Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches unveiled – but without Wear OS 3 for now

After teasing its arrival, Fossil has officially unveiled its Gen 6 smartwatch, which will support Google’s Wear OS 3 software update – but not until 2022.

The follow-up to its Gen 5 smartwatch, which launched in 2019, brings adds an SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels and will be the first smartwatch powered by Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform.

The Gen 6 comes in seven different looks for both men and women, covering those who prefer a sportier look or something better suited to formal occasions. There’s the option of 44mm and 42mm case sizes with both featuring stainless steel cases that measure in at 11.5mm thick.

Both host a 1.28-inch, AMOLED touchscreen display, and like previous Fossil smartwatches, feature a rotating crown and two programmable pusher buttons.

There’s interchangeable bands with the larger Gen 6 watch using a 22mm band, and the 42mm version dropping to a smaller 18mm strap.

Different styles of the Fossil Gen 6

Different styles of the Fossil Gen 6

In terms of features, you’re getting a microphone and speaker, which debuted on Gen 5 and means you’re able to handle calls when connected to your phone and hear responses from Google’s Assistant.

That call support will work with Android phones and iPhones. There’s buiilt-in GPS and an improved heart rate monitor for continuous monitoring along with the introduction of an SpO2 sensor. It carries a 3ATM water resistant rating making it safe for swimming too.

It will run on Google’s Wear OS and will be upgradeable to Wear OS 3, but as mentioned, that won’t happen until 2022.

Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, Fossil’s Gen 6 will work with Android and iPhones, though it’s still unclear if that means support will extend to both platforms when you update to Wear OS 3.

With Wear OS, you’ll get access to the Google Play Store giving you access to third party apps like Spotify, which does now offer offline playback support for Wear watches. You’re also getting Google’s own apps including Google Pay and Assistant and you will of course be able to view notifications from apps, messages and incoming calls.

Along with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform, there’s 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, so you’re pretty much getting the best of what is currently offered on Wear watches in terms of what’s powering performance here.

In the battery life department, Fossil is a little vague on what you can expect here, but it seems it’ll be fit for a day’s use. Though with the battery optimisations brought by Wear 4100+ and Fossil’s own smart battery modes you can make sure you get that 24 hours of battery life. It’s also talking up the speed at which Gen 6 watches can be charged, giving you back up to 80% off a 30 minute charge.

Michael Kors Access 6 smartwatches

Michael Kors Access 6 smartwatches

In addition to Fossil’s Gen 6 watches, Fossil also revealed that Michael Kors Access 6 watches are on the way, and while it hasn’t shared full specs lists, we do have the pictures above. We imagine they’ll offer similar features as the Fossil smartwatches with the typical array of looks and finishes.

Pricing of the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch range from $299-$319, so that’s pretty much in line with the launch pricing of its Gen 5 watches.

While it’s great to finally see the Gen 6 watches unveiled, the real story here is that it’s another smartwatch that will have to wait for the big Wear OS 3 update until 2022.

Will we actually see a smartwatch running new Wear, aside from the Galaxy Watch 4 which is heavily modified with Samsung’s own UI and apps, before the year is out?

It’s not looking very positive on that front right now.

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