Fossil was one of the first watchmakers to get in on the smartwatch game, releasing its first attempt, the Fossil Q Founder back in 2015. More recently, its second-generation smartwatches were upgraded to Android Wear 2.0, giving them most of the same functionality as the new LG Watch Sport — excluding the hardware limitations.
This week, at the Baselworld watch and jewellery conference in Switzerland, Fossil revealed a slew of new watch styles for 2017, all running on the latest Android Wear 2.0.
First, there's the new touchscreen watches, the 42mm diameter Q Venture and 44mm diameter Q Explorist. The new watches feature Fossil's first ever round touchscreen, offering a much more cohesive look. Both run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 4GB of built-in memory along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and an improved magnetic charger. Running on Android Wear 2.0 means they allow for downloadable third-party apps and watchfaces from Google Play, along with Google Assistant integration. These new styles will start rolling out in the fall with prices starting at $255.
Fossil also unveiled its latest hybrid smartwatches, the Q Accomplice and Q Activist. Offering an unassumingly traditional watch face, these hybrids are slim yet come with functionality for activity tracking and notifications for calls, texts, emails, and calendar events. They also feature programmable "pusher" buttons on the side which can be used to take selfies with your phone, skip tracks while listening to music, or for playing a unique ringtone for those times you misplace your phone. These new styles will be available later this year and will retail with prices starting from $155.
Blending Fossil's stylish watch design with smartwatch features, these new devices exemplify Fossil future vision for this market.
"Almost two years after our initial launch, it is abundantly clear why we entered this market: as creatives, we felt there was a void of beautifully designed smartwatches where users could customize technology to their unique lifestyle," said Jill Elliott, Fossil's Chief Creative Officer.
Thanks to Google's latest Android Wear 2.0 software, 2017 is shaping up to be a huge year for Android wearables. Expect to hear more smartwatch news emerge from Baselworld, as the conference continues through the weekend, wrapping up March 30.
What do you think about these watches? Since the release of Android Wear 2.0, are you more inclined to buy a smartwatch from a traditional watch manufacturer, or are you still more comfortable buying your wearable tech from companies like LG or Motorola? Let us know in the comments!