If you’re looking for a smartwatch, you’re probably trying to decide between the modern minimalism of a Fitbit and the more classic-looking style of a Fossil. The looks aside, a significant difference in features and capabilities exists between the two. Fossil vs. Fitbit looks to be an interesting battle of two notable smartwatch brands. So, which device will come out on top?
Fossil is well-known for producing fashionable and high-quality watches. However, the company only entered the smartwatch market recently, taking its conventional style and experience to the digital sphere. On the other hand, Fitbit focuses on fitness monitoring and offers a selection of smartwatches to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Let’s see how these brands compare.
Fossil vs. Fitbit: Side by Side Comparison
|Fossil Gen 6||Fitbit Versa 4|
|Display||1.28 inches AMOLED, 416 x 416 pixels||1.58 inches AMOLED, 336 x 336 pixels|
|Processor||Snapdragon 4100 wear||1.0 GHz Quad Core|
|Storage||8 GB Storage||4 GB storage|
|Battery life||Up to 24 hours (extended mode up to 36 hours)||Up to 6+ days|
|Waterproofing||3 ATM||5 ATM|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate, compass, barometer, SpO2||Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate, compass, SpO2|
|Operating system||Wear OS by Google||Fitbit Os|
|Type of dial||Round||Square|
|Compatibility||Android 6.0+ (excluding Go edition), iOS 12.0+||Android 8.0+, iOS 13.0+|
- Advanced sensors for health and fitness tracking
- Brighter displays with vibrant colors and more pixels
- Answer and make calls from your wrist
- Real-time notifications for calls, texts, and apps
Fossil vs. Fitbit: What’s the Difference?
Before we take a deep dive into these two brands, let’s get a handle on each one’s lineup.
As of this writing, Fossil offers 13 different models in their lineup, the most popular of which is undoubtedly a toss-up between the Carlyle and the HR Gen 6. What you might notice about most of their smartwatches is the classic design. At first glance, you might think you’re looking at a regular old watch.
Fitbit is on the other end of the spectrum. If you count all of their devices, including “trackers” and full-fledged smartwatches, they are over a dozen models. However, if you want to be technical, their smartwatch offerings are a bit more limited.
Almost every device in Fitbit’s lineup has a modern, minimalist look. When looking at one, you have no doubt it’s a smart device. Whether you should consider it an actual smartwatch or just a fitness tracker is really up to you.
Let’s look at the tech specs of each brand’s leading models.
Fossil’s smartwatches run on Google’s Wear OS, which provides access to many applications unavailable on Fitbit’s wearables. Google Maps, Keep, and Translate are some of the productivity apps found on Wear OS. If you’re looking for an app-rich wearable, Fossil smartwatches can be an excellent choice.
Some of Fossil’s devices, particularly the Carlyle smartwatch, are equipped with a web browser, which may not be efficient to use on a small screen. Moreover, it has a built-in speaker, allowing you to take and make calls without picking up your phone. You can listen to music and other audio files directly from the watch.
Fitbit’s range of apps, however, is quite limited in comparison. While Fitbit offers apps such as a calculator, alarms, weather, and even your standard tools like a flashlight, few third-party options are available.
Fitbit’s smartwatches are great for those who prefer a simpler smartwatch experience. However, if you’re looking for more customization options and a wider range of apps, the Fossil is the better option.
Design and Build
We already mentioned that the design is significantly different between each brand, but what about specific models? To get a solid comparison, let’s look at the most popular models from each company: the Versa 4 from Fitbit and the Gen 6 from Fossil.
When comparing the Fitbit Versa 4 and Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches, there are noticeable differences in their design and features. The Fitbit Versa 4 has a square face and a single button on the side, while the Fossil Gen 6 has a round face and a spinning crown. The Fossil Gen 6 also comes with a stainless steel case and a range of adjustable bands, including leather, silicone, and aluminum, providing more customization options than the Versa 4’s standard aluminum frame and silicone band.
In terms of durability, both watches feature Corning Gorilla Glass and a scratch-resistant coating on their displays. The Fossil Gen 6 is also 3 ATM water-resistant, while the Versa 4 boasts a higher 5 ATM waterproof rating, allowing it to be used while swimming.
Both watches have vivid AMOLED screens that are easy to read in direct sunlight. However, the Fossil Gen 6 has a rotating crown in addition to its revolving bezel for navigation, providing more scrolling options compared to the Versa 4’s bezel-only navigation.
So, how does their battery life compare? The Fossil Gen 6 has a 310mAh battery that runs for 24-36 hours or even up to a week in energy-saving mode. Charging is as simple as throwing it on its magnetic charging plate.
You still need to keep in mind that certain apps will eat up battery life pretty quickly. Features such as GPS, heart rate monitoring, and audio streaming can drain your battery faster. The always-on display function also draws power, so it is best to use the energy-saving option on the go.
On the other hand, the Fitbit Versa 4 comes with a smaller 165mAh battery. Despite the lower capacity, it can also last for several days, depending on how you use it. Features like GPS and audio streaming won’t drain the battery quickly. However, always-on display and vocal instructions can have a significant impact on battery life. But don’t worry, the Fitbit Versa 4 also comes with an energy-saving option. You can turn the device on or off to conserve battery power.
Fossil Carlyle and Gen 6 allow you to use Google Assistant, an integral part of the Google ecosystem. To bring up the assistant, say, “Hey Google,” and tell it what you need.
