Fossil has new smartwatches for everyone, including one with built-in 4G LTE
While Apple and Samsung like to keep their smartwatch rosters nice and compact, releasing no more than two new main models a year, Fossil wants to have each and every type of potential buyer covered with dozens of different Android and iOS-compatible devices under several labels.
Of course, there's only so much you can change about an intelligent timepiece capable of showing smartphone notifications and fulfilling various health-related tasks, which is why the company's Fossil, Michael Kors, Skagen, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade New York, and Puma-branded smartwatches often come with extremely similar specs and features.
Interestingly, that's not quite the case today, with three decidedly distinct product lineups unveiled for three different target audiences. Then again, none of these devices is entirely new or groundbreaking in any way, sharing pretty obvious similarities to other Fossil-made gadgets released in the last couple of years.
The company's first LTE-enabled smartwatch is here
Given how prolific the US-based Fossil Group has been in the wearable industry over the years, it's pretty shocking that it's taken the company so long to catch up to the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Mobvoi with its own cellular-capable device.
As the name suggests, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE is a "brand-new" derivation of the nearly two year-old Gen 5 that can make and receive voice calls without connecting to a traditional smartphone. In spite of that and the fact the circular smartwatch is technically compatible with both Android and iOS, Fossil appears to suggest you'll need an Android handset to make the standalone 4G LTE functionality work.
Up for pre-order right now, the black and blush-coated device will start shipping "close to" January 20 and exclusively support Verizon customers at launch. Priced at $349, the Gen 5 LTE can obviously be used by other folks too as long as you don't mind giving up on the cellular feature and relying entirely on Bluetooth and GPS connectivity.
Don't need LTE? Check out these Michael Kors beauties
Priced at $250 apiece ahead of a vague Spring release, the Michael Kors Access Gen 5E Darci and Gen 5E MKGO are unsurprisingly based on the Fossil Gen 5E family unveiled just a few months ago rather than 2019's "standard" Gen 5 lineup.
In addition to untethered cellular connectivity, that means these super-stylish smartwatches are also ditching the Gen 5's built-in GPS chip and a bunch of important sensors while sporting a slightly smaller and lower-res screen as well.
Still, the quality/price ratio is not bad (at least on paper) when you consider the presence of a speaker, microphone, heart rate monitor, NFC support for wrist payments, voice assistant, and perhaps most importantly, the aforementioned multi-day battery technology.
Skagen has a new budget-friendly hybrid option too
If you don't need GPS tracking, Google Pay support, Play Store access, or a modern AMOLED touchscreen apart from the 4G LTE speeds the various Gen 5E families out there do without, a $195 Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR might be your perfect choice to bring the best of both worlds together starting January 26.
You're looking at a classic (and classy) analog design here, but also plenty of smart features and capabilities including heart rate monitoring, step counting, sleep tracking, music control, and yes, even notification support (on a small e-ink display) for everything from text messages to emails, social media updates, events, alarms, and many other specific app alerts.
In case you're wondering, yes, the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is almost certainly identical to the Fossil Hybrid HR in terms of specifications and features, targeting hardcore fans of the Danish brand's iconic minimalist style while keeping the lights on for up to a mind-blowing two weeks (!!!) between charges.