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Circuit Breaker

Fossil’s latest smartwatches have Google Pay, heart-rate tracking, and GPS

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But these brand-new Wear OS watches are still powered by a chip that’s two years old

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Fossil’s smartwatches have always eschewed features for simplicity and affordability. They put Google’s Wear OS software on your wrist in a clean design that looks like a traditional watch, and that’s it. Many of them haven’t offered heart-rate tracking, and zero have allowed owners to make mobile payments with their wrist. But that’s changing now. Today, Fossil announced the fourth-generation of its Fossil Q lineup, and the latest models add all of those features (and also standalone GPS).

These new watches — the Q Venture HR and Q Explorist HR — range in price between $255 and $275 depending on your band and color preference. They’re available immediately from Fossil’s website. The Q Venture HR has a 40mm stainless steel casing, and the Explorist has a larger 45mm case.


Unfortunately, Fossil is sticking with the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip that has been used in smartwatches for two years now. A new, more powerful SoC is coming this year. But don’t expect these devices to make Wear OS run with a revitalized sense of speed or fluidity.

Still, if you want a smartwatch that can handle fitness tracking and make Google Pay transactions with a tap (and do both in a package that’s not bulky or overly “sporty”), then the new Fossils might be worth trying on, even if it seems like Google is barely putting any significant work into Wear OS these days.