No matter the deal or discount, don’t buy a Fossil smartwatch right now.
As a reviewer here at Tom’s Guide, I try to put my efforts towards telling you which devices you should spend your hard-earned dough on based on my hours of testing the best smartwatches. But sometimes I find it important to inform you when you absolutely should not buy a certain product. Now is one of those times.
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That’s not to say Fossil smartwatches are a total waste of money. The series of fashion-forward wearables have practically kept Wear OS relevant all alone in recent years. Those models, namely the Fossil Gen 5 and Fossil Gen 5 LTE, are rumored to be replaced by a version running the all-new Wear OS software we’re getting a taste of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
According to WinFuture.de (opens in new tab), a series of Fossil smartwatches powered by Wear OS 3 and the Snapdragon 4100 wearable chip are coming to at least one market before the end of this year. The site claims the next-gen watches, believed to be called Fossil Gen 6, will become available in Germany starting September 27.
While WinFuture’s sources say the upcoming Fossil smartwatches will follow the brand’s familiar design language, the inside is being upgraded by a fresher chip that supports Google’s new unified software.
Fossil’s existing smartwatches with a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset aren’t eligible for the latest version of Wear OS. That's disappointing considering the updated software lets individual wearable makers tailor their user experience the same way Android software can be augmented for smartphones.
As we’ve seen on the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, Samsung still runs the show, even if Google provides the foundational platform. Past Fossil watches with Wear OS didn’t offer a similar uniqueness that made them as much Fossil watches as Wear OS watches. Fossil’s attractive hardware has been the vehicle for distracting from Google’s lackluster software.
With the next generation of Fossil watches running Wear OS 3, we could see Fossil take greater ownership of its smartwatch offerings. I’d expect more Fossil-designed watch face options, at least.
But most importantly, these rumored Fossil smartwatches will likely be the first Wear OS 3-backed devices that aren’t as exclusive to Samsung users. While those with Samsung smartphones like the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 should be able to pair new Fossil watches through the Wear OS app, there could be more features available to those with different Android phones.
Those who just picked up the Google Pixel 5a or are planning to get the Google Pixel 6 might find the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch a suitable accessory, for example. Until the long-term Google Pixel Watch materializes, of course.
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