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Fossil launches the Gen 5 LTE, its first smartwatch with a cellular connection

Fossil has launched its first LTE-enabled smartwatch at CES 2021. Based on the existing Gen 5 smartwatch, it’s specifically designed for Android phone owners on the Verizon network, where it makes use of the carrier’s Number Share option. The Fossil Gen 5 watch has been available without a 4G LTE connection since 2019, with new designs added to the range in early 2020, making this is the first major feature update for the model.

The 4G LTE connection means you will be able to make and receive phone calls and SMS, without needing to have your phone with you all the time, or to be connected to Wi-Fi. It works using an eSIM which can be set up remotely by Verizon through the Wear OS app, so you don’t even have to visit a Verizon store to get started. It uses Verizon’s Number Share plan, which links your existing telephone number to smartwatches, but does cost you $10 extra each month. The carrier uses the same system for cellular versions of the Apple Watch Series 6, and for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

Fossil has used the existing Gen 5 design for the LTE model, but in two new colors — a smoke-tone stainless steel model with a black strap, and a rose-gold tone model with a pink blush colored strap. Like the regular Fossil Gen 5 watches, the LTE model still uses the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, but it is at least paired to 1GB of RAM, so performance should be adequate. This chip has been superseded by the Snapdragon Wear 4100, currently only found in the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3.

Both Gen 5 LTE watches have 45mm cases, a 1.3-inch touchscreen, a heart rate sensor on the back, NFC for Google Pay, and 8GB of internal storage space, plus the watch is water resistant to 30 meters. The watch uses Google’s Wear OS software along with Fossil’s own suite of battery life-boosting enhancements, and while Fossil estimates 24 hours of use, this will depend on how you use the watch. Any cellular connection will negatively affect the battery life, and even more so when making and receiving calls.

The Fossil Gen 5 LTE will be available in the spring from Fossil and through Verizon itself, and will cost $349. If you aren’t looking for an LTE-equipped smartwatch, we suggest looking at our recommendations for the best smartwatches currently available here. Also, make sure you see all the best wearable tech from CES 2021 here.

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