Fans of Fossil's lineup of smartwatches can't seem to catch a break. Its latest set of wearables is launching with an outdated version of Wear OS, while its Gen 5 watcheswon't be updated at all. If you've resigned to keep your older device even without the latest and greatest software from Google, there's some more bad news on the horizon. A new update coming to Fossil's hardware on the Play Store is taking away a ton of watch face options and only adding two new ones in return.
A lot of people were anticipating Fossil's Gen 6 smartwatch. As only the second watch on the market confirmed to run the new Wear OS 3.0, and the first without heavy integration with Samsung's existing software, it seemed like a great option for those who wanted a more "pure" experience. Unfortunately there's a pretty huge asterisk on the release of the now-confirmed hardware: it'll be running the older Wear OS 2.0 when it launches in September.
The Galaxy Watch4 turned a lot of heads recently, both for being a pretty darn good watch in its own right and the first model that uses the third-gen version of Wear OS, infused with Samsung's Tizen software. But early reviews indicate that the watch is, well, very Samsung: you'll have to dig deep to find the Wear foundations. A new leak from Fossil might catch the eye of anyone excited for a new generation of Wear OS hardware — admittedly, expected to run older software.
After years of silence from Google, Wear OS has finally returned to the spotlight. New partnerships with Samsung and Fitbit have reenergized Android-friendly wearables, but there's still a lot we don't know. Both of these companies currently power some of the most popular wearables for Google's mobile OS, leaving many current owners unsure about the future of their watch.
Fossil released its first hybrid smartwatch in late 2019, a halfway point between the company's traditional watches and its Wear OS devices. The watch has continued to receive updates since then, and while Fossil hasn't yet developed a full-blown sequel, the company did announce a new variation under its Skagen brand at CES last month.
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR isn't too different from the existing Fossil hybrid smartwatches, but it is available in more styles and sizes. The software has also matured more since our initial Fossil Hybrid HR review, so we thought it was worth looking at the new model.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE, announced earlier this month, is now for sale at Verizon for $349. There aren't many LTE smartwatches on the market, likely because most people have their phones nearby if they're wearing a smartwatch. But if you're a Verizon subscriber who's been on the lookout for an LTE Wear OS watch, this is worth checking out.
Fossil Group has been Google's main partner with Wear OS for years, producing dozens of watches under a handful of different brands. The company's main flagship watch is the Fossil Gen 5, which is nearing two years old. Fossil didn't announce a Gen 6 line at this year's CES show, but there is a new LTE version of the Gen 5 coming this spring.