Fossil’s new Wear OS watches look to raise the Android smartwatch bar

The company also plans to release a new hybrid watch category in the fall

Fossil has long been championing Google’s Wear OS smartwatch operating system. With its latest fifth-generation watches, the company has added features like an onboard speaker and battery life improvements.

There are two watch cases available with the new Gen 5 software and a few colour variations, including ‘Black,’ ‘Stainless steel’ and ‘Rose Gold.’

Notably, the Gen 5 watches have 8GB of onboard storage, a gigabyte of RAM and the latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, so they should be snappier than before all while holding more apps and music.

Fossil has also doubled down on Google Assistant. With the new Gen 5 watches, when users ask a question to the digital assistant, they’ll be able to hear its response from a tiny speaker that’s built into the watches.

In addition to the assistant, the company’s added its own tweaks to Wear OS for the first time. There are now three battery modes — ‘Default,’ ‘Extended’ and ‘Time Only.’ Fossil’s press release says that the new watches will have multiple days of battery life with the new modes. Fossil tweeted out on August 5th that the new battery setting will come to its older watches via a software update.

That’s not all the company added. There’s a new app on the watches that allows users to connect their iPhone to the watch so users can make calls through Apple devices as well.

Beyond the new Gen 5 watches, the brand also mentioned that it plans to release a few new hybrid smartwatches in the late fall. “This new category of hybrid smartwatches has functionality similar to a touchscreen smartwatch with the look and feel of a classic watch, while still offering long battery life,” reads the company’s press release.

Beyond that, it plans to release over 100 new smartwatch styles over the course of the fall/holiday season in 2019.

The Gen 5 watch collection is on sale from Fossil for $390 CAD.

You can see the whole list of Gen 5 features below:

Source: Fossil Group