Fossil’s first Wear OS 3 smartwatch is a mild refresh of last year’s model

Fossil is acting on its promise to release Wear OS 3 watches, but you might want to temper your expectations. The fashion brand has introduced its first Wear OS 3 model, the Gen 6 Wellness Edition, and the name says a lot about it — it’s a refresh of last year’s smartwatch that focuses on software. Google’s new software promises an easier-to-navigate interface with improved health tracking, including through Fossil’s in-house Wellness app. You’ll also get relevant watch faces, including a device-exclusive “Wellness Gauge” to monitor your vitals.

There are a few physical changes. The Wellness Edition includes a tweaked 44mm case in rose gold- or silver-hued steel with 20mm straps. Apart from that, though, it’s effectively the Gen 6 you saw in 2021. That means a 2020-era Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chip, a 1.28-inch circular display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and 3ATM water resistance. You’ll be disappointed if you were expecting a Snapdragon W5+ or more space for your apps and music.

Existing Gen 6 owners should be receiving Wear OS 3 as an update, and they’ll get much of the experience from the Wellness Edition. Gen 6 watches from Michael Kors, Razer and Skagen should also get the new software. Just be warned that you’ll need to erase your device data as part of the upgrade.

The Gen 6 Wellness Edition is available now for $299. Silicone straps to customize the look are available for $30 each. Fossil still makes some of the better-looking Wear OS watches outside of luxury models like the Montblanc Summit 3, but this is undoubtedly a tough sell if you’re looking for something genuinely new. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 family offers a wider range of cases and more up-to-date processing power, while Google’s Pixel Watch compensates for its aging chip with Wear OS 3.5 and a truly stand-out design. If you weren’t thrilled by Fossil before, the refresh won’t change your mind.

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