Two years on from their last major refresh, Fossil has finally seen fit to make the jump to a new generation of smartwatches. The Fossil Gen 6 line is now official, leading with an updated chipset that promises greater performance and better battery life than its predecessors.
As in the past, this update affects smartwatches outside of Fossil's own-brand timepieces too, with Michael Kors' Gen 6 watches also arriving at the same time (Michael Kors smartwatches fall under the Fossil Group, which includes the likes of Diesel, Skagen and more).
When does the Fossil Gen 6 launch?
Fossil unveiled its Gen 6 lineup on 30 August, with pre-order availability kicking off on the same day in the US and 20 September in other markets, including the UK.
Fossil's US website currently cites a ship date of "close to" 27 September, while its UK site still only lets users register their interest on the company's forthcoming Gen 6 wearables for the time being.
How much is the Fossil Gen 6?
Pricing varies by configuration, with the strap material looking to be the main factor that affects pricing, rather than casing size or body style.
The majority of the Gen 6 launch SKUs cost US$299/£279 (in the US that's FTW4061V, FTW4062V, FTW4063V and FTW6080V, while in the UK that covers FTW4060, FTW4062 and FTW6080), with some variants jumping to US$319/£299 (such as FTW4059V in the US, and both FTW4095 and FTW6077 in the UK).
What features does the Fossil Gen 6 have?
At launch, the Gen 6 arrives in three 42mm stainless steel casing options and four 44mm casing colourways, each of which support 18mm and 22mm user-replaceable bands, respectively.
While, on first impressions, the Gen 6's hardware looks nearly identical to its predecessor, Fossil has primarily upgraded the Gen 5's Snapdragon Wear 3100 to a newer Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset which it promises will deliver a 30% increase in performance (meaning shorter app load times) and greater power efficiency (meaning better battery life).
The PPG optical heart rate sensor that was already part of Fossil's smartwatch recipe (although this one is apparently an improvement on the one found on the Gen 5) is now accompanied by an off-body IR sensor, which adds blood oxygen saturation tracking (SpO2) into the mix too.
Despite Samsung bringing the first Wear OS watch to market already in its Galaxy Watch 4, Fossil's Gen 6 watches launch on Wear OS 2, with a promised upgrade to Wear OS 3 looking only looking likey to become available in the latter portion of 2022.
Beyond the key tweaks above, the Gen 6's spec sheet looks predominantly similar to the Gen 5. Here's the full rundown of everything it's bringing to the table:
- 1.28in (416x416) circular AMOLED touchscreen display
- Stainless steel casing
- 42mm or 44mm casing sizes
- Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage
- Swim-proof up to 3ATM
- Supports user-replaceable 18mm or 22mm straps
- Ships with silicon, leather, metal link or nylon strap (depending on model)
- Two physical buttons
- Rotating crown/button
- Offline Spotify playback (Spotify Premium subscribers only)
- Bluetooth 5.0 LE
- NFC (supports Google Pay for contactless payments)
- PPG heart rate sensor
- SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) tracking
- Off-body IR
- Ambient light sensor
- Wear OS 2 (upgradable to Wear OS 3 late 2022)
- 80% charge in 30 minutes
We discuss the Fossil Gen 6 and its place in the smartwatch market as part of episode 81 of our weekly podcast, Fast Charge:
Check out our best smartwatch roundup to see what the Gen 6 is up against too and check back for more pricing and availability info as it becomes available.