Fossil, Samsung launch new smart watches

Samsung's latest additions to its smartwatch line-up, the Galaxy Watch Active2, in 40 and 44 mm versions. Photo:

Wearables turned out to be a major growth category for Apple in its latest quarterly filing, despite the fact that Apple smart watches are not compatible with Android phones. The other tech giants haven't made much of a dent to its market share – as this chart indicates

Samsung and Fossil both announced new smart watches Monday, matching features on the Apple Watch 4, like the ECG sensor. The Galaxy Watch Active2, Samsung's newest smartwatch is available in two sizes (44mm and 40mm), two styles (Aluminum, Steel), in LTE and non-LTE options. The devices run on Tizen, a Samsung-developed OS that is compatible with both Apple and Android phones, and feature a digital version of its signature rotating bezel user interface.

With a starting price of $279.99 (40mm version) and $299.99 (44mm version), the devices will be about $100 cheaper than the current retail price of the Apple Watch 4 (GPS). Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and NFC. They also support wireless charging, and come with a built-in ECG sensor. The watch face can be customized to the color of your outfit a wearable app that only works on Galaxy and Android phones for now. The devices will be available on September 27, with pre-orders starting on September 6.  

Fossil's new Gen 5 smart watches, powered by Wear OS come following Google's $40 million investment in its R&D and tech in January 2019. Starting at $295, they feature an extended battery mode that promises multi-day usage, along with a bump to the storage (to 8 GB) and memory (1 GB RAM) specs. The devices also support tethered voice on Android, and will extend this functionality to the iPhone in an update coming later this fall. Its built-in microphone can control Google Assistant. Preinstalled apps include Cardiogram, Spotify, and Noonlight. 

Renders of Fitbit's upcoming smartwatch, the Versa 2 leaked earlier last week. The new Versa has done away with two buttons on the right, and it looks like it will come with built-in support for Alexa. For now, it is unclear whether Apple plans to release any updates to its Apple Watch family this year.