Fossil’s first Wear OS 3 watch takes aim at the Fitbit Sense 2

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Despite Wear OS 3 being announced back in 2021, we’ve so far seen very few smartwatches running this wearable operating system – and zero from Fossil, despite that being one of the biggest players in Wear OS. But that’s about to change, as the company has just announced the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition, which runs Wear OS 3 out of the box.

That will make this Fossil’s first Wear OS 3 device, and it will be joining the Google Pixel Watch, the Montblanc Summit 3, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 line and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 line in running this latest OS release.

So why are we comparing it to the Fitbit Sense 2 rather than one of those wearables? Because of the ‘Wellness’ part of its name.

Much like the recently-launched Fitbit Sense 2, the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition puts a big focus on health and fitness; with a Wellness companion app helping it to track and monitor SpO2, VO2 Max, heart rate zones, cardio fitness level, sleep, and more. Continuous heart rate monitoring and automatic workout detection is part of the equation here too.

A Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition with a pink strap

(Image credit: Fossil)

The Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition will also have the same US price as the Fitbit Sense 2, at $299 (roughly £265 / AU$475).

Outside of its operating system and fitness features, this doesn’t sound overly exciting though, as it’s basically just a tweaked version of the existing Fossil Gen 6, complete with a slightly-dated Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus chipset.

Its other specs include a 1.28-inch OLED screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 44mm case in a choice of black, silver or rose gold shades. Oddly, despite some marketing images showing Google Assistant on the watch, this apparently won’t be available at launch, with a Fossil spokesperson telling The Verge (opens in new tab) that they’re not sure when it will be added. Though Amazon Alexa is available in the meantime.

If you like the sound of the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition then you’ll be able to pick it up from October 17 in the US and the UK, with no word yet on availability elsewhere. However, if your interest is primarily in Wear OS 3, then you should soon have a lot of other Fossil options too.


Analysis: Wear OS 3 is coming

While the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition will be the first Fossil watch to run Wear OS 3 out of the box, a software update to Wear OS 3 will soon be coming to other smartwatches made by the company.

We already knew it would be coming to the standard Fossil Gen 6 eventually, and now the company has confirmed – according to Android Central (opens in new tab) – that this update will land on October 17; so the same day as the Wellness Edition’s launch.

It will be coming to other Gen 6 watches as well, meaning the Skagen Falster Gen 6 and the Michael Kors Gen 6. However, it’s only coming to models with a Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus chipset; older watches won’t be getting Wear OS 3.

As noted though, even that chipset isn’t exactly new anymore, so if you’re not desperate for a new smartwatch you might be better off waiting for the Fossil Gen 7 – which will likely use the newer Snapdragon W5 Plus – before you upgrade your wearable hardware.

Check our rundown of the best smartwatches to see what the Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition is up against.

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James Rogerson

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