​Fossil adds advanced smartwatch health features as it tires of waiting for Google

Fossil's taking things into its own hands
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Fossil has announced a serious revamp of its smartwatch offering, adding a ton of fitness and wellness features.

The company has added new fitness tracking, heart rate, VO2 Max and battery modes, which it’s developed itself, not relying on the Wear OS ecosystem.

Wear OS has stagnated in terms of features, and that’s most evident in terms of health tracking. When you consider that Apple Watch Series 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 count features like fall detection, ECG, blood pressure and stress – Wear OS and Google Fit looks like pretty basic data.

Fossil says its new activity tracking can save 50% battery life tracking the usual heart rate and movement metrics, presumably by taking better advantage of the co-processors found on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chips found on its Gen 5 devices.

Likewise, sleep tracking is more of a focus as Gen 5 takes advantage of fast charging with 50 minutes charge bagging you 80% battery.

VO2 Max is also now part of the data line-up, which is estimated from age, gender and resting heart rate. However, we’re not clear whether users are required to take a GPS-tracked workout, which is the standard process of determining VO2 Max across wearable devices from Garmin and Fitbit.

The company has also added the ability to create battery profiles that enable you to turn off features at your discretion, to create a more personal experience.

Likewise, Fossil users can now set avatar profile pictures for contacts on the watch as well.

Fossil has always been great at creating on-brand watch faces and micro apps for its brands, many of which have clear brands.

However, once you leave that initial watch face you’re very much left with the vanilla Wear OS experience.

But now it seems Fossil wants to offer its users more.

These features are set to roll out to the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle HR and Julianna HR, but there’s no word on whether the apps will go out to other Fossil Group using the Snapdragon Wear 3100. We sure hope so.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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