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Don't let the worst Cyber Monday smartwatch deal entice you ...

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Smartwatches are at a crossroads right now thanks to Wear OS 3. Only a handful of existing watches will get the update in 2022, including the Fossil Gen 6. Older watches will be stuck with Wear OS 2 and apps that devs won't bother to keep updating, crippling the experience.

That's why companies are using Cyber Monday smartwatch deals to clear out outdated stock and package it as a huge steal for consumers. Exhibit A? This deal for $116 off the 2019 Fossil Gen 5, bringing the price down to $179. That's a great deal! Except, well, it isn't.

Thanks to its old Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip and 1GB of RAM, the Fossil Gen 5's performance is only middling, with apps taking too long to open and Google Assistant taking too long to respond. And although Wear OS 2 has gotten some new features and apps in 2021, that isn't likely to continue next year, when companies move all their focus to Wear OS 3.

Not the deal you really want ...​

Fossil Gen 5 | $116 off​




$179 at Amazon $179 at Best Buy

Skip it: The Fossil Gen 5 is a solid watch from 2019 that'll still work for you in 2021, but there's no guarantee it'll keep working as well next year, stuck using Wear OS 2.


It's a good watch worth using today if you already own it. But you should absolutely shell out the extra $20–50 and get the Fossil Gen 6 for $229 or the Galaxy Watch 4 for $200 instead this Cyber Monday. Either watch will give you a much better return on investment.

Go with these watch deals instead!​

Fossil Gen 6 | $90 off​




$229 at Amazon $229 at Best Buy

With a brand new processor that can monitor your health stats all day long (without affecting battery life), the Fossil Gen 6 is a stylish way to keep up to date with your health and your notifications. It's also got that promised Wear OS 3 update coming soon, making this feel like a brand new watch all over again when that lands.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 | $50 off​




From $200 at Samsung From $199 at Best Buy From $229 at Amazon

The brand new Galaxy Watch 4 can already be had for $50 off, thanks to Samsung's Cyber Monday sales. It's the best new Android smartwatch you'll find, with Wear OS 3 support baked in, great health sensors, 5ATM water resistance, and more.


The Gen 6 vs. the Gen 5 is no contest at all, with the Gen 6 giving you faster performance, more sizes, and more sensors like blood oxygen monitoring. If you're going to buy a Fossil watch, at least future-proof your purchase and get something you'll still enjoy by next Cyber Monday.

As for the Galaxy Watch 4, it's our favorite Android smartwatch, thanks in part to the fact that it's already updated to Wear OS 3. Frankly, given the fact that it beats the Fossil Gen 6 with better RAM, water resistance, battery life, a rotating bezel for easier navigation, and faster Wear OS 3 support, you may want to pick Samsung's watch over either Fossil. Unless you prefer the Fossil for its looks.

There are probably "worse" financial deals than over $100 off a dependable smartwatch that we reviewed quite highly in its time. But I think it's the worst because it's so highly reviewed and well discounted that people will buy something they believe is a premium device, only for planned Wear OS obsolescence to cripple it down the road. That's a real bummer, and I hope you steer elsewhere.
 
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