September 28, 2023

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid overview: A cultured health watch with good-enough smarts

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid overview: A cultured health watch with good-enough smarts

Hybrid smartwatches can provide the most effective of mechanical and computerized watches — as long as they’re accomplished appropriately. Fossil’s newest try at that’s the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness, a brand new fitness-oriented sibling to the unique Gen 6 Hybrid, which targeted extra on type.

The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness tries to supply the most effective of each worlds. It carries over a variety of the health monitoring options from the Gen 6 Wellness — like automated exercise detection, blood oxygen monitoring and numerous exercise choices — whereas providing the traditional type and multi-week battery lifetime of the hybrid mannequin.

I’ve been utilizing the look ahead to the previous two weeks to determine if it’s value shopping for over a conventional smartwatch. Right here’s what I discovered.

A smartwatch that offers you the most effective of each worlds

If you need one thing that lasts longer and appears extra conventional than a normal smartwatch, the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Version is an efficient choose. Simply observe that you simply will not get the identical easy app expertise or quick efficiency of an Apple or Galaxy Watch.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid overview: A cultured health watch with good-enough smarts

Max Buondonno/CNN

Discover me one one who doesn’t assume this watch appears to be like spectacular. I requested Fossil for the shiny stainless-steel mannequin, which comes with a blue face and silicon band, and I used to be thrilled to unbox it when it arrived at my doorstep. You can even get it with a Blush case accent (aka rose gold) or black.

The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness has primarily the identical design as the usual Gen 6 Wellness, minus the touchscreen. As a replacement are easy-to-read arms for its analog dial and an E Ink show within the again. This allows you to see quantity of knowledge regardless of not having a conventional display screen to make use of.

The analog watch face offers you that conventional look with out sacrificing smarts, which is a giant purpose why individuals love hybrid smartwatches. I’ve been utilizing hybrid watches quite a bit lately to seek out the most effective ones, and when it comes to appears to be like, the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness is unquestionably top-of-the-line.

Fossil consists of a normal silicon strap out of the field, which isn’t my favourite, however it will get the job accomplished. In contrast to the unique Gen 6 Hybrid, the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness helps 20mm straps, so you should use any third-party band you’d like to reinforce your look.

Alongside the aspect of the watch are three buttons that you simply use to navigate the interface. While you press the crown, the arms will transfer out of the way in which to point out you the content material that seems on the E Ink show. You may then use the 2 different buttons to cycle via menu choices, well being knowledge, notifications and extra by utilizing the arms as pointers. It’s a easy system to get the grasp of. If there’s one factor to recollect, although, it’s that whereas the crown can bodily twist, it doesn’t do something.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness-14

Max Buondonno/CNN

Fossil features a good quantity of health and wellness monitoring instruments on the Gen 6 Hybrid. Out of the field, there are 10 exercise choices: Stroll, Bike, Hike, Spinning, Elliptical, Treadmill, Weights, Row Machine, Run and a generic Exercise tracker. It additionally options coronary heart charge monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, sleep monitoring, auto exercise detection and VO2 Max measurements.

I dipped into a variety of these options to see how properly they labored, evaluating them to my Apple Watch Sequence 8 and Pixel Watch. I used to be delighted to seek out that each one of them labored simply as properly. The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness was in a position to report the identical quantity of energy I burned as my Apple Watch did, give or take 10 to fifteen energy relying on the exercise. My coronary heart charge measurements had been additionally in the identical ballpark, as was my each day step depend.

Your entire well being knowledge syncs with the Fossil app in your cellphone. In case you’d somewhat hold it in a single place, you may sync it to Apple Well being or Google Match. It’s not as strong as another watches or health trackers in the marketplace, as exercises like water sport, HIIT and yoga can’t be recorded. However for most individuals, it’ll get the job accomplished.

