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Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches: Specs, features, and more

Fossil's Gen 6 line includes fashion-forward Wear OS 3 devices.
By
16 hours ago
A Fossil Gen 6 is perched on a wooden table.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In August 2021, in the shadow of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Google’s updated Wear OS, Fossil debuted its own slate of flagship smartwatches. The Fossil Gen 6 line boasts upgraded specs, new health sensors, and now, a significant software update. Here’s everything you need to know about the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch.


Fossil Gen 6 at a glance

Fossil Gen 6Fossil Gen 6
AA Recommended
Fossil Gen 6
Bright, colorful display • Solid performance • Accurate SpO2 and heart rate monitoring
A fashionable Wear OS device for casual tracking
The fashion-forward Fossil Gen 6 offers a solid, entry-level smartwatch experience. Running the latest Wear OS, the watch pairs with Fossil's own smartwatch companion app and features basic health and activity tracking.

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch line is the direct successor to the company’s Gen 5 line, which debuted in 2019. The Fossil Gen 5 line has been a staple on our list of best Wear OS smartwatches for years, due to their customizable and high-end designs, solid performance, and unique software features. The latest from Fossil makes things even better.

The company gave its new watches important internal improvements for speedier performance as well as new heart rate and SpO2 sensors. These help the devices cover more ground in the fitness tracking space. Additionally, they’re also available in a ton of colorways, so there’s no doubt you’ll find one that suits your style.

Though not available at launch, the latest Wear OS has also finally made its way to Fossil watches. Google and Samsung’s co-developed Wear OS 3 platform has been slowly rolling out to additional devices for some time. Buyers will be relieved to know the update is now available on Fossil’s Gen 6 line. That also means a new Fossil Smartwatch app is necessary to set up your device.


What’s new with the Fossil Gen 6?

A Fossil Gen 6 rests among some vines on a rock with the watch face angled away from the camera.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Unsurprisingly, the first Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches keep all the major design elements that usually appear on Fossil watches. They have big, bright AMOLED displays and three pushers on the right-hand side, with the center button doubling as a rotatable crown.

On the larger watches, the center pusher is flanked by two small stainless steel guards to give the case a bolder look, similar to the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. The lugs also look far more sturdy on all of the Gen 6 styles. The line is offered in two sizes: 44mm and 42mm. The larger size comes in four colorways, while the smaller size comes in three.

The biggest upgrades are under the hood. The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches are the first devices to run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus platform, which offers faster app load times and more efficient battery consumption. All models are backed by 1GB of RAM, so performance isn’t an issue, even on older software.

In our original testing, the Fossil Gen 6 was able to last about a day on a single charge. If you’re interested in sleep tracking, you’ll likely need to throw it on the charger for a few minutes before bed. You can also tweak battery settings to your liking thanks to Fossil’s useful custom battery modes, which make a welcome return to the latest line.

A Fossil Gen 6 rests face down on a plank of wood, displaying its rear panel.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

When you do need to charge the device, you’ll be able to do so quicker than before. The Gen 6 line can reach an 80% charge in 30 minutes (versus 50 minutes on the Gen 5 line). Fossil claims this is “2x faster than leading smartwatches.” Indeed, it’s nice to see a company focusing on quick charging times — Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 takes about 90 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%.

Fossil also included an upgraded heart rate sensor in the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches, which provides continuous tracking throughout the day. The heart rate sensor module is completely new, and Fossil developed new algorithms for better accuracy. In our testing, heart rate monitoring has not been great for workouts. Resting heart rate readings haven’t been an issue, but the watches tend to struggle with higher-intensity workouts. The company has also hopped on the pulse oximeter bandwagon. The new line features an SpO2 monitor for measuring blood oxygen levels on-demand throughout the day and at night.

Fossil Group is also bringing its latest tech to the Michael Kors and SKAGEN brands. The new Michael Kors Gen 6 smartwatches (above) are a glitzier alternative to Fossil’s offerings. They’re based on the same underlying platform as Fossil’s, so they come with the same internal specs and software. Michael Kors’ watches are now available, with prices ranging from $350-$425.

