Fossil’s fifth-generation smart watches run Google’s Wear OS, but they don’t reject iOS users. Users will be able to make and receive phone calls when connected to an iPhone over Bluetooth, a first for wearable with this operating system. These wrist-worn devices also can go multiple days on a single charge.
The company just unveiled its first Gen 5 models in a range of colors.
“We’ve made multi-day battery life for touchscreen smartwatches possible with one touch. And, we’re leading the industry on Wear OS by Google by enabling tethered phone calls for iPhone users,” said Fossil Group’s EVP Greg McKelvey. “Both advancements are the result of our unrelenting focus on advancing wearable technology.”
iPhone calls at last
iPhone users can take phone calls from their Apple Watch, but that’s not possible with devices running the rival Wear OS. Fossil will change that in Gen 5, just not immediately. An app coming this fall will let these wearables make and receive phone calls from an iOS handset.
The company promises that Extended Battery mode will allow its smart watches to last for several days on a single charge without sacrificing notifications and heart-rate monitoring. Daily mode will have the screen on all the time.
Longer battery life is made possible thanks to the new Snapdragon Wear 3100, a Qualcomm processor designed specifically for watches. This promises 4 to 12 extra hours of use, depending on use.
Fossil’s Gen 5 includes 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, plus GPS and NFC for contactless payments. These wearables are also waterproof.
Fossil’s latest wrist-worn computer has a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen at 328 pixels per inch. The circular casing is 44mm across and 12mm thick. There are 6 color options, all of which cost $295.
That puts the price below the $399 starting price for the Apple Watch Series 4. Despite being more expensive than virtually all rivals, Apple’s wearables dominate the market.