The transition to Wear OS 3 was a mess, to say the least. Due to its increased hardware requirements, Wear OS 3 debuted as a Samsung-exclusive technology, leaving brands like Fossil at a serious disadvantage in terms of software features. Now, Fossil is finally back on the right track.
This new smartwatch uses the same Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset as Fossil’s standard Gen 6 devices. But it contains upgraded health and wellness features, such as continuous heart rate tracking, automatic exercise tracking, and advanced health information in the Fossil Wellness app.
For the most part, the Wear OS 3 experience on Fossil Gen 6 watches will feel similar to that of the Pixel Watch. But Fossil watches won’t support Google Assistant (though they work with Alexa, oddly enough). This appears to be a software limitation—Pixel Watch has no trouble using Assistant, despite the fact that it uses an older and weaker chipset than the Fossil Gen 6.
To clarify, Fossil shouldn’t be blamed for lagging behind on Wear OS 3 adoption. It’s one of the first Android smartwatch companies to support Wear OS 3, following hot on the heels of MontBlanc.
Slow Wear OS 3 adoption is the result of several problems. Before the Wear OS 3 launch, most Android smartwatches used outdated or underpowered Qualcomm chipsets. This is the result of Qualcomm’s negligence—it continually failed to develop powerful, modern wearable SoCs.
Google and Samsung jointly developed Wear OS 3 to solve this and other problems. But in doing so, they made Wear OS 3 incompatible with nearly all existing wearable SoCs. It took nearly a full year for Wear OS 3 to arrive on a non-Samsung device.
Anyway, you can purchase the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch today for $300 (though its regularly on sale for around $230). The new Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition, which also costs $300, launches October 17th.
Fossil Unisex Gen 6 42mm Stainless Steel and Silicone Touchscreen Smart Watch, Color: Rose Gold, Purple (Model: FTW6080V)
The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch contains heart rate and blood oxygen sensors, and it includes popular health and fitness features like sleep tracking. It will support Wear OS 3 on October 17th, 2022.