Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition Review: Touchscreens are Overrated


At this point in time, we suppose it’s safe to say that smartwatches have become pretty popular as far as consumer electronics go, thanks to a wide range of different product selections from varying brands and manufacturers. With that said however, a lot of smartwatches tend to be too similar in terms of design, often sporting a touch-compatible display that handles the watch’s entire user interface.

This is something that the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition seeks to circumvent, thanks to a hardware design that combines traditional clockwork with modern smart elements and fitness-tracking hardware that brings it up to speed with more “standard” smartwatches. With that being said, does this blend of hardware result in a must-have device, or are you better off getting something with a full-touch display? Let’s take a look.

Design and Hardware

Let’s start off with design – while it’s not the first to do it, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid manages to put together a physical watch face alongside a display underneath, which undoubtedly gives the device a more “classic” feel. On the side you’ll find three action buttons which are used to navigate the E-ink display underneath, which measures 1.1 inches wide and is wrapped in a stainless steel case.

Speaking of the E-ink display, it gets the job done in terms of overall visibility – it’s easily visible, and there’s even a function to activate a front lighting system, although this only lasts a few seconds. We do wish that Fossil included a “raise-to-wake” feature with the lighting system, which would have been handy overall.

The watch feels solid overall, and comes with 3ATM waterproofing, which essentially means that the device will be relatively safe from accidental splashes and some light rain. We wouldn’t recommend going into the pool with this one, given the limited water resistance.

Underneath you’ll find several sensors as well as the charging rings – Fossil has previously had issues with the charging rings on its older Gen watch models due to them falling off the back of their devices, which we hope isn’t the case here (they’ve held up well so far). It also comes with interchangeable 20mm silicone straps, which lets users change up the look of their watch.

In terms of internals, the Wellness Edition comes with an Accelerometer and Heart Rate Sensor, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, a built-in microphone and vibration motor. It’s a modest lineup of hardware that focuses on the basics, so features like temperature and elevation sensing are off the table, unfortunately. With that in mind though, this slight limitation regarding tech plays into the main point of the Wellness Edition’s existence, which is its design.

It manages to pull off the look nicely though, and helps it stand out in a sea of touchscreens and digital timepieces.

Set-up, Software, and Usage

Setting up the Gen 6 Wellness Edition is a straightforward affair, as you’ll just need to install the official Fossil wearable app on your phone, and pair the watch to your device. The watch features Fossil’s own custom operating system, which is a bit basic compared to what you might expect from something like Wear OS or Watch OS.

As someone who’s more used to a touch interface, using the Gen 6 Wellness Edition was a refreshing experience, and reminded me of “simpler times” before full-screen touch interfaces became the norm. Despite having mechanical hands, the watch automatically adjusts them for you once it syncs to your smartphone, and even act as a cursor of sorts when navigating through the device’s different functions, using the three buttons on the side. I do wish that the middle button doubled as a rotating crown of sorts, however.

At first glance, the device might look like it sacrifices a ton of modern smartwatch functionality due to its looks, but that’s certainly not the case here. A lot of the functions that you see on most smart wearables and fitness trackers on the market are likewise available on the Gen 6 Wellness Edition.

There are music playback controls, a “ring my phone” function, weather information, and of course the health-monitoring features mentioned earlier.  There are also a handful of different workout modes pre-installed on the watch, so folks looking for a balance between a classic-looking timepiece and fitness-tracking device will find a lot to love here.

In addition to the onboard settings, the watch can also be managed using the Fossil app, which gives you information on your health stats, wellness tracking, system preferences, and even lets you customize your own watch face, based on pre-designed template elements. Additionally, the Gen 6 Wellness Edition can also be setup with Amazon Alexa, so users have access to a smart assistant on their device.

In terms of battery, Fossil states that the watch can last up to two weeks’ worth of use, which we found to be the case here. Given the lack of a full touch display and extensive tracking features though, this is to be expected.

Final Thoughts

For a price of around $229 in North America, the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition banks on a classic timepiece design with the addition of a basic set of smart features that should keep casual users happy, although buyers after a more well-rounded fitness tracking device with additional features will want to look elsewhere.

Of course, elements like terrific battery life is rare on a lot of wearables, so we’d recommend the device towards users looking for a more traditional-looking watch that happens to carry a handful of smart functions, and can last for days on end.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition
Fossil's Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition packs a classic look, alongside a handful of smart features with basic fitness tracking.

Note: this article may contain affiliate links that help support our authors and keep the Phandroid servers running.

Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition


The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition banks on a classic timepiece design with the addition of a basic set of smart features that should keep casual users happy, although buyers after a more well-rounded fitness tracking device with additional features will want to look elsewhere.

  • Great-looking classic design
  • Solid battery life
  • E-ink Display is Legible
  • Smart features for casual users
  • No raise-to-wake lighting
  • App is a bit too simple
Mike Viray
A writer and content creator with a love for tech and music, Mike is also an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.

Best Pixel 6 cases you can buy in 2023

Previous article

Best Pixel 6 screen protectors to buy in 2023

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Devices