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Fossil takes the fight to Apple Watch with heart monitoring and improved iPhone tethering

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Fossil has unveiled its 2019 generation of Touchscreen Smartwatches that use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset with all the updates of Wear OS by Google.

The watches have a better and waterproof speaker and microphone, smart battery modes — unique to Fossil — that can extend life for several days, and twice as much storage capacity.

In a direct challenge to the Apple Watch, Fossil has also improved the iPhone connectivity of its Gen 5 wristwear and added a cardiogram app that monitors heart rates and integrates data into health and fitness apps.

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“For several years, the health and wellness industry has been converging with smartwatch technology—and Fossil knew there was a tremendous opportunity to provide a connected option for the design-conscious consumer looking to bring style to their wrist. It’s always been a top priority to listen to our consumers and address these big market share opportunities when it comes to technology innovation,’’ said Steve Evans, EVP Fossil Group.

“As a direct result of that feedback, we’re incredibly excited to be able to offer our first-ever proprietary apps that offer an extended battery life and increased iPhone compatibility, which is always top of mind with our consumers around the globe.’’

There are six colourways on offer this year and even more strap options for the 44mm timepieces. A sub-family called Julianna has embellishments likely to appeal to women while the Carlyle set is more gender-neutral or for men.

Personalisation options have also been improved with customisable pushers, new digital watch faces and notification visuals.

Smartwatch users may be used to charging every night, but that will not be necessary with a proprietary system that offers four battery life pre-sets for the Fossil Touchscreen Smartwatches, similar to most smartphones where settings can be changed to increase battery life from one day to several by shutting down apps and functions.

Until this year, only Android phone users have been able to answer calls on their Fossil smartwatches, but this feature is now available for iPhone.

Doubling the amount of storage for the watches to 8GB, including 1GB of RAM, makes the watches faster as well as providing more space for apps and media.

Features still included from previous generations include heart rate tracking, untethered GPS, NFC for Google Pay, and rapid charging.

Gen 5 will come with pre-installed apps including Spotify, peace of mind and safety app, Noonlight, and Nike Run Club.

The 2019 editions go on sale this month for £279.

Tags : Fossilfossil groupsmartwatches
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

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