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Fossil Gen 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Which is Better?

Hey there! With so many smartwatches to choose from these days, it can be tough deciding which one is right for you. Two models you may be considering are the Fossil Gen 6 and the Google Pixel Watch. As a long-time smartwatch user myself, let me walk you through a detailed comparison of these two awesome watches!

Overview

The Fossil Gen 6 and Google Pixel Watch both run Google‘s Wear OS software, so they have a lot of overlapping capabilities. But they differ quite a bit in terms of design, display, battery life, special features and price.

Fossil is an American fashion brand that has been making watches for decades. The Gen 6 is their latest smartwatch model, combining Fossil‘s classic styling with modern smart tech.

Google only recently entered the smartwatch market with the Pixel Watch in 2022. With Google‘s software expertise and the Pixel Watch‘s deep integration with Fitbit, Google is aiming to create the ultimate smartwatch experience.

To help you see how these two watches stack up, I‘ll do a deep dive into the key factors you should consider when choosing a smartwatch. Let‘s get to it!

Design and Display

A watch‘s design and display are the first things you‘ll notice, so let‘s explore how the Gen 6 and Pixel Watch compare in terms of aesthetics and screen quality.

The Fossil Gen 6 comes in two sizes – 42mm or 44mm – so you can pick the look and fit you prefer. The round case sports Fossil‘s classic styling with physical buttons on the side and a rotating crown. You can further customize the look with Fossil‘s wide selection of interchangeable watch bands. It channels the handsome aesthetic of Fossil‘s traditional watches.

The Pixel Watch goes for a more modern, minimalist look with a domed design and no crown. It only comes in one 41mm size with proprietary watch bands. The curved display makes the bezel nearly invisible for a sleek futuristic vibe.

Here‘s a quick comparison of the key design and display specs:

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Spec Fossil Gen 6 Google Pixel Watch
Sizes 42mm, 44mm 41mm
Display 1.3" AMOLED, 416 x 416 pixels, 750 nits max brightness 1.2" AMOLED, 450 x 450 pixels, 1000 nits max brightness
Dimensions 42mm: 42 x 42 x 11mm
44mm: 44 x 44 x 12mm
41 x 41 x 12.3mm
Water Resistance 3 ATM (30 meters) 5 ATM (50 meters)
Interchangeable Bands Yes, 22mm No, proprietary only

As you can see, the Pixel Watch‘s screen is a bit more vivid with a higher 1000 nit max brightness and slimmer bezels. But the Fossil lets you tailor the size and band to your liking.

When it comes to style, it‘s a matter of personal preference. I find the Fossil has a classic masculine vibe, while the Pixel Watch looks more fashion-forward. But both are handsome watches you‘ll feel confident wearing daily.

Performance and Battery Life

Now let‘s move on to see how these watches perform under the hood. Both are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor so they deliver smooth performance for apps and voice controls.

The Pixel Watch pulls ahead with more internal storage – 32GB versus 8GB on the Gen 6. This allows it to store more apps, music and data directly on the watch.

As for battery life, smartwatches are notorious for needing daily charging. Fossil claims "24+ hours" for the Gen 6, while Google promises "24 hours" for the Pixel Watch.

In real-world testing, reviewers generally got 18-20 hours out of the Gen 6 before it needed a recharge. The Pixel Watch fared a little better at 20-24 hours per charge. Turning off always-on display and limiting workout tracking can extend battery life.

Both watches recharge quickly thanks to fast charging support. I‘d plug mine in for 20-30 minutes while getting ready in the morning which was enough to top up the battery.

Here are the key hardware specs compared:

Spec Fossil Gen 6 Google Pixel Watch
Processor Snapdragon Wear 4100+ Snapdragon Wear 4100+
Memory 8GB 32GB
Battery Life (claimed) 24+ hours 24 hours
Battery Life (tested) 18-20 hours 20-24 hours
Fast Charging Yes Yes

The Pixel Watch definitely wins when it comes to having more onboard storage space. Battery life is fairly similar, with Pixel Watch users seeing a bit more usage time before needing to recharge. But both will easily get you through a full day of use.

Health Tracking and Special Features

One area where smartwatches really shine is activity and health tracking. The sensors built into these watches can monitor your workouts, heart rate, sleep and more. Let‘s see how the Gen 6 and Pixel Watch compare.

