Even those with a grudging interest in fashion may want to take time to check out the new additions to the smartwatches produced by the Fossil Group, which were rolled out Monday at CES 2021. Fossil has been involved in the evolution of the smartwatch and in 2003 introduced the Wrist PDA (which ran the Palm OS with 8 MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash memory).
SEE: CES 2021: The big trends for business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE smartwatch
Leading the latest from Fossil is the Gen 5 LTE smartwatch, which allows the wearer to make or take phone calls anywhere with 4G cellular connectivity, exclusive to Verizon customers. It operates on Wear OS by Google.
Retailing at $349, the 1.28-inch round watch comes with a strap, a quick-start guide, and a magnetic USB charger. It's available in black or pink.
The Gen 5 LTE provides calls, texts, or workouts with LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Users can send messages when away from phones, as well as untethered GPS in workouts, routing, and more.
A newly added four smart battery modes extend the smartwatch's battery for what Fossil said are multiple days.
SEE: Gartner's top tech predictions for 2021 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Hands-free, wearers can hear responses from Google Assistant and also listen to music with Gen 5 LTE's speaker. Added storage (8 GB) allows for more apps, content, and music downloads with better performance and speed than previous models.
The watch is available for pre-order today, and will ship on Jan. 20.
The Fossil Gen 5's release date is TBD.
The Jorn Hybrid HR, a smartwatch from Skagen Denmark
The latest smartwatch from Skagen is designed for someone who wants the functionality of a smartwatch, but also wants a traditional style profile.
Available in five different versions, all at $195 retail, the customizable Jorn Hybrid focuses on health and wellness tracking.
The case is available in two sizes, 42 mm or 38 mm. The dial can be updated or set to wearers' most commonly used alerts. Functions can be assigned to buttons through the smartwatch's always-on display.
The Jorn has a heart-rate sensor to keep track of wellness and activity, as it tracks steps, distance, calories, sleep, and personal goals. It has auto-workout detection, which tracks step frequency and velocity of movement, and automatically starts and ends workouts.
It charges in less than an hour, doesn't need nightly plug-ins and the "battery keeps going for days [an estimated two weeks or more]," Fossil's promotional material noted.
Jorn can be coordinated with friends, issuing and accepting fitness challenges with real-time progress training.
The watch will be available at the end of January.
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid will be available on Jan. 26
The Michael Kors Access Gen 5E Darci and MKGO smartwatches
If you are a don't-mean-a-thing-if-it-ain't-got-that-bling person, the latest from Michael Kors Access, the Gen 5E Darci may be right for you. Like the Skagen Jorn watch, the Darci has a programmable health and fitness focus. Wear OS by Google technology allows health and wellness-related tracking, a built-in speaker for Bluetooth-enabled calls (not available in China), and contactless NFC payment capabilities.
For the less-inclined to sparkle, there is the Michael Kors Access Gen 5E MKGO smartwatch, with a silicone strap which takes the bling down a notch and provides more of a sporty vibe. It offers four battery modes, including a multiday battery mode. Wearers can get answers from Google Assistant, set sound alerts for notifications, and play music.
Additionally, Gen 5E can track sleep, steps, or estimated heart rate. This year's model includes a new Phone Tile and contact avatars, quick access to ongoing call status, previous call history, and both Android and iPhone users can continue to answer tethered calls.
Updates include custom profile creation and a simplified design for easier readability. The new tracker shows an estimation of cardio fitness using resting heart rate and user biometrics (age, gender, weight) to display an approximated overall fitness level over time.
It can be connected to third-party apps (like Spotify), and is equipped with the Wear OS by Google technology, so purchases can be made with Google Pay (Alipay available in China. Google Pay available in select countries.) Google Assistant can manage daily tasks, plan the day, and answer questions. (*Tiko Assistant available in China; Google Assistant available in select languages and countries.)
Google Fit can help users' motivation to hit fitness goals. (*TicHealth available in China.) The watches retail for $350 (Darci) and $250 (Gen 5E MKGO Smartwatch) and will available at the end of January or early February.
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