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Skagen Falster 3 vs. Fossil Gen 5: Which smartwatch should you buy?

Fossil Gen 5
Fossil Gen 5 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Skagen Falster 3

Skagen Falster 3 Gunmetal

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Want to keep things as sleek as possible when choosing a wearable? Look no further than the Skagen Falster 3. You get a lot in this slightly smaller package, including GPS, NFC, and heart-rate monitoring. You'll enjoy upgraded RAM and storage plus the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

Skagen Falster 3

As sleek as it gets

Stunning sleek design
GPS, NFC, HRM
Google Assistant
Music storage
Snapdragon Wear 3100
Short battery life
Battery saving modes are restrictive

Fossil Gen 5

Fossil gen 5 Carlyle

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You can have it all with the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, too. If you prefer a bigger case, the 44 mm size might be more attractive to you. You'll still enjoy key features, including GPS, NFC, and heart-rate monitoring. This watch also has the upgraded RAM and storage as well as the powerful Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

Fossil Gen 5

Bigger can be better

Bigger and bolder design
GPS, NFC, HRM
Google Assistant
Music storage
Snapdragon Wear 3100
Short battery life
Battery saving modes are restrictive

As you may know, Fossil offers some of the best Android smartwatches in the industry. It has released countless wearables in recent years, including the latest Gen 5 models. These models run on Wear OS, which has consistently struggled to impress users. However, the Gen 5 models offer some remarkable improvements that deserve a second chance. The Skagen Falster 3 and the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches are no exception. Remember that the Fossil Gen 5 models run across multiple brands, including Skagen, Michael Kors, and Fossil itself.

So, which is the better smartwatch? Fortunately, this should be a relatively easy decision as the only difference is the physical design. If you're a fan of sleek yet subtle designs, you may be partial to the Skagen Falster 3. If you don't mind going a bit bigger and bolder, the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch might be more up your alley. With that said, these watches are bringing some great new features to the table. Both of them are excellent options.

Skagen Falster 3 vs. Fossil Gen 5 Almost identical

Skagen Falster 3

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central Pictured: Skagen Falster 3 (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

If you were to perform a side-by-side comparison of these two wearables, you wouldn't find many differences. They're both attractive and boast a sense of class and fashion thanks to the high-quality stainless steel design. The Gen 5 has a thick, bold bezel around the face of the watch while the Falster 3 is more unassuming. As for the case size, the Fossil Gen 5 is a tad bigger at 44mm. The Falster 3 is 42mm. Don't be fooled, though. Both of these models have a 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen. As for thickness, you'll get 12mm with the Fossil Gen 5 and 11mm with the Falster 3.

Skagen Falster 3Fossil Gen 5
Dimensions42 x 42 x 11mm44 x 44 x 12mm
Display1.3-inch AMOLED1.3-inch AMOLED
ProcessorSnapdragon Wear 3100Snapdragon Wear 3100
Storage1GB RAM / 8GB Storage1GB RAM / 8GB Storage
SensorsHeart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscopeHeart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope
Water resistance3 ATM3 ATM
NFC✔️✔️
Built-in GPS✔️✔️
Music storage✔️✔️
Speaker✔️✔️
Google Assistant✔️✔️

Another similarity is that both of these watches are compatible with 22 mm interchangeable bands. It's also worth noting that you can choose from a few different designs with each of these wearables. Whether you want a bold and striking aesthetic or something soft and subtle, you can find a variant that matches your style.

The Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch is available in three variants: Carlyle, Julianna, and Garrett. The finishes vary by model, including rose gold, silver, and gold options. The Fossil Gen 5 bands come in silicone, leather, stainless steel mesh, stainless steel, and leather options. You get similar options with the Skagen Falster 3 bands, including blue silicone mesh, gunmetal steel mesh, and silicone-backed brown leather. Fortunately, there are endless third-party band options available when you want to switch things up.

Skagen Falster 3 vs. Fossil Gen 5 Features and performance

As far as what's under the hood, you'll have a long list of features to look forward to. All of the essential features you'd look for in a smartwatch are present in both models: heart-rate monitoring, onboard GPS, NFC payments, and 3 ATM water resistance. You also get some bonuses, like a built-in microphone and speaker, activity, and health tracking with Google Fit, Google Assistant, and music storage.

Don't expect a whole lot in terms of battery life. You get at least 24 hours, depending on your usage, which could be better. With other smartwatches on the market offering several days of battery life, it would be nice if Wear OS could catch up. While both of these models offer their own version of battery saving modes, they're at best a last resort. You'll have the option of activating these modes to prolong battery life, but it will turn off specific features and render your smartwatch nearly useless.

One of the most compelling improvements on these smartwatches is the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. When you pair that with the upgraded 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, you'll see a noticeable difference in the overall performance. Now that the Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor is available, this might not seem quite as impressive. However, it still offers some of the best performance we've seen on Wear OS watches to date.

You'll also be able to store more apps and music with the upgraded storage. Another improvement is the addition of a built-in speaker on both the Skagen Falster 3 and the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch. Previously, you had a mic but no speaker. Now, you'll be able to hear notification sounds, listen to Google Assistant responses, and take calls from your wrist. Not too shabby! Whether you prefer Fossil smartwatches or Skagen smartwatches, both of these models are excellent options with a lot to offer.

Skagen Falster 3 vs. Fossil Gen 5 Which smartwatch should you buy?

All things considered, either one of these smartwatches will give you the improved wearable experience you've been waiting for. Is there room for further improvement? Absolutely. If you're already invested in either Fossil or Skagen as a brand, then you probably already know which way you're leaning. Regardless of your preference, you'll enjoy the same features and upgrades. The price tag won't be a deciding factor as these two models are nearly identical in cost.

If it's a matter of physical design, it may come down to something as simple as case size. If you have a petite wrist, you may not want a larger watch case. The Skagen Falster 3 is slimmer and sleeker all around, so small wrists will appreciate its compact nature. If you don't mind going bigger and you're a fan of having a pronounced bezel around the watch face, the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch might be more appealing to you.

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.