intelligentwatchreview Why I bought the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch over the Samsung Galaxy Watch4

Hint: It's not because it comes without Wear OS 3, at least for now

When Motorola announced the first generation Moto 360 in 2014, I was pretty excited about its design, mostly because it actually didn't look like a smartwatch, but somewhat resembled a true timepiece. It took me a while to buy a smartwatch, though, and I waited until 2017 to finally purchase a Fossil Q Explorist. Back then, it was one of the nicest-looking smartwatches around, precisely because it felt like an actual watch. Sadly, the latter died on me in July 2020, and I waited more than a year to replace it.

There are several reasons that made me wait that long: I mostly wanted to get a watch with the latest available SoC, but also because I wasn't sure I wanted to get another Wear OS device.


Interestingly, a lot has happened during the past year: Qualcomm came up with a new processor designed especially for smartwatches and Google finally decided it was time to revamp Wear OS, teaming up with Samsung to do so. That led to what could have been an obvious choice: the Galaxy Watch4. Why not buy it after such a long wait? After all, it's the first watch on the market to come with Wear OS 3, it has a fast enough SoC, and features an eye-pleasing design. However, my preference was to buy a Fossil Gen 6 watch instead, despite the fact that it won't get Wear OS 3 before 2022.

The Galaxy Watch4 looks sleek, but it's obvious from the first glance it's a smartwatch


From the few words above, you can probably understand that I like my watch to look like, well, a watch. It doesn't mean that the Galaxy Watch4 doesn't appear sleek, but it's a bit too obvious it's a smart device and not a traditional timepiece. Beyond its appearence, though, there's the issue of customizing it easily — after all, Fossil is mainly a fashion brand, and the Gen 6 comes in a variety of colors and materials. Those straps are also standard and can be easily replaced with other ones from your local jeweler, or even an actual (i.e. dumb) watch.

That being said, the Galaxy Watch4 also comes in a couple of versions and isn't too tough to adapt to your taste, but it may be harder to blend it with the rest of your style, especially when wearing formal attire. Why I bought the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch over the Samsung Galaxy Watch4

When the Fossil Gen 6 doesn't show the watchface, it's hard to notice it's not a traditional watch


Besides the aesthetics, the Fossil Gen 6 is compatible with almost any current Android or iOS device. Sadly, the Galaxy Watch4 doesn't work with iPhones, and some of its features are exclusive to Samsung devices, even if you have an Android phone. This may not be an issue if you currently own a Galaxy device, but what about your next phone? Sticking with the Galaxy Watch4 could mean you'd lose some features if you decide to later get a Pixel 6, for example.

I currently have a Galaxy S10, and it's about time I shop for a new handset. I'm eyeing the S22, but I might end up choosing another phone, and I'm not ready to lose features on my watch or have compatibility issues if I decide to part ways with Samsung.

Several of the Galaxy Watch4's features work exclusively with Samsung phones


This one isn't that much of an issue, especially considering the Gen 6 won't be updated to Wear OS 3 before mid-2022. That being said, I have a lot of devices connected to Assistant, and being able to control them from my watch is a huge advantage. Unfortunately, the Watch4 doesn't have Assistant yet, which means you have to stick with Bixby for the time being. Doing so would imply having to set it up with the various services you use from the start, or forego compatibility for a while until the Watch4 gets Assistant.

The Fossil's strap and case are made out of premium materials and conceal the fact that it's not a regular watch


I bought the Fossil Gen 6 because it's more in line with my personal taste and needs. However, the Watch4 has a several advantages over it that are worth mentioning. First, it comes with Wear OS 3, which is definitely its strongest assest compared to the Fossil timepiece — at least for now. Sure, this is temporary, but it'll be a while before the latter receives the update, meaning you won't get to enjoy these improvements for around six months.

On top of that, the Samsung watch comes with extra health features and has an LTE version, which are worth considering if you plan on working out without carrying your phone with you. If you don't, though, the extra functionnality won't make a big difference in your daily life, especially considering ECG and BIA aren't as reliable enough on a smartwatch to be used for medical purposes. They could be fun to play with during the first couple of days, but you're not likely to use them frequently after a while.

Finally, the Watch4 has more storage and RAM than the Fossil, which should make it faster than the Gen 6. It's hard to compare their performance, though, as they don't — yet — run the same operating system.


Depending on what you plan to do with your smartwatch, the Watch4 might be a better fit for you. I personally use mine as a way to quickly see my notifications, interact with Assistant, pay, and track my fitness activity. I also place a high emphasis on design, meaning I want my watch to look as much as possible like a traditional timepiece.

However, if you these points don't matter as much to you, you have a Samsung phone, or prefer getting a device that has the latest tech, the Galaxy Watch4 could be a better option. If you can't decide between the two, make sure you read Stephen's review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch4, as well as Taylor's opinion about the Watch4 Classic to get a better idea of its features.

How to uninstall the Android 13 Developer Preview Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorHagop Kavafian(741 Articles Published)

Hagop is a tech-savvy guy, who's also into traveling, fitness, biking, food, and planes. He's heptalingual and has lived in 5 different countries, but has decided to settle in Paris for the time being.