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There was a backroom where I saw Fossil's hybrid analog watch. I saw a small army of watches from Fossil and other brands under its umbrella. I didn't feel well. There were different flavors of the same watch. I perked up when I saw the Fossil hybrid HR. Is there a hybrid watch with an e ink display? It was a rare sight and I was curious to see what it would do. Three years later, I have the Fossil Gen 6 hybrid, which has the same genetic makeup as the original, but I feel that Fossil is ahead of itself.

Basic fitness tracking is included with the Gen 6 hybrid. When you navigate the dashboard or read notifications, its hands still move out of the way. The ability to measure blood oxygen, a new heart rate sensor, and a redesign of the dashboard were added. The companion app has not been completely refreshed. Fossil has gone in a different direction with the design.

Buy for $249.00 from Fossil Buy for $249.00 from Amazon

It is possible for style to make or break a hybrid analog watch. The Gen 6 hybrid with a Silicone strap costs the same as the Fitbit Versa 3 but doesn't have as many features. It had better look the part because you paid extra for style. Fossil made a strong case for paying a premium. This time, it's not so much.

There are two versions of the watch. I knew the watch wasn't for me when I unboxed it. This is the kind of watch I would imagine KimKardashian wearing in a perfume ad, her dark eyes piercing your soul as she whispers, "I have expensive taste." The watch is not hideous, but the link bracelet and Czech crystal pavé setting is. I would like to say that I prefer the Machine, but it has an overly masculine vibe with very aggressive knurling that doesn't suit my lifestyle. Even though the display is the same size as its predecessors, I don't like how small it is. It's more of an issue with the machine models than it is with theStella models.

The Withings ScanWatch, Fossil Hybrid HR, Skagen Jorn, and Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid side by side
For some reason, the Gen 6 Hybrid’s screen seems smaller even though it’s the same size. From left: Withings ScanWatch, Fossil Hybrid HR, Skagen Jorn, Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid

I don't like the way the Stella design pigeonhole's your style. If you want a more versatile design for everyday wear, you should look at the other designs. The Fossil hybrid HR and Skagen Jorn had more flexible case designs. You can either have a pavé setting or not. If it doesn't suit your tastes, you're out of luck. My spouse would rather clean the litter box than wear this Gen 6 hybrid, but they wore my hybrid HR review unit for a few weeks because it was light and fit their fashion sense. The Gen 6 hybrid is more heavy than its predecessors.

The Gen 6 hybrid gives you all the basics and some modern features you might not have expected. If you want to check the weather, ring your phone, view notifications, and control your music, but don't want to take calls on your wrist, you can do that. There is only one thing you need from a hybrid analog, and that is a Fossil watch. The new features don't add much to the picture.

The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid’s sensor array
The Gen 6 Hybrid has a new heart rate sensor and SpO2 sensors as well.
The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid with an Alexa query displayed on the screen
Alexa is one of the new additions to the Gen 6 Hybrid. But you can also see how cramped the screen looks when reading notifications.

SpO2 monitoring is an increasingly common feature as more watches focus on recovery and sleep. The Gen 6 hybrid does the two things. It's simple to take a reading on the watch. Place your hand on a surface and wait. I had to restart the process when the process was interrupted by notifications. The results were on par with a pulse oximeter, but that is not a reason to have this feature. For medical reasons, you should never use a watch instead of a pulse oximeter. They are not cleared to be used for that purpose. During sleep, passive SpO2 monitoring can give you a sense of your respiratory rate. You can't do much with the information from spot checks.

Adding Amazon's voice assistant is more of a trick than a tool. When it comes to answering questions, it's not as good as it is if you use Amazon's voice activated assistant. That is a low bar, but it is better than SAMSUNG's BUBBLE. The Gen 6 hybrid has a 0.94-inch display. The answers you get are in the world's smallest, lightest, and most readable type. If you get answers, that will be the case. I would get a message saying it couldn't connect and that I should move closer to my phone to attempt another attempt. I was in the same room on a few occasions. It defeats the purpose of having a digital assistant.

A close up for the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid’s dashboard
The circular dashboard reminds me of Samsung’s Galaxy Watches. It makes navigating menus much easier than before.

