Fossil Q Founder Review – Smart Luxury.
As smartwatches continue to become more mainstream, classic watchmakers are going through a transitional period.
Rather than seeing the smartwatches as a threat, more fashion companies are embracing the idea of using tech to better their products. Swarovski. Tag Heuer‘s partnership with Intel. And now, Fossil is taking the stage.
Fossil is bringing its watch know-how to Android Wear with their new Fossil Q Founder watch. Fossil knows how to make and sell watches. Its wide selection of timepieces is made of quality materials. It is above the line. Still luxury but on the low-cost side of it.
Here is WT VOX review of the new Fossil Q Founder watch, after three weeks of testing and evaluation.
Fossil Q Founder Review – Design And Specs
End of 2015 and we see no shortage of well designed circular smartwatches. Two of our favorites, the Huawei Watch and the new Moto 360, feature stainless steel casings and circular displays.
A quick look and the Fossil Q Founder watch looks like it can compete with the Huawei Watch and the Moto 360 2. From a design point of view at least.
Its stainless steel body feels strong, and the crown makes you think of a classic watch. Even though it does not twist, and is only a button, the crown looks real.
This is the strength of the Fossil Q Founder watch. It looks and feels like a watch. A classic watch. It looks so good that even my colleagues in the office did not realize I was wearing a smartwatch.
However, things start to come apart when you get a closer look at the new Fossil watch.
First of all, the Fossil Q Founder watch is not for everyone. It is a big and heavy watch at 46mm. In diameter and 72gr. weight. For me, this is ideal. I like big watches. But…not everyone does.
More than that, the screen is not a complete circle. At the bottom of the 1.5 inch and 360 x 326 resolution display, you’ll find the black bar that houses the ambient light sensor. Just like the “flat tire” on the Moto 360.
Now that we are checking the display, we find it not as crisp as we would like. It affects the pics and text looks pixelated. In comparison, the 1.4-inch 400 x 400 resolution display on the new Huawei Watch looks way better.
Rather than using a Qualcomm chip like all the other manufacturers around, Fossil went for an Intel Atom CPU. I like it, but the opinions are still split at the office.
In our tests, the watch staggered while swiping through different screens or cards. More than once we were forced to reboot the watch. But, when it works, it works great. I suspect there is a software-hardware issue that Fossil can correct with a new update.
Specs wise, aside from the new Intel CPU and the extra 1GB of RAM, the Fossil Q Founder watch is like every other Android Wear smartwatch on the market.
It has a built-in storage of 4GB for apps or music, and Wi-Fi access that lets you use it when your phone is left behind. It also has a gyroscope and an accelerometer sensor to track your steps and distance.
However, there is no heart-rate monitor or GPS for tracking pace and distance when running or cycling. Again, split opinions. Some of my colleagues are unhappy with this. I, for example, do not think this is a drawback. In the end, the Fossil Q Founder is a fashion watch and not a sports watch.
Fossil Q Founder Review – Performance And Features
The Fossil Q founder is running Android Wear, and it offers the same experience you’ll find on any other smartwatch, powered by Google. You’ll have access to cards upon cards that you have to swipe through to get to the information you need.
However, we would like to see more useful apps for Android Wear. I mean that Fossil did not add any brand-specific apps to the Q Founder. Aside from a couple of custom watch faces, Fossil does nothing to make the Q Founder stand out.
Let’s see some examples. The Moto 360 includes Motorola’s fitness-centric MotoBody app. At the same time, the Huawei Watch is preloaded with more than 40 customizable watch faces and a fitness app.
Going back to Android Wear features, earlier this year, Google added limited functionality for the iPhone users. At this time, iPhone users are not able to use 3rd party apps, access Wi-Fi, or reply to text messages right from their wrist. You can view notifications and swipe through Google Now cards, but there is still a lot to improve.
Fossil Q Founder Review – Battery Life
Fossil Q Founder features a 400mAh battery that will last you a single day. In our tests, the Fossil Q Founder performance was under the Huawei Watch. We got two days from the Chinese watch, with the same settings and same usage.
If we compare them with the battery life of the Pebble Time Steel, which lasts seven days, we begin to see the whole picture. The design is good. Specs need a lot of work.
Another frustrating aspect is the charger device. Or the charging type.
The Fossil Q Founder features wireless charging. However, rather than using a simple dock like the Moto 360, the Founder has a huge watch pad. At first sight, you may want to throw out that “cardboard piece”. That part of the box that keeps the watch secure inside.
Must Read: TAG Heuer Connected Smartwatch – Everything You Need To Know
Don’t! This weird charger needs to be used to juice the watch, and there is no other option. You’ve lost that, you are doomed.
Fossil Q Founder Review – Conclusion And Verdict
The truth is that Fossil did not have to make the best Android Wear watch. Nor does it have a duty to add unique features to the Android Wear. It is Google’s work to figure out ways to make its wearable OS more useful, a continuous process that is out of Fossil’s hands.
The role of the Fossil Q Founder is to showcase the Android Wear world to the fashion-conscious buyers.
People who otherwise wouldn’t even think about buying a smartwatch. If the Fossil Q Founder manages to do that, it will be good news for everyone involved. For tech. For fashion. For fashion tech.
It will allow Android Wear expand like never before. But most important, people will understand that wearables are not just for the geeky among us.
Fossil Q Founder Review – Gallery
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