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Fossil refines its smartwatch line, adds heart rate and GPS tracking, NFC

The new line of Fossil smartwatches bring plenty of new features along with the same Wear OS abilities — and same price.

Published onAugust 6, 2018

  • The new Fossil smartwatches (fourth generation) add some great new features.
  • NFC, the ability to save music, heart rate monitoring, and GPS tracking are just some of the new updates.
  • The pricing for the latest entries in the line is the same as the previous line.

The third-generation Fossil smartwatch looked great and functioned well with Google’s Wear OS apps and watch faces. However, owning a Fossil smartwatch meant that you also had to own a fitness tracker, as the third-generation Fossil watches lacked two things that have become integral to fitness: heart rate monitoring and a GPS tracker.

Fossil has answered your prayers with the fourth-generation Fossil smartwatch, which not only includes heart rate monitoring and GPS tracking but also throws in an NFC chip for contactless payments and the ability to load music right onto the watch.

At a retail price of between $255 and $275, this might be the best Wear OS watch on the market.

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An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the Modular watch face.

Fossil unveiled the two new entries into its smartwatch lineup today: the Fossil Q Venture HR and the Fossil Q Explorist HR. Both are available to pre-order right now at Fossil’s website. The versions with metal bands are $275 and the ones with non-metal bands are $255 — the same prices as the third-generation watches.

As previously mentioned, the watch can monitor your heart rate. However, there is one caveat: you have to manually turn heart rate monitoring on. Unlike a fitness band that monitors your heart rate throughout the day, the Fossil watches are designed to only monitor your heart rate when you tell it to.

The GPS tracking is much more similar to that of a fitness band, in that it will track your runs or walks when you turn the feature on. As with any wearable device, GPS tracking gobbles up battery life, so it’s better to leave it off if you’re not using it.

The NFC chip and the ability to download music directly to the watch are also new to this generation. Previously, there was no way to make contactless payments with the third-generation watches, and while you could use the watch to control music playing on your phone, you couldn’t save music direct to the watch’s ROM. Now you can do both.

Here are the specs for the newest entries in the Fossil line:

  • Stainless steel case (Q Venture HR: 40mm / Q Explorist HR: 45mm)
  • 24+ hours battery life (based on usage)
  • Interchangeable straps and bracelets (Q Venture HR: 18mm / Q Explorist HR: 22mm)
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Wireless syncing + magnetic charging
  • Compatible with iOS 9.3+ and Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition)
  • Sensors: Heart Rate, NFC, GPS, Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light, Microphone
  • Powered with Wear OS by Google
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform
  • Storage: 4GB

According to Fossil, the fourth-generation smartwatches will ship on August 26, 2018. Click the button below to pre-order yours now.

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