There might not be any dearth of smartwatches out there but those are essentially pieces of tech gizmos that you wrap around your wrist. Nothing wrong with that but it may not suffice the requirements of those who might be looking for that classic watch appeal, one that is more of a watch than being entirely a smart connected thing that may make you feel overwhelmed with tons of data. So, how about a smartwatch that lets you have the best of both worlds?
It is here that the Fossil Gen 6 E Ink smartwatch fits in, one that offers a classic watch appeal without ditching the ‘smart’ aspect altogether. This is achieved with sort of a dual watch face where the outer perimeter is similar to what you have with a classic watch with the entire central portion of the dial serving as a smartwatch. That way, the smaller inner dial is where you get all the smartphone notifications and other highlights like the latest inputs about your various health parameters, and such.
So, how does the Fossil Gen 6 fare as a smartwatch, or the hybrid aspect robs it of the pure smartwatch feel? Let’s find out.
Fossil Gen 6 Neutra design and features
To start with, the new Fossil Gen 6 can be mistaken for any classic watch with mechanical watch hands. It comes with a shiny metallic build and has genuine leather straps to hold it on your wrists. It also comes with three buttons on the right that further accentuates the classic feel. However, flip it over and the assortment of sensors blows the cover right away. Further, look closely at the dial and you will get to see small icons denoting various information. There is the tiny shoe icon that informs you the number of steps taken or the heart symbol letting you know the state of the heart along with another icon to show the calories burnt.
Coming to the physical buttons on the side, pressing the top button once will invoke Alexa. However, the point to note here is that you will need a compatible smartphone to converse with Alexa. There is no way you can do the same with the smartwatch itself. Similarly, pressing the middle button will bring on the Home page while the last button will show you the notifications, like the messages, mail, or other stuff that shows on your smartphone.
Of course, there is a lot more that the buttons can accomplish. It’s like long-pressing the top button will switch off the E Ink display entirely while doing it again will bring it back on. So, that’s something that will let you switch on or off the smartwatch if you so desire. As already stated, pressing the middle button will launch the home display but doing it again will bring on the main display that provides a snapshot of all that the smartwatch is capable of. All the icons of the various features that the smartwatch comes with are lined up in a circle along the perimeter of the inner E Ink dial. You can make your selection using the top and bottom buttons, pressing the top button will let you select the icon in an anti-clockwise manner while the opposite is true with the bottom button.
However, while that is cool, what is rather not is that both the watch arms move to point to the selection made. It’s like putting the entire functionality of the watch to accomplish something that could have been achieved easily in some other manner. It can be like just highlighting the icons to denote their selected status and moving that around would have served the purpose just as well instead of making both the watch hands do that thing. That way, the watch hands would have been free to show the time instead of making them show the current icon selection.
Another downside of the above approach is that the movement of the watch arms is mechanical while the icon selection moving around is digital. However, going by the very nature of E Ink displays that tend to take some time to refresh themselves, what eventually happens is that the watch arms move instantaneously while the E Ink display is always trailing behind. Freeing up the watch hands from this functionality wouldn’t have highlighted the delayed aspect that’s inherent in E Ink displays.
Coming back to the main dial, here you have options for Notifications, Alexa, Music Controls, Ring Phone, and Weather, all of which are arranged along the top. Moving to the bottom, you have features such as Stopwatch, Timer, Workout, Wellness, Settings, and then Home. All of the features should be self-descriptive though I’d like to elaborate on the Ring Phone feature a bit. It’s actually a cool feature and is handy when say, you are unable to locate your phone. Selecting Ring Phone will make the connected smartphone ring while the smartwatch hands too engage in a bit of animation as well.
The Setting tab, meanwhile, will lead you to more controls. Those include Do Not Disturb, Notification Size, Vibration Intensity, Heart Rate, Dial Information, Watch Mode where you can select between wearing the watch on the right or left arm, and Lastly About. The latter will let you know the details about the smartwatch along with the software version it is running. You can also check here if a new software version is available and act accordingly.
Fossil Gen 6 Neutra Application
So far so good but this is just a part of the story and the accompanying smartphone app takes things up from here. Here is where you get the options to configure the various aspects of your smartwatch. That includes Alexa, the watch face, and such. For the latter, there is the watch face editor which lets you customize almost every aspect of the watch face. That includes the text, grayscale, the layout of the dial, or add long-horned bulls (along with several other things) as well if you so wish.
That is not all as you can even put your own image as well. Plus, there is also the option to choose the sort of information that you want to be displayed on the home screen. Those can be the heart rate, calorie counter, blood oxygen levels, battery meter, and such. All of the changes you have selected get applied to the smartwatch right away.
On the whole, the app covers almost every aspect of the smartwatch. It’s actually beneficial as it lets you analyze the various information that the smartwatch has generated. So, it can be like your heart rate, the steps taken, blood oxygen levels, calories burnt, and so on. You can bring up all the data from say the past week or the past month and see if there have been any noticeable changes and co-relate as to what might have caused a particular development and such.
On the whole, the new Fossil Gen 6 Neutra can be the perfect example of what a hybrid smartwatch ought to be, that of a classic watch that sort of camouflages its smart attribute. You can even turn on or off the smartwatch feature as well and make it look like just any other watch out there. It also comes with twice the number of sensors onboard – four compared to the two sensors its predecessor comes with – for more accurate and realistic measurement of your health parameters.
The smartwatch is also extremely well put together that offers a rich and premium feel to it. The shining surface also provides the perfect complement for the genuine leather straps it comes with and makes the entire thing look extremely classy. It’s something that you would love to wear and flaunt and the smartwatch too won’t disappoint you with its capabilities and feature set. In short, the Fossil Gen 6 Neutra is one of the best hybrid smartwatches that you can have at the moment.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.