Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition review: A good first impression

    I had by no means used a hybrid smartwatch earlier than and at all times thought they have been type of foolish. Like, why would you go for a half-smartwatch with bodily palms that might get in the best way of no matter notifications you’re making an attempt to view? They actually by no means made sense to me, however when the chance got here to assessment the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition, I jumped on the probability simply to see what all of the hype was about.Suffice it to say, I used to be pleasantly shocked at how a lot I loved my expertise with the watch. Even whereas coping with the constraints of an e-ink show and another shortcomings, the watch brings sufficient capabilities to make it helpful with out it turning into an excessive amount of of a distraction. It might not be as strong as a Wear OS watch just like the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition, however that’s very a lot the purpose, and there appears to be a reasonably clear viewers for the sort of machine.Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: Price & availability(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition was introduced at CES 2023 in January and went on sale on January 5. The smartwatch retails for $229 and is on the market at and Amazon.Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition at Amazon for $229 (opens in new tab)There are three completely different colorways for the watch: Silver with Navy Blue bands, Rose Gold with a Blush silicon strap, and Black. The watch helps 20mm bands and extra straps will be bought from Fossil for $30.Today’s finest Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition offers (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: What I like(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Off the bat, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition (a mouthful of a reputation) is a handsome smartwatch. It is available in a number of completely different colours, and the mannequin I acquired is a shiny silver with complementary navy blue watch bands. The case is usually rounded, though not fairly as bulbous because the Pixel Watch. The chassis blends into the glass show pretty seamlessly, which can also be very barely rounded, much more so than the Wear OS model of the watch.Under the glass is the watch face. A bezel for the watch dial surrounds a reasonably sized e-ink show. That show is the first method you may work together with the watch, utilizing the 2 buttons flanking the crown to navigate menus, notifications, and so forth.Swipe to scroll horizontallySpecificationFossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness EditionCase materialStainless Steel, IP (Black)Case dimension44mmWatch bands20mmWater resistance3ATMDisplay1.1-inch e-ink, 240 x 240 (218 ppi), with backlightThickness11.4mmBattery lifeUp to 2 weeksChargingFossil magnetic USB charger, roughly 50 min to 80%AppsWellness Dashboard, Activity Tracking, Workout, Music Controller, Weather, Alexa, Ring Phone, SpO2, stopwatch, timer, notifications, SensorsPPG coronary heart charge, SpO2, accelerometerInputHome button, configurable push buttons, mic TrackingLinked GPS onlyI admit I used to be fairly apprehensive about how it might really feel navigating a hybrid smartwatch. I knew the expertise would not be as fluid as a full touchscreen smartwatch, however I discover Fossil’s UI fairly simple and largely fulfilling. Press the crown to enter the principle menu, and use the buttons to navigate up or down by way of the ring of icons. There are few situations the place both of the buttons shall be used to start out or cease an exercise or to regulate music playback, however Fossil retains their use FAIRLY constant.Using the Fossil Smartwatches app, you can even assign extra capabilities to these buttons, similar to fast entry to the wellness app, the exercise menu, and a choose few others. There aren’t many capabilities to select from, however it supplies useful fast entry to Alexa, which is a pleasant function to have on a considerably low-tech smartwatch. Unfortunately, Alexa solely works when the watch is related to the cellphone, and also you should not anticipate a voice response, however barking queries at it can give you textual content responses, which may get the job executed.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Despite the “Wellness” a part of the title, this is not actually what I’d name a health watch. More like an off-the-cuff hybrid smartwatch that may do health issues. Still, it does a reasonably good job at monitoring metrics for workout routines, sleep, coronary heart charge, and even blood oxygen. There’s even computerized exercise detection for a number of completely different actions, and it really works pretty effectively, not less than for working. I could not get it to detect my exercise on the rowing machine, and I have not had the chance to check it on a motorbike, however I anticipate some could have higher luck than me, particularly when you bike commonly (I undoubtedly don’t). And, just like the Wear OS counterpart, I really feel just like the watch underestimates my energy burned. Not a giant deal, however value stating.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)There is a “lift to wake” perform that I discover to be a pleasant contact. If I’m doing one thing that makes use of the watch palms like monitoring a exercise, elevating my wrist will trigger the palms to briefly return to exhibiting the time earlier than resuming the exercise.Dealing with an e-ink show, it would not get very brilliant. It’s simple sufficient to see exterior and through the day, however issues can get tough at evening. Fortunately, the dial and palms can subtly glow at nighttime, so you may at all times know what time it’s. Additionally, you possibly can double-tap the display screen to activate a light-weight if you should really see what’s on the show.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Fossil additionally supplies a choice of practically 20 watch faces, all of which are literally fairly good. However, if none of them tickle your fancy, I like that Fossil allows you to add a picture out of your cellphone gallery to make use of as a watch face (I instantly went for Kingdom Hearts).Fossil touts as much as two weeks of battery life. I’m certain that is most likely true, relying in your settings. However, I get a couple of week of use on common. That’s nonetheless a giant step up from what I’m used to with Wear OS, so I’m fairly content material with it.Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: What I do not like(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)While I discover the UI and navigation fairly simple to make use of, there are some facets of it that I discover fairly obnoxious, and it largely has to do with the way it handles notifications. After establishing the watch, it was instantly set to make use of vibration every time a brand new notification got here in. That was a mistake.The watch is much from delicate in relation to vibrations, even on the bottom setting. Compared to the modest zaps I’d get from the Galaxy Watch 5, for instance, the vibrations from the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid are actually making an attempt to get you are consideration. They’re usually fairly jarring at occasions, particularly as a result of the watch’s Bluetooth connection is not at all times dependable, and it syncs with my cellphone at seemingly random occasions. As a end result, a bunch of notifications would are available abruptly, inflicting the vibrations to be annoyingly drawn out to the purpose the place I ended up simply eradicating the watch.I finally simply turned the vibrations off. You may edit which apps you wish to obtain notifications from utilizing the Fossil Smartwatches app, or simply flip them off utterly, however that type of defeats the aim of a smartwatch.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Notifications are additionally fairly cumbersome to navigate by way of. Because of the constraints of the e-ink show, I can not easily scroll by way of textual content like I can on a touchscreen watch, and the show usually takes half a second earlier than registering your enter. That means I’m left utilizing the buttons to slowly learn literal pages of textual content for one notification earlier than I’m capable of transfer on to the subsequent. And given the sporadic syncing and bevy of notifications that may are available at one time, it could actually take some time to get by way of all of them. Fortunately, holding down the underside button whereas in notifications will leap to the top, the place you possibly can simply clear all of them out.This is possibly one of many greatest letdowns to me as a result of the watch nonetheless has a rotating crown and a fairly good one at that. However, apart from getting used as a button, the crown would not do something whenever you rotate it. It could be good to make use of this to “scroll” by way of notifications extra rapidly.Navigation is nice sufficient, however the watch would not deal with notifications very effectively.Another drawback happens whenever you’re making an attempt to do actually the rest on the watch. If a notification is available in, it takes priority and absolutely interrupts your expertise. This occurs lots when I’m making an attempt to trace a exercise, just for a notification to get in the best way earlier than I can hit the beginning button. Whenever that occurs, I discover that I’ve to again out of the notification and begin again at sq. one in all going by way of the menus to start out my exercise.As I said earlier than, battery life is fairly good, even when it would not fairly meet Fossil’s claims (your mileage could range). However, I’m just a little upset with the charging velocity. After experiencing the blazing quick charging from Fossil’s finest smartwatches, I hoped to seek out comparable efficiency with the Gen 6 Hybrid. Unfortunately, it would not fairly match up, going from 1% to full in roughly an hour and a half.Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: Competition(Image credit score: Michael Hicks / Android Central)The new Garmin vívomove Trend left impression on us with its fashionable design and hidden LDC contact display screen. It additionally comes with Qi wi-fi charging and NFC for Garmin Pay. There are additionally loads of well being and health monitoring options.In some methods, having the touchscreen choice on a hybrid smartwatch may enhance navigation, though it could actually additionally make issues tough. For one, it offers a large hit to battery life, with the watch solely rated for as much as 5 days. Additionally, the watch has no bodily buttons, which could be a drawback when the touchscreen has hassle discerning between faucets and swipes.Another nice choice is the Withings ScanWatch. This hybrid smartwatch is supposed for customers who’re severe about their well being, due to an ECG monitor and Afib notifications. It has a glossy design and connects to Withing’s implausible Heath Mate app, so you possibly can simply view all of your metrics and sync them with different providers.That stated, the small OLED show is not very helpful for notifications and different good options, that means you may must rely largely in your smartphone. Fitness monitoring can also be considerably restricted, and the watch is a bit pricier than different fashions, retailing for $300.Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)You can purchase this if…You don’t need a very difficult smartwatchYou do not need a watch you need to cost day by dayYou’re reasonably energeticYou should not purchase this if…You choose a touchscreen smartwatchYou need extra management over your smartwatch expertiseYou are a extra intermediate health fanaticAs the primary hybrid smartwatch I’ve ever used, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition has left fairly an impression on me. It’s not excellent, and there are some compromises available given the usage of an e-ink show, however the watch makes one of the best of what it has to work with. Navigation is straightforward, menus are easy, and it has fundamental well being options.That stated, this expertise is not for everyone, and whereas I like what Fossil does with its hybrid smartwatches, I nonetheless choose Wear OS, even when which means coping with poor battery life. It handles notifications a lot better, and I do not really feel like I’m continuously tethered to my cellphone for a lot of duties.That stated when you simply need a fundamental expertise and good battery life, and you are not making an attempt to fiddle round with smartwatches which are making an attempt too onerous to behave like full smartphones, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition could be the look ahead to you.

    Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition

    The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition takes the beautiful design of its Wear OS counterpart and offers it an e-ink show that lasts as much as two weeks. It options an intuitive UI and new Wellness Gauge watch face to simply observe well being metrics.

    Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition: Price Comparison (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)

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