- Fossil has unveiled its first-ever LTE-capable smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, at CES 2021.
- As expected, this is nearly the same smartwatch as 2019’s Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, only with cellular connectivity.
- It’s now available on Verizon for $349.
Update: May 4, 2021 at 3:40 PM ET: Want to learn more about the Fossil Gen 5 LTE? Be sure to check out our full review!
Original article, January 11, 2021 (8:00 AM ET): Wear OS smartwatches with LTE connectivity are few and far between. Mobvoi has really been the only company committed to LTE Wear OS smartwatches, but now we can add Fossil to that list. Fossil has announced the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, it’s first-ever LTE-equipped smartwatch.
Having access to an LTE connection on your watch is invaluable to some people. It means you don’t need to have a phone nearby in order to send texts or receive calls. And because all Gen 5 smartwatches have a built-in speaker, taking calls from your wrist is that much easier.
However, you’ll need to be a Verizon customer to use Fossil’s new smartwatch. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is Verizon-only at the start, though Fossil says it’s working to add support for other carriers in the future. While we’re on the subject of exclusivity, this is an Android-only smartwatch, too. Fossil is also working on iOS compatibility, though it doesn’t have a timeframe for when that may happen.
As the name suggests, the new watch is almost identical to the company’s previous Gen 5 watches. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE has the same display, processor, RAM, and storage configuration as the version we reviewed in 2019. That means it, unfortunately, misses out on Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 4100 series chipset. However, we felt the performance of the 3100 chip was perfectly acceptable. Battery life was good too — thanks in part to Fossil’s custom battery modes — though it’ll be interesting to see how an LTE connection affects battery longevity.
There’s one other caveat worth mentioning: the LTE smartwatch somehow misses out on the most recent software update Fossil rolled out last August. It will launch without VO2 max estimates, the new wellness app, enhanced custom battery modes, and more. Fossil hopes to bring this software update to the LTE variant “soon.”
You can grab Fossil’s first LTE-powered watch from its official website for $349. Conversely, you can also head to Verizon and buy it there for the same price. You can also take advantage of a Verizon payment plan and pay $14.54 each month for 24 months. Two color options are available: a smoke-tone stainless steel case with black straps and a rose gold-tone stainless steel case with blush straps — both in the larger 45mm size.