This is especially helpful when responding to a notification. But one little catch is that you need an Android for this to work. Apple iOS users are a bit more restricted and can view only the message.
You can use pre-written answers, emoticons, speech-to-text input, or keyboard input when responding to a message on the Fossil. With Google Assistant, the speech-to-text input is quite dependable and can pick up what you’re attempting to say, even if you’re a little muffled and far away.
Additionally, the keyboard is simple and reasonably precise, and you can create sentences by swiping your finger across the screen. This is a feature we first saw on smartphones. While swiping to text or drawing your sentences never quite took off on phones, it is a lifesaver on a small screen format.
Fossil and Fitbit offer two distinct UI features and styles. You won’t be confusing these two, that’s for sure.
We already brought up how Fossil offers Google Wear OS, and its extensive app library. But another awesome feature is that you can customize your watch with different faces and program shortcuts. With a vast collection of watch faces available on Google Play, you can choose from several designs to suit your style and mood. The rotating crown also makes navigating through alerts, apps, and settings easier. With Google Assistant, you can access apps and functions using voice commands.
The Fitbit, on the other hand, provides a straightforward UI focused on monitoring health and fitness. With a simple up or down swipe on the watch face, you can view various health stats, including step count, heart rate, and calories burned. Fitbit also features several fitness monitoring functions, including guided breathing routines, sleep tracking, and exercise recognition. Additionally, you can customize your watch face with a variety of patterns and colors to match your style.
Both watches offer touchscreen functionality, with the Fitbit Versa 4 sporting a slightly larger 1.4-inch AMOLED display than the Fossil Gen 6’s 1.28-inch AMOLED display. Regardless, both watches feature transparent, adaptable displays that offer excellent visibility even in direct sunlight.
Google Fit app offers a variety of workout activities. You can choose from 50 different options. While this may seem too much for some users, it is leagues ahead of Fitbit. Versa 4 comes with about 12 pre-installed activities, just enough to cover the most common activities.
You can subscribe to Fitbit Premium if you want more in-depth analysis or coaching on your sports activities. The paid service includes data analysis and additional features to enhance your workout experience.
Both Fossil and Fitbit’s offerings have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go back to the Gen 6 and the Versa 4 as an example. With a stainless steel frame and a comfortable silicone band that can endure everyday wear and tear, the Fossil Gen 6 has a decidedly robust construction. At least, it appears that way on the surface.
Even so, a few users have complained about problems with the charging ring on the watch’s rear, which can come loose or fail to attach to the charging station properly. This can prevent the watch from charging correctly. If you’re prone to beating up your device, you might want to go with a Fitbit.
Unlike Fossil’s Gen 6 and Carlyle, Fitbit Versa 4 has a lightweight design with a metal frame and a cozy elastomer band. The watch is ideal for diving and water activities and is water-resistant up to 50 meters. So, don’t worry about water damage.
Both Fitbit and Fossil provide guarantees for their wearables, with Fitbit offering a one-year warranty for the Versa 4 and Fossil a two-year warranty for the Gen 6. Additionally, both brands have received varied feedback from users regarding their customer support. Some praise their helpfulness, and others criticize their reaction times and efficiency in settling problems.
Fossil and Fitbit aim for comfort in their smartwatches, but it really comes down to your preferences. Looking at the leading models from each brand, the Fitbit Versa 4 and the Fossil Gen 6 are both made to be lightweight and cozy to wear for prolonged periods.
A plush silicone strap and stainless steel body make up the Fossil Gen 6’s comfy wristband. You can adjust the band to suit various wrist measurements, so the watch fits comfortably on your forearm without feeling bulky. Some users say the buckle can be challenging to change, which can be a minor annoyance.
Fitbit Versa 4, on the other hand, has a sleeker design with a metal body and a rubber band. The adjustable band suits the forearm well. Although this differs from person to person, some users have observed that the rubber band may irritate the skin when worn for a long time.
- Provides real-time stats during exercise
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Sleek and modern appearance
- Easy to read time and notifications
Fossil vs. Fitbit: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Fitbit launched its first product in 2009, a simple fitness tracker.
- Over a decade later, Google purchased Fitbit for a whopping 2.1 billion dollars.
- Because Fossil runs Google Wear OS, it has even more functionality than your typical Fitbit.
- Fossil offers a more classic and “sophisticated” style, while Fitbit leans toward minimalism.
- Both brands have something for every budget, with prices ranging from $100-$350.
Fossil vs. Fitbit: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
If you want a smartwatch that looks like an old-school wristwatch, get a Fossil. The Gen 6 and the Carlyle are two classy-looking smartwatches that feel right at home on your wrist whether you’re wearing your workout clothes or dressed up formally.
Fitbit feels more at home on the track and field. After all, that’s where it was born. Let’s not forget that Fitbit is the original fitness tracker with a history of successful products dating back to 2009. However, the writing is on the wall for Fitbit’s future. Since Google acquired them in 2021, they have been shifting focus to other smartwatches like their own Pixel Watch. As a result, many users fear the discontinuation of Fitbit.
Compared to more powerful smartwatches, and especially those running Google’s Wear OS, Fitbit is no match. While both devices are great for basic fitness tracking, Fossil offers more in the way of applications and user experience. The tasteful style is just the icing on the cake.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Thanes.Op/Shutterstock.com.