Whether you’re upgrading from the Gen 4, considering a switch between brands, or even trying to break into the world of wearables, it’s not so easy to find a winner between the Fossil Gen 4 vs. Gen 5 since they’re quite similar.
But just because one is an upgrade of the other doesn’t mean that you can’t find prominent distinctions between the two devices. In this article, we’ll go over their similarities, differences, and their pros and cons to help you decide on the better option.
Fossil Gen 4 vs. Fossil Gen 5: Specs Comparison
|Specs||Fossil Gen 4||Fossil Gen 5|
|Display||1.2-inch AMOLED||1.3-inch AMOLED|
|Battery Life||1 day||1 day|
|Water Resistance||3 ATM||3 ATM|
Fossil Gen 4 vs. Fossil Gen 5: Full Comparison
Let’s take a deeper look into what each of these smartwatches have to offer.
Design and Durability
Both Fossil smartwatches boast very attractive and sleek designs, as Fossil is one of the well-known names when it comes to fashionability and style.
With either model, you’ll be getting a smartwatch with three physical buttons on the right side: the bottom and uppermost ones serve as shortcuts to your two most-used apps, and the middle one serves for navigation as you can spin it to scroll up or down the menus, making the experience quite seamless.
The only difference is that the Fossil Gen 5 comes with a 1.3-inch touchscreen, while the Gen 4’s AMOLED screen isn’t of the touchscreen variety, and the user relies on just the three buttons for navigation, which makes the Gen 5 a lot more convenient.
Not to mention, its buttons are a lot more tactile, so they provide a better response when clicked and make the whole experience feel more solid.
Another thing that sets the Fossil Gen 5 apart from the Gen 4 is that it’s a lot more lightweight at around 2.8 ounces, as opposed to the Gen 4, which is around 5 ounces, and this is despite the fact that both come with the same case size of 44mm and that the Gen 5 comes with a bigger display.
So, if you’re looking for something discreet and unobtrusive in terms of design and how it feels when worn all day, the Gen 5 easily takes the cake. This is especially true thanks to the raised edges that provide it with a solid grip on the user’s wrist without feeling like a burden, as well as the soft silicone and the watch’s smooth underside.
On the other hand, the Gen 4 comes with a rubber back to provide you with resistance against sweat, a metal body with silver accents, which are the bezel, crown, and buttons. It’s available in four colors, which are all classy if you exclude the black, brown, and navy combination one.
The 22mm straps on either watch are interchangeable, but the Gen 5 doesn’t give you a lot of variability between the options, and both come with quick-release mechanisms that make the strap replacement process a breeze.
In terms of size, there isn’t a huge difference between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 as the former is a 1.2-inch one while the latter is 1.3 inches. Both are also full-color AMOLED displays, though only the Gen 5 has a touchscreen for navigation along with the physical buttons.
Also, the quality of the display is slightly superior on the Gen 5 as it comes with a 416 x 416-pixel resolution, while the Gen 4 comes with a 390 x 390-pixel one.
But generally speaking, there’s not a world’s difference between the visual experience on each watch as both display pretty much the same information at a given moment with clarity, good contrast, and engaging colors.
Fitness and Health Features
Generally speaking, Wear OS is not the most advanced when it comes to health and fitness tracking, but both the Gen 4 and Gen 5 have a solid range of fitness-tracking features. Naturally, Google Fit tracks your steps, the number of minutes you were active, and gives you a “heart points” system to indicate how good your cardiovascular health is.
Moreover, both watches come with GPS to track your routes during outdoor workouts and are equipped with gyroscope sensors to make tracking more accurate. Only the Gen 5 comes with a barometer to detect changes in altitude, but other than that, there aren’t many differences.
The one that’s very distinct, however, is that the Gen 5 comes with sleep-tracking capabilities with sleep reports and also comes with weight tracking, making it a better all-around watch.
Still, whichever model you opt for, you’ll be getting automatic activity detection, multi-sport tracking, and a report of the analysis of your activity data from which you can extract handy information. You’ll also be able to adjust and set goals according to this data, as well as tag exercises to add details about each workout session.
Moreover, both watches come with 3 ATM water-resistance, so you can swim in shallow water or take a shower without having to take them off. Passing the 10 thousand stroke swim test, you’ll comfortably be able to enjoy the swim-tracking features that these watches have to offer.
Being Wear OS devices, you’re better off pairing the Fossil Gen 4 or Gen 5 with an Android phone as their features are limited with iPhones. Connectivity is quite similar on both watches, except that the Gen 5 uses Bluetooth v4.2 while the Gen 4 uses v4.1.
Other than that, both watches offer NFC payments, call control, notifications, and voice commands. However, only the Gen 5 enables you to conduct calls as it’s not equipped with just a mic but also speakers.
Both the Gen 4 and Gen 5 come with a day’s worth of battery life, but the Gen 5 is more consistent and can stay functioning for a longer time, even with an always-on display, GPS, NFC, and ambient light sensor.
Still, the two watches reach around 80% of their battery capacity in 50 minutes, which is quite an impressive charging rate. The convenient rings on the body’s back help you orient it correctly on the points of contact for a convenient charging process.
Though the Gen 5 is an advanced tweak of the Gen 4, it’s not that much more expensive. Yes, if you’re budget-conscious, you could opt for the Gen 4 to save a couple of bucks, but if you go for the Gen 5, you’ll be getting incredible value for the money and some solid upgrades at a reasonable price.
Pros and Cons
Fossil Gen 4
- Fantastic design with straps to suit every occasion
- Excellent performance
- Many helpful features
- Lightweight and discreet
- Battery lasts less than a day with NFC, BT, and always-on display
- Google assistant can be activated accidentally
Fossil Gen 5
- Sleek design
- Rubber-backed leather band
- Good feedback from physical buttons
- Built-in mic and speaker
- Enhanced performance
- Not waterproof
- Screen is a little dim
- Charging disc magnet needs to be stronger
Now that we’re done with the comparison between the Fossil Gen 4 and Gen 5, hopefully, you have a better picture regarding the one that best suits your needs.
If you’re looking for higher durability, slightly better performance, and battery life, as well as sleep-tracking, you should opt for the Fossil Gen 5.
However, if you want something that isn’t super advanced and comes at a slightly more affordable price, you’re good to go with the Fossil Gen 4.
Read also: Fitbit Charge 3 vs Versa 2