Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Should you buy the Fossil Gen 5 LTE or the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE?


Connected fitness watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE


$297 at Amazon


  • Detailed health/fitness tracking
  • Two sizes, three colors
  • Military-grade durability
  • ECG sensor


  • Older model
  • Battery drains faster with LTE

If you want a smartwatch with LTE connectivity that can also help you keep track of your health and fitness stats, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE is for you. It’s bursting at the seams with features, including, GPS, heart-rate monitoring, automatic workout recognition, ECG, blood pressure monitoring, and more.

Connected lifestyle watch

Fossil Gen 5 LTE


$349 Fossil


  • Activity/health tracking
  • Google Assistant
  • Google Pay
  • Comes in two colors


  • Expensive
  • Only comes in one size
  • No ECG sensor
  • Short battery life

Existing Wear OS users, or those who want a more general lifestyle watch, might be more inclined to check out the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It’s kind of exciting considering it’s the first LTE wearable from the company. You get the basics, like GPS, activity/health tracking, heart-rate monitoring, and smartphone notifications. However, it’s more expensive and it’s only available on Verizon.

When you buy an LTE model, you’ll be able to send texts, make calls, and stream music without your phone present. Choosing a smartwatch with LTE connectivity might seem easy, but there are some key features to look for before making a decision. This is especially true in the battle of Fossil Gen 5 LTE vs Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE. The good news is that both of these wearables are some of the best Android Smartwatches you can buy.

Your final decision will likely come down to how you plan to use your device. Those who want a basic lifestyle watch that offers the bare essentials may prefer the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. However, if you want to do more with your smartwatch, such as gain detailed insight into your health and fitness, you should choose the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE instead. Did we mention that it also happens to be the more affordable option?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE Everything you need and more


It’s not the newest watch on the market, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is still one of the most popular wearables you can buy. It’s definitely one of the best Samsung smartwatches, that’s for sure. If you’re seeking a connected device that is also capable of providing in-depth health and fitness tracking, this is by far the best choice, especially if you want a device that comes with fitness tracking and smart features. Some of the popular perks include built-in GPS, activity/sleep tracking, automatic workout recognition, heart-rate monitoring, and 5 ATM water resistance.

With active in the name, it should come as no surprise that this watch is geared toward fitness fans. However, you wouldn’t assume that from the stylish design. The LTE models have a sleek stainless steel case that comes Black, Gold, and Silver. It’s up to you whether you want a 40mm or 44mm case, but both watch sizes use interchangeable Galaxy Watch Active 2 bands so you can change the look and feel of your strap as you see fit.

Case size 45mm 40 or 44mm
Display 1.28″ AMOLED 1.2″ or 1.4″ AMOLED
Sensors HRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, altimeter, off-body IR, ambient light sensor HRM, ECG, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, ambient light sensor
Battery life 1 day 2 days
Water resistance 3 ATM 5 ATM + MIL-STD-810G
LTE ✔️ ✔️
Onboard GPS ✔️ ✔️
ECG ✔️
Blood pressure monitoring ✔️
Mic/speaker ✔️ ✔️
NFC payments ✔️ ✔️

Compared to the original Galaxy Watch Active, there are a lot of upgrades here, including optional LTE connectivity, an advanced accelerometer, better GPS accuracy, and a more accurate LED-based heart rate monitor. As you can see, Samsung put a lot of focus on improving accuracy across the board with the release of the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE models.

Another new perk is the innovative Running Analysis feature, which is designed to help you improve your form, prevent injuries, and become an all-around better runner over time. You’ll also be able to take VO2 Max readings. If you’re not familiar, this measurement indicates the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during activities.

Generally speaking, the battery on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE should last for about two days. This will depend on what model you have and your usage. You’ll appreciate the convenience of being able to wirelessly charge your smartwatch. This feature is even more appealing if you have a compatible Galaxy phone so you can take advantage of the Wireless PowerShare feature.