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Max Buondonno/CNN

The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness depends extra in your cellphone than most different hybrid watches I’ve used up to now. Watches just like the ScanWatch from Withings primarily rely in your cellphone for 2 issues: notifications and sometimes syncing knowledge. Fossil’s watch, then again, makes use of your cellphone for rather more, together with notification historical past, climate knowledge and even Amazon Alexa.

This makes the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness one of the vital strong hybrid watches in the marketplace. It’s nice that you simply get a full-fledged voice assistant (which can be utilized for issues like net searches and controlling your sensible house), a rolling historical past of your notifications and climate situations at a look on a watch that feels trendy and complex.

Plus, the watch is nice by itself. It’s not operating Put on OS, however you get a good set of options like a stopwatch, timer, music controls, the power to ring your misplaced cellphone and extra. You can even customise the watch face background via the Fossil app, simply in case you aren’t feeling the brand new Wellness face that comes preinstalled.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness-13

Max Buondonno/CNN

It’s tough for hybrid smartwatches to mess up battery life, if solely as a result of there’s no shiny and coloration touchscreen, resource-heavy working system or mobile connectivity to juggle. The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness is quoted for 2 weeks of battery life on a full cost, and I can safely say that metric is correct.

On the time of penning this overview, it’s been a bit of over two weeks, and I’ve by no means killed it. I’ve gotten it right down to round 40% earlier than throwing it on the charger, however I actually had to make use of it with the intention to drain it. That meant taking part in with Alexa, monitoring one or two exercises per day and pulling climate knowledge a bunch. In case you use it casually all through the day to test the time, monitor a exercise and take a look at the climate a few occasions, you may simply final two weeks or extra on a full cost.

That’s the most effective a part of utilizing this watch over conventional smartwatches. One of many largest points individuals have with smartwatches is the restricted battery life, which normally doesn’t go previous two or three days in probably the most excessive circumstances. However with a hybrid watch, solely charging a couple of times a month turns into the norm, and that’s candy.

Fossil says you may go from zero to 80% in an hour, and whereas I haven’t examined that, I’ll say that the watch costs fairly shortly. From 40% to 100, it took far lower than an hour utilizing a normal 5W charging brick (which isn’t included within the field).

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Max Buondonno/CNN

Certainly one of my largest gripes with the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness is its efficiency. From biking via the interface to interacting with Alexa, this watch is simply plain sluggish.

This may very well be due partly to the E Ink display screen, which doesn’t have a really quick refresh charge and takes longer to point out data than the LCD screens we see on most smartwatches. It’s additionally probably attributable to no matter processor Fossil included, which, oddly sufficient, doesn’t really feel highly effective sufficient for this gadget.

Utilizing the watch can also be tedious. Certain, the buttons make controlling every little thing simple, however it’s removed from environment friendly. Take notifications, for instance: If you wish to clear them out of your watch, it’s important to hit the downward button till you attain the underside of the record for the choice to clear them, which might take some time relying on what number of notifications you might have.

Thoughts you, this isn’t totally because of the lack of a touchscreen and working system. The Withings ScanWatch is by far one of many snappiest watches you may get, because of its digital show and rotating crown. Fossil might’ve improved its implementation of the watch’s “smarts” however selected to not.

Total, you’ll be spending much more time on the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness to do the issues that may usually take a few seconds on a conventional smartwatch.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness-3-2

Max Buondonno/CNN

One of many E Ink show’s different massive points is that it will get arduous to see. Throughout the day, you’ll don’t have any drawback because you’re surrounded by mild, however issues take a flip for the more severe the second you’re eclipsed in darkness.

The arms don’t glow at midnight for some purpose, and it’s important to faucet the show twice to activate the backlight. There’s no ambient mild sensor that’ll flip the backlight on mechanically, and you may’t hold it on for quite a lot of seconds (prone to save battery life).

This appears like an apparent misstep on Fossil’s half, and I’m curious the way it slipped via the cracks throughout the watch’s improvement. Possibly the following era gives you a neater method to test the time at evening.

