At the end of last year, Fossil started releasing the first Gen 6 WearOS smart watches (we wrote about that here). They’ve released a few versions since then, and one of the latest we became aware of is one that is seemingly intended for the great out doors: the Fossil Gen 6 Venture Edition.

The tricky thing with a smartwatch (as opposed to a traditional watch) is that they are like their larger computer brethren. By that, I mean that they are intended to be a multi-use device, allowing the user to load in the apps that are the most meaningful to them. When you add in that the basic platform is the same across the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches, how is it that you can differentiate a model?

To start with, it’s the look. For the Fossil Gen 6 Venture Edition, they’ve put a strap made of eco leather (not fake, but instead sourced from a tannery) and recycled nylon, giving that classic brown-and-green look we’d see on outdoors watches of, say, 15 or 20 years ago. On the functionality side of things, they have built in functionality specifically for tracking hiking distance, duration, and altitude. Along with that, it’s got a compass, and can track your heart rate and your blood oxygen levels. All good for quantifying what you’ve done on the trail.

They’ve also pre-loaded three apps on the Fossil Gen 6 Venture Edition specifically to help you out on the trail. Those are weather (always helpful, even if you’re not hiking), hydration tracking (key when active in warm weather especially), and hiking/biking trails. This last one would be great, to see where on the trail you are just by glancing at your wrist. The Gen 6 lineup has GPS on-board the watch, so that means you don’t need to stay connected to your phone to be able to track where on the trail you are. A nice bonus, in our opinion.

Then again, the big key here is figuring out how quickly the battery drains on the Fossil Gen 6 Venture Edition when you’ve got those goodies turned on while you’re hiking. The new platform here should help keep the watch running longer than it’s predecessors, but we’re guessing you’ll need to charge up if you’re doing a week-long backpacking trip. Just a guess, though. We’ll see about getting a loaner in for a full review. If you want to pick one up, it’s $299 direct from fossil.com.

Details from Fossil

  • Sku: FTW4068V
  • Platform: GEN 6 VENTURE EDITION
  • Case: 44MM, Stainless Steel
  • Strap: 22MM, Interchangeable
  • Strap Material: Fabric, Leather
  • Lifestyle: Always on Display now brighter with more colors. Thousands of watch faces to personalize your look and always see the time. Hundreds of apps from assistant to fitness, payments, music, social, news, games, stop watches, and more. With a 3 ATM design and charging in about half an hour, it’s perfect for all your activities.
  • Health: Automatically tracks activity goals, steps, sleep, heart rate, cardio level, SPO2 (blood oxygen), and more. Activity modes with GPS keep you on track with your distance and path. Advanced sensors provide the data to power all your health and fitness apps.
  • Utility: Stay connected with notifications for calls, texts, apps and automatic time, time zone and calendar syncing. Never miss a call – answer and make calls directly on your watch when your phone is out of reach. Optimize your battery life with a newly simplified Smart Battery Modes.
  • Preloaded Apps: Agenda, Alarm, Amazon Alexa for Smartwatches (available in select markets), Battery-Optimized Activity Mode, Calendar, Cardio Level Tracking, Cardiogram, Contacts, Enhanced Phone Dialer App, Facer, Google Assistant, Google Fit (Workout, Heart Rate, Goals, Breathe), Google Maps, Google Pay™, Google Play Store, MyRadar, Nike Run Club, Noonlight, Outdooractive, Smart Battery Modes, Spotify, St

Tech Specs

  • Operating System: Powered with Wear OS by Google
  • Compatibility: Wear OS by Google works with phones running the latest version of Android™ (excluding Go edition and phones without Google Play Store) or iOS. Supported features may vary between platforms and countries with compatibility subject to change.
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 4100+
  • Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB Storage
  • Display: 1.28″ Color AMOLED / 416 x 416 / 326ppi
  • Input: 2 Additional Push Buttons (configurable), Rotating Home Button, Touchscreen, Voice
  • Sound/Actuator: Loudspeaker, Microphone, Vibration
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, NFC SE, WiFi
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Compass, Gyroscope, Off-body IR, PPG Heart Rate, SPO2
  • Battery: 24 Hr + multi day Extended Mode **Varies based on usage and after updates install**. USB data cable with magnetic dock snaps to split rings on watch caseback and spins 360 degrees for ease of use. Approximately half an hour to reach 80%.
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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