Fossil Group is one of the last manufacturers left keeping Wear OS afloat. Last year's Fossil Sport was perhaps the best Wear OS smartwatch yet, though the promised battery life improvements in the Wear 3100 chip still haven't materialized. Fossil is now bringing the Sport's features to its other watches, and adding a few more improvements on top.
The new fifth-gen Fossil Q smartwatches have nearly every bell and whistle that Wear OS can support, except for LTE connectivity (though that would make the watches much larger). They're equipped with Qualcomm's latest Wear 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, a heart rate sensor, NFC for Google Pay, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, waterproofing up to 30 meters, and even a speaker — that last feature was missing from the Fossil Sport, and it means you can take calls on the watch and hear responses from Google Assistant.
Besides the new processor and speaker, the main improvements are 8GB of internal storage (instead of the 4GB most other watches have) and new battery modes. 'Daily Mode' is the default, 'Extended Battery' supposedly lasts multiple days while still showing notifications and tracking heart rate, 'Custom Mode' lets you tweak settings manually, and 'Time-Only Mode' only displays the clock. It sounds like 'Extended Battery' is the 'Sports Mode' that Qualcomm and Google promised nearly a year ago.
As usual, Fossil is releasing a handful of different watch styles with the same hardware. There's a nice mix of frame colors and band styles, ranging from the Sport-like black watch with a silicone strap to the jewel-encrusted gold model with a blush leather band. There's something for everyone, as long as you have large wrists — unlike the Fossil Sport, which came in 43 or 41mm versions, all the new watches are 44mm across.
All models will be priced at $295, which seems a bit pricey, especially with Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active being nearly $100 less. They'll go on sale August 5th on Fossil's online store, and in select Fossil retail locations. We should be getting one to review shortly, so stay tuned for our full thoughts.
Some of the watches have also appeared on Amazon for pre-order:
Fossil has confirmed plans to bring its new power-saving mode to existing smartwatches.
This feature will be made available to previous generations through a software update later in this year!
— Fossil (@Fossil) August 5, 2019