Razer seems to treat each CES as its personal carnival, using the show as a chance to show off things like wild-looking masks and insane triple-screen notebooks. This year, in addition to launching new laptops, it’s also teamed up with smartwatch maker Fossil to launch a special edition wearable. The two companies are announcing the Razer x Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch at CES 2022 and it’s basically what you think: A themed version of an existing Wear OS device with straps and faces that reflect the gaming company’s identity.
But 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, and 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.
There’s not much else different about the device, and most other elements like battery life and system performance require me spending much more time with it to test.
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, but it sure seems like that assumption is being made.
One thing I do believe Razer’s loyalists love is the company’s distinct acid green color that permeates their products. The special edition Gen 6 comes in a black finish with a black 22mm band with no pops of green on the case itself. But it does come with a bright green strap that you can swap out. Both silicone bands were pliable and comfortable, though, again, I’d prefer a narrower style.
The larger size does allow for a roomier screen (though the 42mm Gen 6 has the same display dimensions), and I enjoyed how easy it was to read app titles and notifications.
Razer and Fossil are only selling 1,337 units of this special edition device, because Leet, get it? Anyway, you can get one for $329. For comparison, the Fossil Gen 6 costs between $299 and $319. With its higher price and limited quantity, the Razer watch is clearly meant to be a collectible for the most loyal of the company’s fans.
If you don’t manage to get one of the Razer watches or are intrigued by Fossil’s other brands, you could also consider the new Skagen Gen 6. The Skagen Falster is my favorite of Fossil’s smartwatches, and the company is launching an updated version that offers its latest suite of features like the Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor, faster battery charging and upgraded sensors. It’ll be available in six styles and cost $295.
Fossil also told Engadget that the Gen 6 series will be getting Alexa support early this year, so those who use Amazon’s assistant for smart home device control can do that from their wrists.
The Razer x Fossil watch represents an intriguing expansion of Fossil’s lineup, though we might see the company team up with other brands in future. Fossil told me it’s open to the idea, so who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see collabs with the likes of Tesla, McDonalds or, oh God, White Castle.
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Wed, 05 Jan 2022 16:00:52 +0000