With the Gen 4 Q Explorist HR, Fossil aims to provide consumers with several features encased in a stylish design
Over the past few years, smartwatches have really become increasingly feature-laden, while maintaining aesthetical and fashionable designs, creating an experience that’s individual to each consumer. And Fossil is one such company that has distinguished itself by providing consumers with devices to fit all their needs – from technology to fitness to fashion.
Powered with Wear OS by Google and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform, the new Gen 4 Q Explorist HR smartwatch offers various features, which include heart-rate tracking, GPS, Google Fit, swim-proof functionality and much more. Let’s take a closer look at the watch.
As a brand that seamlessly integrates fashion with top-level technology, Fossil products exhibit the rare combination of style and functionality, and the Q Explorist HR is no exception. Packed with unique design traits to make room for the customisation of the watch, it offers a number of exclusive dials to suit both fashion centric and fitness centric users, and those who’re somewhere in the middle.
The 22mm tan leather strap features stitch-work along the top side, a metal buckle that’s colour-matched to the body and has rubber on the back to make it comfortable on the wrist. The strap features a quick-release mechanism that’s easy to operate. A heart rate sensor sits on the back of the watch surrounded by two concentric silver rings.
Further, the Q Explorist HR smartwatch offers water-resistance up to 3ATM (30m), and therefore you can jump into the pool or shower without any fear.
The watch’s 45mm body sports a 1.4-inch, circular AMOLED display that offers true blacks, better contrast and is energy efficient as compared to LCDs. While navigating through the interface, the colours on the smartwatch screen appear vibrant and viewing angles remain strong. The auto-brightness works wonderfully with changes in ambient light and environment. When the always-on display option is enabled, it shows a simplified, monochrome take of your chosen watch face without waking the watch up.
Software and features
The watch face acts as a home base, and this is where you’ll mostly find yourself. Fossil offers a plethora of analogue and digital watch faces to choose from. Some faces let you change design elements and colouring, while others display information such as your step count, the weather or upcoming calendar appointments.
The watch comes preloaded with Google Fit and Google Fit Workout apps, allowing you to track your exercise and achieve daily fitness goals. While Move Minutes tells you the total number of minutes you’ve been physically active, Heart Points are based on high intensity activity.
A swipe right on the watch face will make you land on the Google Assistant screen and, with a tap on the microphone icon – or a long-press of the crown – you can use your voice to instruct the Assistant.
You can also view notifications with a swipe up. Quick settings can be accessed with a swipe down gesture. The right-hand side of the watch has two buttons that you can set to open whatever apps you see fit, while in the middle there's a crown that you can rotate to skip through menus within the UI.
Although, there’s a microphone for interacting with the Google Assistant, the lack of any speaker means that the watch can’t provide any voice feedback or facilitate calls on your wrist – something that’s possible on some other watches.
The heart rate monitor on the back of the watch constantly monitors your heart rate when you’re in the middle of exercise, which is particularly helpful. I found the monitor to be accurate. A new extra feature comes in the form of NFC chip that allows you to use Google Pay right from your wrist, meaning you can make quick and easy contactless payments.
The only let down with the watch is the dated Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, with occasional hiccups like animation break downs or stutter while navigating the UI. Apart from the old chipset, almost everything else works as advertised.
On a full charge with always-on-display on, the watch lasts for approximately 7 – 8 hours. The watch can be charged 80 per cent in just an hour and 100 per cent in around one hour and 10 minutes.
The Q Explorist HR is Fossil’s attempt to offer a watch that goes head to head with Samsung Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch, without losing the unique Fossil look. With new features, a more premium design and a strong focus on fitness, the Fossil Q Explorist HR is one of the best smartwatches available in the market.
Design, NFC, Google Fit
Battery life, old processor