Fossil Gen 5E makes Wear OS a better fit for smaller wrists

Fossil has unveiled its new Gen 5E collection of smartwatches, which seems to indicate we might be kept waiting a while longer for its Gen 6 watches to land.

The Gen 5E essentially arrives as a cheaper alternative to Fossil’s Gen 5 watches, offering many of the same features and still runs on Google’s Wear OS operating system.

For the men’s models, it’s available with leather, silicone and stainless steel bands with all options available in three different colors. There’s rose gold, two-tone and blush options for the Gen 5E for women, with those models available in four different colors.

The Gen 5E for women now comes in a smaller 42mm case size paired up with 18mm removable bands. The Gen 5 equivalent features a 44mm case with a 22mm bands, so that’s a significant drop down in size. For the men, the sizes remain the same as Gen 5, giving you a 44mm case and 22mm band combo.

All of the Gen 5E watches include smaller 1.9-inch touchscreen always-on displays with a 390 x 390 resolution, which unsurprisingly means a drop in resolution too.

With Wear OS on board, you have all of those smartwatch staples like notifications, apps, music controls and contactless payments thanks to Google Pay and the onboard NFC.

There’s also a built-in speaker and microphone to take calls when paired to your phone and hear responses from Google Assistant.

Powering performance is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 3100 processor along with 1GB RAM and 4GB of storage. So it misses out on Qualcomm’s newer 4100 processor and has 4GB less storage than Gen 5 watches.

In terms of sensors, you’re getting accelerometer and gyroscope motion sensors to track activity and a heart rate monitor. You do miss out on built-in GPS and an altimeter to give it less sports tracking appeal. They’re all slapped with the same 3ATM water resistant rating to make them safe for pool swimming and showering.

Another aspect that remains unchanged is battery life. It seems you can expect 24 hours with a range of battery saver modes in tow to push things further than just a day’s play.

All of the the Gen 5E models are available to pre-order now from Fossil’s website for $249 and will apparently ship close to 3 November. The standard Gen 5 model prices start at $295, so that’s $46 cheaper.

The emergence of Gen 5E does feel a bit of a stop gap until Gen 6 is ready to go. We’d like to think Fossil’s next generation watches will be powered by the newer Qualcomm tech and will offer something new in the hardware and software departments when it does finally land.

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