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Fossil’s newest smartwatch can actually take iPhone voice calls

New Fossil smartwatch

One of the highlights of Fossil’s fifth-generation Wear OS smartwatch, which the company unveiled Monday morning, is a feature meant to appeal to Apple users that’s also a first for a Wear OS by Google device.

The new watch, which Fossil is calling the Gen 5, will include a proprietary app later this fall (not at the watch’s launch, unfortunately) which will allow iPhone users to answer tethered calls. Which of course may be attractive especially to iPhone users who don’t yet own an Apple Watch — and which would likewise potentially preclude them from buying one in the future if they spring for Fossil’s device.

That ability to answer tethered calls will, meanwhile, be available at launch for Android users. Speaking of that launch, the watch is selling for $295 and available to buy starting today in select Fossil retail stores globally as well as via “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,” Fossil Group executive vice president Steve Evans said about the Gen 5.

He continued: “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.’’

To his point about battery life, Fossil says it’s developed a proprietary experience for this watch that includes four battery life pre-sets. An “Extended Battery Mode” will allow users to extend the life of the device to “multiple days” on a single charge, without sacrificing the ability to enjoy key features like notifications and the heart rate monitor.

A “Daily Mode” will let users experience most features enabled, like the always-on screen, while “Custom Mode” will let users conveniently manage battery optimization setting themselves. Finally, a ‘Time-Only Mode’ gives users additional hours when the watch has a low battery or if they choose to use the smartwatch to only tell time. To set any of those modes, from the watch’s home screen you merely swipe down from the top of the watch face, tap the battery icon and select which mode you prefer.

According to Fossil, other features include:

  • 44 mm case size
  • 1.3’’ touchscreen digital display
  • Swimproof (up to 3 ATM)
  • 24+ hours battery life (based on usage) + multiple days in extended battery mode
  • Interchangeable straps and bracelets
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 3100 Platform
  • Sensors: Heart Rate, NFC, GPS, Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light, Microphone
  • Powered with Wear OS by Google and compatible with iOS 10+ or Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition)
  • Connect via Bluetooth® technology
  • Wireless syncing + magnetic charging

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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