Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch (Super Affordable vs Super Sport)

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch main screen

Is there even a point to comparing the Garmin Fenix 6 against a watch that costs about a tenth of its price?

If you are in the market for an entry-level smartwatch, the Fossil Sport Smartwatch will seem like a fantastic option. Indeed, it’s an excellent watch that provides great value. It even beats the Garmin Fenix 6 in multiple areas of productivity.

The Fenix 6, on the other hand, is the KING of sport smartwatches. It is THE ultimate smartwatch to improve your health, lifestyle and training.

Related: Ticwatch Pro | Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle | Polar Vantage V

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch texting

Email, messages and notifications

Besides timekeeping, most folks I’ve encountered want a smartwatch for email and instant messaging. 

Not sure if I am getting fatter or if phones are getting too fat for my jeans, but extracting the phone from my pocket is a pain these days, and that’s why I like having a smartwatch because with the previews that they provide, you can tell whether it’s worth taking your phone out.

On an iPhone, both watches are read-only. But on an Android, you can reply to your messages on both watches. The difference is that the cheap and cheery Fossil Sport Smartwatch does it better.

On the Fenix 6, you can only reply with pre-composed replies. Anything more complicated and you will need to use your phone. Whereas on the Fossil Sport, you can reply using the speech-to-text system, a keyboard or canned replies/emoticons.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Voice assistant

Did I say “speech-to-text?” Yes, indeed, the Fossil Sport has a microphone and that means you can use it with Google Assistant. It’s honestly fantastic to have a voice assistant on your wrist for when you need quick tidbits of information like when you want to know what 21 C is in Fahrenheit (welcome to Canada!) or what 200 centimetres is in inches.

The Fenix 6 does not have a microphone so no luck there.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch weather

Apps

The best thing about the Wear OS in comparison with Garmin’s proprietary operating system is its big user base, which brings with it a lot of apps. The Google Play app store has many optional apps that you can add including apps from Google’s suite such as Maps, Translate and Keep (a notetaking app).

The Fenix 6 has a significantly smaller app store.There are many watch faces you can download but I was quite satisfied with the stock options.  Few apps really caught my eye as most were focused on sports. I did find Spotify and Deezer there, so that helped. 

But remember this — you can’t get music on your Fenix 6 unless you pay for a Pro/Sapphire upgrade. The base model doesn’t have it. Whereas these features are free on the Fossil Sport, although it has a much smaller memory at 4GB compared to the Fenix 6’s 32GB.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch maps

With the Pro/Sapphire upgrade, you also get an integrated navigation system. While the Fossil Sport’s free Google Maps is excellent, it does require a smartphone with a data connection. The navigation system on the Fenix 6 is fantastic because it is a standalone system and this is the one major reason why you should pay for the upgrade.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Comfort

Light and small usually go hand-in-hand with comfort. The Fossil Sport is probably the lightest watch I’ve tested. It’s lighter than an Apple Watch and the Fitbit Versa 2, which are of similar size. It’s very comfortable for wearing for a long time.

The Fenix 6 is the opposite. It’s’ very heavy, large and requires quite a tight strap to keep it from moving. Every time I took the watch off, I saw imprints of the strap and heart rate sensor on my wrist.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Battery life

The battery life of the Fossil Sport Smartwatch is dismal. It might last a full day if used conservatively. If you want it to track your workout, measure your heart rate constantly and have the always-on screen turned on, then you might find the watch dipping into battery saving mode every day. Needless to say, you might be better off adjusting your expectations if you buy this watch.

The Fenix 6 is the complete opposite. Because it uses a transreflective LCD, it saves a lot of energy. The battery lasts for multiple days even if you use taxing features like track workouts or GPS navigation. The screen is always on by default and so is continuous heart rate measurement.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch workout

Workout

This is where we step into the Fenix 6’s domain of specialization. The Fenix 6 is a fantastic watch for sportspeople who want to become better, especially if running is your thing.

Runners can create a training plan with a race distance and date in mind. The watch will use the data it records to further customize that training plan. Furthermore, runners can get their VO2Max measured using the watch’s algorithm.

I enjoy cycling and so I enjoy being able to see advanced analytics. The Fenix 6 can offer you fantastic analysis on whether you are training in the right zones. At the end of each workout, it will tell you how much your workout has helped your anaerobic and aerobic fitness.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch extra features for sport

I was always quite happy with what the Fossil Sport’s Google Fit put out until I used the Fenix 6. Google Fit tells you basic information such as your heart rate, speed and elevation data. It also measures your Move Minutes and Heart Points (which measures the intensity of your activities), but it doesn’t give you deeper analytics. For the typical consumer, it’s probably good enough but after you’ve used the Fenix 6, it feels like a cheap drip coffee machine versus an advanced coffee maker which makes lattes, cappuccinos and mochas.

Winner: Garmin Fenix 6

Health and lifestyle

There really isn’t much on the Fossil Sport that can improve your health and lifestyle, but on the Fenix 6, as long as you wear the watch, it will tell you about your stress levels, sleep quality and Body Battery.

Body Battery is the overarching metric that tells you how charged up you are from sleeping and how much your day’s activities have drained you. This metric combines sleep data which is analyzed into different sleep zones and the amount of time you have slept. 

There’s also the element of stress tracking, which I found intriguing. The Fenix 6 measures the lack of variability between your heart rate to come up with this figure. From the watch’s data, I learned that I am stressed when I have to cook for important people.

Garmin Fenix 6 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch watch face

Verdict

The Garmin Fenix 6 is an excellent watch that shines when you want a watch for the sole purpose of improving your health, training and lifestyle. The maps function is excellent and well worth the extra costs. 

But the super affordable Fossil Sport Smartwatch is very, very good given that it costs a fraction of what the Fenix 6 commands. If you can get past its challenges with battery life, it’s a very functional watch that will help you in multiple areas.