Both are equipped with:

  • Heart rate sensor
  • SpO2 (blood oxygen) sensor
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope for motion sensing

In addition, the Pixel Watch has:

  • An ECG sensor to monitor heart rhythm
  • Much deeper integration with Fitbit (Google acquired Fitbit in 2021), including 6 months free of Fitbit Premium for access to advanced health metrics and workout programs.

The Pixel Watch definitely provides a more robust health tracking experience thanks to the Fitbit integration. It can provide deeper sleep analysis, oxygen saturation trends, heart health insights and more.

For other special features, the Pixel Watch with LTE can stream data and make calls without being connected to your phone. Google Assistant is better optimized on the Pixel Watch for quicker, smoother voice controls. Google Wallet and Google Maps also come pre-installed for payments and navigation.

The Gen 6 works well for basic activity tracking but lacks some of the advanced health sensors and deep integration with Google services that the Pixel Watch delivers.

Here are some of the key health and special features compared:

Fossil Gen 6 Google Pixel Watch
Advanced Health Sensors No ECG Adds ECG
Fitness Platform Fossil proprietary apps Deep Fitbit integration
LTE Connectivity No Yes (LTE models only)
Pre-installed Apps Limited selection Google Wallet, Google Maps, Fitbit App

The Pixel Watch certainly seems to come out ahead when you look at the advanced health tracking capabilities and deep integration with Google‘s ecosystem.

Price and Value

With more premium features, you‘d expect the Pixel Watch to cost substantially more – but that‘s not the case. Let‘s break down the pricing:

  • Fossil Gen 6 original MSRP: $299, now available for $199 to $249.
  • Google Pixel Watch: $349 for Bluetooth/WiFi, $399 for LTE connectivity

Given that extra $100-$150 nets you much smoother software, better health tracking, LTE options and deeper Google integration, I‘d say the Pixel Watch offers excellent value. And it costs much less than other premium smartwatches like the $400+ Apple Watch Series 8.

The Gen 6 costs significantly less, making it a strong budget-friendly choice. Fossil also regularly offers discounts and promos that make it even more affordable. If you‘re looking for a smartwatch on a budget, the Gen 6 is a great option.

But for only $50-$100 more, the Pixel Watch gives you a noticeably upgraded experience. Unless every dollar counts for you, I‘d recommend investing a little more for the Pixel Watch.

Compatibility

One final key factor is compatibility – which phones can you pair with each smartwatch?

The Pixel Watch‘s tighter integration with Google services means it is only compatible with Android phones running Android 8.0 or newer. So it‘s a no-go for iOS users.

Meanwhile, Fossil designed the Gen 6 to work with both Android and iOS smartphones. This makes it a good choice if you have an iPhone or switch between operating systems. You miss out on some features like Android‘s Do Not Disturb mode, but all of the core smartwatch functions still work with iOS.

So the Gen 6 has an advantage for cross-platform compatibility. But the Pixel Watch is the obvious pick if you have an Android phone.

The Verdict

Now that we‘ve compared these two awesome smartwatches across all the key factors – design, display, performance, features, price and compatibility – let‘s summarize the key differences:

  • Design: The Pixel Watch has a more modern, minimalist style while the Gen 6 offers Fossil‘s classic aesthetic. Pixel Watch has a slimmer bezel but fewer sizing and band options.
  • Display: Both have vibrant AMOLED screens but the Pixel Watch display is a bit sharper and brighter.
  • Performance: Pixel Watch offers more internal storage for apps and data. Both deliver smooth performance thanks to the Snapdragon chipset.
  • Battery: The watches are evenly matched on battery life at around 20-24 hours per charge.
  • Tracking: Pixel Watch pulls ahead with advanced health sensors like ECG and much deeper Fitbit integration.
  • Special Features: Pixel Watch LTE provides untethered connectivity. Tight Google integration allows smoother voice controls, payments and navigation.
  • Price: Pixel Watch costs $100-$150 more but provides excellent value for the additional features.
  • Compatibility: Gen 6 works with both Android and iOS phones while the Pixel Watch is Android only.

In closing, I think the Pixel Watch is definitely worth the investment if you want the best, most seamlessly integrated Google/Wear OS smartwatch experience. The health metrics, LTE option and smooth operation with Google services make it a delight to use.

But don‘t count out the Fossil Gen 6 – it‘s still an incredibly capable smartwatch at a lower cost, with battery life, performance, and basic features on par with the Pixel Watch. And it gives you flexibility across Android and iOS.

Hopefully this detailed look at the Fossil Gen 6 versus Google Pixel Watch comparison provides all the info you need to pick the perfect smartwatch for your needs and budget! Let me know if you have any other questions.