Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fossil will give you 300 new smartwatch options in 2017

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Among the Android watches, you’ll see first-time entries from Diesel (shown at left) and Emporio Armani. Fossil itself is introducing two slimmer and “feature-packed” models (the Q Venture and Q Explorist), while Michael Kors is introducing the Access Grayson (men) and Access Sofie (women) with a “microapp” that uses Instagram photos for your watch face. All of these entries (including the previously unveiled Misfit Vapor) will use Android Wear 2.0, AMOLED displays and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, so your purchasing decision really comes down to the look you prefer. Both Misfit and Emporio will be first out of the gate with late summer launches, while the other brands will ship their offerings in the fall or holiday season.

Things get much more crowded when it comes to more conventional-looking hybrid watches. DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Michele, Relic and Tory Burch are all introducing their first wearables, and Fossil will introduce two hybrids (the Q Accomplice and Q Activist) with customizable pushers and slimmer cases. Existing brands are adding new colors and styles, too. Fossil will start things off with a summer launch, and the rest should be widely available in the fall or the holidays.

Prices and device-to-device differences will have to wait, unfortunately. However, it’s already clear that Fossil is treating smartwatches much as it does any other fashion piece in its catalog: it’s covering virtually every potential wearer’s exact tastes, no matter how niche. That could make it ideal if you’re annoyed by the narrow selections from most rival smartwatch makers, but it might also lead to some confusion if you aren’t dead set on a particular model.

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