Fossil's smartwatches are competent, but they don't really stand out among other Wear OS watches beyond their looks. You might have a more substantial reason from now on, though. The company's new Gen 5 Fossil Touchscreen Smartwatch has a few more distinctive features that could make them easier to recommend over the competition, particularly their longevity. A new Extended Battery Mode helps the watches last for "multiple days" on a charge while receiving notifications and tracking your heart rate. You can also go for a Time-Only Mode when you just want the most basic feature, a Daily Mode with "most" options enabled and a custom option to specify the exact level of power savings you want.
These are also the first FTS models to include speakers, not just microphones. This not only provides audible feedback for voice commands, but will let you answer calls in those moments you can't reach for your phone. That will even include iPhone users -- Fossil is releasing an app in the fall that will let the Apple crowd answer calls. It's the first time that's been an option on a Wear OS device, Fossil said. The speaker is water-resistant along with the rest of the watch, so you can go swimming (as deep as 98 feet) without worrying about your wristwear.
You can also expect double the built-in storage (albeit still a modest 8GB) and modern staples like Google Pay and Wear OS' latest interface. You're still going to get a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip, so don't expect improvements in performance.
All variants have large 44mm cases and 1.3-inch displays, with the differences largely coming down to the choice of steel body and strap. You can go for the all-metal look, a sportier design (like the one above) or a posher crystal-encrusted design. They all sell for $295 (£279) and should be available now. That's not a trivial price, but you're arguably getting more this time around. If nothing else, this suggests Google's acquisition of Fossil tech hasn't slowed the company's software team.