Fossil, the biggest Wear OS wearables maker, is planning to launch a new, premium Gen 6 smartwatch this spring that will run on Google’s revamped operating system for the devices.
Fossil executives told CNET on Saturday that their upcoming Android smartwatches will be entirely new, featuring chips with faster performance, better battery life, and global LTE cellular options. The company plans to launch a sole premium watch, its most successful category, as its flagship under the new Wear OS. However, other brands in the Fossil Group, which include Diesel and Michael Kors, will likely develop their own watches.
According to CNET, the newest Fossil smartwatch should have features similar to what Google and Samsung offer. In May, the tech behemoths announced that they would be partnering up to create a new smartwatch operating system that aims to be 30% faster at launching apps and allows for features such as continuous heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking.
“All of the software benefits that Google’s talking about and launching with the unified platform is something we’ll be building into that as well,” Fossil chief commercial officer Greg McKelvey told CNET.
As far as hardware goes, Fossil said it has some “pretty major” upgrades planned for its future smartwatches. These could include faster performance, better battery life, and more advanced health features.
For those wondering about the buttons and the screens, Fossil seemed to hint that not much would be changing on that front. Steve Prokup, the company’s senior vice president of connected devices, said Fossil would continue to support multiple configurations of buttons in the market at the same time, but it doesn’t plan on going to extremes.
“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,” Prokup said.
The watch’s touchscreen would remain the principal way to interact with the device, Prokup explained, while the buttons and crowns would be design flairs and shortcuts.
There is some bad news if you already own a Fossil smartwatch now, though: They won’t be able to upgrade to Google’s new Wear OS.
Although the company was tight-lipped on price, CNET speculated that it could be on par with the newest Apple Watch Series 6, which starts at $US400 ($513). Fossil claims that a great product that innovates will be worth the price, but we’ll have to wait and see.