Discussing a smartwatch often defaults to its functions, not its looks. So lets start with the fact that Fossil’s Q Explorist is attractive — even as its traditional round shape houses what appears to be conventional “controls” in that there’s a crown and a tab above/below. Fossil has had plenty of time to perfect their smartwatches, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are the expected features inside a solid OS. But getting back to the “look,” placing the Q Explorist on the wrist shows off an exterior that highlights class without any Sci-Fi flash. But that’s not to say there’s no “flash,” because an embedded LED flashlight does its own illuminating when needed. Obviously you won’t need that outside when the sun’s shining (note: the use of an OLED screen means better viewing outside and brighter color rendition in general). So that’s just another example of how this smartwatch stands out; it isn’t puny on the wrist, it doesn’t try to hide its stainless steel construction away.
So that takes care of the exterior you can see, but what about that which you can’t see inside. For examples, there’s sensors required for accomplishing tasks: like an accelerator enter and gyroscope, among others. Plus electronics to handle chores like deciding what data is to be received and displayed. Obviously the connection to a phone is done via Bluetooth (iOS/Android), with automatic syncing to keep things connected (but there’s Wi-Fi inside too, just saying). Plus the watch’s face isn’t a “dead” thing, but a screen for transmitting data that appears as text — providing notifications and responding to taps on the touchscreen for phone calls, emails, text messages and app updates. A built in microphone aids in voice commands, providing you’re Android oriented, because iPhone users can’t. Meanwhile, the built-in speaker lets you hear sound effects and notifications being sent from apps. But because being unobtrusive is preferable to sirens, a gentle buzzing is used to aurally indicate that its time to take a look at the watch face. And the two together combine for when a call comes in and you’re not bothering to take the phone out of your pocket.
So what else can you do? Control music for one (examples, Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, Google Play, iTunes or Apple Music), use activity tracking to see steps, distance and calories burned. Google maps enabled for easy use, of course, but also the more pedestrian alarm clock and time zone features — since you can personalize the watch’s face, you can make it more attentive to your needs, especially since you’ll be glancing at the watch face who knows how many times in a day. Of course you can install different watch faces and customize those apps you want to see. Plus since its the Android OS operating, accessing the Google Play store directly from the watch is possible too (why the Wi-Fi is there).
Now depending on the usage, the Q Explorist’s internal battery will be needing recharging on an ongoing basis — the average usage of about 24 hours being valid and reasonable, but again it depends on what is being used, how often the watch is called into action, etc. So a charger is provided that just adheres to its back through a magnet, which induction charging transfers power (how else could this be done and keep the watch IP67 water resistant?).
The Fossil Q Explorist retails for $275.00 and comes in a 5 colors, all of which are able to interchange the wristband (being 22mm compatible). But regardless of the one chosen, this is a solid timepiece for the 21st Century wrist.