Fossil Gen 6: What we’d like to see from the company’s next smartwatches

From faster processors to revamped software, here’s what we want to see from the Fossil Gen 6.

Fossil’s Gen 5 and several of its spinoffs have been around since 2019, making them old hands in the smartwatch world. Obviously, then, Wear OS is due to replace the device. But what will the follow-up look like, and will it be a worthy upgrade given the changes in the market? Here’s what we want to see, plus some clues as to what to expect.

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a new processor

Ask most Gen 5 owners what they dislike — or most Wear OS watch owners, for that matter — and they’ll likely point to the aging Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip. It felt old and dull in 2019, leave it for now. If Fossil is to compete with the Apple Watch and more recent Wear OS devices such as the Ticwatch Pro 3, Fossil needs to be updated to Gen 6 with advanced processing power.

Thankfully, that upgrade has great potential. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 has been available for some time and will be a clear upgrade to the Fossil Gen 6 amid its improved performance (up to 85 percent, Qualcomm claims) and extended battery life. These will not only improve the overall experience – they can be the key to making the most of features like sleep tracking.

a software overhaul

Simply put, the Gen 5 software is out of date. Google hasn’t done much with Wear OS over the years, and Fossil’s customizations can only do so much to improve the experience. If the Fossil Gen 6 is going to do well against the competition, it needs a completely modern interface that competes with the best of Apple and Samsung.

There’s a real chance we’ll get that wish, and it’s not hard to see why: Google and Samsung are teaming up for a Wear OS overhaul. It should offer visual upgrades, a new “experience”, a better app ecosystem, and upgrades (with the help of Fitbit) to health and fitness. While it’s too early to say whether this will work well in practice, it’s comforting to know that an improvement is underway—even a minor improvement to make Fossil Gen 6 more wear OS skeptical. can be compelling.

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More sensors and wireless technology

Wear OS Watchmaker hasn’t strayed too far from a recognizable mix of sensors and wireless connections. You’ll find frequent heart rate sensors, NFC for tap-to-pay services, and increasingly outdated versions of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. If you’re lucky you’ll sometimes find an LTE model. It’s been fine for a while, but the Fossil Gen 6 needs to move forward if it’s going to live up to its potential as a smart, fitness-savvy wearable.

The health sensor can stand the biggest upgrade. You can find blood oxygen sensors on wristwear like the Apple Watch, while the Fitbit Sense also has an electrodermal sensor to measure your stress. Future watches could add glucose monitoring to help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels in check. While Fossil Gen 6 doesn’t need all of these to be successful, it would be easier to justify if it could monitor your health and even warn you of potentially life-threatening situations. is.

The Fossil Gen 6 doesn’t need the Best Health sensor to be successful, but it at least needs improvements over the Gen 5.

And yes, Fossil should modernize wireless connectivity in Gen 6. It looks like if there’s a chip upgrade, but it’s all the same. Even relatively well-established technologies like Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 5 (we wouldn’t expect Wi-Fi 6) can improve reliability, performance, and battery life, especially for tasks like music streaming. for demand. We’d like to see faster data on the cellular model, though 5G is unlikely given how it still demands a lot of power.

Variety in case sizes and designs

Fossil has been more suited for its smartwatches to different genders and fashion tastes, thanks in no small part to wearables from sub-brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Skagen. However, there’s still a lot of design work left in Fossil if the Gen 6 is going to appeal to everyone.

Most notably, Fossil should bring a wider range of case sizes to the Gen 6. As women and other slim-wrist folks will tell you, smartwatches are often too big to look fashionable. The smallest Gen 5 and 5E watches have a 42mm case – which is huge for some wearers. While screen size and battery life will really dictate a certain minimum size, it’s clear that Fossil should take a cue from rivals like Apple and make smaller watches that look more at home on the wrist.

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We’ll add that the designs themselves are, frankly, faded. With the number of case and strap styles the Fossil offers, the Gen 5 line is pretty predictable. Even brands like Michael Kors and Skagen haven’t shied away from familiar concepts. You’ll have to spring for the diesel’s transparent headlights to get an exciting fossil design, and it won’t be if the Gen 6 is going to stand out.

Don’t expect a lot of variety at launch. Fossil executives recently revealed that they plan a “premium” Gen 6 watch under the brand, with the sub-brand offering something similar. We wish the company was more ambitious, though. It could offer more case styles and materials (ceramic or titanium, anyone?), bolder colors and dreamy bands that aren’t just the usual leather straps and steel bracelets. If Apple can do wonders with a hanging loop, then a seasoned watchmaker like Fossil can certainly innovate.

Fossil Gen 6 release date and price

When will Fossil provide a release date for Gen 6? This is a tough call. Rumors speculated the earliest launch July 2021, but we wouldn’t count on that with Google’s Samsung collaboration on the horizon. Fossil can wait until the new software is ready to compete with rival Wear OS watches, not to mention third-party rivals.

Fossil Gen 6 price could be over-estimated. The Gen 5 debuted at a reasonable $295, and we wouldn’t expect its sequel to cost that much unless there are pricier case and strap options. The smartwatch world is extremely competitive, and a good price is key if the Gen 6 is going to stand a chance.

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