Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatches launch into an unforgiving Samsung Put on OS world

Earlier than Samsung confirmed up and took over the Put on OS ecosystem, the highest Android smartwatch producer was Fossil. Even after Samsung’s arrival, Fossil remains to be going, and at the moment the corporate introduced the Fossil Gen 6 watches.

The Gen 6 Fossil watches are the corporate’s first to ship with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Put on 4100+, a 12 nm, Cortex A53-based ARM chip. The “plus” on the finish of that 4100 mannequin quantity means there is a low-power co-process on the SoC now, which might deal with issues like well being monitoring with out waking up the massive cores. It appears like the brand new SoC is the one improve over the gen 5 watches. There’s nonetheless a 1.28-inch OLED show, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. Fossil does not say how huge the battery is, but it surely costs to 80 p.c in half-hour. The watch has GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, a PPG coronary heart price sensor, and is waterproof.

Fossil’s new watches vary from $299 to $319, and in comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4’s $250-$350 value, Fossil’s new watches do not make a ton of sense in a post-Samsung Put on OS world.

Samsung and Google teamed as much as revamp the Put on OS ecosystem with all-new {hardware} and software program, and the 2 tech giants appear to be squeezing out smaller trend manufacturers like Fossil. The Galaxy Watch 4 ships with a brand-new model of Put on OS, model 3, whereas Fossil remains to be utilizing Put on OS 2. It is apparently going to be some time earlier than Fossil catches as much as Samsung. The corporate’s press launch says it will likely be upgraded to Put on OS 3 however hyperlinks to a Google discussion board put up that claims, “We count on our companions to have the ability to roll out [Wear OS 3] beginning in mid to second half of 2022.” That is one thing like 10 to 16 months from now.

Put on OS 3 combines one of the best of Google’s Put on OS and (supposedly) one of the best of Samsung’s Tizen OS. When you’re in Google’s ecosystem, Put on OS 3 comes with a recommitment from Google when it comes to app help, and there may be already a brand new model of Google Maps and unique entry to YouTube Music in Put on OS 3. (When you’re not in Google’s ecosystem, you must most likely simply purchase an Apple Watch.)

There’s additionally the {hardware} challenge. Qualcomm has not been a terrific accomplice for Put on OS and is not placing a ton of effort into its wearable SoCs. The Put on 4100 was the corporate’s first huge velocity improve in six years, and even then it was a lackluster chip. The Galaxy Watch 4 tries a lot more durable to be a aggressive smartwatch, with a 5 nm, dual-core A55 SoC that you may justifiably name “state-of-the-art” for a wearable.

As good because it was to have Fossil occupy the ability vacuum within the Put on OS ecosystem for the previous few years, now that Samsung has proven up, Fossil is delivery a costlier, slower smartwatch with outdated software program that will not be up to date for 10 months. It is not likely clear what is going on on with Put on OS in terms of smaller corporations like Fossil. Is that this only a momentary hiccup whereas the revamp transition occurs, or is Google comfortable with having a de facto one-OEM ecosystem like this? Google definitely appears to have made loads of concessions to Samsung in terms of the Put on OS software program.

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