Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Review: Avoid This Wear OS 3 Smartwatch

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A smartwatch is an adjunct you don’t actually want, however it may be handy. Without having to tug out your smartphone, you possibly can see and reply to notifications, change music tracks, and look on the subsequent flip if you’re hurriedly stomping to the closest espresso store to heat your self up within the winter chill. If it turns into annoying to make use of, then chances are you’ll as effectively have simply thrown cash within the bin.

Unfortunately, that was my expertise with Fossil’s new (*6*)Gen 6 Wellness smartwatch. It’s laggy, plain and easy. It’s not the leap I hoped it could be, contemplating that is Fossil’s first Wear OS 3 smartwatch. Sure, it appears to be like good, however that may solely get you to this point.

Hardly Zen

Photograph: Fossil

First issues first. This smartwatch runs Google’s Wear OS working system. The firm largely left it by the wayside through the years as Apple dominated the smartwatch market, however a number of firms like Fossil devotedly continued to construct smartwatches for the platform. Last yr, Google debuted Wear OS 3, a brand new model that promised a brand new look, higher efficiency, extra intensive well being monitoring, and longer battery life. The firm additionally dedicated to enhancing the sorely lackluster app choice.

The outcomes usually are not as impactful as Google could have needed, however Wear OS is actually in a greater place now with watches like Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 and Google’s new Pixel Watch. They function easily, have extra apps than ever—together with a brand new Google Home app to manage your sensible gadgets—and are dependable relating to monitoring fundamental well being metrics like coronary heart price, SpO₂, and even electrocardiograms. Sadly, you possibly can’t give Fossil’s Gen 6 Wellness the identical plaudits.

It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100+ chipset (with 1 GB of RAM), which isn’t the most recent processor, however in a gathering, an organization spokesperson enthusiastically bolstered the way it’s a newer chip than what Google’s Pixel Watch makes use of. Alas, very like Draco and the Slytherins flying the newer Nimbus 2001 broomsticks in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, that doesn’t actually imply something.

Google’s Pixel Watch is leagues extra fluid. It’s not uneven in any respect, not like the Gen 6 Wellness. There are moments when it performs effectively; it’s a kind of issues that’s close to good when somebody’s trying, and horrid when it’s simply you alone. Every time I attempt to reenact its sluggishness at residence, it appears to cooperate and work high-quality. Out and about after I want it essentially the most? Suddenly, it’s sluggish. Thankfully, I’ve an eyewitness! When I used to be at lunch with a good friend, I bought a notification on the watch and tried to verify it. My good friend noticed me work together with the Gen 6 Wellness and commented, “It’s laggy, huh?” Yes, sure it’s. 

It’s odd—I’ve used different Gen 6 smartwatches just like the Fossil Gen 6 and the Skagen Falster Gen 6, which have similar specs, and haven’t seen this type of poor efficiency, so there’s possible some optimization situation with Wear OS 3 right here. There’s an opportunity it would get higher over time after software program updates.

Perhaps essentially the most annoying downside I’ve with this watch is the ghost that apparently accompanies it. No, actually. Every few hours, it magically decides to show features on or off in opposition to my will. For instance, I don’t need the Gen 6 to ping loudly at any time when I get a notification so I’ve the ringer set to vibrate solely. Yet every now and then … ping! The identical rings true for the Battery Saver mode, which appears to randomly activate and cripple a few of the watch’s features. Even the Always-On Display, which I’ve tried to show off, appears to show again on after each evening, and I’ve to consistently toggle on tilt to wake once more too. It’s irritating.

For Better or Worse

Photograph: Fossil

I don’t wish to be too adverse. There are some niceties this smartwatch has to supply. There’s NFC, and I’ve used it to pay for my subway fare right here in New York City. The 1.28-inch AMOLED display screen can also be brilliant and colourful, and the entire watch is 3 ATM waterproof, so it’ll be high-quality within the rain. 

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