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Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch

A battle of one of the most expensive smartwatches out there versus one of the cheapest and it teaches us a theory from economics: "diminishing returns."

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch main screen

OK, this is not a fair comparison.

We’re talking the most premium Samsung smartwatch versus the most entry-level of Fossil’s smartwatches.

But comparing the Fossil Sport Smartwatch with the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 really proves the economics theory of diminishing returns.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle | Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 | Samsung Galaxy 3 vs. Apple Watch Series 5 | Samsung Galaxy Watch3 Review | Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch E2

Price and value

You pay for what you get, right?

In this case, you pay for what you get, but every additional feature becomes less important and more costly.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is multiple times the cost of the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, and I can’t confidently say you’ll be multiple times happier with the Galaxy Watch 3.

The Fossil Sport Smartwatch functions as a great entry into the world of smartwatches. It uses the Wear OS operating system which has been getting better over time. It’s also the same OS used in non-Samsung, non-Apple smartwatches.

In terms of bang for buck, you can’t go wrong with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, particularly if you are looking for something cheap.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Battery Life

I rarely start reviews with something as boring as battery life but this is a major difference between the Fossil Sport Smartwatch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch3.

The Fossil Sport Smartwatch runs out of steam very much faster than the Samsung Galaxy Watch3.

In fact, I haven’t reviewed another smartwatch which struggles to survive a day while doing stuff that most smartwatches can do.

For example, I like having a smartwatch that has the “always on screen” turned on. This allows me to see the time without having to jerk my wrist. I also like knowing my heart rate periodically.

On most smartwatches, it will not strain the battery such that you can’t expect to get through a day. On the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, every feature that you turn on makes the walk over the tightrope of battery life even more precarious.

This is a problem. 

Can you imagine trying to track your workout, and then realize that it won’t survive the rest of your day without a charge? I hope you brought your charger. I also hope you don’t exercise first thing in the morning.

It’s really annoying when the Fossil Sport Smartwatch goes into power saving mode because it loses all its smart functionality and becomes a normal digital watch.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is much less prone to dying out when you least expect it.  I have used it for two days straight without a charge. Even when I was tracking my three hour long workout, the Galaxy Watch3 managed to take me through to the end without retreating into power saving mode.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Size and lightness

The one great thing about the Fossil Sport Smartwatch is that it’s very light and compact.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is a bit smaller than its predecessor, but still a bit chunkier and heavier than the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.

My gripe that it turns into a mere digital watch with no smart functionality is lessened because it’s not a heavy watch. It really feels like a good old ‘90s digital watch in terms of weight. So when it inevitably goes into power saving mode, at least I don’t have a huge hunk of watch on my wrist.

Both watches are quite comfortable. The silicone strap on the Fossil Sport Smartwatch is great and so is the leather strap on the Samsung Galaxy Watch3.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Bezel vs crown

One big innovation from Samsung is their rotating bezel. Users would use this to scroll through messages, menus and other stuff.

I think it’s one of the biggest innovations in the smartwatch world.

The Fossil Sport Smartwatch has a more typical crown. It’s smaller and therefore more sensitive to rotation. Compared to the bezel, it’s not as good but compared to smartwatches without it, it’s a really nice tool to have.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch wear os vs tizen os

Operating System

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 comes with Samsung’s own Tizen OS while the Fossil Sport Smartwatch comes with Google’s Wear OS.

They’re both good general purpose smartwatch operating systems but the Tizen OS looks much better than the Wear OS. The Wear OS looks very utilitarian while the Tizen OS looks more attractive and polished.

But beyond looks, the Wear OS has major advantages in software and utility.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch text reply

Texts and emails

Both platforms can handle texts and emails but only the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 can access emails and text logs directly when paired to a Samsung smartphone.

To be honest, I don’t think this is that important but it’s nice to have.

Otherwise, most interactions with texts and emails come through your notifications. 

Replying to messages is easy and while there are keyboards and hand writing methods of inputting text, my preferred way is through speech-to-text.

The Wear OS’s transcription is much better than Samsung’s. Samsung suffers from a higher rate of inaccurate transcription and sometimes it can be so bad that it’s easier to discard that and reply on your phone instead.

The Wear OS isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the best. You might have to edit some phrases here and there but I haven’t needed to completely discard a message.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Phone calls

You can’t make or answer phone calls on the Fossil Sport Smartwatch because it has no speaker. You can on the Galaxy Watch3 and I really love the convenience of being able to do so.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch apps

Apps

The apps you get with the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 are great but the Galaxy Store where you can download third-party apps isn’t that great.

Whereas with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, you get decent apps by default and even better apps on the Google Play Store.

Particularly notable are the Google apps that you can download. I love that you can get Google Maps on the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. But beware: the battery life will completely tank with any significant use.

Winner: Fossil Sport Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch sports

Sports

Are you going out to do sports with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch?

Naturally, with such a name, you would think it’s a great sport smartwatch. No doubt, the software is good.

It comes with Google Fit to track your workouts. What I like about Google Fit is that it has many workouts you can pick from gym workouts to the more obscure exercises like taichi.

The Galaxy Watch3 offers fewer choices of workouts you can track but the depth of Samsung Health is so much better. It’s a much better health and lifestyle tracking software.

Not only can the Galaxy Watch3 track sleep patterns, it can also track your water consumption, menstrual health (if applicable) and caffeine intake.

The Fossil Sport can’t. Fossil recently rolled out a new app to its flagship Gen 5 watches that has a sleep tracker and an overall health fitness gauge but Fossil is not rolling it out to the Sport just yet.

The biggest feature that really sets the Galaxy Watch3 apart is the fact that it has a running coach.

The running coach is a really advanced feature that I was a bit surprised to see on the Galaxy Watch3. It helps you pace your runs and can also rate how symmetric your footwork is. The Galaxy Watch3 can also estimate your VO2Max too.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Fossil Sport Smartwatch apps

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is a very good watch. But it’s also disproportionately expensive.

The Fossil Sport Smartwatch is probably the cheapest smartwatch out there and I really love it. The extremely limited battery life really puts me off though.

If you are good at conserving battery life, then maybe the Fossil Sport Smartwatch will work for you. It’s well priced and is also one of the lightest and thinnest smartwatches out there.

=> Skip to the chase: Our Epic guide on the best smartwatches for different uses and devices
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Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch E2 main screen

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