Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch keeps sleek design, adds improved performance

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Updated Mon August 5, 2019

Samsung isn't the only company launching a new wearable today. Fossil will debut the Gen 5 Touchscreen Smartwatch. And the good news here is that it's available for $295 from Fossil.

The Gen 5 Touchscreen Smartwatch has a 44-millimeter case size with a 1.3-inch digital display. It continues the brands' design strategy that aims to merge new tech with classic watch design. After all, Fossil is first and foremost a watchmaker. This shines through with the six color variants of the Gen 5, which range from a sleek black to rose gold.

Any of these colors delivers a stainless build that includes the case, pushers and top ring, a high-end sleek design. A 1.3-inch display will be your window into the world of WearOS by Google with customizations by Fossil.

New battery modes

Additional battery functions stick out as it lets you pick from four battery pre-sets. Those four are an extended battery, daily, custom and time-only mode. The extended mode keeps most critical features like notifications and statuses, but lasts for multiple days. We will, of course, need to test this, but the battery mode on the latest Fossil Sport model did impress.

Fossil is finally adding a speaker to the Gen 5, and this will allow you to hear responses from the Google Assistant, receive sound alerts and even play music. It's paired with an onboard microphone. Similar to the Apple Watch, this speaker is swim proof up to three atmospheres. It should be OK for a quick dip and rain.

More storage and a newer processor

Powering the Gen 5 is a Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform with 1 GB of RAM. You'll also get 8 GB of storage, and the watch can pull data from the connected phone. The Gen 5 will connect via the companion WearOS app for iOS and Android. Similar to the Galaxy Watch, you can expect functions to be limited on the iPhone. You should have plenty of space on the watch itself, and Fossil will preload Spotify, Noonlight and a cardiogram app.

Rounding out the Gen 5 are plenty of sensors, including heart rate, ambient light, near field communications, GPS and a few others. The heart rate sensor will push its data into the cardiogram app on Gen 5. It will allow you to visualize the data and see how it compares to previous days. Keep in mind, though, this isn't an electrocardiogram like what's available on the Apple Watch.

Fossil's Gen 5 seems like a capable smartwatch that continues to blend technology with a fashion-forward design at $295. The one case size might narrow the user base, but the improvements to battery life and an added speaker are all excellent updates. I'm especially eager to try out the different modes, and those who like a classic watch will likely enjoy the time only mode. Fossil's Gen 5 Touchscreen Smartwatch is available today for $295.

Note: The price above reflects the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.