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The best Fossil smartwatches (August 2022): Gen 6, Hybrid HR, and more

Fossil Group makes a ton of smartwatches, and we're rounding up the best ones.
By
August 1, 2022
A Fossil Gen 6 is perched on a picnic table.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Fossil has always made great watches, but the company didn’t start getting into the smartwatch game until a few years ago. Initially starting with hybrid smartwatches, Fossil eventually transitioned to full-fledged smartwatches running Google’s Wear OS platform. In fact, Fossil is one of the big brands that still relies heavily on Wear OS. That’s why we’re rounding up the best Fossil smartwatches you can buy.

Buying the right Fossil smartwatch for your needs

Fossil Group, the Fossil brand’s parent company, owns popular accessory brands like Skagen and Misfit and licenses products from Puma, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors. Many of these brands’ smartwatches share the same specs and receive updates simultaneously, which is why we’re going to include these companies on our list in addition to other Fossil smartwatches.

Fossil is generally not known for its depth of health tracking smarts. If you’re seeking a runner’s watch with built-in GPS and VO2 max readouts, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But as for smartwatch features, Fossil devices have those in spades.

Finally, we should also mention that Fossil devices based on the Gen 6 platform are likely to gain Wear OS 3 later this year. However, there’s been little clarity regarding the timing of this update. Gen 5 products won’t make the jump to the latest software platform, so keep this in mind if gaining the latest software features is important to you.

The best Fossil smartwatches

  • The Fossil Gen 6 is the best Fossil smartwatch you can buy. It shares aesthetic cues with its predecessor but brings big upgrades to its internals.
  • The Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw is the best Michael Kors smartwatch. It’s based on the original Fossil Gen 6’s technology while offering a classier (and pricier) aesthetic.
  • Fossil’s Gen 5 is no longer the best Fossil smartwatch, but it’s still worth your time at the right price.
  • The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is the best Fossil smartwatch with LTE. It shares several design traits with the Fossil Gen 5.
  • The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is the best Skagen smartwatch you can buy. It’s arguably one of the more attractive watches on this list but shares similar internals to its Gen 5 cousin.
  • Skagen’s Jorn Hybrid HR is the brand’s best hybrid smartwatch. Thanks to that e-ink display, this watch has battery life in spades.
  • Want an alternative hybrid watch? The Fossil Hybrid HR is the best choice. You do trade the Jorn’s build quality for a lower price, though.
  • The Fossil Gen 5E is the best cheap Fossil smartwatch. It’s based on Fossil’s pared-down hardware platform but still offers the style synonymous with the brand.

Fossil Gen 6: The best Fossil smartwatch

Fossil Gen 6 right profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Fossil Gen 5 has long stood out as the best Fossil smartwatch, and one of the best Wear OS watches you can buy. However, the Fossil Gen 6 is a marked upgrade that we can’t ignore.

It’s the first Fossil smartwatch to feature the faster Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus SoC, which should bring considerable improvements to the performance. With that upgrade comes the promised upgrade to Wear OS 3 next year. The Gen 6 also sees a new heart rate and SpO2 sensor combo and faster charging, albeit with a smaller battery than the Gen 5.

While we’re big fans of the Gen 6’s colorways, design, and display, battery leaves much to be desired. On top of that, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the big Wear OS 3 update, so if you’re planning on buying one now, you’ll need to be patient with software updates.

Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches 46mm 42mm sizes
Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch
The new hotness
The new Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches are the first devices to run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus platform. They also boast new heart rate and SpO2 sensors and faster-charging batteries. While they ship with Wear OS 2, all Gen 6 devices are slated to get Wear OS 3 in 2022.

Pros

  • Respectable design
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Accurate heart rate monitor
  • Accurate SpO2 monitor
  • Plenty of color options
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Only 24-hour battery life
  • Inaccurate GPS
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking
  • Not for swim workouts
  • Limited fitness apps
  • A long wait until Wear OS 3

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Gen 6.


Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw: The best Michael Kors smartwatch

The Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw smartwatch is built on the same platform as the Fossil Gen 6 lineup. That means it runs on the same Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor and comes with the same amount of RAM and storage.

The biggest reason to buy the Michael Kors Bradshaw over Fossil’s smartwatch is its design. There are multiple colorways and styles available. If you’re after the glitziest Wear OS watch you can buy, the Michael Kors Bradshaw is it.