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Max Buondonno/CNN

Fossil is just promoting the 45mm Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness, with no possibility for a smaller one. That’s a disgrace, since 45mm watches don’t sit very properly on wrists which are skinnier than mine. In case you’re OK with a larger-than-average watch in your wrist, you received’t have any points. However it’s secure to say that’s not going to be the case for everybody, and those that want a smaller watch might want to store elsewhere.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness-14

Max Buondonno/CNN

In case you had been planning to go swimming with the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness, assume once more. The watch is just rated 3 ATM waterproof, which implies it will possibly stand up to rain showers or splashes however not prolonged submersion. That contrasts with different watches we’ve examined just like the Apple Watch Sequence 8 and Galaxy Watch 5 Professional, that are each 5 ATM waterproof, able to withstanding intense swimming and diving periods.

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Max Buondonno/CNN

Throughout my overview course of, I captured a few blood oxygen recordings on the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness. It’s one of many watch’s marquee options, so I used to be anticipating it to work fairly properly.

Sadly, I’m unsure it may be trusted. After two recordings, it informed me my SP02 ranges had been at 99% and 100%, respectively. I then recorded with my Apple Watch Sequence 8, which mentioned my ranges had been at 96%. Ever since, I’ve recorded my blood oxygen a pair extra occasions with Fossil’s watch, and it at all times gave me an additional level or two on high of what my Apple Watch recommended.

You need your blood oxygen to be between 95 and 100 (something decrease is value calling your physician over). The Gen 6 Hybrid by no means recommended I ought to go to the hospital, however it undoubtedly appeared to inflate the quantity of oxygen in my blood.

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Max Buondonno/CNN

After you pair the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness along with your cellphone and begin utilizing Fossil’s companion app, you get a sense that one thing’s lacking. It tripped me out the primary few occasions I used the app. I assumed, “Wait, am I doing this appropriately?”

Certain sufficient, I used to be, and the one purpose I felt this manner is as a result of the app is shockingly naked. It offers you adequate options to maintain the watch up and operating, however there are barely any settings, any well being knowledge or standing indications out of your watch.

The consumer interface is especially unusual. If you wish to entry something like your alarm, step depend, sleep knowledge or notification configuration, you’ll discover it in a horizontally scrolling “For You” menu (which can also be chock-full of adverts). Beneath that’s the Wellness record, which presents glanceable well being knowledge. You may faucet on any of it for an expanded view, however none of it’s as properly detailed as what you’d get out of an Apple Watch, Fitbit or ScanWatch.

It’s a fairly poor expertise, is what I’m making an attempt to say. Fossil undoubtedly must work on how its app works because it’s the bridge that connects its watches to your smartphone.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Product Card

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iOS, Android



Dimension choices


44mm, 40mm

45mm, 41mm

Water resistance




Battery life (rated)

Two weeks

40 hours

18 hours

Coloration choices

Black Silicone, Navy Silicone, Blush Silicone

Graphite, Silver, Pink Gold

Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Purple (Aluminum); Graphite, Silver, Gold (Stainless Metal)


From $229

From $230

From $399

The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness is a hanging watch, with wonderful battery life and a bevy of health options. Whereas it’s removed from good, I believe anybody who needs to dip into the world of hybrid smartwatches would have a wonderful time beginning right here. It’s not that a lot completely different from a conventional smartwatch, and in change for some fashionable niceties, you’ll get two-week battery life, climate knowledge, notification historical past and health monitoring proper in your wrist.

In fact, the compromises are a bit a lot. You need to reside with a lackluster app expertise, spotty blood oxygen monitoring, a chunky case and a dim E Ink display screen. At $229, which may look like a tough promote, however in comparison with different hybrid smartwatches just like the Withings ScanWatch, you get rather more versatility and an extended record of “sensible” options.

On the finish of the day, the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness is a very attention-grabbing entry from Fossil, one that may probably see dramatic enhancements over time. And when you determine to choose it up as your first hybrid smartwatch, you’ll discover quite a bit to love — so long as you already know what you’re stepping into.

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