Earlier this fall Fossil announced a full line of wearables, ranging from fitness trackers to a full smartwatch. Most of the devices were available immediately but little was known about the release of the company’s marque wearable, the Fossil Q Founder. The watchmaker has just announced that the Q Founder smartwatch is available for sale starting today. Both the leather and stainless versions of the watch are available through various outlets including the company’s website and stores for $275 and $295 respectively. If you are interested it the Android Wear based smartwatch for yourself or as a gift, I wouldn’t waste too much time, a quick survey of stores seems to indicate very constrained supply of the leather version.
Fossil’s new wearable is handsome looking, pulling directly from the company’s design language; if you like Fossils, you will like the way the Q Founder looks. It runs a stock version of Android Wear but features a few custom watch faces. Size-wise, the device clocks in at 46mm, which places it on the larger end of smartwatches. By comparison the largest Apple Watch is 42mm and both Motorola and Samsung sell 42mm versions of their watches. While the screen on the device is round, it has a slight “flat tire” flat spot on the bottom, similar to the Moto 360. The Q Founder is compatible with both Android and iOS phones but if you are on an iPhone, expect the watch to mainly behave as a notification device – your ability to install apps and interact with your phone is greatly constrained.
The Fossil Q Founder was the first smartwatch to be announced that is powered by Intel’s Atom CPU and TAG Heuer has also partner with Intel on their wearable. Interestingly, both devices lack a heart rate monitor; this makes one wonder if this is a design decision or a hardware issue. Given that almost every other smartwatch has a heart rate sensor, the omission is surprising. But we wonder how many people really make use of heart rate sensors, so it might be a meaningless omission for lots of people.
If all of this is just too techie, don’t forget that Fossil also released a connected watch with a traditional watch face. The 44mm Q Grant is based on the company’s Grant watch. It vibrates and has two small multicolor LEDs that flash when you receive notifications; the notification behavior can be customized through the free companion app. It also behaves as an activity tracker. If this sounds more your speed, the Fossil Q Grant is available starting at $175.