Fossil could be the only company that really gets wearables right in 2017

Fossil is ruling the world of hybrid smartwatches, and it’s doing so because it’s treating wearable tech like a fashion range, with subtle design-based updates that fit with current trends. This is a completely different approach to technology than we’re used to. Fossil isn’t going crazy with new features on a single new model released each year, it’s changing the colors and design on multiple editions to match the season, and what’s hot right now.

In 2017, Fossil will expand its already extensive collection of wearable tech products to more than 300. That’s not 300 completely different models, but 300 variations on core devices, just like a company would do with a piece of clothing. It’s also bucking industry trends by pushing more hybrid smartwatches made for women.

At CES 2017, Fossil showed us a selection of its new Q Accomplice watches, models launched under the Skagen brand name, and various new designs centered around the Q Modern Pursuit and Q Grant hybrids. It also launched the first Armani Exchange branded hybrid watches. Proving it’s still working hard in the world of smartwatches, Misfit — which is owned by Fossil — gave us an early look at the Vapor; a classy fitness orientated watch with a gorgeous AMOLED screen.

All the new models have almost identical functionality to the current Fossil watches — such as the Q Crewmaster we reviewed recently — aside from a single new feature, where two smartphone actions can be applied to the side buttons on the watch itself, instead of one. The changes are visual. The Accomplice has a very thin body, making it considerably less bulky than older hybrids, and much more attractive.

Options for all

The massive choice of options means you’re much more likely to find a hybrid smartwatch that matches your personal style. You get to decide between different colors, minimalist faces, metal straps, silicone straps, sub-eyes on the display, and plenty more. Alternatively, opt for the classy minimalism of the new Skagen models. One size doesn’t fit all in fashion, Fossil knows it, and it’s working out well now that it’s applying that logic to wearable tech.

Moving on to the Vapor, we’ve seen an early pre-production version where the software wasn’t final. It won’t run Android Wear and isn’t going to have an app store, but the user interface we played with worked well and was very intuitive. The AMOLED screen is stunning, and we’re looking forward to using it more when it’s closer to the release later this year.

All the new hybrid smartwatches will be released in the spring, an appropriate time to launch a new style collection, and prices will vary from $175 to $215, depending on the style and brand name you buy. We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the new models over the coming months, so look out for complete reviews then.

Product Review

Garmin's Fenix 5X Plus is built for fitness freaks who fawn over every feature

With onboard music, full-color topographic maps, and new sport metrics, the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus sets a high bar for GPS smartwatches. Find out how it can help boost your performance in our Fenix 5X Plus review.

Keep Notes is the latest app to get Google’s Material Design makeover

Google is updating more and more of its apps to come into line with its latest Material Design trends, and now it's Keep Notes' turn to get a new pair of pants. This update is now rolling out on Android devices.

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Product Review

Withings Steel HR Sport is a fitness tracker you’ll love wearing

Withings jumps back in the wearables game with the new Steel HR Sport, a hybrid smartwatch that is as much a fitness tracker as it is a timepiece. It's so good that it hasn't left our wrist since we pulled it out of the package.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Garmin’s new Instinct GPS watch is built for the sportsman in all of us

The new Garmin Instinct is a GPS multisport watch for people who love to be outdoors. The $300 Instinct takes the best features of the company's popular Fenix watches and packages them into rugged, military-grade package.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…

Inferiority is a feature now! Palm's new plan is psychotic

The Palm is a smartphone to reduce your smartphone usage, or a small smartphone for when you don't want to carry your big smartphone. Palm itself doesn't seem sure which it is, but either way, it's a product that's so witless, we're amazed…