New Fossil Gen 5E smartwatches make Wear OS more affordable
Fossil has been one of the biggest backers of Wear OS, putting out numerous smartwatches powered by Google's software, and its new Gen 5E line offers wearables that are a little smaller and more affordable than the main Gen 5 models.
If you've been waiting for a watch at the right price point to come along before investing, the seven different models all start at US$249, a saving of $50 on the Gen 5 editions. The trade-offs are no integrated GPS, no altimeter, no compass, no ambient light sensor, and 4 GB of on-board storage instead of 8 GB.
The Gen 5E wearables can still do plenty of smartwatch tricks though: track your activity, monitor your heart rate, assess the quality of your sleep, make purchases with Google Pay, and more. Google Assistant is on board, so you can chat with the digital app to get details of your day, the weather forecast, and everything else that the Assistant knows about.
You can also make and receive calls through the Fossil Gen 5E smartwatches, as long as an Android or iOS phone is tethered to it and, like the Gen 5 models, these devices come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 300-mAh battery that Fossil says will last you at least a day (and longer with various features switched off).
It's a shame not to see the newer Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor on show here – found in the likes of the TicWatch Pro 3 – but Fossil is obviously aiming for affordability here. That and smaller wrists, because the Gen 5E series introduces a 42-mm casing size alongside a 44-mm option, whereas the Gen 5 only has the latter.
One other change from the earlier models is that the Gen 5E watches only have one physical button – the two extra buttons, which you could customize to launch a variety of functions and apps, get cut.
The screen size is 1.19 inches, on both the 42-mm and 44-mm editions, so you don't lose out in terms of display real estate whichever one you decide to go for. All the functionality of Wear OS is here as well of course, from step-by-step navigation to message notifications from your phone.
It would seem Fossil is saving the Gen 6 models for 2021, which we would hope have the Wear 4100 processor inside, and we're also remaining optimistic that we might one day see a Pixel Watch from Google – especially now that it owns Fitbit. In the meantime, the Gen 5E smartwatches can be pre-ordered now, with shipping on November 3.
Product page: Fossil Gen 5E