Most companies release one updated smartwatch every year and call it a day. Fossil isn’t one of them. Since they got on board with this generation of smartwatches, Fossil has looked at the smartwatch as a platform, working out the hardware part before handing it over to fashion brands to figure out the design. They’re doubling down on that strategy this year with over 300 smartwatches and hybrid watches to choose from, with 14 brands making their own designs.
Fossil’s hybrid smartwatches — analog watches with simple connected features — won’t be much different from last year. That’s a good thing, as far as we’re concerned — I really liked the simplicity and design of the ones I reviewed last year. Fossil is promising that this year’s models will be even slimmer, which was the only major gripe I had, so they sound promising. Armani Exchange, Chaps, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Kate Spade, Misfit, Michael Kors, and Skagen will all have new designs this year. They’ll be joined by a handful of newcomers — DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Relic, and Tory Burch (she’s not just with Fitbit anymore!).
The company’s smartwatches will be more different, mainly because they’ll all have the new Android Wear 2.0 update installed — that said, if you have an older model, you’re likely due to get this update, too. The watches will get a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and a bright AMOLED display. Expect to see new smartwatches from Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Michael Kors, and Misfit. Misfit’s new smartwatch, the Vapor, caught our attention at CES as a very promising smartwatch for runners in particular. All of the watches will have custom faces and apps specific to the designer brand.
The watches are all slated for release between September and December of this year. No word on pricing yet, but if it stays consistent with last year, I’d expect prices to range from $150 to $300 depending on the brand.