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

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Fossil Gen 6 vs Garmin Instinct vs Forerunner 245 vs Garmin Vivoactive 4 vs Garmin Venu Sq
When it comes to smartwatches most people would probably think Apple or Samsung but there are other models out there 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, mostly occupied by Garmin watches but bear with us, as we’ll quickly compare all the models in several key areas in order to help you choose the best one for you. Here we go.

Table of contents:


Well, if there’s a subjective component to smartwatches, here it is - design. Different people like different things but we have to pick out the best design among those five. The Garmin Venu Sq is lagging behind in this category, mainly because its square design is a too strong Apple Watch reference.

The main fight is between the Fossil Gen 6, and the stylish and understated Garmin Vivoactive 4. While the Gen 6 employs much sportier looks, the Vivoactive 4 relies on your nostalgia and taste for clean and classy watches. Meanwhile, the Instinct is too bulky as it’s a rugged smartwatch, and the Forerunner 245 is just a bit bland.

Winner: Garmin Vivoactive 4


The next big thing when we compare smartwatches has to be the screen. It’s your window to… everything that goes on with your fitness and health, alongside other things. Our five contenders have very different displays, or at least some of them do.

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

Winner: Fossil Gen 6


When it comes to features, there’s an inverse relationship with every smartwatch battery life, and more straight one with its price. To put it simply - the more features a smartwatch has the less battery life you can squeeze out of it and the more expensive it would be.

This is not a rule set in stone but the laws of physics are a hard thing to bend. With that in mind, we must hand this one to the Fossil Gen 6 again as it comes with Google’s Wear OS on board, hence 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 be winning this category. That’s right - the AMOLED screen and Wear OS take their toll on the Fossil Gen 6 and its battery life is not spectacular (24 hours).

On the other hand, smartwatches with transflective displays shine (pun intended) in this category, as their screens don’t require power to light up under bright sunlight. While the Vivoactive 4 is impressive with 8 days of battery life, the Garmin Instinct wins this one with its impressive 14 days of battery life in mixed usage.

Winner: Garmin Instinct


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

Most of these models are under $299, so you can have that Fossil Gen 6 if you want. But if budget is of consideration, you should look for the Venu Sq, as can be found at around the $200 mark. Now, the Instinct is also dirt cheap but it’s older, and there are different editions, some of which go up to $345. So Venu takes this one.

Winner: Garmin Venu Sq


Comparing these five wasn’t an easy task - they’re more different than similar. But there you have it - if you want something rather different than your regular Apple and Galaxy watches, these would do the trick.

If we are to crown a winner among these, it should be the Fossil Gen 6 - no doubt about it. It’s stylish and smart, it has a beautiful AMOLED display, and it comes with Wear OS onboard. What are a couple of dollars extra in this case?

And with Amazon Prime Day coming fast, these models are guaranteed to receive great smartwatch deals and their prices to fall even 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 pick to see the whole picture.

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