Fossil Gen6 Hybrid Smartwatch Review

The idea of ​​a “flock” of copying trends and building products around them is not new. In fact, certain brands are fully built by cloning hit products and selling them under new names with minimal changes. However, the new Fossil Gen6 Hybrid does not belong to the “Clone” club. This is a smartwatch that takes a completely different approach than traditional smartwatches, including the Apple Watch.

With a hybrid analog digital design, e-ink display, built-in “smart” features and two weeks of battery life, the Gen 6 Hybrid is a new take on smartwatches. The attempt here is to make an anti-smartwatch for those who don’t have a computer on their wrist and want a classic watch instead. Does it make sense to buy the Fossil Gen6 Hybrid in 2022? Is there a better option? We will answer all of the following questions.

The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid looks like a regular traditional watch, but with an e-ink display. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

Fossil Gen6 Hybrid Price in India: Rs 18,495

Classic design

I’m not a big fan of smartwatches. With the exception of the Apple Watch, almost every smartwatch feels like a forced attempt to press a digital screen against your wrist. For me, my bags and watches define my personal style. The Titan watch I bought 17 years ago still has compliments. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid watch has a very classic appeal and is suitable for everything from official engagements to morning walks. My review unit came in a 41mm rose gold case made of stainless steel and came with a high quality black leather band.

The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid watch has a very classic appeal. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

It looks like a regular traditional watch, but it has an e-ink display (more on this later). This is the same type of display that you see on Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. A high-impact watch with a good balance of form and function, available in a variety of sizes and band options. You also have the option to replace the band of your choice. The three navigation buttons are on the right side of the case. You can use the Fossil app to turn them into shortcuts for various features. The Gen 6 hybrid is rated at 3 ATMs. In other words, it is drip-proof, but not suitable for swimming or diving.

E-ink display is convenient

Unlike most smartwatches that use an LCD or OLED color display, Fossil’s Gen6 Hybrid uses an e-ink display. The benefits of e-ink displays range from excellent battery life (more on this later) and outdoor readability. With an e-ink display, the comparison between a traditional smartwatch and a Gen6 Hybrid ends quickly. This display is used to show basics such as weather, notifications and some fitness options.

The clock tracks my heart rate and exercise and measures my blood oxygen level with a SpO2 sensor.

The clock display does not turn on automatically. You need to double-tap the display to see the time in the dark. The electronic ink screen blends nicely with the watch face. This is what I like about e-paper displays. Remember that the Gen6 hybrid also has analog elements. The physical clock hands and number markings around the bezel are not for decorative purposes. As you scroll through the menu, your hand will automatically move to positions 3 and 9 and the information will be displayed up and down. However, it is troublesome to finish the information on the screen even a little. To make matters worse, the refresh rate of the e-ink display is slow.

Don’t call it a “dumb” smartwatch

The way I interact with the Gen 6 Hybrid is different from the smartwatch I used. This watch uses a unique in-house operating system made for such hybrid smartwatches. Adapting the interface will take some time, but you will get used to it. When you press the crown, the main screen displays small icons that show the weather, music, notifications, heart rate, steps, and more. You can customize various button configurations and watch faces with the smartphone app. Rich and available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

This watch uses a unique in-house operating system made for such hybrid smartwatches. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

There is no NFC for mobile payments, microphones and speakers for calls, GPS or LTE connections. I think this omission makes sense for watches like this that aren’t trying to be a complete smartwatch. Of course, you can see the notification, but the display is too small to reply. If you don’t want to have your iPhone in the park, the ability to control music playback from your watch is useful. There’s also Alexa support in case you want to use your smart assistant to control your watch.

What really works for me is the minimalist “smart” feature that comes with the watch. As I said at the beginning, I don’t want to wear my computer on my wrist all day long. I’m glancing at the clock notification. If you feel it is important and need to reply to WhatsApp messages, take out the phone and do it. I’m okay with this arrangement.

I don’t use it much, so it doesn’t make sense to install the app on my smartwatch. I’m happy if the smartwatch I’m using monitors my health and fitness. The Gen6 hybrid does just that. It helps you track your heart rate and exercise and measure your blood oxygen levels with a SpO2 sensor. The watch keeps track of your heart rate measurements and steps to ensure they are accurate (smartwatch heart rate scanners are not 100% accurate). No need to open the phone and look for stats. The built-in dashboard is a great way to see the progress of the day. When it comes to sleep, it did a pretty decent job, but somehow I feel the sleep data was better reflected in Google Fit.

Long-lasting battery

Shortening battery life is a major issue with most smartwatches, including the Apple Watch. According to Fossil, the Gen 6 Hybrid can take up to two weeks on a single charge on average use, which can seem exaggerated, but we believe in the company’s claim. I had my watch for a week and charged it once even though the device was still 56%.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Review: Need to Buy?

So, after using it for a few days, the 6th generation hybrid I have to admit is not a pushover. There is always concern about using devices that “do not fit” the traditional scheme. For me, Fossil Gen6 Hybrid is made from a completely different thread. This hybrid smartwatch is for the average user, but it has a niche feel. I can wear it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and still find it acceptable for what it offers.


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