The watch can track up to 39 different activities. As far as automatic tracking goes, the watch can automatically recognize and track walking, running, cycling, rowing, elliptical trainer, dynamic workouts, and swimming. Let’s not forget the Running Coach feature that provides real-time pace metrics. You’ll have a better idea of what to expect from your workout before you begin.

The electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor is also present, which can detect an irregular heartbeat. As you may be aware, this could potentially be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. After a one-time calibration with a home blood pressure cuff, you’ll then be able to use the blood pressure monitoring feature on the watch as well.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE If you want a newer Wear OS device


If you like having the newest device on the market, then you might find yourself interested in the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It was announced recently at CES 2021 in January, so it really is the definition of brand spanking new. It’s also worth recognizing that this is the first smartwatch from the company that provides LTE connectivity. For a while, Samsung and Apple were the main players in this arena. If you’re already familiar with Wear OS or you were a fan of the original Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches, this might be the one for you.

If you recall, the original models were available in a range of different variants and colors. However, that’s not quite the case with the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It comes in a sturdy stainless steel case that’s available in two colors: Smoke and Rose Gold. Both of these watches are compatible with interchangeable bands as well. Unfortunately, the battery life only lasts for about 24 hours, so you can expect to charge it daily.

Similar to the previous Fossil Gen 5 smartwatches, the Gen 5 LTE runs on the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. If you keep up with wearable news, you might know that the 4100 chipset was released not long ago. Not only does the Fossil Gen 5 LTE lack the new processor but it also launched without the company’s latest software update. This results in missing features, like native sleep tracking, Fossil’s wellness app, VO2 max readings, and enhanced custom battery modes.


Fossil should roll out this update to the Gen 5 LTE models eventually, but this is a disappointment for those who are spending this much on a smartwatch and not getting the full package from the start. The good news is that you should still experience smooth performance with the 3100 chipset, which is paired with 1GB of memory and 8GB of internal storage.

Aside from that one caveat we mentioned about missing features due to the delayed update, you’ll still get all of the same perks that the original Gen 5 models had. The main benefits include built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity/health tracking with Google Fit, Google Assistant, and Google Pay. The most obvious difference is that now you’ll have LTE connectivity so you can still take calls, send texts, and use other key features without having to rely on your phone being connected. Keep in mind that this smartwatch is only available through Verizon.

Fossil Gen 5 LTE vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE Which should you buy?


While either of these great LTE smartwatches will provide you with a connected experience, there are some other factors that can affect your ultimate choice. Some examples that might impact your decision include the operating system, the price tag, whether you’re an iOS or Android user, and how much tracking you want to do with your smartwatch.

If you’re already familiar with Wear OS or Tizen OS, you might want to stick with what you know. Wear OS users will love the new Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It’s available in two colors and offers the essentials for daily wear, including smartphone notifications, Google Assistant, NFC payments heart-rate monitoring, and built-in GPS. This wearable is a relatively new release, so it’s not much of a surprise that it’s the more expensive option here. You can only use it on Verizon and, at launch, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE is only compatible with Android so iOS users won’t be able to use it.

On the other hand, if you want a smartwatch that has superior health and fitness tracking, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is the winner by a long shot. In addition to the main features such as GPS, heart-rate monitoring, and Samsung Pay, you also get some extra perks. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 offers automatic activity recognition, tracking for 39 different workouts, an ECG sensor, and blood pressure monitoring. It also happens to be the more affordable choice. Unlike the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, it’s not exclusive to Verizon.

Connected fitness watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE


You can do it all

$297 at Amazon
$300 at Best Buy
$299 at Walmart

Some smartwatches are great at handling the basics but that’s where the fun stops. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE is far from basic. You get tons of smartwatch perks, detailed health/fitness tracking, and more.

Connected lifestyle watch

Fossil Gen 5 LTE


Perfect for managing the basics

$349 Fossil
$349 at Verizon

If you’re content with the idea of an LTE smartwatch that doubles as a mighty fine lifestyle wearable, look no further than the Fossil Gen 5 LTE. It’s more expensive and only works with Android and Verizon, so choose carefully!

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