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Fossil updates its Gen 5 smartwatches with sleep tracking and more fitness features

Fossil updates its Gen 5 smartwatches with sleep tracking and more fitness features


Big updates — but not from Google

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Fossil has released a new update for its Gen 5 Wear OS smartwatches that add a variety of features to the watches that aren’t part of standard Wear OS, including sleep and VO2 max tracking.

The bulk of the new features Fossil is adding here can be categorized as improvements for activity tracking, with the update promising better real-time fitness tracking (like heart rate, pace, distance, steps, and calories) at half the power consumption by offloading those tasks from the main processor to the QCC1110 co-processor. Fossil is also adding sleep tracking — a missing feature so prominent the company had an FAQ page about it — and VO2 max tracking for your overall cardio fitness level.

Fossil is also updating its battery-saving modes, allowing users to create custom profiles for specific tasks and automatically prompting them to enable “extended mode” to help ensure a full 24 hours of battery life per charge. The improved battery mode settings are also a key part of how Fossil is enabling sleep tracking on these year-old watches.

Lastly, Fossil is adding an updated Phone app, which adds a new tile for quick access.

While many of these features are offered on competitors like the Apple Watch or Fitbit’s smartwatches, what’s most notable here is that Fossil has been left to add them itself, rather than Google encouraging these updates across the entire Wear OS ecosystem. In fact, compared to Wear OS’ planned fall update — which includes moderately faster app launching and a new weather app — Fossil’s update feels far more ambitious in its scope, especially given that its working on older hardware.

The new features should be rolling out now on Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatches.