Fossil Gen 6 review: beautiful smartwatch, at the wrong time
The Fossil Gen 6 is the long-awaited upgrade to the 5th generation of Fossil's smartwatch series. We have tested the watch and will tell you whether it is worth it.
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What's in the box
In addition to the watch itself, the charging cable and a quick start guide are also included. With our stainless steel model, however, there was no tool to remove the pins from the bracelet. This led to experiments and a visit to a jeweler to adjust the bracelet.
Design and workmanship
Probably the biggest unique selling point of the Fossil Generation 6 is the design and the workmanship. The watch is available in four versions for men and three for women. The selection is relatively different, there should be something for everyone. My stainless steel model is superbly processed, especially compared to the competition from Mobvoi. You simply notice Fossil's expertise in the field of watchmaking, which is also fully exploited with smartwatches. I like the “general design” of all models very much. On the right side there is a rotatable crown in the middle, which also works in the software. Above and below there are two buttons that can be used to carry out freely assignable actions (start training or call up Google Pay).
Since the watch is 3ATM water resistant, swimming in fresh water should be possible. But I wouldn't risk diving with the watch.
Hardware of the Fossil Gen 6
On hardware, Fossil only uses the best that can currently be found in a smartwatch. The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ is the latest and most energy-efficient SoC in the WearOS range, supported by 1 gigabyte of RAM and 8 gigabytes of internal storage. The 1,28″ display has a resolution of 416 × 416 pixels and displays content sharply and in good color values thanks to AMOLED technology. In addition to a microphone, a speaker has also been installed, which means that telephoning or the Google Assistant is not required Proproblem usable. However, the watch does not have LTE. Instead, NFC for paying with Google Pay and GPS for sports tracking.
The hardware also made a very good impression in everyday use. The software ran smoothly, the crown and buttons felt very high quality and the display was always easy to read. But this is also due to the fact that the current weather is no longer very challenging (for displays). The display can be used as follows. Either it is activated automatically when notifications are received and activated at the push of a button or by turning your arm. The latter uses more battery, but is more pleasant. The always-on display is classic, depending on the watchface, and does its job very well.
We come to the (currently) biggest disadvantage of the Fossil Gen 6. The software is still "old" WearOS 2 running on the watch. An update to the newer one WearOS 3.o will not come until mid-2022. The highlight: According to one Message WearOS 3 was developed behind closed doors by the colleagues at “androidcentral”. This is not surprising at first, but only Samsung was involved in the development, manufacturers such as Mobvoi or the Fossil Group were not. They didn't know anything about the new version until Google I / O, i.e. exactly when we press / customers first found out about it. If this report is correct (has not been confirmed by Google), then Fossil could not do anything for this situation. WearOS 3 is currently still in a "beta phase" anyway, the finished version will probably only appear in spring / summer 2022 with a Pixel Watch. So much for the WearOS situation, now we come to the software.
Because WearOS offers a lot of functions, in addition to the mentioned Google Pay, notifications (also answerable), Spotify downloads, weather and much more. I will go into more detail on the fitness / health functions in the next paragraph. The software is not adapted as with Mobvoi, but kept in the classic WearOS style. For example, the overview app has not been changed as it can be scrolled through with the crown. The charging animation and a Fossil app are still the strongest adjustments, the exclusive watch faces can be found in the Fossil app. If you want to download more apps, you can do this in the Google Play Store, the best in my opinion are the kicker app (for soccer results), Outlook and Spotify / YouTube Music. The new Google Maps version remains the same Galaxy Watch 4 withheld.
The name “smartwatch” applies to the Fossil Gen 6 pretty well. The watch is not designed for fitness tracking, if you do a lot of sport, you should rather use a Garmin watch or a model from the Fitbit series. However, the sensors are fully sufficient for normal tracking, i.e. pulse, blood oxygen or sleep. Steps were counted accurately, with slight variations of about 100-150 steps, and sleep matched my Nest Hub by 2-3 minutes. With sleep tracking, the heart rate and sleep phases are also recorded. Unfortunately, the oxygen saturation and the altitude covered are not yet recorded in the app and can only be viewed on the watch itself.
Fossil Gen 6 battery
The Fossil Gen 6's battery was pretty bumpy for the first few days. The software first had to adapt to my usage behavior, now I can easily get by for a day in normal use with an always-on display and "hand-turn recognition". The battery is usually enough for a long evening, but then has to be recharged for the next day. If you use fewer functions and deactivate the always-on display, for example, you will be able to handle the clock for 2, if not three days. The battery life is worse than that of the TicWatch Pro 3/Ultra, because Mobvoi uses a second FSTN display for its watches. This saves a lot of energy, but also makes the watch thicker.
Fossil promises 80 for fast charging Procent in 30 minutes, so a lot faster than with Gen 5. I can confirm this loading time, I'm at 78 in my test loads Procent in the thirty minutes. Unfortunately, the watch does not support wireless charging via the QI standard like the Galaxy Watches, which I wish for a 7th generation.
Fossil Gen 6 conclusion
The Fossil Gen 6 is a good Android smartwatch. Above all, it can convince with the fashion / watch factor, as it does not lose its status as a watch despite its many functions. The hardware is also up to date, the software unfortunately not. That's why Generation 6 comes at a “bad” point in time, since we're in the middle between WearOS 2 and WearOS 3. The optional update has already been confirmed, but it's still at least six months until then. That's why I can't unreservedly recommend it for the RRP of 299/329, as the Galaxy Watch 4 / Classic is currently available for 200-300 euros. The dealers also seem to have noticed that, some of whom are already selling the Fossil Gen 6 for around 200 euros. For the price, the watch is definitely recommended, especially for people who don't want to do without the “watch” factor on a smartwatch.