Review: Fossil Q Explorist
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Fossil has always done a good job of making smartwatches look not too different from the conventional mechanical watches. The Q Explorist (Rs19,995 onwards), now in its third generation, looks great too. This is available in five dial colours (black, stainless steel, smoked steel, gold and blue) and paired with various options of silicone, leather and metal bands. This is a 46mm case, and looks equally at ease in casual and professional environments. There is one design shortcoming though—it is quite easy for the buttons on the right spine to get pressed accidentally, and whatever apps you have configured with these open up instantly.
This is an Android Wear smartwatch with a circular display. The screen is quite bright and sharp, though a bit reflective if you have configured a watch face with a darker colour theme. The touch response is a little inconsistent—sometimes it takes a couple of taps to successfully select an option.
On paper, the Bluetooth setup process is quite simple, with the Android Wear app (free for Android and iOS). However, it was a struggle to pair this with the Apple iPhone X. Once it finally happened, the Q Explorist decided to automatically disconnect and reconnect constantly with the iPhone in a never-ending loop, which made it unusable if you wanted to get the phone’s notifications on the watch. It was easier to pair this with an Android phone, though even this took a couple of attempts.
The Fossil Q Explorist runs Android Wear 2, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor with 512 MB RAM. While it offers a smooth performance for the most part, annoying slowdowns do occasionally happen and you will be looking at a blank screen once in a while.
Battery life is the Fossil Q Explorist’s weakest point. When paired with an iPhone, the battery lasts just 3 hours with no apps running on the watch and the GPS (on the watch) turned off. It is not much better with an Android phone either, lasting 4 hours with the exact same settings replicated. Basically, if you intend to wear this daily to work, it’ll not even get through a day.
The Q Explorist has all the tools in place, including the Fit app, for tracking your daily exercise routine and even sleep. The Q Explorist is IP67 rated, which means it can be used for tracking swim routines too.
There is no doubt that the Fossil Q Explorist is a beautiful watch to look at, but it has its shortcomings. The poor battery life and connection stability issues mean you will use it every time more in hope than in anticipation—which kind of kills the point of a smartwatch anyway.