We know Google’s Wear OS platform is getting a huge overhaul thanks to both Samsung and Fitbit, but Fossil might be the first brand out the gate to feature the new rebuilt OS.
A new premium Fossil watch will be running the new Wear OS sometime in the next few months. Unfortunately, Fossil execs confirmed to CNET that older watches will not be getting an upgrade.
- Fossil Gen 5 review: Wear OS is still not good enough
- These are the best smartwatches you can buy right now
- Plus: watchOS 8 developer leak teases new Apple Watch apps
That’s bad news for anyone, especially current Fossil watch owners, that has a smartwatch already running the old version of Wear OS. This would effectively force owners to buy a brand new smartwatch to take advantage of the new design and features, even if they bought a watch in the last year.
According to Fossil CEO Greg McKelvey and senior vice president of connected devices Steve Prokup, the next wave of Fossil’s Android watches will be brand new and focused on faster performance and better battery life. New options will also include global LTE connectivity options and more advanced health features.
The two executives also confirmed that Fossil will be offering similar features to other future Wear OS watches, thanks to Google’s plans for a more unified smartwatch platform. However the physical buttons on those watches may not be quite so consistent.
Samsung has already confirmed that its rotating bezel is sticking around, and it sounds like Fossil is experimenting with a number of different combinations.
"We've had, and still have, multiple configurations of buttons in the market at the same time, and that's able to be supported," Prokup said. "I think you're still going to see a variety of offerings across even our products, as well as manufacturers... not so much that you're going to have a watch that ends up having four, five, six dedicated buttons or no buttons."
In the CNET interview, McKelvey confirmed that the next Fossil watch will not be a budget-tier device. It's aiming to be a premium watch, one that will be priced similarly to the Apple Watch.
This gives Android buyers another potential option, especially for those that have no interest in other upcoming watches such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch Active 4 set for later this year. Aside from switching from Tizen OS to Wear OS, we don't know a great deal about what those watches have to offer.
However, rumors claim that the watches may come with blood glucose monitoring, as well as 240 mAh to 350 mAh battery depending on whether you get the 41mm or 45mm models. And Bluetooth and LTE models are also rumored to go sale, which would be no real surprise given Samsung's history.
We’ll be bringing you more information on the new Fossil Watch and other smartwatches with the upgraded Wear OS as and when we hear it.
- Everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4