Galaxy Watch Active 2 vs. Fossil Sport: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

Galaxy Watch Active 2

If you've been waiting for a Samsung fitness smartwatch that offers LTE connectivity among other innovative features, your dreams will come true with the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Galaxy Watch Active 2

Impressive Innovation

Improved Sensors
Digital rotating bezel
Optional LTE connectivity
Can get expensive with LTE
New ECG feature not available yet

Fossil Sport

Are you looking for a fun and colorful smartwatch with fitness tracking and reliable app support? The Fossil Sport is for you. Wear OS has its moments, but this watch is still a worthy competitor.

Fossil Sport

Solid fitness watch

Variety of color options
Convenient scrolling crown
Great app support
Wear OS still struggles
Underwhelming battery life

Choosing the perfect fitness smartwatch is no easy task, especially with all the options on the market these days. Two competitors you might consider are the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and the Fossil Sport. While there are some similarities between the two, there are some essential differences that might help you determine the right fit.

If you're partial to Wear OS for some reason, then the Fossil Sport may win you over. Google Assistant is an excellent addition as well, which is inarguably a superior choice than Samsung's Bixby. However, if you're investing in a smartwatch for detailed fitness tracking along with improved sensors and features, you'll be in better hands with the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Breaking it down

Pictured: Galaxy Watch Active 2

Pictured: Galaxy Watch Active 2

Both smartwatches come in an aluminum case, but the Galaxy Watch Active 2 also offers a stainless steel option. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm. The color selection for the stainless steel variant includes black, silver, and gold, complete with a leather strap. If you go with aluminum, the color choices are aqua black, cloud silver, and pink gold, complete with a fluoroelastomer band. You'll love the digital rotating bezel for seamless navigation. Say goodbye to the bulky hardware and hello to capacitive technology!

As for the Fossil Sport, the size options are 41 mm and 43 mm. The 41 mm variant comes in six trendy colors: red, blush, black, grey, light blue, and neon. The 43 mm offers fewer color options with black or smokey blue. Both sizes of the Fossil Sport come with a comfortable silicone band. If there's any consolation for the subpar performance of Wear OS, it's the convenience of the crown that allows you to scroll and click through the interface with ease.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Galaxy Watch Active2 (40 mm)Fossil Sport (43 mm)
Display1.2-inch Super AMOLED, 360 x 3601.2-inch AMOLED, 390 x 390
Dimensions40 x 40 x 10.9mm43 x 43 x 12mm
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, LTE (select models)Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2
Water resistanceUp to 50mUp to 50m
Battery Life2 days (varies by model)24+ hours
SensorsHRM, electrocardiogram (ECG), accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensorHRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, ambient light sensor,
Operating SystemTizen OSWear OS
Interchangeable bands✔️✔️
Built-in GPS✔️✔️
NFC Payments✔️✔️
Optional LTE✔️

When it comes to fitness tracking and features, both models are water-resistant up to 5 ATM. This means you can take them for a swim without worry. Additionally, they both offer built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring to gather all of your health and activity data. You'll be at the mercy of Google Fit on the Fossil Sport, which simply isn't as fulfilling as Samsung Health with Galaxy Watch Active 2. This is where the Fossil Sport's app support comes in handy. You'll have the option of using third-party solutions if Google Fit isn't tickling your fancy.

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 outshines the Fossil Sport in some areas

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 outshines the Fossil Sport in some areas, though. This second edition delivers some noteworthy sensor improvements. You'll receive a more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor, advanced accelerometer, improved GPS, plus an embedded ECG sensor. Samsung has mentioned this feature won't be available at launch so we'll have to wait and see when it's up and running. Let's not forget about the optional LTE radio, which allows for phone-free calls, text messages, media streaming, and even some social media use.

Pictured: Fossil Sport

Pictured: Fossil Sport

You also have to settle for shorter battery life with the Fossil Sport. And while there is always the option of switching to the low-power mode for two additional days of juice, it'll defeat the point of using a smartwatch. You'll have to sacrifice most of the reasons you invested in a Wear OS device in exchange for the saving grace of low-power mode. Most smartwatch enthusiasts are going to bypass that, meaning you'll have to accept your fate of daily charging.

Final verdict

Given the similar feature set and price range, you could easily go either way here. There's no denying that they're both great options. If you are intrigued by the idea of having more app support plus the luxury of Google Assistant readily available on your wrist, the Fossil Sport is a solid pick. But if you're seeking a more robust fitness tracking suite and newer tech, you should consider the Galaxy Watch Active 2 instead.

It's important to note that if you choose the Galaxy Watch Active 2 in the stainless steel model with LTE, you can expect the price to go up a bit. You can sign up for pre-order through starting on Sept. 6. The smartwatch will officially be on sale as of Sept. 27. We have to recommend this option for anyone who's looking for the ultimate fitness smartwatch experience. If you want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to fitness tracking and innovative technology, this is the watch for you.

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.