Fossil's New Wear OS Smartwatches Enable Voice Calling For iPhone Users, Prices Start At $295
As promised, Fossil today formally introduced its Gen 5 smartwatch family utilizing the Wear OS by Google platform. The new smartwatches bring with them some nifty upgrades, including a handy perk for iPhone owners, and start at $295, which is just $20 more than some of the Gen 4 models (though pricing has been slashed to $179 on some of the Gen 4 watches).
One of the features Fossil is focused on with its Gen 5 family is "multi-day battery life." This is due in large part to the energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform that the Gen 5 models are built around. The Snapdragon 3100 SoC should also provide some performance improvements, though we have not spent any hands-on (wrists-on?) time with the Gen 5 models.
These latest models also sport 1GB of RAM, which should help with overall performance on Wear OS as well, and 8GB of storage. Some of that goes to pre-installed apps, including Cardiogram, Spotify, and Noonlight.
As was rumored, there is a microphone and speaker combo on the Gen 5 models. The speaker is touted as being "swimproof." This combo works with the Google Assistant, of course, but Fossil is also prepping a proprietary app that will allow iPhone users to make and receive calls. That is supposed to launch sometime in the fall. In the meantime, Android users can immediately make and receive tethered voice calls.
"We’re closely aligned with our partners at Google to ensure we’re constantly iterating within the Wear OS by Google platform to deliver the most desired smartwatch features and benefits," said Greg McKelvey, Fossil Group Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "We listened to our customers and knew that longer battery life and tethered iPhone calls were essential in our next-gen products."
As it pertains to battery life, Fossil says users can charge a Gen 5 smartwatch up to 80 percent in one hour via rapid charging.
The Gen 5 lineup is available now direct from Fossil, with a variety of color and band options.