flagship model. Its Snapdragon 3100 chipset paired with 1 GB of RAM makes the watch work reasonably swift.
This may not be true for everyone, but our eyes go automatically to the price tag when buying a smartwatch, or anything fancy for that matter. So, before we go hands-on with the technical specs of Fadelite and Axial, let us first discuss how much you are most likely to spend should you decide to get either.
The Diesel On Fadelite retail price starts at $275, depending on the variant, which makes it a mid-ranger smartwatch. With its price range, this Diesel smartwatch is likely to compete with cheaper alternatives like the Fitbit Sense, VivoActive 4, and even the Apple Watch SE. On the other hand, the Diesel on Axial falls under the umbrella of premium smartwatches. Upon its release, its retail price started at $350, just a bit shy of Apple Watch Series 6.
Considering the price alone, Fadelite easily wins over Axial. But the battle doesn’t end here because there are more that we should look at aside from the price tag.
Winner: Diesel On Fadelite
The Diesel On Fadelite is everything that you won’t expect from a modern smartwatch, aesthetically speaking. We describe its style as unusual and bold given the 80s and 90s vibe that it projects. It’s already atypical that the watch uses a TPU strap instead of silicone rubber as we see in most fitness watches, but the iridescent transparent band, as well as the nylon case, is what would immediately catch an eye. Aside from the transparent band, however, there are other variants of the watch to choose from based on color: a blue transparent, a black transparent, and red transparent. Given the strap’s material, though, the Diesel on Fadelite tends to be rigid, let alone cheap-looking.
The 43mm main unit is the real highlight of Fadelite. Made of aluminum material, it is swim-proof and incredibly lightweight. On its side is an oversized crown that makes scrolling on menus easier, although you can also make use of its touchscreen.
Also read: 15 Best Waterproof Smartwatches
Shifting the focus to Diesel On Axial, and you’ll find that it’s the exact opposite of Fadelite. However, it stays true to the brand’s identity of providing eye-catching designs. It has everything oversized: an oversized main unit and an oversized strap. That said, you can expect it to be a challenge to wear, especially for small wrists.
Its sizable bezels kind of steal the show, thanks to the porthole design surrounding it. On the side, Axial has textured buttons and crowns that emphasize the ruggedness that it pegs even more. Its straps are also made of robust materials. Aside from leather, it also has variants of stainless steel, nylon, and denim.
However, the powerful build of Diesel On Axial can also be its downside. Sure it’s something you would want to wear at office. But as a smartwatch that is also being sold as an exercise companion, its overall design undermines the comfort that a fitness watch should provide during intense activities. Just imagine someone wearing a stainless steel watch while doing bench press.
Winner: Diesel On Fadelite
Both Axial and Fadelite are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 1300 chipset and run on Google’s Wear OS, but that doesn’t mean that they are on the same level, performance-wise.
The Diesel On Axial pairs its chipset with 8 GB of internal memory and 1 GB of RAM. While you can’t expect it to run like your smartphone, it’s sufficient to let you install additional apps or run the pre-installed apps decently. The expanded memory also allows a bunch of customizations such as changing watch faces.
On the other hand, the Diesel On Fadelite has some of the special features of Axial. However, it only gets almost half as much of Axial’s memory and internal storage. While it runs the basic apps swiftly, it gets agonizing when using advanced things such as Google Assistants and Google Maps. Updating it when you set it up for the first time may also make you bite your teeth.
Winner: Diesel On Axial
Smartwatches that run on Wear OS are notorious for unimpressive battery life, and the same can be said for Diesel On Fadelite. It claims that its power can extend to up to 48 hours but in reality, it can barely make it through the day. The Diesel On Axial doesn’t make a difference either despite its hefty price.
Both of the Diesel smartwatches, however, have a lot of customizations that may help conserve their batteries. You may enable the extended mode so that the watches can make it to the second day. However, doing so also means that you have to let go of many of the watches’ smart features. Without those, we can’t call them a smartwatch. So instead of going for the extended mode throughout, the best thing you can do is to enable time-only mode at night when you are less likely to use the smart features.
The Diesel On Axial and the Diesel On Fadelite both use a magnetic charger that you can easily attach to the metal rings on their back. Axial offers fast charging for a quick power-up that may take at least 15 minutes. On the other hand, the Fadelite takes around 100 minutes before being fully juiced up. Given the watches’ terrible battery performance, you may have to plug it in every night alongside your phone.
The Diesel On Fadelite isn’t just a smartwatch because it also markets itself as a fitness watch. It has Google Fit under its hood that gives users access to numerous fitness applications. It has a metric called heart points, which tracks down how many physical activities you did for the day and essentially motivates you to exercise more. The watch does this, thanks to the tracking sensors built into it such as the heart rate monitor and the GPS tracker.
Likewise, the Diesel on Axial also uses Google Fit as fitness software. It has an accurate heart rate and activity tracker that allows you to keep an eye on your fitness goals. It can even pass as a smartwatch for swimming with its 3 ATM waterproof rating and a stroke counter. Given its build, though, and the materials that its straps are made of, Axial may not be as comfortable to wear during strenuous activities as the Diesel On Fadelite is.
Winner: Diesel On Fadelite
There’s nothing to worry about Diesel smartwatches in terms of compatibility and connection. They are built on Wear OS, so that means you can connect them to any phones running on Android 6 or later, except for Go Edition, and on iOS 10+.
Once connected, your watch will notify you of the things that go through your phone such as texts and emails. It even allows you to answer and make calls. However, the Diesel On Fadelight doesn’t have a built-in speaker, so you still need to reach for your phone or connect it to wireless earbuds whenever you make calls or listen to music. Luckily for Axial, this is something that won’t bother you anymore.
Winner: Diesel On Axial
Let’s just say that Diesel On Axial and Diesel On Fadelite have all the basic features that you need from a smartwatch. Aside from the usual features though, they also pack charming bonuses that make them stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, both of the Diesel smartwatches have NFC for Google Pay for contactless payment. They also have access to Google Assistant, making it easier to get things done with your voice. For the fun part, the watches have a pre-installed app called T-ON-I that throws hilarious punchlines from time to time. You may disable it, however, should you find its little notifications annoying.
If we are to base it only on performance, the Diesel On Axial will win easily over Fadelite. It has higher RAM and internal storage that allows you to do more at a decent speed. Fadelite’s lack of speaker makes it even more disappointing because it defeats its ability to make calls or play music.
However, the Diesel on Fadelite wins in terms of design and style. Its playful appearance may not appeal to everyone but considering that it’s lightweight, it guarantees comfort to whoever wears it. That said, choosing between the two Diesel Smartwatches will vary. If you are willing to spend more for a reliable performance, get the Diesel On Axial. If you value comfort and style, however, the cheaper Diesel On Fadelite is the best option.