Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch unveiled with fast charging, more sensors and Wear OS 3

An image of the Fossil Gen 6 on a red background
(Image credit: Fossil)

Fossil is one of the few brands that’s regularly been releasing Wear OS smartwatches over the years, so it’s fitting that the company’s newly announced wearable – the Fossil Gen 6 – will seemingly be one of the first to run Wear OS 3.

Pre-orders for the Fossil Gen 6 open today (August 30) and while it won’t run Wear OS 3 out of the box, it will be eligible for an update to this software in 2022, so you can expect this thing to stay current for a while.

Beyond that, highlights of the Fossil Gen 6 include a new SpO2 sensor, allowing it to provide estimated blood oxygen measurements, and a battery that supposedly charges two times faster than leading smartwatches, meaning you can reach 80% power in just over 30 minutes.

That’s paired with smart battery modes and a Snapdragon 4100 Plus chipset. This is the first smartwatch to use that chipset, and it should not only provide a power boost but also lower battery consumption. So as well as charging fast, the Fossil Gen 6 should survive a while between charges, with over 24 hours of life said to be realistic.

The Fossil Gen 6 also has a heart rate monitor that should be more accurate than the one on the Fossil Gen 5, GPS, and the ability to track all sorts of metrics, including sleep, burnt calories, and cardio fitness level.

In terms of the core specs, the Fossil Gen 6 has a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. There’s also 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.

On the design side you have a choice of either a 42mm or 44mm stainless steel case (with the same screen size on both), there’s a rotating home button to aid in navigating the interface, and the Fossil Gen 6 is water resistant to 3ATM, so you can take it swimming. It also has a built-in speaker, and you can get it in seven different styles – four for the 44mm size and three for the 42mm one.

It costs between $299 (roughly £220 / AU$410) and $319 (around £230 / AU$440), and while we only have US pricing right now, we’d expect the Fossil Gen 6 will be widely available.

An image of the Fossil Gen 6 in four different styles

(Image credit: Fossil)

Analysis: it’s a big year for Wear OS

Over the last few years there’s been the sense that Wear OS might have been a bit abandoned – both by smartwatch makers and by Google itself, but suddenly it’s back in the limelight, and for all the right reasons.

Hot on the heels of Google unveiling a complete overhaul of the platform dubbed Wear OS 3, we then saw Samsung launch the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic – two wearables that run the new operating system, marking a big shift for a company that in recent years has put Tizen on its smartwatches.

Those watches are available now, and the Fossil Gen 6 will soon be joining them. On paper this looks like a compelling smartwatch too, especially once it gets the Wear OS 3 upgrade. As part of the announcement, Fossil also revealed that it will soon be launching Michael Kors Gen 6 smartwatches, so there’s more on the way too.

It’s impossible to say whether this momentum will last long, but for now Wear OS seems to be enjoying a revival.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.