Fossil is the main manufacturer of smartwatches running Google's Wear OS software, and the Gen 5 is the company's main series at the moment. The smaller Gen 5E launched earlier this month for $250, but now you can get the regular models for just $189.00 on Amazon. That's a savings of $106 compared to the typical price.
Google's Wear OS platform has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years—mostly downs. Perhaps the greatest issue has been slow progress on hardware. Most Google-powered watches sold right now use the Snapdragon Wear 3100, a two-year-old SoC built on the same 28nm process that the Snapdragon 800 from 2014 used. Qualcomm promised to finally address battery life and performance limitations with the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, and the TicWatch Pro 3 is the first Wear OS smartwatch to use it.
After using the TicWatch Pro 3 for a while, I can confidently say that the Wear 4100 is the hardware boost Wear OS has desperately needed for years.
Qualcomm revealed two new wearable chipsets back in June, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+. The new chips are a significant upgrade over Qualcomm's previous designs, with up to 85% faster performance and improved battery optimization, but there hasn't been a Wear OS smartwatch yet that utilizes the newer chipsets. That's finally changing, as Mobvoi has announced the first Wear OS watch with the Wear 4100.
Wear OS is far from being the most praised smartwatch operating system, an issue Google is well aware of. Thankfully, the company worked on improving it and introduced widget-like tiles in May. Sadly, these were capped to just five, a restriction that's now being lifted.
Google announced a pretty substantial Wear OS update last month, stating that it would be coming in the fall. We're still a couple weeks out from fall, but Finnish brand Suunto is already pushing this performance-improving update to its Suunto 7 watch.
This story was originally published and last updated .
These days, there are two primary options for Android-compatible smartwatches. You can use a watch powered by Google's own Wear OS software, or pick up a Galaxy Watch from Samsung. Both platforms get most of the basics right, but depending on which features you care about the most, one might be better than the other for you.
In this guide, we'll go over the key differences between both platforms, so you can make an informed smartwatch purchase.
It's fair to say that Wear OS has been stagnating lately. Google announced a few updates for its smartwatch operating system last week, but they're more like minor improvements than the major overhaul many feel the platform needs. Fossil and its subsidiaries make a lot of Wear OS watches, and now the company is taking matters into its own hands with an exclusive update that adds new health-tracking capabilities, a Phone app tile, and more.
Google's Wear OS platform has been in a holding pattern for much of the past year, while the company waits for its acquisition of Fitbit to go through (or be shut down over antitrust lawsuits). Thankfully, Google hasn't completely forgotten about its existing wearable platform, as a new update is coming in the fall with some much-needed improvements.
Google Play Music is being phased out in favor of YouTube Music starting next month. That change already exacerbates the need for the latter to achieve a desirable feature parity with its predecessor, but it also now presents a challenging chasm for Wear OS users who will lose access to Play Music without a robust YouTube Music experience.