The Fossil Q Explorist is a Wear smartwatch that brings the metal. It’s fundamentally the successor to the Fossil Q Founder, an initial generation Fossil smartwatch we actually really liked and could have liked it more had its touchscreen not been packing among those horrible black tyres.

Fossil’s third generation watch comes in a assortment of very men-friendly looks and comes packing Wear 2.0. Which means it’ll play nice with iPhones and Android phones, bringing you features like notifications, activity tracking, music playback control and usage of Google Assistant.

Priced at £259 in the event that you choose the model with a leather band, or £279 if you wish the all-metal look, the Explorist is pretty reasonably priced and substantially cheaper to possess than an Apple Watch. For that money, you will not be obtaining a Wear watch will all of the great features, but more of a compromise on those linked smarts while retaining the nice looks of a ‘dumb’ watch.

With so many smartwatches from Fossil and its own sub-brands, like Skagen, Diesel and Emporio Armani, that is one company that’s making sure you have a good amount of options to select from. The question is, if the Explorist be the main one you spend your cash on?

We’ve been coping with the third-gen Fossil smartwatch to learn. Continue reading for our verdict on the Fossil Q Explorist.

Fossil Q Explorist: Design and build
At its core, the Q Explorist is a round, 46mm watch with a stainless casing, with the choice of somewhat of metal or going full metal jacket. The model we surely got to live with was the Luggage Leather edition, which includes a matte blue metal casing, a pleasant industrial-style stainless bezel and a stunning 22mm leather watch strap. If you happen to couldn’t already tell, we really liked wearing this smartwatch. It’s arguably among the nicest Wear smartwatches we’ve placed on our wrist, and, for our money, it’s up there with the Skagen Falster and the Michael Kors Access with regards to replicating the sensation of wearing a standard watch.

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At 12mm thick, it’s still nearly as slender as we want a smartwatch to be, which is odd great deal of thought does not have any sensors like GPS, a heartrate monitor or NFC to accommodate. However the extra thickness isn’t something we really noticed. This is simply not a wrist watch that weighs heavy on the wrist, though that could be a slightly different proposition with the all-metal model, so that’s worth remember.

Its 46mm frame suggests it’s one for all those with daintier wrists in order to avoid, but we didn’t feel just like it sat too bulky on our skinnier wrists. It’s just a watch made for men and gets the versatility to be worn with informal or even more formal attire. But although it has an IP67 certified water-resistant design, we’re uncertain you’d actually want to get a swim with it.

The factor that does let you know that is a smartwatch is, of course, the touchscreen. There’s a 1.4-inch, 454 x 454 pixel resolution AMOLED display that’s thankfully fully round. There is no flat tyre here, my friends. There exists a slim black screen bezel around the edge of the display, but it isn’t that noticeable, specially when going for a darker watch face. It’s sharp, bright, vibrant, offers good visibility generally in most conditions and is up there with the very best screens you can get on a smartwatch.

That display is flanked by a crown and two buttons above and below it. The crown could be pressed to launch the software drawer or held right down to launch Google Assistant. In addition, it twists, giving you an alternative solution way to scroll through the Wear interface. The button above offers you fast access to Fossil’s own software add-ons (more on that later) with the main one below getting you to the Google Play Store to download some apps. That’s precisely how they are set as default, nevertheless, you can program them to be assigned to other features aswell. You can also find that Fossil makes room for a mic to provide voice control support and use Google’s own smart assistant.

The Explorist looks the part, feels as though a well-built watch and, unlike a few of Fossil’s other Wear watches, has something unique to provide in the look department. Hopefully all Fossil watches will observe in the footsteps of the metal watch number.

Fossil Q Explorist: Wear OS and features
Before we enter what you can get from Wear OS upon this smartwatch, let’s manage those specs first. It’s pretty standard fare here, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 512MB of RAM powering performance. There is also 4GB of storage with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support up to speed. Everything you get is a fairly zippy performance swiping through screens, launching software and generally getting together with the Wear UI.

It’ll, of course, use iPhones and Android phones, as we mentioned earlier, even though Google is wanting to give a more equal experience when paired with either phone platform, Wear still feels an improved, more complete match Android handsets. Hopefully this changes soon, though, as this is a major part of Google’s decision to rebrand Android Wear to Wear OS.

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On the sensor front, you are getting an accelerometer and gyroscope motion sensors to provide fitness tracking support through Google Fit, and alternative party Wear applications without serious sports tracking features up to speed. That’s hardly surprising rather than that big of a concern when you consider that is not a smartwatch built for run or gym lovers. It’s about the style.

It’s also reflected in a few of the few extras that Fossil increases the Wear setup. That top physical button offers you usage of the same My Styles feature as on the Fossil Q Venture. Additionally you get the same handful of games pre-installed that are nice time killers, if not at any risk of replacing a casino game you’d reach for on your own smartphone if you are bored. Those couple of customisable watch faces remain set up, too, with the Digital option a good fit on the Explorist. In addition to that, that is Wear at its most elementary, where aspects like notifications and music playback support impress the most nonetheless it still lacks that intuitiveness you get from rival smartwatch os’s.

There is Google Assistant up to speed, as we say, nonetheless it still feels just a little clunky on smartwatches. Also disappointing is that it misses from Google Pay, which is a great fit for the Explorist – since it would be on the rest of the Fossil smartwatches that lack the opportunity to make payments from the wrist.

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Fossil Q Explorist: Battery life
As may be the case with most of Fossil’s third generation Wear smartwatches, the Explorist will probably give you around 24-hour battery life. When comparing that from what Fitbit and even Apple’s smartwatches (maybe less so) offer, it’s not at all the best you can aquire from a smartwatch.

You’ll comfortably get yourself a day trip of it and it could even stretch to half of a day extra in addition when you put the battery saver mode into action. But two days is unquestionably unthinkable predicated on our experience. If you are prepared to accept that you will be charging it as regularly as your smartphone, then great. If not, well, there are better options out there for you personally.

One positive is that’s nice and simple to charge because Fossil runs on the very Apple-eque style wireless charging disc, which magnetically clips to the trunk of the watch and really should get you up from 0-100% in a few hours. It’s definitely one to accomplish when you’re asleep.

Fossil Q Explorist

By Fossil

The Fossil Explorist is among the finest looking Wear watches for men, even though it generally does not escape from a few of the gripes we’ve about Fossil’s other current smartwatches, it’s somewhat much easier to forgive when it can such an excellent job of hiding away those smarts. The smartwatch features are basic and it’s really a shame that payment support isn’t there, but if you are looking for well-priced option to the Skagen Falster or the Michael Kors Access Grayson, this is actually the Wear watch to choose.