Fossil Gen 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Which should you buy?

Galaxy Watch 4 Star Wars Face Stormtroopers
Galaxy Watch 4 Star Wars Face Stormtroopers (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

As the first smartwatch on the new Wear OS 3 platform, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one step ahead of other devices on the market. Compared to the Fossil Gen 6, you'll also get optional LTE connectivity and superior health tracking.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

One step ahead

Optional LTE connectivity
Wear OS 3 at launch
Superior health tracking
Impressive performance
No iOS compatibility

Fossil Gen 6

Fossil Gen 6 Black Silicone

If you don't mind waiting until next year to enjoy Wear OS 3, you might be interested in the Fossil Gen 6. It's a bit more focused on the physical design than the Galaxy Watch 4. Keep in mind you won't have as many health sensors, though.

Fossil Gen 6

Not far behind

Numerous attractive designs
Improved health sensors
Google Assistant
Built-in mic/speaker
No LTE connectivity
Wear OS 3 not available yet
Too expensive for some

Fossil Gen 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Battle of Wear OS

When choosing between the Fossil Gen 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, you'll find a decent amount of similarities. However, the main decision will come down to your reason for purchasing a smartwatch. If you want a fashion-driven design that offers a well-rounded set of smartwatch features, you might have your eye on the new Fossil Gen 6. While it's not quite as intelligent as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, folks who want a stylish wearable might not mind its deficits.

If you're no stranger to wearables, you know that Samsung offers some of the best Android smartwatches on the market. The newest offering is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which offers a host of perks that users might prefer over the Fossil Gen 6. First and foremost, it's the first watch to run on the new Wear OS 3 platform. You'll also have improved health tracking, amazing performance. If you don't want to wait until mid-2022 for Wear OS 3, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the better option right now.

The Fossil Gen 6 is here to stay

Fossil Gen 6

Source: Fossil (Image credit: Source: Fossil)

Many Fossil loyalists were disappointed to learn that the Gen 5 models and previous generations will be excluded from the Wear OS 3 upgrade scheduled to launch around mid-2022. Anyone currently shopping for a smartwatch will likely consider this when choosing a model, especially if you want reassurance that your wearable will eventually receive all the latest updates.

Upon comparing the Fossil Gen 6 and Fossil Gen 5 models, you'll find some similarities. However, one big difference is that you can now choose between a 42mm and 44mm stainless steel case. Unsurprisingly, the smaller variants offer more feminine designs while the larger ones are more masculine.

Both watches offer a bright and vivid 1.3-inch AMOLED display. You also get two push buttons and a rotating crown on the left side of the device. The 44mm variants are compatible with 22mm bands, and the 42mm variants are compatible with 18mm.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Fossil Gen 6Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Display1.3-inch AMOLED1.2-inch or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED
SensorsHRM, accelerometer, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, off-body IR, SpO2, ambient light sensorHRM, BioActive sensor, electrocardiogram (ECG), accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic, barometer, ambient light sensor
Battery life24 hours40 hours
Water-resistance3ATM5ATM+ IP68 / MIL-STD-810G
ProcessorSnapdragon Wear 4100+Exynos W920 (5nm)
Storage1GB RAM / 8GB Storage1.5GB RAM / 16GB storage
Case sizes42mm / 44mm40mm / 44mm
Optional LTE✔️
Onboard GPS✔️✔️
Mobile payments✔️✔️
Wear OS 3✔️ (mid-2022)✔️

By now, you've realized that one of the most appealing factors is that the Fossil Gen 6 models will eventually be eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3. If you're an impatient person, you might be disappointed to learn that this won't happen until mid-2022. Still, considering that this will be the first — and onlyFossil smartwatch to upgrade to Wear OS 3, it automatically has the upper hand over previous generations.

Fossil states that the Gen 6 models will offer 30% increased performance over the Gen 5 models. One of the key differences that users will enjoy is faster app loading. Additionally, these watches will offer lower power consumption than previous models. That's great news, but the estimated battery life of a mere 24 hours hasn't changed. Now, your watch can quickly charge up to 80% in about 30 minutes or so. If you owned a Gen 5 model, you know it took a full hour for the watch to hit 80% charged.