Speaking of Wear OS, the Bradshaw line is also stuck with Wear OS 2 until late 2022, but at least it’s poised to receive an update unlike the other devices in the Michael Kors stable.

Product shot of the Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw smartwatch in rose gold.
Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw
Michael Kors' new Bradshaw smartwatches are based on the Fossil Gen 6's underlying technology, so you're bound to get solid performance and decent battery life out of these classy smartwatches.

Fossil Gen 5: The best last-gen Fossil smartwatch

fossil gen 5 smartwatch review display watch face 5
Fossil Gen 5

The Fossil Gen 5 was once the best Fossil smartwatch you can buy and one of the best Wear OS watches, too. However, since the Fossil Gen 6 is here, we have to relegate this venerable model. That said, it’s still a decent option for those who don’t mind older hardware or software.

A sleek design, good performance, a beautiful display, and plenty of color options are all factors in the Fossil Gen 5 once topping our list. Thanks to Fossil’s custom battery modes, it also has decent battery life, which have since made their way to all Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100-powered smartwatches in Fossil Group’s lineup.

You can regularly snag the watch under its list price, which still makes it a viable alternative for Fossil fans. However, the Fossil Gen 5 will not receive the Wear OS 3 update in 2022, so software support will be limited from here on out.

Fossil Gen 5 press render
Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch
With a stainless steel watch band and additional band options, the Gen 5 is a good-looking alternative to other smartwatches. Even better, you don't give up substance for style. The Gen 5 features fitness and heart rate tracking, along with Google's Wear OS platform for seamless syncing with your Android phone.

Pros

  • Crisp, bright display
  • Plenty of great watch faces preinstalled
  • Useful custom battery modes
  • GPS, NFC, and heart rate sensor
  • Accurate fitness tracking
  • Built-in speaker is very useful

Cons

  • So-so battery life

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Gen 5.


Fossil Gen 5 LTE: The best Fossil smartwatch with LTE

fossil gen 5 lte review watch face display 2
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Looking for a Fossil smartwatch with cellular connectivity? The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is the smartwatch you’re looking for. It’s essentially the same watch as the Gen 5 Carlyle (above), only you can activate it on Verizon’s network to receive calls and texts on your wrist without a nearby phone.

There are some limitations. It’s only available in the US, can only be activated on Verizon’s network, and is only compatible with Android phones.

fossil gen 5 lte smartwatch 2
Fossil Gen 5 LTE
A great Wear OS watch, now with LTE
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE takes one of our favorite Wear OS smartwatches and adds cellular connectivity. If you're an Android user on Verizon, you'll want to check this watch out.

Pros

  • Great display and overall design
  • Useful custom battery modes
  • GPS, NFC, and heart rate sensor
  • Built-in speaker/mic are useful

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Verizon exclusive
  • So-so battery life

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Gen 5 LTE.


Skagen Falster Gen 6: The best Skagen smartwatch

An image of the Skagen Falster Gen 6 on the wrist showing the blood oxygen spo2 measurements
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Falster Gen 6 draws plenty of design inspiration from the Skagen Falster 3 but loads its body with Fossil’s Gen 6 tech. This means an SpO2 sensor, on-wrist phone calls, and quick charging all feature. Some fan-favorite traits also return, like Fossil’s custom battery modes that help the device sip power when needed. Google Assistant support on the wrist is also a nice touch, and one-ups Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 in that regard.

Speaking of the Galaxy Watch 4, the Skagen Falster Gen 6 launched with Wear OS 2 but an upgrade to Wear OS 3 is planned for later this year. That might be too long for some to wait. Additionally, the fitness tracking credentials of the Gen 6 leave much to be desired. The GPS is inaccurate, heart rate monitoring is erratic, and sleep tracking lags well behind the likes of Fitbit.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 press image black
Skagen Falster Gen 6
Everything we like about the Gen 6 platform, now in a Danish-inspired design
The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is the Danish brand's latest Wear OS smartwatch. Although it won't get the Wear OS 3 update until mid-2022, the Falster Gen 6 offers solid specs, faster charging, and upgraded health sensors.

Pros

  • Classy design
  • Custom battery modes are handy
  • Speedy charging
  • Phone calls on the wrist

Cons

  • Stuck on old software until mid-2022
  • Battery only lasts a day
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking
  • Poor heart rate and GPS accuracy

Check out our full review to learn more about the Skagen Gen 6.


Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR: The best Skagen hybrid smartwatch

skagen jorn hybrid hr review notifications
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Fossil Group has brought its Hybrid HR platform to the Skagen brand with the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR. This is our favorite hybrid smartwatch from the company due to its improved design over the Fossil Hybrid HR (below), long battery life, and of course, the innovative e-ink display.

The Jorn Hybrid HR’s e-ink display is bigger than the tiny screens found on most other hybrid smartwatches. This allows you to see more information on your wrist at one time without the need to interact with the watch. Again, there are some usability issues with Skagen’s watch, but we’re big fans of the platform overall.

skagen jorn hybrid hr smartwatch family 1
Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR
A stylin' hybrid
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR is a hybrid smartwatch built on Fossil Group's e-ink smartwatch platform. It can last over two weeks on a single charge, mirror your smartphone notifications, and more.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • E-ink display is innovative and fun
  • 2+ week battery life
  • Decent (but basic) fitness tracking options

Cons

  • On-device software is clunky

Check out our full review to learn more about the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR.


Fossil Hybrid HR: Fossil’s best hybrid smartwatch

fossil hybrid hr review watch face collider hr 3
Fossil Hybrid HR

The Fossil Hybrid HR is nearly identical to the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR in functionality. The main differences are the overall build quality, the companion app, and the price.

While our Fossil Hybrid HR (Collider model) looks wonderful, its build quality is noticeably lacking compared to Skagen’s offering. However, you might find this one on sale more often. The watch was announced in 2019, so it receives regular discounts on Amazon and Fossil’s website.

fossil hybrid hr brown leather
Fossil Hybrid HR Collider
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It's a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The Collider model is geared towards people with larger wrists.
fossil hybrid hr pink silicone
Fossil Hybrid HR Charter
Fossil nailed the look of the Hybrid HR. It's a beautiful hybrid watch with a useful e-ink display, wrapped up in an affordable package. The Charter model is geared towards people with smaller wrists.

Pros

  • E-ink display is great for battery and visibility
  • Premium, classy design
  • 2+ week battery life

Cons

  • Erratic sleep tracking
  • Unreliable heart rate monitor
  • No GPS options (connected or built-in GPS)
  • Limited software features

Check out our full review to learn more about the Fossil Hybrid HR.


Fossil Gen 5E: The best cheap Fossil smartwatch

If you’re after the Fossil Gen 5 but want something slightly smaller, look no further than the Fossil Gen 5E. Available in 42 and 44mm sizes, the Gen 5E smartwatches boast many of the same Gen 5 features at just $250.

The Fossil Gen 5E has the same processor, RAM, custom battery modes, built-in speaker, and NFC for Google Pay as the Gen 5. However, the Gen 5E has a slightly smaller display, 4GB of storage instead of 8GB, and you only get connected GPS instead of built-in GPS. Also, it has a physical pusher on the side, but it’s not rotatable to scroll through Wear OS.

While the Gen 5E sounds like a decent smartwatch overall, we’d recommend buying the standard Gen 5 if you can find it on sale or investing in the Gen 6 if you’re looking for something more futureproof.

fossil gen 5e smartwatch mens 1
Fossil Gen 5E Smartwatch
Looking for a cheap Fossil smartwatch? The Fossil Gen 5E is your best bet. Its list price is $250 but can be regularly found for under $200.

Top Fossil smartwatch questions and answers

Yes. If you appreciate the aesthetics of your smartwatch, want basic smart and fitness tracking features, and Wear OS, Fossil smartwatches are definitely for you.

There’s no exact date yet set by Google, but we understand that the likes of the Fossil Gen 6 and Skagen Gen 6 will receive their Wear OS 3 updates in 2022. It’s unlikely that Fossil’s older watches (Gen 5 and earlier) will also receive updates.

Hybrid smartwatches can be viewed as analog-inspired timepieces with some additional health-tracking smarts and smartwatch features. Smartwatches are full-fledged, devices that run apps, can place calls, and more.

If you don’t need your device to run apps, put extensive battery duration first, or appreciate the more classic aesthetic of a hybrid smartwatch, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider them.

Depending on your watch’s face size, you might require 18mm, 20mm, or 22mm straps. For instance, the Fossil Gen 6 44mm model uses 22mm straps, while the 42mm model uses 18mm straps.


Looking for more brand-specific recommendations? Check out the following guides: