Fenix 6 as an alternative to Fossil Hybrid HR ? Part 3 : DESIGN & BUILD
SIZE & WEIGHT
✌Winner : Fossil Hybrid HR (thinner)
If the 44mm Fossil Hybrid HR FB-01 and the 47mm Fenix 6 are close in size, the Fenix is thicker and will protrude more on your wrist.
|Almost the same size but the Fossil is thinner|
There is a smaller size, the 42mm Fenix 6s, and a larger one, the 51mm Fenix 6X. The same size variants exist for the new model, the Fenix 7. Fossil does have size variants for the Hybrid HR too, going from the 42mm Collider and Charter models to the very large 50mm Latitude version.
|Fenix 6S, Fenix 6 & Fenix 6X|
Be aware that the smaller Fenix6S model uses smaller display and battery, and that the larger Fenix 6X uses larger display and battery.
Unfortunately, battery and display size doesn’t change in the whole Fossil Hybrid HR line, still using a very small 1,1" display for the very large 50mm Latitude.
|Same display size in a relatively small and in a big Fossil Hybrid HR|
The FB-01 weights 77g and the Fenix 6 weights 74g with similar leather armbands. There is no significant weight difference.
✌Winner : Fossil Hybrid HR
Fossil offers its Hybrid HR line in a quite large choice of sizes and designs. They all look like regular watches with classic or modern, male-ish or feminine styles.
|Some Fossil designs for the Hybrid HR line|
Garmin offers 3 sizes but only one design and it doesn’t look like regular watches. There are some color options but some colors are exclusive to specific versions like Sapphire or Pro. I like the heavy style of the bezel with protruding segments and screws. But it’s clearly not for everyone and doesn’t really fit well in a classic style. You can still use a nice leather band to mitigate somewhat this bold design.
|Same design, different colors|
If you are looking for a more casual style, Garmin sells the Vivoactive 4 and the Venu 2 line both in 2 sizes, with a minimalist but quit bland and a bit uninspired design.
Fossil is more of a Fashion brand. They focus on style. Garmin makes sportswatches and focus on activity, health, GPS, battery life … hence the completely opposite design choices.
✌Winner : Fossil Hybrid HR
The Fossil Hybrid HR line uses Standard Quick Release bands. It’s easy to find everywhere and can be inexpensive. There is a large choice in style, color and material.
Alas, the Fenix 6 uses a PROPRIETARY Quick Fit system, replacing the armband is extremely easy and quick … IF ONLY YOU CAN GET A NICE REPLACEMENT. There are very few models available, most are made of plastic and a nice leather band can become quite expensive. Garmin make watches with the standard Quick Release system, like the Vivoactive 4 and the Venu 2, unfortunately that’s not in the Fenix line.
BUILD QUALITY & MATERIALS
✌Winner : Fenix 6
The Fossil watch is all made of stainless steel and simple glass. The Fenix 6 main body is plastic with a stainless steel back and bezel around the glass.
|Stainless steel around the glass and on the back|
One would say Fossil nailed it with an all metal body. But that would be far from true. Indeed, metal is supposed to be more valuable but Garmin doesn’t use a cheap polymer and their watches are famous for their reliability and build quality.
- Buttons are more clicky and satisfying to use
- Screen is Gorilla glass DX
- Screen does have a nice anti glare coating
- There is a more expensive Sapphire option (but be aware that sapphire is not as crystal clear as glass and makes the reflective display look a bit worse). This version comes with titanium instead of stainless steel and a sturdier DLC coating for black color.
It’s worth mentioning that Garmin does have a full metal line with more or less the same functions and display … the beautifull MARQ serie. Alas, with prices starting at about 1750€ … it’s definitively not for every wallet. But you get a full titanium watch with curved sapphire glass.
|The gorgeous Marq Adventurer|
✌Winner : Fenix 6
Alas and alas again through its short 2 years existence the Fossil Hybrid HR has proven to be quite unreliable. Users forums are full of people complaining about moisture and fogging under the glass, fading screens, failing screens, failing buttons, unreliable backlight …
Garmin is something else. There is no perfect device and issues can always happen but complains about build issues are very rare and my experience is that these watches are build to last for years.