The Fossil Group and its subsidiary brands brought out their next generation smartwatches to show off at CES 2021. This means the watches share some hardware (but have unique designs). Note that they are split into two groups – the more capable Google Wear OS watches and the hybrid designs with longer battery life. The former include some LTE-connected models.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen Smartwatch joins the current Gen 5 series. It’s powered by a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset and has an eSIM, which enables it to make and receive calls and texts. You don’t have to waste data to listen to music as there’s 8GB storage on board, which you can load up with tracks from Spotify.
There are three battery modes – daily (everything enabled, charge every night), extended (essential functions only, charge every few days) and time only (just shows the time, lasts over a week). There’s an option to create a custom mix of these modes to better suit your usage.
The watch has a 1.3" touchscreen inside a 45mm case. It supports the usual activity and health tracking features, plus Google Pay. It also integrates with your smart home and car – can control the Nest devices at home and even remotely start the engine of select Toyota cars.
Fossil claims that this watch is swim-proof, though we wouldn't count on that as it's rated to only 3ATM.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE will be available in the US this Spring, starting at $350. Note that it will only work on the Verizon network and only with an Android phone. More details on the official page.
Fossil is planning to launch this watch globally later this year. It is working to add support for other carriers (and support for iPhone users too), though it's not clear when that will happen.
The Michael Kors Access Gen 5E comes in two versions – the $250 MKGO and $350 Darci. The only difference between the two is the bill of materials. The cheaper MKGO has an aluminum case and a silicone strap, the pricier Darci gets a stainless steel case and a seven-link bracelet.
Both have a 1.19” AMOLED display and are powered by the Wear 3100 chip. There’s no LTE this time, but with a speaker and mic you can receive calls while connected to a phone. NFC is also on board to work with Google Pay.
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is the first smartwatch with an e-ink display from the Danish accessory designer, though it’s quite similar to Fossil hybrid watches. This one comes in two sizes, 42 mm and 38 mm, and will be available in 5 styles.
The e-ink display pushes the battery life to over two weeks and fast charging is supported – 50 minutes are enough to get the battery to 80%. The trade-off is the more basic functionality.
The Jorn Hybrid HR features heart rate and sleep tracking, a step and calorie counters and will show notifications from your phone (you can also use it to control the music player).
The Jorn Hybrid goes on sale later this month on January 26, it will cost $195.