Fossil is launching at CES 2023 their newest smartwatch. Unlike previous models, this one isn’t based on WearOS 3, but instead uses e-ink.
Why not WearOS?
WearOS 3 does many things, and works with a wide range of third party applications. What it doesn’t do, is long battery life.
The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition watch has a two to three week battery life, and a function set designed for people who don’t need to dive into every advanced feature.
How it differs
The way Fossil achieves such long battery life is by choosing to get more out of it, by doing a bit less.
For example, not putting a GPS radio in the watch, but using the GPS in the mobile phone, saves power.
Not having every type of exercise and auto-detecting when you might be performing them, but just recognizing the most common workouts.
And, instead of streaming music from the cloud through the watch, it’s possible to control music playback on a connected phone.
Interestingly, the Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition also includes a microphone. This allows you to use the watch to ask Alexa questions or give commands.
The interface is controlled with just two pushers and a crown. The pushers cycle through the different functions.
The hands move out of the way of whatever function you select, making it easier to see what you’re interacting with on the screen.
E-Ink displays are low power, commonly black and white displays. They’re often seen on Kindle ebook readers, and they conserve energy by only redrawing the screen when there’s something new to redraw.
Because it runs their own real-time operating system instead of WearOS, it means they don’t have to worry about third party application compatibility or power draw. Fossil provides one app that works with both WearOS and the E-Ink watches, making it easy to manage both if you’re a real Fossil devotee.
The Gen 6 Hybrid Wellness Edition Fossil is available now in 44mm for $299.