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Shootout: Fossil Gen 6 vs Garmin Instinct vs Forerunner 245 vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Garmin Venu Sq

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When it comes to smartwatches, most people would probably think of Apple or Samsung, but there are other models worth mentioning. If you’re willing to go against the grain and find your perfect device elsewhere, read on.

Today we’re going to do a little comparison between five different smartwatches, some of the pretty underrated, and way under the radar. The six smartwatch models are the Fossil Gen 6, Garmin Instinct, Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin Vivoactive 4 and Garmin Venu Sq.

That’s a pretty crowded space, usually occupied by Garmin watches, but bear with us as we’ll quickly compare all models in several key areas to help you pick the best one for you. Here we go.

Index:

Fossil Gen 6 vs Garmin Instinct vs Forerunner 245 vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Garmin Venu Sq
at a glance:

Design

Well, if there’s a subjective component to smartwatches, it’s here: design. Different people like different things, but we have to choose the best design out of those five. The Garmin Venu Sq lags behind in this category, mainly because the square design is too strong an Apple Watch reference. The main battle is between the Fossil Gen 6 and the stylish and understated Garmin Vivoactive 4. While the Gen 6 looks much sportier, the Vivoactive 4 relies on your nostalgia and taste for clean and stylish watches. Meanwhile, the Instinct is too bulky for being a rugged smartwatch, and the Forerunner 245 is just a bit boring.

Winner: Garmin Vivoactive 4

Display

The next big thing when comparing smartwatches has to be the screen. It’s your window to… everything related to your fitness and health, among other things. Our five contenders have very different displays, or at least some of them.

The Venu Sq comes with an LCD display, while the Garmin Forerunner 245 relies on transflective technology – making it ideal for bright sunlight. The Garmin Instinct is monochromatic, while the Fossil Gen 6 gets the good stuff: a high-resolution AMOLED display. The winner is clear here.

Winner: Fossil Gen 6

Functions

When it comes to features, there’s an inverse relationship with any smartwatch’s battery life, and more straightforward with its price. Simply put, the more features a smartwatch has, the shorter the battery life you can squeeze out and the more expensive it would be.

This is not a rule set in stone, but the laws of physics are hard to bend. With that in mind, we have to hand it over to the Fossil Gen 6 again, as it comes with Google’s Wear OS on board, which is why it can do a lot of things and run Google apps and services.

Winner: Fossil Gen 6

battery life

Remember that inverse relationship between features and battery life. Guess which model won’t win this category. That’s right – the AMOLED screen and Wear OS take their toll on the Fossil Gen 6, and the battery life isn’t spectacular (24 hours). On the other hand, smartwatches with transflective displays (pun intended) shine in this category, as their screens don’t require power to light up in bright sunlight. While the Vivoactive 4 is impressive with 8 days of battery life, the Garmin Instinct wins out with its impressive 14 days of battery life in mixed use.

Winner: Garmin Instinct

Price

The most important category (for many of you) is the price of these things. Now if you want most of the features, be prepared to pay extra. But we rank the models in reverse here, so from cheapest to most expensive.

Most of these models cost less than $299, so you can have that Fossil Gen 6 if you want. But if budget matters, then you should look for the Venu Sq, which can be found around $200. Now the Instinct is dirt cheap too, but it’s older and there are several editions, some of which go up to $345. So Venu takes this one.

Winner: Garmin Venu Sq

Conclusion

Comparing these five was no easy task – they are more different than similar. But there you have it – if you want something completely different from your regular Apple and Galaxy watches, these should do the trick.

If we want to crown a winner here, it would have to be the Fossil Gen 6 – there’s no doubt about it. It’s stylish and smart, it has a beautiful AMOLED screen and it comes with Wear OS on board. What are a few euros extra in this case?

And with Amazon Prime Day is coming, these models are guaranteed to receive great smartwatch deals and their prices can even drop as much as 50%. So stay tuned, keep an eye on this article and pull the trigger on the one you like the most. You can also check out our best Garmin watch choice to see the whole picture.

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