What we’d like to see from the company’s next smartwatches

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Fossil’s Gen 5 and its quite a few spinoffs have been round since 2019, making them outdated palms in the smartwatch world. Clearly, then, the Wear OS system is due for a substitute. But simply what’s going to the follow-up look like, and can or not it’s a worthy improve given modifications in the market? Here’s what we’d like to see, together with a couple of clues as to what to anticipate.

Also learn: The best smartwatches you can buy right now

A brand new processor

fossil gen 5 lte review watch face display 1

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Ask most Gen 5 house owners what they dislike — or most Wear OS watch house owners, for that matter — they usually’ll doubtless level to the getting older Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip inside. It felt outdated and sluggish in 2019, not to mention now. Fossil wants to replace Gen 6 with fashionable processing energy if it’s going to compete with the Apple Watch and newer Wear OS units like the Ticwatch Pro 3.

Thankfully, that improve appears fairly doubtless. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 has been obtainable for some time and can be an apparent improve for Fossil Gen 6 between its much-improved efficiency (up to 85%, Qualcomm claims) and prolonged battery life. These wouldn’t simply enhance the total expertise — they might be essential to making the most of options like sleep monitoring.

A software program overhaul

fossil gen 5 wear os logo 2

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The software program on the Gen 5 is outdated, to put it mildly. Google hasn’t executed a lot with Wear OS for years, and Fossil’s customizations can solely achieve this a lot to enhance the expertise. If Fossil Gen 6 goes to fare nicely in opposition to the competitors, it wants a completely fashionable interface that competes with the greatest from Apple and Samsung.

There’s an actual likelihood we’ll get that want, and it’s not onerous to see why: Google and Samsung are teaming up for a Wear OS overhaul. It ought to ship visible upgrades, a brand new “experience,” an improved app ecosystem, and upgrades to well being and health (with Fitbit’s help). While it’s too quickly to say if this may work nicely in follow, it’s comforting to know a revamp is underway — even a modest enchancment might make Fossil Gen 6 extra compelling to Wear OS skeptics.

Related: Wear OS buyer’s guide: What you need to know about Google’s smartwatch platform

More sensors and wi-fi tech

fossil gen 5 lte review heart rate sensor on table

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Wear OS watchmakers haven’t strayed far from a recognizable mixture of sensors and wi-fi connections. You’ll incessantly discover a heart rate sensor, NFC for tap-to-pay companies, and more and more getting older variations of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You’ll sometimes discover an LTE model when you’re fortunate. That’s been high-quality for some time, however Fossil Gen 6 wants to transfer on if it’s going to dwell up to its potential as a wise, fitness-savvy wearable.

Health sensors might stand the largest upgrades. You can discover blood oxygen sensors on wristwear like the Apple Watch, whereas the Fitbit Sense even has an electrodermal sensor to measure your stress. Future watches would possibly add glucose monitoring to assist individuals with diabetes preserve their blood sugar ranges in examine. While Fossil Gen 6 doesn’t want all of those to succeed, it might be simpler to justify if it might preserve monitor of your well being and even warn you of doubtless life-threatening circumstances.

The Fossil Gen 6 would not want the greatest well being sensors to succeed, nevertheless it at the very least wants enhancements over the Gen 5.

And sure, Fossil ought to modernize the wi-fi connectivity in Gen 6. That appears doubtless if there’s a chip improve, nevertheless it’s vital all the identical. Even comparatively well-established applied sciences like Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 5 (we wouldn’t anticipate Wi-Fi 6) might enhance reliability, efficiency, and battery life, notably for demanding duties like music streaming. We’d additionally like to see sooner information on mobile fashions, though 5G is unlikely given the way it nonetheless calls for lots of energy.

Variety in case sizes and designs

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Fossil has been extra accommodating of assorted genders and style tastes for its smartwatches, thanks in no small half to wearables from sub-brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Skagen. However, Fossil nonetheless has lots of design work left if Gen 6 goes to enchantment to everybody.

Most notably, Fossil ought to convey a wider vary of case sizes to Gen 6. As girls and different thin-wristed individuals will inform you, smartwatches are sometimes too giant to look trendy. The smallest Gen 5 and 5E watches have a 42mm case — that’s monumental for some wearers. Although display screen sizes and battery life will certainly dictate a sure minimal dimension, it’s clear Fossil ought to take a cue from rivals like Apple and make smaller watches that have a look at dwelling on extra wrists.

Read extra: The best Wear OS watches | The best Fossil smartwatches

We’d add that the designs themselves are, frankly, lackluster. As many instances and strap types as Fossil affords, the Gen 5 line is pretty predictable. Even manufacturers like Michael Kors and Skagen haven’t veered that far from acquainted ideas. You have to spring for Diesel’s transparent Fadelite to get an thrilling Fossil design, and that gained’t do if Gen 6 goes to stand out.

Don’t anticipate a complete lot of selection on launch. Fossil executives just lately revealed that they deliberate a lone “premium” Gen 6 watch below the model, with sub-brands providing one thing comparable. We’d like to see the firm be far more formidable, although. It might introduce extra case types and supplies (ceramic or titanium, anybody?), bolder colours, and fanciful bands that aren’t simply the traditional leather-based straps and metal bracelets. If Apple can work wonders with a braided loop, a veteran watchmaker like Fossil can certainly innovate.

Fossil Gen 6 launch date and worth

fossil gen 5 smartwatch garrett 1

As to when will Fossil will present a launch date for Gen 6? That’s a troublesome name. Rumors have pegged a launch as early as July 2021, however we wouldn’t rely on that with Google’s Samsung collaboration on the horizon. Fossil would possibly wait till the new software program is prepared to compete with rival Wear OS watches, not to point out third-party rivals.

The worth of Fossil Gen 6 could be extra predictable. Gen 5 debuted at an inexpensive $295, and we wouldn’t anticipate its sequel to value far more except there are pricier case and strap selections. The smartwatch world is fiercely aggressive, and a superb worth is essential if Gen 6 goes to stand an opportunity.

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