We are reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 (2023): Which Wear OS Smartwatch Is Better?

Outside of the Apple Watch, the market for smartwatches continues to grow, particularly those running on Google’s Wear OS platform. Two Wear OS devices that have caught people’s attention are the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Fossil Gen 6. Both sport a stylish design and offer a wide range of features. From fitness tracking and health monitoring to smartphone connectivity and customizable watch faces, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Fossil Gen 6 pack a punch. In this article, we compared these smartwatches to help you decide.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Watch 4Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch
 
Price
CompatibilityAndroidAndroid, iOS
Sizes44mm, 40mm44mm, 42mm
DisplayAMOLEDAMOLED
Max Display Resolution450 x 450p for the 44mm416 x 416 for the 44mm
ProcessorExynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHzQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+
Memory1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage1GB RAM, 8GB storage
OSWear OSWear OS
SensorsSamsung BioActive Sensor
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor Light Sensor
Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient Light
Compass
Gyroscope
Off-body IR
PPG Heart Rate
SPO2
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Built-in GPSYesYes
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
LTE
Wi-Fi
NFC
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi
NFC
Water Resistance5 ATM3 ATM
DurabilityIP68 / MIL-STD-810G
Battery Life40 hours24 hours

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has a sportier aesthetic, while the Fossil Gen 6 looks more like a traditional analog watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 Design
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 (left) has a silicone band by default, while the dressier Fossil Gen 6 (right) comes with a leather strap

If you’re tired of the squircle smartwatches, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Fossil Gen 6 are compelling alternatives. Both have round-shaped AMOLED displays that offer an always-on mode. However, the functional similarities end there.

The Galaxy Watch 4 has a higher display resolution than the Gen 6. The fourth-gen smartwatch also comes in a streamlined form, lending it a sportier aesthetic. Aside from the touchscreen, users can navigate the watch via two buttons. However, the company ditches the rotating bezel. Instead, the Galaxy Watch 4 opts for a digital component that, while responsive, lacks the tactile feel of its physical counterpart.

Size-wise, the Galaxy Watch 4 is available in two models: 44mm and 40mm. As for construction, the watch is made from durable aluminum and has a smooth finish akin to the Watch Active2. 

In contrast, the Gen 6 features stainless steel construction and a classic design that looks more analog. On its right side, you’ll find three push buttons with a similar feel to those on analog watches. Its center button, however, doubles as a rotating crown. The Gen 6 series has more style varieties than Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4. Nonetheless, the lineup itself is offered in two sizes: 44mm and 42mm.

The Fossil Gen 6 cases come in more colorways than Samsung’s watches. Its default straps emphasize a more casual function, with leather, stainless steel, and fabric as popular options. Fossil also offers a silicone strap, which is the usual accompaniment of Samsung’s wearables. In any case, these straps are interchangeable if you’re not happy with the default.

Activity Tracking and Fitness

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is a more capable fitness tracker than the Fossil Gen 6.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 Activity Tracking and Fitness
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 supports over 90 exercises (left); a look at the activity tracking feature of the Fossil Gen 6 (right)

The design of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Fossil Gen 6 is a statement of intent. Samsung’s wearable is a more fitness-focused device than Fossil’s dressier smartwatch.

This isn’t to say the Gen 6 won’t track your activities. Like most wearables, Fossil’s watch tracks calories burned, steps taken, and distance traveled. There’s also an altimeter to measure elevation and an upgraded heart rate sensor for continuous tracking. However, these are fairly common features. 

On the Galaxy Watch 4, fitness is serious business. The watch tracks over 90 exercises and includes auto-detect for select activities. And while both devices run on Wear OS, Samsung’s implementation on the Galaxy Watch 4 is less buggy when installing apps like Strava and Adidas Running. In contrast, the Gen 6 defaults to Google Fit for tracking exercises.

The Galaxy Watch 4 also boasts advanced insights for running and cycling. There’s also support for group challenges, which can be a source of motivation if you’re the competitive type. 

Lastly, the Galaxy Watch 4 has what’s called a BioActive Sensor. It’s a fancy name for a component that combines optical heart rate, electrical heart, and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) while using a single chip. As such, you get more accurate and integrated fitness and health-related information. With BIA, the Galaxy Watch 4 can even take body composition readings.

