- Fossilâ€™s Gen 5 smartwatch may have surfaced at the FCC with LTE.
- You can also expect NFC and other creature comforts.
- Whether or not it uses a Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip is still a mystery.
Fossilâ€™s Gen 6 smartwatches might still be in limbo, but that isnâ€™t ruling out some new models before then. Fossil has passed an unnamed Wear OS watch (model number C1N) through the FCC, hinting at a possible Gen 5 variant with built-in LTE data â€” the companyâ€™s first LTE-capable smartwatch.
The FCC docs donâ€™t reveal the potential Gen 5 design beyond its circular display, but itâ€™s clear Fossil is aiming at North American users with LTE on frequencies for carriers like Verizon (disclaimer: this author also writes for Verizon-owned Engadget). You can also expect the virtually mandatory Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Google Pay-friendly NFC.
Read more: The best Fossil smartwatches
There are no clues as to a release date for a Fossil Gen 5 LTE smartwatch. We wouldnâ€™t count on a CES 2021 debut, but the timing could easily clear the path for a release early in the new year.
This might be slightly disappointing if it isnâ€™t Gen 6. Like many Wear OS smartwatches, Fossilâ€™s Gen 5 hardware uses the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip first announced in 2018. You wouldnâ€™t get the speed and battery life improvements of the Wear 4100, both of which could help an LTE-equipped watch designed to be used away from your phone.
With that said, a Fossil Gen 5 with LTE could still be a viable smartwatch option if you donâ€™t mind the aging internals. We liked the original model due in part to Fossilâ€™s customizations, such as its special battery modes and watch faces. Those perks should remain intact. While you probably shouldnâ€™t rush to upgrade unless youâ€™ve been craving cellular data in a Fossil watch, it could be justifiable if youâ€™re using older Google-powered wristwear.