An image of the SKAGEN Falster Gen 6 on a table showing the watch face and display
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The SKAGEN brand also debuted a Gen 6 smartwatch, the Falster Gen 6. If you like the idea of the Fossil Gen 6 but want it in a more minimal design, the SKAGEN Falster device is for you. Again, it has generally the same specs and features as the other Gen 6 watches and now runs the latest Wear OS.

fossil gen 6 wellness on wrist
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Fossil also released the Gen 6 Wellness Edition, a health-focused device with plenty of useful health-tracking tools and an exclusive wellness app. The Gen 6 Wellness Edition is available in a single 44mm case size, in black, silver, or Rose Gold. It shares a number of key specs with the base model including 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a compass, an altimeter, and support for on-wrist calls when paired to a compatible smartphone. It also launched with three new watch faces including a device-exclusive Wellness Gauge watch face that displays essential health stats.


Fossil Gen 6 and Wear OS 3

Fossil Gen 6 Wear OS app drawer
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you’re simply wondering about the software situation, there’s good on that front. As mentioned, Fossil’s Gen 6 watches — including SKAGEN and Micahel Kors — can now upgrade to Wear OS 3. The UI is relatively similar to what users find on the Pixel Watch and significantly less customized than that of  Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 or 5 series.

The upgrade is, unfortunately, missing Google Assistant but does still offer Alexa. Additionally, upgrading your device to the latest Wear OS also requires you to re-pair your watch using the new Fossil Smartwatch companion app.


Fossil Gen 6 vs Fossil Gen 5 vs Fossil Gen 5E

If you want the best Fossil smartwatch, you’ll want to invest in one of the new Gen 6 options. However, outside of the Wear OS experience offered by each generation, the new hotness shares many similarities with the… old hotness. Here’s a brief look at the Fossil Gen 6 vs the Gen 5 and Gen 5E series.

The Fossil Gen 6 and Gen 5 have the same large 1.28-inch AMOLED displays. These are crisp and bright displays that you should have no trouble viewing, whether indoors or outdoors. The Gen 5E, meanwhile, has a slightly smaller display, though it’s still an AMOLED panel. The Fossil Gen 5 only comes in one size — 44mm — so those with smaller wrists might either want to opt for the latest model or the Gen 5E, which are both offered in 44 and 42mm sizes.

All three devices have 1GB of RAM, though the Gen 5 and 5E are powered by Qualcomm’s older Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC. You get 8GB of storage with the Gen 6 and 5, but only 4GB of storage with the Gen 5E.

All three series also have built-in waterproof speakers and microphones, as well as the ability to place and answer phone calls via a connected smartphone. However, if you’re after truly phone-free calling, your only option is the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. Speaking of waterproofing, all three series have 3ATM water resistance ratings, so you can take a dunk in the pool or shower.

Finally, one of the only other notable differences between the three models is GPS support. The Gen 6 and Gen 5 both have standalone GPS (so you can leave your phone at home), while the Gen 5E has connected GPS.


Fossil Gen 6 specs (vs Gen 5 and Gen 5E)

