Fossil Q x Cory Richards: a limited-edition smartwatch that packs a punch
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Smartwatches usually have one glaring flaw—they don’t look like conventional watches although they pack in a plethora of features and full-fledged touch display to show you the time, send notifications and run apps. Some watches are thick, some don’t have a full-round display, some are simply overpriced. All this can put off an undecided buyer.
Fossil seems to have understood this problem and has come up with another Q series smartwatch that looks more conventional. The Fossil Q x Cory Richards limited-edition is perhaps one of the few smartwatches that ticks the design, utility and style boxes.
A bit about the Cory Richards link first. Richards is one of the world’s leading adventure and expedition photographers. As it happens, he is a long-time Fossil watch fan. The company used his personal favourite, the original Fossil Blue watch, as design inspiration for the Fossil Q x Cory Richards edition.
The Fossil Q x Cory Richards watch comes in 45mm-size stainless-steel casing (the Apple Watch has sizes 38mm and 42mm, in comparison) and is 14mm thick.
There is the reassuring heft in design and build quality that is a trademark of Fossil watches. It also has the IP67 rating for dust- and water-resistance. Fossil bundles a metal link as well as leather strap with the watch.
It runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip-set that is designed specifically for the low power requirements in smart wearables, has 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal storage space, a gyroscope, Bluetooth and more. There is a 360 mAh that lasts a bit longer than a day on a single charge—this has always been a shortcoming of Android Wear watches. You’ll be able to stretch this a bit more, depending on how many notifications are streaming from your phone to the wrist, and screen brightness . One surprising omission is the lack of an auto-brightness sensor, but that shouldn’t put off potential users.
In terms of smartness, you get Google’s Android Wear 2.0 operating system—it has built-in apps, you can download more apps, the interface has been refreshed, there are new watch-faces too, and it will track your fitness as well with Google Fit. There is no heart-rate monitor, but then anyone buying a wearable for serious fitness-tracking will perhaps buy a fitness band instead. We found that the interface on the watch is snappy, and it is certainly less cluttered than Android Wear watches of the previous generation.
The Fossil Q x Cory Richards looks sophisticated, is built well, is reassuringly smooth to use and offers the option of swapping between the metal and leather bands. Whether it suits you will depend on your wrist size, and how well it sits there.
Android Wear 2.0 is certainly better than the previous iterations of Android Wear for smartwatches. And that makes a particularly strong case for buying this limited-edition special watch.