Fossil has added an improved heart-rate sensor to the Gen 6 models.

While activity and health tracking have never been its main goal, it has made some notable improvements. For starters, Fossil has added an improved heart-rate sensor to the Gen 6 models. Supposedly, this sensor will work better and in more situations. Users will also have a blood oxygen sensor that tells you how well your blood carries oxygen throughout your body.

Despite health tracking not being at the forefront of these models, Fossil is making an effort to recognize the importance of these features. The company claims that Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches feature wearable technology designed to help users understand their health. Additionally, users will be able to view their stats faster and better with these models.

Those familiar with the Fossil Gen 5 models will notice that many previously available smartwatch features are also present on the Gen 6. Some examples include NFC support for Google Pay, Google Assistant, a built-in microphone and speaker for taking Bluetooth calls, music controls, and battery-saving modes.

Skip the wait with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The Galaxy Watch 4 Series is one of Samsung's biggest accomplishments to date. Long-time Galaxy Watch wearers were hesitant about the Samsung-Google merger, but it might be better than you expected. Believe it or not, The Galaxy Watch 4 is the successor to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It may have dropped 'Active' from the name, but it's still an incredible fitness smartwatch.

Much of the physical design has remained the same. The Galaxy Watch 4 comes in a lightweight aluminum case available in 40mm and 44mm variants. You'll enjoy the same capacitive rotating bezel that's easy and fun to use when navigating the UI. Both models are compatible with 22mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 bands.

It's worth noting that you can also buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which comes in 42mm and 46mm variants. These watches are classier and come in stainless steel cases with a physical rotating bezel. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic bands are also compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

One of the biggest improvements on these models has to do with performance. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 offers 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Most importantly, the Exynos W920 processor is better than ever. It's a 5nm processor that promises a 20% faster CPU, which leads to smoother and quicker performance when using the watch.

You'll also appreciate the improved health tracking on the Galaxy Watch 4 Series. First, the innovative 3-in-1 BioActive sensor uses a single chip to house multiple health sensors. You'll be able to measure your heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).

The BIA feature will record your overall body composition. This new health tool is designed to give users a more in-depth look at their health by recording key measurements, including skeletal muscle mass, basal metabolic rate, and body fat percentage. Samsung has also taken sleep tracking to a new level. With a compatible smartphone, the Galaxy Watch 4 can now detect the sound of your snores. This data, combined with your blood oxygen levels during sleep and advanced Sleep Scores, gives you a better understanding of your sleep patterns so you can improve your rest.

Both Galaxy Watch 4 models offer approximately 40 hours of battery life. While this isn't exactly groundbreaking, it's better than the 24 hours you get on the Fossil Gen 6 models. Unfortunately, iOS users will not be able to use the new Galaxy Watch 4. If you have an iPhone, you'll need to branch out and explore other watches that offer iOS compatibility.

Fossil Gen 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Which should you buy?

For some people, this will be an easy decision. If you're eager to use Wear OS 3 and experience all the wonderful improvements of this new platform, you'll want to buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. You also get some features that you won't find on the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches, including ECG and BIA sensors, optional LTE connectivity, and a better health/fitness tracking suite. Those who aren't as focused on fashion will also appreciate the minimalist design of the Galaxy Watch 4 models.

On that note, if a stylish design is high on your priority list, you'll be better off with the Fossil Gen 6. As long as you're aware the Wear OS 3 won't be available for quite some time, you might be perfectly happy with this pick. You'll also need to accept that the Fossil Gen 6 isn't nearly as sophisticated as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. It offers shorter battery life, fewer health sensors, and there's no LTE connectivity. If these drawbacks aren't worth the asking price in your eyes, you should consider the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 instead. The Fossil Gen 6 is available for pre-order now and will start shipping on September 27.

Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.