Smartwatches don’t have to look like the Apple Watch, with smooth, rounded edges and few to no physical controls. Fossil’s Gen 6 watch packs loads of communication, entertainment, and fitness functionality into an attractive round case with a physical crown, two buttons, and a classically noble bezel.
While the watch comes in a number of designs, we tested the $329 model made in conjunction with Razer, which looks and feels just as stylish as Fossil’s other offerings, however, gives it an edge for certain PC gaming fans with a Razer-green strap and a few exclusive watch faces.
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It’s also limited to 1,337 units, for even more weird gamer creds. The watch is powered by Wear OS is both a strength and weakness: Google’s smartwatch platform is powerful, but uneven and often awkward to use.
Ultimately, Samsung’s One UI tweaks to the Wear OS-based Galaxy Watch4 make it a stronger choice for Android users, while the Apple Watch Series 7 remains our top pick overall.
Features of Razer X
One thing I really appreciate about the Razer X Fossil Gen 6 is just how refined it looks. As a piece of sports apparel, it features two sets of interchangeable silicone straps meaning you won’t have to worry about the straps stinking up after a long run like you would with cloth straps.
I’m not actually that big a fan of smartwatches because of how obviously not-a-watch they all are. Thankfully the Razer Fossil one keeps that to a minimum, letting you keep that classic look of an analogue watch with its classic puck shape.
The Razer X Fossil Gen 6 is a limited-edition version of a Wear OS we reviewed last year. It offers a few aesthetic tweaks to the original version that aim to make appeal more to Razer’s gaming focused following.
This means that it’s great as a piece of hardware, but until it’s upgraded to Wear OS 3 later this year, it’s probably not going to be the Apple Watch rival we’ve been waiting for.
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The other things you should know
Aside from that, there’s a whole bunch of other Smartwatch utility you’ll get out of it, such as the ability to play songs to Bluetooth speakers directly from the watch, easily setting the tone for a romantic night in.
The watch face is a 1.28-inch circular AMOLED screen with a resolution of 416 by 416 pixels. It’s bright, colorful, and crisp, comparable with the Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch4.
The round design accommodates both digital and analog watch faces, and the Gen 6 comes with several Fossil-specific faces preinstalled (in addition to the standard Wear OS faces).
The Razer version has three exclusive Razer faces, including a simple analog face with the Razer logo, a digital Razer Chrome face that shows a color wheel, and an all-text face.
The main draw for buyers is that it’s been “redesigned” in collaboration with Razer, the firm behind some of the best scoring gaming peripherals and laptops we tested last year.
Even though, I regularly use an Android phone, and the best way to describe Wear OS is that it’s very clearly an Android-based smartwatch platform, for good and bad. You’ll also be able to use text-to-speech to answer your text messages on the fly, letting you just speak your responses before the watch fixes them.
In terms of hardware it’s all but identical to the regular Fossil Gen 6, which scored 3.5/5 in our in-depth review. The only big additions are minor visual tweaks, like a new neon green strap, and three new exclusive Razer watch faces.
It’s loaded with features, but its functions are wildly scattered across multiple navigation methods with unintuitive controls. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch4 is also based on Wear OS, but it uses Samsung’s One UI interface on top of it, making it a bit easier to use, especially when browsing and opening apps.
Unlike the iPhone-only apple Watch, Wear OS works with both Android and iOS phones. Nearly all of the same features are available through the Android and iOS Google Wear apps, and I had no problem getting notifications from an iPhone on the watch or using it to control music and podcast playback.
After following the included instructions to connect the watch to your phone, you can choose whether you want to set the watch face to be always on (which will drain the battery faster), tapped to wake, tilted to wake, or to only appear when you press the crown.
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The face is eminently customizable, with over 20 choices preinstalled and the ability to download others from the Google Play store. The watch face marketplace app Facer is also preinstalled, moreover, offering an even larger selection to choose from.
The metallic design also feels solid and during my time with the watch I found it is surprisingly scratch resistant despite having the same black finish as Razer’s Blade laptops. After a brief period of being used as a hockey puck by my cats.
Therefore, the Razer edition of the Gen 6 has some small differences. It only comes in the 44mm size (while the original is also available in 42mm) and also features some unique interface elements. I’ve had a sample to play with for awhile, and frankly, this feels like most Fossil smartwatches, just with an aesthetic nod to Razer.
The Fossil Gen 6 was the first to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chip, moreover, like the original series, the Razer edition will be updated to the new Wear OS 3 later this year.
So far, the existing software on the watch felt familiar and performed quickly. I swiped through cards and changed watch faces with no delay, though that’s par for the course for Wear OS watches these days.
The three custom watch faces for the Razer-branded wearable were what I expected — that is, they had matching color schemes and displayed the time in “fun” fonts. The Wellness face shows your daily stats, but doesn’t look very Razer-esque.
What I can say now is that as a person with smaller wrists, the Razer watch is a bit too big for me. Are most Razer fans people more big-boned, or do they prefer a chunky aesthetic? I don’t know. It seems like that assumption is being made.
Admittedly this was my first time using the Razer and Fossil co-branded smartwatch, but navigating the menus never felt like a drag to me since every popup felt snappy and responsive.