Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE vs. Fossil Gen 5 LTE: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Two Sizes Official Lifestyle
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Two Sizes Official Lifestyle (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 41mm Render

If you've been on the hunt for a fully connected smartwatch, you'll be more than happy with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. You'll have detailed health and fitness metrics, an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, LTE connectivity, built-in GPS, NFC payments, and more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Ahead of the game

Activity/health tracking
Built-in mic/speaker
Two size options
Military-grade durability
App support still needs work

Fossil Gen 5 LTE

Fossil Gen 5 LTE Smoke

Those who are familiar with Wear OS may prefer the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It's similar to the original Gen 5 models, but now you have LTE connectivity. It comes in two colors and has plenty of ket features, including GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Google Assistant, and NFC payments.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE

A good starting point

Activity/health tracking
Built-in mic/speaker
Google Assistant
Two color options
Only comes in one size
No ECG or SpO2 sensor

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE vs. Fossil Gen 5 LTE Two solid options

Choosing the best Android smartwatch for your needs becomes a lot easier when you know what you're looking for. This is especially true if your priority list includes LTE connectivity. Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE and the Fossil Gen 5 LTE are solid options.

Some deciding factors might help you decide, including what size watch you want, your operating system preference, and what sensors are important to you. If you want more than one size option and you're looking for a watch with plenty of sensors and health/fitness tracking, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the better choice. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is still an impressive smartwatch, but it doesn't quite compare to its competitor.

It doesn't get much better than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Galaxy Watch 3

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Not long ago, the original Galaxy Watch hit the market. It was an impressive accomplishment for Samsung, but users craved more from their wearables as time went on. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 was designed to fill those voids, and it's doesn't a pretty great job. What was missing? For one, it lacked a focus on health and fitness features.

Eventually, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 came along and solved a lot of these issues. However, the Galaxy Watch 3 LTE might be more appealing to some users. It's not as "active" of a watch as the Galaxy Watch Active 2, but it comes close. Some of the key improvements include advanced running analysis for improving your form, improved sleep tracking with sleep scores, VO2 max support for measuring your maximum oxygen uptake during an exercise, and more. You still get all of the features you loved before, like activity/health tracking, built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Samsung Pay, and the MIL-STD-810G durability rating.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Watch 3Fossil Gen 5 LTE
Dimensions45 x 46.2 x 11.1 mm41 x 42.5 x 11.3 mm45 x 45 x 12 mm
Display1.4" Super AMOLED1.2" Super AMOLED1.28" AMOLED
SensorsHRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor, ECG, SpO2Heart rate, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, off-body IR, ambient light sensor
Battery life2 to 3 days, varies by model1 day
Water resistance5 ATM / IP683 ATM
Operating systemTizen OSWear OS
Mobile payments✔️✔️
Military-grade durability✔️

There are more sensors on the Galaxy Watch 3 LTE, which is ideal if you want an in-depth look at your overall health. You can measure your blood oxygen saturation levels, which tells you how effectively your blood carries oxygen throughout your body. Another addition is the electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor for detecting an irregular heartbeat. As you may know, this could indicate a more serious health condition. The blood pressure monitor is available on the Galaxy Watch 3as well. Keep in mind that a one-time calibration with a blood pressure cuff is required when using this app for the first time.

The company's operating system, Tizen, has even received some improvements. Samsung states that Tizen OS will be better at automatically detecting and tracking workouts. You'll also have built-in run coaching and recovery tools. There's even a giant library of more than 120 home workout videos on the Samsung Health app. After you select your preferred program, you'll be able to cast it to your TV and view your stats as you exercise. Tizen's app support is still lacking, so it'd be nice to see some improvements in that area.

If you owned the original Galaxy Watch or you're familiar with how it looks, you'll probably notice a difference in the design. The Galaxy Watch 3 is extremely sleek and polished with a slimmer profile. You can pick between a 41mm or a 45mm model. There are three color options as well: Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, and Mystic Bronze. If you opt for the larger variant, it's available in both stainless steel and titanium. You can easily swap out your Galaxy Watch 3 bands when you need a change. The 41mm model uses 20mm bands, while the 45mm model uses 22mm bands. The battery life will vary depending on the model, but you can typically expect it to last between two to three days.

The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is off to a great start

Fossil Gen 5 Lte

Source: Fossil (Image credit: Source: Fossil)

The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is a brand-new smartwatch recently announced at CES 2021. As the first Fossil smartwatch with LTE connectivity, this is a milestone for the company. If you ever dabbled with the original Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches, this won't be too much different. You get all of the same features and a similar design, but now it comes with LTE connectivity. The one caveat is that the Fossil Gen 5 LTE is currently only available through Verizon, which is a bit limiting for anyone using literally any other carrier.

The 45mm stainless steel case comes in two colors: Smoke and Rose Gold. If you were hoping for a smaller variant like the Galaxy Watch 3 LTE offers, you won't find it here. The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is compatible with 22mm interchangeable bands, so switching up your style is a breeze. The battery lasts for about a day with typical use, but battery-saving modes can help prolong that. You can use most features with Daily Mode, but you'll still need to charge it nightly. Extended Mode uses essential features, and you'll have to charge your watch every couple of days.

Fossil Gen 5 Lte

Source: Fossil (Image credit: Source: Fossil)

Those who have used a Wear OS smartwatch before know that these wearables run on the Snapdragon chipset. Unfortunately, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE is still using the now-outdated 3100 processor. It would've been amazing to see the 4100 processor make its debut on this watch, but it didn't happen. Luckily, you can still expect fairly smooth and seamless performance thanks to the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor being paired with 1GB of memory and 8GB of internal storage.

There aren't many new features to look forward to when you buy the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. You're basically buying the previous model, but now it has LTE connectivity. If you're not familiar with the original models, let's recap. You'll have activity/health tracking built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, Google Assistant, a built-in microphone/speaker, and Google Pay. The lack of new features might be disappointing for some users, but the show's star here really is the LTE.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE vs. Fossil Gen 5 LTE Which should you buy?

While both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE and Fossil Gen 5 LTE are excellent picks, your ultimate decision will depend on a few things. If you happen to prefer Wear OS and you don't want to bother with learning a new operating system, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE might speak directly to your soul. This smartwatch makes even more sense if you're also an existing Verizon customer. If you don't mind that it lacks some of the more advanced sensors that the Galaxy Watch 3 LTE has, then you might've found a winner.

All things considered, if you're looking for the very best LTE smartwatch, you should think about buying the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE. Not only does it come in two sizes and three colors with a stunning new design, but it also delivers the features you need for an optimal wearable experience. You can track key metrics pertaining to your health and fitness. Most importantly, you'll have LTE connectivity so that you don't have to rely on your phone all the time. You can enjoy a workout at the gym or a bike ride outside without your phone yet still stream music, receive calls/texts, use GPS, and more. You won't be disappointed!

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.