Reviews You Can Rely On

Fossil Gen 6 Review

If you're into it for looks, this is an ok option — just don't expect much more from this wearable
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Fossil Gen 6 Review
Credit: Fossil
Price:  $299 List
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Manufacturer:   Fossil
By Benjamin Hickok, Jessica Riconscente, and Jared Eastlick  ⋅  Jan 24, 2023
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Smart Function - 30% 6.0
  • Display - 15% 8.0
  • Health - 20% 4.5
  • Battery - 20% 4.7

Our Verdict

Over the past few years, WearOS watches have struggled to become a genuine top-tier alternative to Apple products. The Fossil Gen 6 hopes to reverse this trend by offering WearOS enthusiasts higher performance coupled with an elegant display. Fossil improves on previous models by improving processing efficiency and existing health sensors. An added bonus of this wearable is its fashionable metal design that mimics an ordinary dress watch. Even though Fossil is trending in the right direction, it does not compare well against others in our smartwatch review. There is still much room for improvement in terms of battery life and health monitoring.
REASONS TO BUY
Beautiful design
Nice menu layout
Fast charging
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor value
Subpar battery life

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Bottom Line Generally unimpressive and underwhelming with a poor battery life to bootAndroid users will not be disappointed with this product. Samsung improves upon previous models while maintaining what they have done wellGoogle's first smartwatch has a lot going for it but lacks a competitive edgeA worthy choice if you are looking for a top-tier Android-compatible option, but definitely not the best model we have testedThis wearable doesn't have much going for it, we recommend looking at other options
Rating Categories Fossil Gen 6 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Google Pixel Watch Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
8.5
8.6
4.6
4.4
Smart Function (30%)
6.0
8.1
7.3
6.4
6.0
Display (15%)
8.0
8.5
7.7
6.7
5.3
Health (20%)
4.5
7.6
7.4
6.5
4.5
Battery (20%)
4.7
7.5
7.5
7.7
5.3
Specs Fossil Gen 6 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Google Pixel Watch Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
Water Resistance 3 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM IP68 and pool swimming suitable IP68 and pool swimming suitable
NFC (contactless payment) Google Pay Samsung Pay Google Pay Google Pay Google Pay
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Speaker Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Display AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED with DCI-P3 color Dual Display LCD over Retina AMOLED HD 2.5D curved
Resolution 416 x 416 pixels 396 x 396 pixels 450 x 450 pixels 454 x 454 pixels 360 x 360 pixels
HR Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Sensors Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient Light
Compass
Gyroscope
Blood Oxygen
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Barometer
Ambient Light
Compass
ECG
Blood Oxygen
Compass
Altimeter
Blood Oxygen
Multi purpose electrical
ECG
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient Light
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Blood Oxygen
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
Barometer
Ambient Light
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Blood Oxygen
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 4100+ Exynos W920 (Dualcore, 5nm) Exynos 9110 SoC · Cortex M33 co-processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system
Operating System WearOS WearOS WearOS WearOS WearOS
Available Sizes 42 mm (women), 44mm (men) 40mm, 44mm 41mm 48mm 47mm
Size Tested 42 mm 40mm 41mm 48mm 47mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Whether you choose the 42mm or 44mm version, this wearable will bring style and convenience into your life. The WearOS 2.3 is an easy-to-understand user interface (UI), especially if you are familiar with WearOS products. If you find that the preinstalled WearOS UI is too finicky, there is an option to upgrade to WearOS 3.

Performance Comparison


fossil gen 6 - the battery level is clearly and conveniently indicated on the watch...
The battery level is clearly and conveniently indicated on the watch face.
Credit: Laura Casner

Smart Functions


The Gen 6 started out with a disappointing performance in our smart functions metric. We tested popular app selection and support, taking phone calls, controlling music, and making wireless payments. We also considered and evaluated standalone GPS and cellular capability.