Fossil Gen 6Fossil Gen 5Fossil Gen 5E
Display
Fossil Gen 6
1.28-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 resolution
326ppi
Fossil Gen 5
1.28-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 resolution
328ppi
Fossil Gen 5E
1.19-inch AMOLED
390 x 390 resolution
328ppi
Dimensions
Fossil Gen 6
44mm with 22mm straps
42mm with 18mm straps
Fossil Gen 5
44mm with 22mm straps
Fossil Gen 5E
44mm with 22mm straps
42mm with 18mm straps
Materials
Fossil Gen 6
Stainless steel case
Fossil Gen 5
Stainless steel case
Fossil Gen 5E
Stainless steel case
SoC
Fossil Gen 6
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus
Fossil Gen 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
Fossil Gen 5E
Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100
RAM
Fossil Gen 6
1GB
Fossil Gen 5
1GB
Fossil Gen 5E
1GB
Battery
Fossil Gen 6
300mAh
30 mins to 80% charge
Fossil Gen 5
310mAh
50 mins to 80% charge
Fossil Gen 5E
300mAh
50 mins to 80% charge
Storage
Fossil Gen 6
8GB
Fossil Gen 5
8GB
Fossil Gen 5E
4GB
Sensors
Fossil Gen 6
Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient light
Compass
Gyroscope
Off-body IR
SpO2
PPG heart rate
GPS
Fossil Gen 5
Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient light
Compass
Gyroscope
Off-body IR
PPG heart rate
GPS
Fossil Gen 5E
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Off-body IR
PPG heart rate
Connected GPS
Hardware
Fossil Gen 6
Rotating home button + 2 additional pushers
Speaker
Microphone
Fossil Gen 5
Rotating home button + 2 additional pushers
Speaker
Microphone
Fossil Gen 5E
1 pusher (no rotating home button)
Speaker
Microphone
IP rating
Fossil Gen 6
3ATM
Fossil Gen 5
3ATM
Fossil Gen 5E
3ATM
Connectivity
Fossil Gen 6
Bluetooth 5 LE
NFC
Wi-Fi
Fossil Gen 5
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
NFC
Wi-Fi
Fossil Gen 5E
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
NFC
Wi-Fi
Compatibility
Fossil Gen 6
Android
iOS
Fossil Gen 5
Android
iOS
Fossil Gen 5E
Android
iOS

What are some good Fossil Gen 6 alternatives?

An image of the Apple Watch Series 7 vs the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Fossil’s latest has a lot going for it, but maybe you’re not into waiting for the new Wear OS. Or maybe you want something even more focused on fitness. Whatever your reasoning, one of the Fossil Gen 6 alternatives listed below should suit your needs.

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 / Pro: The Galaxy Watch 5 series features the best Wear OS watch experience currently available, especially for Samsung phone users. We’re particularly big fans of the high-end Pro model with increased durability and added navigation features.
  • Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5: Another great Wear OS option running the latest software is Mobvoi’s latest release. The TicWatch Pro 5 features powerful internals, a unique dual display, a useful rotating crown, and decent battery life.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 / Classic: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are for those who want Wear OS 3 but don’t need the best of the best. Not only do they start at a lower price point, but they also come with plenty of the 5’s top features.
  • Apple Watch Series 8: The Apple Watch Series 8 should be your top pick if you’re an iOS user. We still consider it to be the best smartwatch you can buy, thanks to its unmatched app support and accurate fitness tracking.
  • Garmin Venu 2 Plus: The Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the best fitness-tracking smartwatch you can buy. Plus, Garmin’s revamped software interface, in addition to voice assistant and phone calling support, makes the Venu 2 Plus feel much more like a smartwatch than its predecessor.

Where to buy the Fossil Gen 6

Fossil Gen 6Fossil Gen 6
AA Recommended
Fossil Gen 6
Bright, colorful display • Solid performance • Accurate SpO2 and heart rate monitoring
A fashionable Wear OS device for casual tracking
The fashion-forward Fossil Gen 6 offers a solid, entry-level smartwatch experience. Running the latest Wear OS, the watch pairs with Fossil's own smartwatch companion app and features basic health and activity tracking.

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches are now available for purchase from Fossil’s website, with prices originally set from $299 to $319. Fossil is also well-known to mark its smartwatches down quite a bit.

Additionally, Fossil’s update track record has been stellar over the years — even the two-year-old Gen 5 devices are still receiving software updates. That makes these devices a worthy investment even if the price is a bit high.


Top Fossil Gen 6 questions and answers

A Fossil Gen 6 displays a user's blood oxygen reading while perched on a wooden table.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Wear OS 3 is now available to Fossil Gen 6 devices.

Yes, the Fossil Gen 6 is compatible with both Android and iPhones.

Yes, all Fossil Gen 6 models have standalone GPS.

No, the line does not have an LTE option at this time.

Yes, the Fossil Gen 6 series of smartwatches can track sleep.


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