During the online-only CES 2021, Fossil took the wraps off an updated version of its Gen 5 smartwatch from 2019 with a single standout feature: LTE. The company is now officially offering a smartwatch with a cell connection on it, and it can be yours for $349.
If you’re not familiar, that $349 price point is $44 more than the standard Gen 5, and besides LTE, there’s nothing new here. You still get a 1.28-inch AMOLED display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, the same design, the same fitness features and sensors, and the same operating system: Wear OS. Perhaps most notably is the processor. Fossil didn’t opt to upgrade the Gen 5’s chipset with the new LTE model, which means you’re stuck with a Snapdragon 3100 while other watches that come out this year will likely get the speedier 4100.
Of course, if you already knew you wanted a Gen 5 but couldn’t pull the trigger because of the lack of LTE, you’ll probably be fine by the experienced afforded by your purchase.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to meet another qualification to be comfortable with your purchase: you’ll need a Verizon plan. For some reason, Fossil decided to make the LTE version of the Gen 5 a Verizon exclusive, relying heavily on the carrier’s Number Share feature for making phone calls and receiving texts on the watch. LTE also only works with Android right now, with iPhones gaining support at some point down the line.
There aren’t a lot of reasons to buy this version of the Gen 5 beyond LTE connection, but if you’re interested in picking one up, Fossil says it’ll arrive this spring. As for now, it’ll be exclusive to the U.S. because of that Verizon lock-in deal.
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