As a WearOS device, the smartwatch comes with a host of preinstalled applications and an extended app library from the google play store. Calling and testing are alright, although the call quality could stand to improve in clarity. Music control and NFT options are available, but it is necessary to have a phone nearby as this smartwatch does not have an autonomous cellular option.

fossil gen 6 - most devices need to be paired with a smartphone for cellular and...
Most devices need to be paired with a smartphone for cellular and data use unless you have a cellular-compatible watch.
Credit: Laura Casner

Health


Smartwatches often pair as fitness trackers, but do they get the job done? Our experienced testers assessed the Gen 6 in step counting, heart rate (HR) monitoring, workout tracking, safety, and other related health tracking in an attempt to answer this.

Fossil added a new host of sensors that help improve health-related tracking features. Our tests, however, found that there is still much room for improvement. HR monitoring was lackluster, and so was workout tracking. We found that there were several features missing, like skin temperature readings and menstrual tracking, which are common in other top-tier brands.

fossil gen 6 - navigating default screens and apps on the gen 6 is straightforward...
Navigating default screens and apps on the Gen 6 is straightforward, but we weren't impressed with overall data collection from movement and workouts.
Credit: Laura Casner

Step counting was solid, only averaging a step differential of 1.7 across three identical trials. Unfortunately, there is no safety feature like SOS or fall detection, which should be a given in any smartwatch at this price point.

fossil gen 6 - step counting was fairly reliable with the fossil gen 6.
Step counting was fairly reliable with the Fossil Gen 6.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Battery


Our last metric looked at battery performance, both lifespan and charging capabilities. The Gen 6 performed exceptionally well in our recharging tests; recharging to a full charge was significantly faster than any other watch we tested. This is fortunate because users will be recharging the watch frequently as it has terrible battery life under normal use — one of the worst we have ever tested.

fossil gen 6 - the back of the fossil gen 6, with magnetic disc charger.
The back of the Fossil Gen 6, with magnetic disc charger.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


For this metric, we evaluated the screen responsiveness, crown scroll quality, charging setup, and water resistance rating of the Gen 6.

For the most part, the Gen 6 is decently responsive. Subtle movements like slowly rotating your wrist or slight finger swipes are a bit finicky. The crown scroll works as expected, although we wish it were higher up on the bezel. The charging setup is similarly adequate but not exceptional. We found that the charging adapter was like any other, except it had a weaker magnetic pull. Lastly, the water resistance rating comes out to only 3 ATMs, two below the norm.

fossil gen 6 - the crown on the fossil gen 6 adds convenience to its ease of use.
The crown on the Fossil Gen 6 adds convenience to its ease of use.
Credit: Laura Casner

Display


We interact with most modern smartwatches through the touch interface, so this is a critical component. For this metric, we rated screen quality and the ability to easily and clearly read text on the watch in the presence or absence of light. We also tested auto-brightness and always-on settings and abilities.

Equipped with an AMOLED 464x46x pixel display, the Gen 6 showcased an inspiring display that combines a dynamic color profile with a simplistic but classy aesthetic. Navigating through the applications in this smartwatch felt like polished granite, especially considering how naturally the auto-brightness shifts in changing environments.

fossil gen 6 - a decent display is easy to use and read. the gen 6 is certainly...
A decent display is easy to use and read. The Gen 6 is certainly decent, though it still doesn't measure up to other watches in our review.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should you buy the Fossil Gen 6?


There is no need for most people to purchase this smartwatch. Even if you exclusively prefer WearOS devices, there are many better alternatives that can be found at a similar price point. If style is more important to you, then the Gen 6 will bring some utility.

What other Smartwatches should you consider?


For the best smartwatch available, check out the Apple Watch Series 8. Those who do not have iPhones should check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 as this is the best watch on the market for Android. If you need a watch that has a strong battery, check out the TicWatch Pro 3.

fossil gen 6 - wearables enhance life on the go but can look good too...
Wearables enhance life on the go but can look good too. Unfortunately, style is one of the only things we liked about the Gen 6.
Credit: Laura Casner

Benjamin Hickok, Jessica Riconscente, and Jared Eastlick