Regular watches are a thing of the past as the world around us is evolving into smart-tech-based objects which, in one way or other, are connected, creating an artificial eco-system.
Fossil’s new Gen 6 smartwatch is a new effort in their long history of making watches. It hosts new hardware, but the software is old, and Fossil will deliver the new one in 2022.
For those of you who are new to smartwatches, smartwatches are OS-based devices with multiple independent features such as health tracking, sleep tracking, and some linked to your smartphone. Without further ado, let’s get into the review.
If you have bought a Fossil watch in the past few years, you won’t notice much of a difference in packaging. However, if you haven’t bought one before, it is nicely presented, and you will like it.
The wearable gained my attention the first time I gazed at it, and it just found a soft spot in my heart.
Mine is a black edition with a camouflage strap that adjusts easily on my wrist, is lightweight, and doesn’t stick like a magnet. There are a variety of colors for watches and straps to meet your taste. I would recommend 22mm sized-straps.
The design of this watch is quite tempting with three buttons on the side, a subtle metal case, and inside it a brilliant display.
Fossil Gen 6, unlike some of its competitors, is hosting a stock WearOS with some bloatware. On the other hand, Samsung worked on their Tizen OS, but they have abandoned it in favor of WatchOS this year. Amazfit has designed its Amazfit OS. Huawei’s smartwatches used to work on Lite OS but had to develop HarmonyOS. Apple is in a league of their own as they don’t share their IOS, unlike Android.
Galaxy Watch 4, Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra, and Fossil Gen 6 are high-end WearOS based smartwatches at the end of 2021.
Fossil Gen 6 comes with flagship-grade hardware at around $300 and hosts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ chipset. They have made only two versions, 4100 and 4100+, which will increase battery life.
On paper, the specifications are; a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen, stainless steel case, Snapdragon 4100+ SoC, 300mAh battery, 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, PPG HR sensor, SPo2 tracking, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, Speaker, Microphone, NFC and all that you can expect from a flagship device.
When holding the smartwatch, the display is outstanding but smaller than anticipated, and 1.28” is a bit less than the rest of the competition. The battery is relatively small, and quick charging will come in handy.
In my opinion, the focus has been on design, and it is pretty similar to the 5E series, a little bit rugged. Its design has been why I opted to use it as my daily driver.
Among these three hardware buttons, upper and lower are configurable. I use the upper button for phone calls, while the lower button is for entering fitness features.
The middle button is dedicated to scrolling, quick app navigation, etc. It doesn’t satisfy my expectations yet, slowly approaching there, and it is a handy tool to navigate if your hands are wet or unsuitable to use the screen.
If you are new to WearOS, the wizard will guide you through everything you need to know before operating the device. Here are a few quick tips I would like to mention here.
Since the display is touch-based, you can use these gestures to navigate through the OS. You can swipe up to access notifications, down to access quick-toggles, right to get to Google Assistant, and left to see the main cards.
While using this smartwatch, I realized that I am not a fan of its software, unlike the design. I have encountered problems which I am going to list down.
First of all, the icons and text in the User-Interface are too small, and the reason can be screen-size.
Random bloatware, not Fossil’s apps, such as Nike run club, Alexa and a few others, and Google-fit related apps are present.
Fossil has opted to give you a choice to divide the health tracking feature between Google Fit Ecosystem and Wellness App.
It didn’t go well, and you can’t find an app where all the data is parsed and analyzed. Neither Fossil has unification for most of these values as cards, nor is health tracking reliable.
Mobvoi, with their TicWatch pro 3 and ultra, provides health tracking apps that are well integrated with the UI. They provide detailed data about everything that the user measures. In other words, it has developed apps of its own that work flawlessly with its UI.
On the other hand, Fossil provides users with near-stock WearOS, which doesn’t offer many apps. You have to rely on Cardiogram, Strava, etc., to check heart rate, track sports and measure other activities. These apps don’t serve well, unlike Galaxy watch and Ticwatch series, which provide much better results in this area. I think the wellness features should be summarized in a dedicated app.
The performance of this watch is excellent as it hosts a Snapdragon 4100+ chipset, but its small battery is a handicap that tends to keep dropping quickly, just like it charges. Although Fossil has provided a quick charging that provides 80% charging in 30 minutes, it doesn’t give a satisfying performance to complete the activities.
Fossil’s battery doesn’t even last a day, and battery endurance is worse than Galaxy watch 4. TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra outperforms with tracking heart rate, steps, and sleep even if it goes into battery-saving essential mode. Fossil does provide many battery modes, but its smart battery mode is a basic fitness tracker and activates once it reaches a specific battery threshold.
Performance was good with no lag, its speaker is good, and the microphone also does its job well. Google Assistant is also very nice, but the battery doesn’t match my taste.
Drawbacks of Fossil Gen 6 are; Poor battery endurance, lack of proper health tracking eco-system, no dedicated smartphone app, high price, and improper in-house software development.
If the demerits mentioned above don’t disappoint you, then I would say you are good to go with this watch. A great design and an excellent performance are the perks this smartwatch offers.
If these features appease, then very well buy it but if not, then head over to this link to find more exciting wearables. I will be watching for your comments as I am eager to know what you think about this device.
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