As sleek as it gets

Skagen Falster 3

Bigger can be better

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

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 new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

$207 at Amazon

Pros

  • Stunning sleek design
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, heart-rate monitoring
  • Google Assistant
  • Music storage
  • New Snapdragon Wear 3100

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Battery saving modes are restrictive

You can have it all with the Carlyle, 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 new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

$208 at Amazon

Pros

  • Bigger and bolder design
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, heart-rate monitoring
  • Google Assistant
  • Music storage
  • New Snapdragon Wear 3100

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Battery saving modes are restrictive

As you may know, Fossil is one of the biggest smartwatch names in the industry today. 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, with the Gen 5 release, we've received some remarkable improvements that warrant a second chance. The Skagen Falster 3 and the Carlyle are no exception.

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 Falster 3. If you don't mind going a bit bigger and bolder, the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle 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.

Almost identical

Skagen Falster 3Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central Pictured: Skagen Falster 3

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 Carlyle 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 Carlyle is a tad bigger at 44 mm. The Falster 3 is 42 mm. Don't be fooled, though. Both of these models have a 1.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen. As for thickness, you'll get 12 mm with the Carlyle and 11 mm with the Falster 3.

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. The Carlyle is available in a black case with a black silicone band, black case with a brown leather band, or a smoke case with a stainless steel band. You get similar band options with the Falster 3, including blue silicone mesh, gunmetal steel mesh, and silicone-backed brown leather.

Falster 3 Carlyle
Dimensions 42 mm x 42 mm x 11 mm 44 mm x 44 mm x 12 mm
Display 1.3-inch AMOLED 1.3-inch AMOLED
Processor Snapdragon Wear 3100 Snapdragon Wear 3100
Storage 1GB RAM / 8GB Storage 1GB RAM / 8GB Storage
Sensors Heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope Heart rate, accelerometer, altimeter, ambient light, gyroscope
Water resistance 3 ATM 3 ATM
NFC ✔️ ✔️
Built-in GPS ✔️ ✔️
Music storage ✔️ ✔️
Speaker ✔️ ✔️
Google Assistant ✔️ ✔️

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, it's a last resort at best. 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.

Fossil Gen 5Source: Joe Maring / Android Central Pictured: Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

One of the most compelling improvements on these new watches is the new-and-improved Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. When you pair that with the upgraded 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage, you'll see a noticeable difference in the overall performance. Not to mention that it allows you to store more apps and music on the phone as well. You'll also enjoy a built-in speaker on the Falster 3 and the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. 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!

Bottom line

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 Carlyle might be more appealing to you.

As sleek as it gets

Skagen Falster 3

Keep it slim

If you prefer a sleeker smartwatch with a slim design, you might be drawn to the Skagen Falster 3. You'll enjoy superior performance, heart-rate monitoring, onboard GPS, Google Assistant, music storage, and more.

Bigger can be better

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle

Dare to be bold

The only difference between the Falster 3 and the Carlyle is the design. Both Wear OS smartwatches have the new Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor with heart-rate monitoring, GPS, Google Assistant, music storage, and more.

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