Fossil is also bringing something fresh to the platform table with its latest Gen 5 Wear OS smartwatch. Fossil promises “multiple” days of use out of a watch with some intelligent battery saving modes, all without murdering key features like your notifications.
For quite a while, performance has been a issue for Wear OS, but latest spec bumps in that department have helped. That leaves Fossil to concentrate on the other significant complaint about Wear OS, battery life. The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch still offers on its standard environments only 24 hours on a charge, but its sleeve has a trick.
Fossil has created a proprietary set of presets called “Smart Battery Modes,” which with just a few taps can significantly boost your watch’s battery life. There are four separate modes available, and Fossil has given us screenshots and information to detail how it all works.
By default, “Daily Mode” is set to a Fossil Gen 5 watch. This first of the smart battery modes of Fossil is more or less your typical Wear OS experience. Along with most of the platform’s features and sensors, the always-on screen will be active. There is also “Time-Only” mode, which is the same mode that we saw on other 3100 powered watches from Snapdragon Wear. This essentially transforms your smartwatch into a stupid watch until further notice and switches on instantly when your battery level gets very small. This is done by turning off the Wear OS and just leaving you with the moment.
However, beyond those environments, things get a little fun. The “Extended Mode” of Fossil can extend your battery life by “multiple days” by switching off certain functions that Fossil considers not essential. This involves the screen, speaker, Wi-Fi, wake-up touch / tile, and detection of “OK Google.” Location and NFC are also set to “on demand,” which means that only when applications trigger them will these radios be switched on. Most interestingly, if you are less likely to use the watch, an automatic timetable turns off Bluetooth.
If Fossil’s “Extended Mode” settings aren’t quite your tea cup, as part of these smart battery modes, there’s also a “Custom Mode.” This mode allows the user to regulate what will be switched off and what will remain on. Obviously, how the user sets stuff up will rely on how the battery benefits here.
Fossil’s smart battery modes are proprietary to the company’s own watches, but they’re all constructed on top of Wear OS. Theoretically, they could be used on other hardware, so we can only hope that this is what Google invested in previously this year from Fossil. Even if that’s not the case, these new modes are a truly useful addition to Fossil’s Wear OS lineup, and we can only hope that once we get our hands on the hardware they will live up to the company’s claims.