There is more than just a difference in name between the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid and the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch. The Fossil Group has several watch brands with models available to buy under its Fossil, Michael Kors and Skagen names. In addition to these, Fossil also owns Misfit, the brand known for activity trackers like the Misfit Shine, which it acquired in 2015 for $260 million.
The company’s line of Fossil smartwatches are pretty popular and several of the models come running on Wear OS offering a familiar experience for those that are switching from another Wear OS smartwatch. For those less keen on a smartwatch, they can also pick up one of the company’s traditional watches sold under the Diesel, Relic, and Zodiac brands. For the best of both worlds, there is also the option of going with one of the company’s hybrid smartwatches.
The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid is the more recent of the two smartwatches as it was announced in June 2022, and as the name makes clear, it is a hybrid smartwatch. In contrast, the Fossil Gen 6 is a Wear OS smartwatch that was announced in August 2021. Fossil sells the Gen 6 Hybrid in two sizes — a 41mm ‘Stella’ version with 18mm straps and a 45mm ‘Machine’ version with 24mm straps. Regardless of the size, these watches are available in four variants with stainless, silicone, or leather straps. The Gen 6 is also available in two sizes, 42mm (with 18mm straps) and 44mm (with 22mm straps). The 42mm version is available in six variants while the 44mm version is available in seven.
Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid’s Battery Lasts Longer
The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid has traditional watch hands that tell the time while an e-ink display shows health and activity stats. It is powered by an Intel Atom processor and has just 16MB of storage. The Fossil Gen 6 has a 1.28-inch color AMOLED display. There is also a Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor under the stainless steel case along with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Both watches have a heart rate sensor and also support blood oxygen level measuring. However, the Fossil Gen 6 packs additional sensors such as an altimeter, compass, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. It also has NFC for contactless payment, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 5.0. The Hybrid edition only has an accelerometer and Bluetooth 5.0.
Apart from the obvious difference in their design and specifications, a key difference that plays a major role in the user experience is the software. The Fossil Gen 6 runs Google’s Wear OS designed for smartwatches which brings features like app support, Google Assistant, and Google Pay. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid runs a proprietary operating system that drives the smart features of the watch. Users can’t install apps on the watch nor is there a Google Assistant to ask questions. Although Fossil has added support for Amazon’s Alexa it comes with the condition that the watch is within Bluetooth range of the phone. Alexa support is also available on the Fossil Gen 6 despite having Google Assistant built-in. The presence of a speaker and microphone on the Fossil Gen 6 also means users can take calls on the watch.
While the Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid doesn’t have as many features as the Fossil Gen 6, its unique selling point is the battery which can last up to two weeks on the 45mm version and one week on the 41mm version. In contrast, the Fossil Gen 6 can only manage up to 24 hours on a single charge. Both smartwatches are compatible with Android and iOS devices. There is also a companion app, the Fossil Smartwatches App, which has been redesigned and updated with more features. The Fossil Gen 6 Hybrid is the cheaper of the two with a starting price of $229 with silicone straps and $249 with metal bracelets. The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch is priced at $299 with leather or silicone straps, and $319 when opting for a steel bracelet.