What you need to know
- Fossil has announced a new version of its Gen 5 smartwatch with LTE connectivity.
- The watch comes in a 45mm case and features two colorways.
- The Fossil Gen 5 LTE will launch with Verizon as the exclusive partner.
Fossil's Gen 5 smartwatch was first launched more than a year ago, and while that may seem like a lifetime ago, the company recently launched the Gen 5E which serves as a 'lite' version of its flagship. Now with CES 2021 commencing, Fossil is focusing its attention back on its main smartwatch with the release of the Fossil Gen 5 LTE.
After more than five years resisting to add LTE on its Wear OS smartwatches, Fossil has finally conceded with this latest version of the Fossil Gen 5. This means owners of the new Gen 5 smartwatch can leave their phones at home when heading out for a run and not have to worry about missing important calls or texts. LTE connectivity also gives you instant access to Google Assistant and lets you stream their Spotify tunes straight from the watch since there's currently no option for offline music playback.
The new Fossil Gen 5 LTE comes in every so slightly larger than the standard Gen 5 model at 45mm but keeps the same 1.28" AMOLED display. It's also a hair thicker at 13mm, likely due to the addition of LTE. Fortunately, the watch retains the same lug size, which means you can change out your straps with some of the best bands for Fossil Gen 5. The watch will launch with two different colorways ― a classy Smoke and a vibrant, more fashionable Rose Gold.
Aside from the addition of LTE, the specs for the Fossil Gen 5 LTE are largely similar to the standard model. It comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and it has the same 310mAh battery. Fossil likely did not increase battery size due to the recent updates and improvements to Wear OS by both Fossil and Google, which should provide users with improved battery life. Fossil has stated that the new watches will not ship with the updates, although it is hoping to roll them out as soon as possible. This likely only applies to Fossil's own software, as Google's Wear OS update is still rolling out.
The new smartwatch is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100, so those hoping for the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipsets will likely have to wait a bit longer to see it equipped with any new Fossil smartwatches.
Fossil has stated that while the new smartwatch supports LTE connectivity with Android devices, iOS devices may be left out for now. Gen 5 smartwatches are known for being the first and only Wear OS models to be able to answer phone calls on iPhones, so hopefully Fossil can add support soon for iOS users who are interested in something other than the Apple Watch.
The new Fossil Gen 5 LTE will be available exclusively on Verizon in the US and will retail for $349. It will utilize the carrier's Number Share feature, which syncs users' smartphones and watches with the same number. Since the Gen 5 LTE uses eSIM to connect to an LTE network, it may be possible down the road to connect through other carriers, but for the moment this is something that Fossil is currently working on.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE will have a global launch later this year. Visit the Fossil website for more information on the Gen 5 LTE.
Gen 5 without the LTE
Still a great Wear OS option.
Fossil makes some of the best Wear OS smartwatches on the market, which are being made even better with the latest LTE-enabled models. But for those of you not looking to break the bank, the standard Gen 5 is still a great option. It offers the latest updates that should make the Wear OS experience much snappier, and improve your watch's battery life.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.