Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch review: Style and substance rolled into one device
From the budget segment to premium, there is no dearth of smartwatches in India’s wearable market. However, your options become limited if you want to pick a fully functional smartwatch to complement your Android smartphone experience. Among these few smartwatches, there are those made by American fashion accessory maker Fossil. Fresh in the line-up is the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch.
Historically, design has not been an issue with Fossil-branded smartwatches; that legacy continues in the Gen 6 model. The Fossil Gen 6 is a better-looking smartwatch with a classic circular design. Cased in a 44mm anodized aluminium shell (Review unit – Brown Leather), the watch is sleek and compact, and looks well on most wrists. Complementing the case are brown leather straps, which go well with both formal and casual attires. These are quick-release straps of 22mm size. Therefore, you can easily pull them out and replace them with straps of choice. Like previous iterations, the Gen 6 has a three-button layout on the right side of the case – two configurable push buttons and a rotating home button.
As for the screen, it is slightly smaller (1.28-inch) when compared with the last-generation model (1.3-inch). The screen is adequate, irrespective of light conditions, but it does not have enough room for smooth touch operations. Thankfully, the user interface is slick and a quick flick on the touchscreen with a finger gets the job done. The UI is optimised but the performance boost comes because of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor.
Powered by Google’s Wear OS 2 platform, the Fossil Gen 6 supports functions that most smartwatches running other proprietary operating systems do not. Some of these functions include telephony services, quick replies for messages, and offline music streaming. Besides, the watch has all the regular features that the Wear OS supports; these include health and fitness features like SpO2 measurement, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, activity tracking, GPS, etc. With Google Wear OS and a comprehensive list of features, the Fossil Gen 6 looks like a perfect smartwatch. But it is not.
The Fossil Gen 6 boots one generation old Wear OS 2 out of the box. Therefore, the new features and functionalities of the Wear OS 3, such as watch face customisation, are missing here. The watch’s built-in GPS tracker is unreliable. It struggles to accurately register the steps, and health-related metrics like sleep tracking and SpO2 measurements are not always correct. The watch’s built-in speaker and microphone works fine with Google Assistant. But for telephony services, the speaker’s muted output is inadequate to attend calls on the go, and the built-in microphone struggles to pick up voice in noisy environments. Lastly, the watch’s on-battery time is far from desirable, especially with always-on display enabled. Thankfully, there is fast-charge support and the watch takes just about an hour to fully charge. But there is no wireless charging support.
Priced at Rs 23,995, the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch is a blend of style and substance. There are some caveats, but the fully functional smartwatch experience, thanks to Google services and value-added features from Fossil, makes the Gen 6 a better Wear OS smartwatch in the midrange segment.