The streamlined dashboard is an important update. The menu is similar to what you see on the watches. It's much easier to scroll and find what you're looking for. Fossil made it clear which button to press to go back to a previous menu, stop, or pause a workout, and return to the home screen. The Gen 6 hybrid can be difficult to navigate, but it is better than previous versions.

The E Ink display has the same problems as before. The refresh rate is similar to a device that takes a long time. As you have to scroll down, wait for the screen to refresh, and then repeat the process two seconds later, it's a little annoying. The small size of the fonts is hard to read mid- exercise. I like the fact that E Ink doesn't cause as much eye strain, but I would have liked the notifications to be more legible.

The Gen 6 hybrid has the same issues as before. While heart rate tracking was within five beats per minute, it is not a good tool for heart rate zone training. The refresh rate is not suited for real-time activity tracking. Tracking distances is unreliable. The Gen 6 hybrid walked 1.5 miles on my Apple watch. The Series 7 ran 3.0 miles, my running app ran 3.02 miles, and the Fossil watch ran 3.8 miles. The Gen 6 hybrid uses your phone's gps to record your runs, so I expected less accuracy. My running results were vastly different on my phone and watch. Both recorded accurate routes. That's right, go figure. I didn't get a lot of context beyond sleep stages and duration.

Results like these are not a deal-breaker. It's not a good idea to buy a watch like this. I would never use this watch for anything other than to test it. It's too heavy to run with and it's too gross to clean. Making sure you get in your steps is one of the things this watch is good for. The Gen 6 hybrid isn't a tracker of fitness.

The Fossil Smartwatches app on an iPhone next to the Gen 6 Hybrid
You can easily customize your watchface in the Fossil Smartwatches app. I chose a picture of my dog.

The Gen 6 hybrid has a shorter battery life. The hybrid HR and Skagen Jorn got about two weeks on a single charge. It probably has to do with the new features and sensors. The battery life depends on usage. It has been over a week since I last charged the Gen 6 hybrid. I haven't used this as much as other watches have.

Fossil made smart choices, but it made some unforced errors trying to fix things that weren't broken One of the more annoying things about Fossil hybrid analogs was addressed by the circular dashboard. On the other side, no one needed on-demand SpO2 or Amazon's voice assistant, especially not at the expense of a week of battery life. The benefit of adding a better heart rate sensor is not as great as it could be. Fossil has a lot of options for a more luxurious watch with a specific look.

The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid on a wrist
Not my usual style. It goes with exactly nothing in my wardrobe.

The Gen 6 hybrid has a price. If it were less expensive, I would be able to see past its flaws. For the same price, I could buy the 40mm version of the watch. The Apple watch is priced at $279. You will get a lot more bang for your buck with these two watches. The Withings ScanWatch costs $279.95 and has FDA clearance for electrocardiograms. The right mix of form, function, and price is what makes the Vivomove Sport so attractive. If you don't like the Gen 6 hybrid's design, there are many better alternatives.

The Gen 6 hybrid isn't bad. It does what it's supposed to do. It might have been enough in 2019, but it won't be enough in 2022,

Victoria Song is a photographer.

Every smart device has a set of terms and conditions that you have to agree to before you can use it. It is not possible for us to read and analyze all of them. We started counting the number of times you have to agree to use devices when we review them, since these are agreements most people can't negotiate.

If you want to use the Fossil Gen 6 hybrid, you need to pair it with an Apple device. The phone's privacy policy and terms of service are included. You may be asked to allow the Fossil Smartwatches app to access your phone's photos, location, cellular data, voice assistant data, notifications, background app refresh, and voice assistant data.

You agree to two mandatory agreements if you set up the Fossil Gen 6 hybrid.

  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy

Permissions that can be granted include sharing data usage and opting into marketing emails. You have to agree to the privacy policy and terms of service of both Amazon and Fossil if you want to enable the voice assistant. Permissions will be granted to allow the use of activity data, device information and settings, heart rate data, SpO2 data, and workout data. You have to agree to those terms if you integrate with Apple HealthKit.

There are two mandatory agreements and many optional agreements.