It’s time to test the Fossil Q Explorist

It’s time to test the Fossil Q Explorist

Andrea Jacob
Zurich, on 06.04.2018
Pictures: Thomas Kunz
Translation: Eva Francis
I’m not usually a fan of watches. When I was a kid, I used to insist on wearing my Flik Flak on my right wrist. Today, almost 30 years old, I wear my watch on the left wrist and have realised that watches are rather cool – as long as they are smart. It’s about time to put this newly discovered fascination to a test with Fossil’s 3rd generation Q Explorist.

Whatever it is, if it flashes, has a touchscreen and can be paired with a smartphone, I’ll notice it. That’s how the Q Explorist got my attention. I have rather large wrists for a girl, which is why I like large watches. In my opinion, Fossil’s Q Explorist has a good size – average in terms of height or thickness (whichever you prefer). It’s a comfortable watch and has no sharp edges. The buttons have a good touch – a detail that perfectionists value greatly. The leather wristband is comfortable and develops a used look after a while. A great feature; a watch has to have a life of its own.

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Sports watches + Smartwatches
Q Explorist (46mm, Stainless steel, Leather)
Fossil Q Explorist (46mm, Stainless steel, Leather)

Time for adventure – with Fossil's smartwatch Q Explorist, you stay connected wherever you are.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside: This watch is equipped with 512 MB RAM, a gyroscope for rotary movements, an accelerometer and a light sensor. The latter is especially useful when you’re trying to read the display when the sun is shining and you’re wearing sunglasses. In terms of software, this watch runs on Wear OS by Google (formerly Android Wear) – a positive surprise. This is the first Smartwatch with Wear OS that I’ve tested thoroughly.

What I loved about the Q Explorist

Wear OS is intuitive and easy to use and the keyboard and answer feature are quite clever: Touch the mini keyboard with your finger and you’ll get text suggestions or can write your answer onto the display with character recognition. I’m not keen on reading the manual for hours before I can use a watch, so I’m happy with how this works: Put it on, press the button, open the app, done.

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After having taken a look at the predecessor – you have to have a comparison – I was absolutely amazed. It’s hugely impressive how Fossil managed to make such great improvements to this model in just one year. The biggest pain point of the previous version was a cut-off display, also referred to as «flat tyre». Sorry, what? Yes, you heard correctly. I’m a great fan of the Q Explorist's round, full AMOLED display. I don't get why it hasn’t always been like this. But nobody’s perfect.

In previous reviews, one disadvantage that was often mentioned was that the watch would easily slide off the charger. This has also been improved. It still only charges if you attach the right side of the charger to the rear of the watch (why it’s not possible to produce a two-sided charger I don’t know), but once attached, it doesn’t slide off. That’s if you don't have a cat that’s fond of cables. Talking of charging: The more you wear the watch, the more often you’ll need to recharge it. But it’s not too much of a hassle; you charge your smartphone every night, too, don’t you? Why not charge both at the same time? People who wear a watch in bed are weird anyway.

It's not all roses

OK, let’s take off those rose-coloured glasses: There were three things that I didn’t like.

  1. If you bend your wrist, either Google Assistant switches on or the whole clock turns off. Great! I have no idea how to fix it, except by taking off the crown, which leaves the watch looking rather crappy. So I decide to live with this annoying «feature».

  2. Water-resistant isn’t the same as waterproof. It’s easy to misunderstand this. IP67 means it can be submerged in water for a short time without sustaining damage. How about an example from real life? Cannonballing into the pool is fine, but swimming lengths isn’t.

  3. It doesn’t have a heart rate monitor. I would have liked one – just to brag about my exceptionally low resting heart rate of 54 (which I don’t owe to being an athlete).

To cut a long story short

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There’s no need to think twice: The Q Explorist does what it promises – and looks great at the same time. Google’s Wear OS is cool, the watch is well made and stylish enough to make you want to wear it every day.

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Andrea Jacob
Andrea Jacob
Category Marketing Manager, Zurich
My head is crammed with ideas. And I add a new one every minute. I enjoy discussions and forming my own opinions. I love gadgets and anything that has a motor. I’m definitely in the right place.

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