Health Features

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 offers a better health-tracking experience than Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 Health Features
In photo: a look at the heart rate monitoring of the wearables

Fossil is keen on matching the sensor arrays and features found on other wearables. With the Gen 6, part of the goal comes to fruition. The smartwatch boasts an upgraded heart rate sensor module from the Gen 6. It now comes with a blood oxygen monitor, too. And as always, sleep tracking is present.

While these improvements keep it at par with popular smartwatches, there are noticeable absences. For instance, there is no ECG, a feature increasingly staple on wearables. On the other hand, the menstrual tracking feature is quite limited, with no room to log symptoms. Like in fitness, Fossil has no first-party health software, so you’ll end up relying on Google Fit.

Samsung takes the opposite approach, equipping the Galaxy Watch 4 with all the bells and whistles. It’s a bid to rival the Apple Watch, and in the number of features, it seems to have accomplished the goal.

Aside from the usual heart rate monitoring, the Galaxy Watch 4 offers blood pressure and ECG readings. The wearable can also track irregular heartbeats, sleep, blood oxygen levels, and stress. Samsung’s sleep tracking is worth noting, as it offers one of the most comprehensive analyses in the market. 

The Galaxy Watch 4’s readings may be shared with the Samsung Health App. However, ECG and blood pressure readings are exclusive to Samsung Health Monitor, an app available only on Samsung phones.

Software and Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 enjoys better Wear OS implementation and longer battery life than the Fossil Gen 6.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Fossil Gen 6 Software and Battery
Google Maps on the Galaxy Watch 4 (left); incoming calls on the Gen 6 (right)

The Galaxy Watch 4, together with the Watch 4 Classic, were the first smartwatches from Samsung to run on Wear OS, specifically Wear OS 3. Previously, users complained about the limited Tizen ecosystem Samsung Galaxy Watches used. With Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch 4 has access to a rich library of apps, including YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Pay.

Despite the switch, the interface remains familiar. Samsung utilized its custom UI, One UI Watch 3, through its partnership with Google. As such, users retain access to Galaxy services such as Samsung Pay and Samsung Health. If there’s a downside, the change in OS means Galaxy watches are no longer compatible with the iPhone due to these changes.

Fossil’s Gen 6 smartwatch ships with Wear OS 2.3, but you can upgrade the system to Wear OS 3. And unlike Samsung, Fossil’s smartwatch is compatible with both Android and iOS. Given the hardware limitations of the Gen 6, however, the Wear OS implementation on the device isn’t as seamless as that on the Galaxy Watch 4.

Samsung’s wearable enjoys a 361mAh battery capacity on its 44mm model. In contrast, a similar-sized Fossil Gen 6 only offers 300mAh. With the Galaxy Watch 4, you’ll get a considerably longer 40-hour use time. If you opt for the Gen 6, battery life will only last the day.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is smarter and more capable than the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch.

If you’re serious about fitness and health, opt for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. It’s one of the best Wear OS devices to buy and certainly one of the most reliable to pair with an Android phone. With a suite of fitness and health tracking capabilities, the Galaxy Watch 4 is one of the few to rival the Apple Watch. And although there are more advanced sports watches from brands like Garmin, they lack the intelligent features and tight-knit ecosystem offered by Samsung and Google.

In contrast, the Fossil Gen 6 is more of a generalist’s watch. It has most of the features expected of a wearable today but stops short of targeting fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious buyers. Instead, the Gen 6 is marketed for lifestyle buyers who are willing to pay extra for a dressier smartwatch and couldn’t care less about fitness and health tracking accuracy.

FAQs

📌 What are the key features to look for in a smartwatch?

People should look for fitness tracking features, notifications, long battery life, compatibility with their smartphone, and a comfortable fit when choosing a smartwatch.

📌 Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 support wireless charging?

Yes. However, the Galaxy Watch 4 only supports WPC-based wireless charging, instead of the broader Qi-based wireless chargers.

📌 What type of strap does the Fossil Gen 6 use?

The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch uses 22mm interchangeable straps.

📌 What Android phones are compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4?

Android phones running on Android 6.0 or higher are compatible with the Galaxy Watch 4.

RELATED  Apple Watch Series 6 vs Garmin vívoactive 4 (2021): Which Smartwatch Is Better?
Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.