Google Pixel Watch 2
The better smartwatch
A cleaner Android smartwatch experience
The Google Pixel Watch 2 expands Google’s smartwatch offering by adding even more Fitbit features. It ships with Wear OS 4, which brings even more compatibility with Android apps. The pebble-style display offers a unique design that helps it stand out from other smartwatches.Benefits
- Stone style design continues to be extremely unique
- Wear OS 4 performs amazingly
- Fitbit features add more health-focused options
- No larger size available like on other smartwatches
- Pin chargers can be annoying to deal with
Fossil Gen 6
Shows its age
An aging smartwatch that still has something to offer
219 USD 319 USD Save $100
The Fossil Gen 6 offers a solid smartwatch design with a stunning display. The update to Wear OS 3 improved that, bringing Google Assistant and other features to the wearable. It’s not the best option, but if you want a laptop made by someone other than Google or Samsung, it’s still a decent option, especially on sale.Benefits
- Good display
- Solid construction
- Google Assistant with Wear OS 3
- Aging hardware and software
- Performance issues sometimes
The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a front-runner for the most striking Wear OS watch you can get, and there are plenty of good reasons to pick one up besides looks, too. It’s one of the best Android smartwatches you can buy – but is the older Fossil Gen 6 still a solid choice? This is how the two smartwatches stand side by side.
Price, specifications and availability
To fully compare these two devices, we first need to take a look at the bread and butter of each – the specs on paper. Overall, both of these devices are solid in their design, and while the Pixel Watch 2 offers a more unique look and newer hardware, the Fossil Gen 6 isn’t exactly a relic just yet.
Additionally, both devices are easy to come by, with the Pixel Watch 2 readily available from the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, and other third-party retailers. The Fossil Gen 6 is a bit older, but you can still get it from Amazon and Best Buy, where it’s available for $300 and often even cheaper on sale.
Comparatively, the Pixel Watch 2 is slightly more expensive, selling for $350 in most cases, although it has already gone on sale a handful of times. We don’t expect any significant discounts in the near future, as the watch is still fairly new. While it might be tempting to go with the Fossil Gen 6 because of its cheaper price, Fossil’s is also an older device, so you’re looking at an older operating system and hardware. In most cases, spending the extra $50 for the Pixel Watch 2 will be worth it just for the upgraded OS and hardware.
Google Pixel Watch 2 Fossil Gen 6 Material for case Aluminum Stainless steel Housing size 41 mm 42mm with 18mm straps, 44mm with 22mm straps Show 1.2″ 450 x 450 AMOLED 1.28″ color AMOLED, 416×416, 326ppi CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 with Cortex M33 co-processor Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ Ram 2GB 1 GB Storage 32GB 1 GB Battery 306mAh 300mAh software Wear OS 4 Wear OS 2 (at launch), optional update to Wear OS 3 Health sensors Optical heart rate, SpO2, ECG, continuous EDA, skin temperature Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Compass, Gyroscope, Off Body IR, PPG Heart Rate, SPO2 Award Starting at $350 $299 USD
The design of your smartwatch can help you stand out, depending on your style, and both the Pixel Watch 2 and Fossil Gen 6 look incredibly different.
The Pixel Watch 2 has a smaller, more stone-like display, offering rounded edges around the entire device. It’s a solid design that’s helped Google’s smartwatch offering stand out, and it comes with an aluminum body that’s both lightweight and quite durable. The Pixel Watch 2 also has a digital crown on the side, as well as an easy-to-use button that lets you navigate menus easily throughout the device. Available in a single 41mm size, the Pixel Watch features a rear-mounted charger that uses charging connector pins, allowing it to connect to a proprietary charger.
Looking at these two side by side, they couldn’t seem much more different than they do. The Fossil Gen 6 is more like a traditional sports watch, with a large display and a bulky stainless steel frame with three different buttons located on the right side of the device. It comes in both 42mm and 44mm sizes, meaning users who prefer a larger device may like the design of the Fossil Gen 6 more.
While both devices have great displays, there are some minor differences here as well. The Pixel Watch 2 has a 1.2-inch AMOLED screen at 450 x 450 pixels, while the slightly larger screen on the Fossil Gen 6 is 1.28 inches and 416 x 416 pixels. The small resolution on the Pixel Watch means slightly crisper images, although it’s not something you’ll notice much of a difference most of the time.
Ultimately, the stainless steel frame on the Fossil Gen 6 will be slightly more durable than the Pixel Watch 2’s aluminum frame. But the trade-off here is that the Fossil Gen 6 will feel slightly heavier on the wrist, and it won’t offer as sharp a screen as the Pixel Watch 2.
Software is another place where you’ll see huge differences between the Pixel Watch 2 and the Fossil Gen 6. The Fossil Gen 6’s age means you’ll be rocking an older version of Wear OS: in this case, the latest update that Fossil offers are for Wear OS 3, while the Pixel Watch 2 ships with Wear OS 4 and will continue to receive software updates for years to come.
While Wear OS 3 isn’t terrible, it doesn’t offer the updated support for apps that Wear OS 4 does. It’s also not as smooth, and buying a device with an older operating system means you’ll miss out on important security updates that come later.
These differences in software also play into performance, along with the hardware found in each device. The Pixel Watch 2’s newer software and hardware mean a sleeker and more responsive system. The update to Wear OS 3 on the Fossil Gen 6 may have brought back Google Assistant support, but in many cases it also made the software slower, meaning more stuttering and performance issues across all aspects of the smartwatch.
Both the Fossil Gen 6 and Pixel Watch 2 offer more than enough fitness features to entice most average users. However, the Fossil Gen 6 runs on more dated hardware and sensors. Plus, the inclusion of additional Fitbit features on the Pixel Watch 2 means you can count on expanded support for the various tracking options at your disposal, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.
You can see the full list of the various sensors in both smartwatches above. But the big differences here will come from continuous support for EDA monitoring on the Pixel Watch 2, as well as the ability to monitor your skin temperature. The Pixel Watch 2 also uses a multi-path optical heart rate sensor, which Google says is the most accurate in any Fitbit-branded device to date.
The Fossil Gen 6 is only rated at 3ATM for water resistance, meaning it won’t survive any kind of submersion or swimming. The Pixel Watch 2, on the other hand, is rated at 5ATM and IP68 waterproof, meaning it can withstand a pressure equivalent to about 50 meters (164 feet) underwater and can survive being submerged for up to one meter (3.28 feet) water for half an hour at a time.
If fitness tracking is your primary goal when getting a smartwatch, the Pixel Watch 2 offers more accurate and newer sensors, as well as the additional tracking sensors I mentioned earlier. An optional Fitbit Premium subscription also unlocks additional functionality, including more detailed sleep analysis and a Daily Readiness Score that gives you a single-number snapshot of how “ready” you are for activity each day.
When it comes to battery life, there isn’t much to write home about with either of these devices. However, the Google Pixel Watch 2 manages to beat the Fossil Gen 6’s markedly poor battery life by just being adequate.
As it stands, the Fossil Gen 6 will only give you about 12-13 hours of battery life based on our tests. That means you’ll be able to get through most of your workday, even if you’re using the daily mode features, which include always-on display. If you want to get more battery life, you can get about 18-24 hours by using the extended battery option. However, this cuts out many of the smartwatch’s enticing features, resulting in a poor user experience.
The Pixel Watch 2, on the other hand, offers more reliable battery life, with it being able to offer a full 24 hours of battery life even when using always-on display. It’s one of the biggest improvements Google made with the second generation of its smartwatch, and it’s one we’ve been extremely excited to see. If you care about getting the battery life to last as long as possible, then the Pixel Watch 2 is the clear winner here.
Which is right for you?
The Fossil Gen 6 isn’t a terrible smartwatch, but when you compare it to the newer, higher-performing Pixel Watch 2, the competition isn’t even close. The Pixel Watch 2 offers newer software and hardware, better performance, more accurate sensors for health tracking, and nearly twice the battery life of the Fossil Gen 6 under similar use cases. If you want a smartwatch that will do everything you need it to do, and still have some juice left at the end of the day, you want to go with Google.
Google Pixel Watch 2
$312 350 USD Save $38
The Google Pixel Watch offers the best performance, hardware and fitness features between it and the Fossil Gen 6, as well as the most reliable battery life. It’s not without its faults though, as the smaller size may not be for everyone.
Given the state of the Wear OS market right now, it’s not as easy to recommend the Fossil Gen 6. The watch isn’t exactly bad in a vacuum, but it can’t compete with newer options from Google or Samsung. Still, the sporty stainless steel design may make it a more appealing option for some buyers. Just, please, don’t pay full price for it.
Fossil Gen 6
180 USD 319 USD Save $139
The older Fossil Gen 6 is still a good option if you want to avoid Google or Samsung, but its aging hardware and software means you’ll miss out on important future updates. Battery life is also extremely mediocre, lasting only 12-13 hours when interacting with extensive.
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