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Winners and Losers: Bang and Olufsen hits new sustainability milestone, while Fossil Gen 6 bungles its launch

Time for our weekly rundown of the two top stories from the last seven days that had us jumping for joy and yelling at our screens. It’s Trusted Reviews’ Winners and Losers.

We’re in September now folks and that can only mean one thing – Apple’s end of year event is almost upon us. In anticipation of all the expected announcements, leaks and rumours (particularly for the Apple Watch 7) having been dropping at a rapid pace. Hold on to your hats as it’s only a matter of time until the news cycle is dominated by Apple content.

In the meantime however, it’s Bang & Olufsen that had us seriously impressed this week with its dedication to sustainability, particularly when it comes to producing consumer tech on a major scale. Alternatively, it’s bad news for the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch which appears to be launching without the one feature you’d expect from a Wear OS device in 2021.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level

Winner: Bang & Olufsen

As much as I love playing with and writing about tech (if I didn’t, I’d be a horrendous journalist in this field), there’s always been the looming question of the impact of the consumer tech industry on man-made climate change. For that reason, any time a company really makes an effort to address this issue in a meaningful way, it’s worth celebrating, which is why Bang & Olufsen earns this week’s top spot.

The company held a press conference to discuss its approach to sustainability, showcasing particularly how it had designed its latest speaker, the Beosound Level, to receive the ‘bronze certification’ from the Cradle to Cradle Products Initiative Institute.

The achievement ensures that every aspect of the Beosound Level’s production was done in a circular fashion to offset carbon emissions and reuse waste where possible. B&O Senior Global Product Manager for Classics and Product Circularity, Mads Kogsgaard Hansen detailed:

“[This is the] first ever Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze audio product […] [It is] designed for longevity. Early on we asked ‘what is determining the lifetime of an audio product’? We did vast amounts of user research to find out.”

The certification only lasts for a couple of years (at which point the product must be reassessed for its compliance to sustainable production), and while you can read more about Cradle to Cradle’s criteria here, it is great to see a major tech brand making positive changes in an industry that is partly responsible for massive amounts of e-waste. Let’s just hope that other companies take note.

Fossil Gen 6 leak WinFuture
Image: WinFuture

Loser: Fossil Gen 6

Something’s definitely afoot at Google headquarters. I have my suspicions that the illusive Pixel Watch is bound to make an appearance this month, purely on the basis that it doesn’t make sense to have the Fossil Gen 6 or any other Wear OS watch be without the new Wear OS 3 until well into 2022. Unfortunately, this is exactly what’s happening and it’s backfired greatly on Fossil.

Earlier this week, Fossil unveiled the long-awaited Gen 6 smartwatch which packs the super fast Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chipset, along with updated sensors for health tracking and a battery that can supposedly reach 80% after just 30 minutes of charging. All of this sounds great on paper, but it’s overshadowed by the fact that Wear OS 3 will not be installed on the watch at launch.

If the Fossil Gen 6 had come out earlier this year, before we new about Google’s next-generation plans, then this would have been a completely forgivable offence, but as it’s following the superb, Wear OS 3 enabled Galaxy Watch 4, one has to wonder why anyone would pick up Fossil’s smartwatch at launch.

Make no mistake, I highly enjoyed my time testing the Fossil Gen 5, and I anticipate that the Gen 6 could be a great smartwatch… someday. For the time being however, I can easily recommend chasing up the Galaxy Watch 4 instead as your next smartwatch of choice.

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