Fossil used LTE for the first smartwatch, namely Gen 5 LTE. As you might guess from the relatively boring name, the watch is based on Fossil’s Gen 5 Wear OS platform.
This means that it has many of the same features as Fossil’s smartwatch, and the performance may be the same as the smartwatch since the Gen 5 platform was first reviewed at the end of 2019. Its retail price is $349 and will be on sale in Fossil stores or Verizon in the United States this spring.
The key specification to note is the processor, namely Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100. In most cases, it is fast enough to handle Wear OS software, but it is still difficult to get more than one day of battery life for smartwatches using it.
Disappointingly, Fossil has not yet used the newer Snapdragon 4100. Although to be fair, it’s not very common yet-it’s mainly available on TicWatch Pro 3.
To make up for the common battery problems of Wear OS watches, Fossil’s watches provide a “four battery preset” function, which can be turned on or off depending on your needs.
The 5th generation LTE has sensors for heart rate, GPS, altitude, and ambient light. It also has a speaker, which Fossils calls “anti-swimming.”
It is available in black or rose gold, but only one size, 45mm case. It uses eSIM and is dedicated to Verizon, the carrier’s number sharing system for calls and text messages.
Android users looking for a smartwatch that supports LTE do not have many good choices, so this new Gen 5 LTE may be the best choice when it arrives. It’s worth waiting for a review to see if the 3100 and battery can handle LTE.
If you don’t need LTE, other brands of Fossil may have other options that interest you. There is another version of the Michael Kors series of Wear OS watches, namely Michael Kors Access Gen 5E. It costs US$250 and comes in two models, Darci in three colors and MKGO in four colors.
Finally, for me, the best thing is that Fossil’s Skagen brand is launching a new hybrid smartwatch that uses Fossil’s more barebones software platform.
The physical hand of the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR, which costs $195, can be moved on the electronic paper screen. The case size of this watch is 38mm or 42mm, and it has several different color options.
The watch should continue to charge for about two weeks, but still, be able to perform basic smartwatch functions. It can detect your heart rate, display notifications, and count the number of steps.
When I reviewed the Fossil version of the HR hybrid platform in 2019, I was not impressed with the quality of the software, but some of it has been updated since then. Overall, Fossil’s smartwatch lineup this spring is very superb.
Nothing really stands out, but the company managed to bring Wear OS watches to a place where they won’t waste the basics.
Using software to do more interesting things than this is actually not Fossil’s work, but Google’s work. Google’s next step in hardware is to complete the acquisition of Fitbit. Generally speaking, what is its next step on Wear OS and smartwatch software? This is anyone’s guess.