Fossil's new smartwatches get NFC payments and heart rate tracking

The new models are still powered by Qualcomm's old smartwatch chip, though.

Fossil's newest smartwatches come with features many of their predecessors were sorely lacking. In an attempt to catch up to its rivals, the company has added heart rate trackers, NFC payment and built-in GPS to its latest Wear OS models. The Fossil Q Venture HR and Fossil Q Explorist HR can track your heart rate across multiple types of workouts using Google Fit and even have watchfaces that can display beats-per-minute for easy access.

They're also equipped with NFC for mobile payment -- it's only compatible with Google Pay, but that's still better than nothing for someone who wants a quick way to pay for purchases. In addition, the watches can track walks and runs, hikes, bike rides and other activities even if you didn't bring your phone with you, since they have built-in GPS. The main difference between the two models are their looks and sizes: the Q Venture has a 40mm casing and 18mm interchangeable straps, while the Q Explorist HR has a 45mm casing and 22mm straps and bracelets.

Unfortunately, they're not any better than older models when it comes to battery life and performance, since they're still powered by Qualcomm's old smartwatch chip, the Snapdragon Wear 2100. Qualcomm launched its first smartwatch SoC in two years back in June, but that one is meant for kids' watches. The chipmaker promised to release another one for adults' devices sometime this year, but Fossil fans will clearly have to wait for the brand's next-gen devices to reap the chip's benefits.