As reported last week, Fossil’s new Android Wear watches – Q Marshal and Q Wander – are now on sale in Australia, online and in-store. The watches are a step up from the company’s original Q Founder, and it looks like Fossil is committed to releasing new designs in the Q line as well keeping pace with Android wear features.
We checked out the pair at Fossil’s Sydney QVB store last week and found that both of the new watches are lovely to look at and feel great in the hand and on the wrist. The Q Wander is marketed at those with – shall we say “smaller” – wrists, although the reality is that it’s really only ever so slightly smaller and about the same price, so it’s really a matter of preference. Each of the four finishes on the watch body were available, with a number of replacement bands also on show.
While many Android Wear manufacturers are tech companies moving into wearables, you can tell when a company goes the other way. Fossil is already well-known for its watch craftsmanship and you can feel the quality of its build and design as soon as these new watches touch your wrist.
The Q Marshal literally has its own Zoolander-style “blue steel” which is pretty eye-catching if blue’s your colour and goes well with a brown leather band, but I was more drawn to the stainless steel bands myself – I feel like I want a watch whose fastener doesn’t create more bulk on the underside of my wrsit when resting on a desk or table.
The new Q’s also include a speaker to take advantage of Android Wear’s audio capabilities – something sorely missing from a few watches out there at the moment (and the one on my wrist). The microphone is also near those speakers; hopefully it’ll bring clarity to the voice recognition system, but it’s hard to tell in a retail environment.
The watches also feature wireless charging, with a tiny Qi charger included in the box. It’s small enough that you can bundle it up and take it with you, and attaches magnetically to the watch to ensure it charges.
There are a couple of notable caveats with Fossil’s new babies, though: the company hasn’t yet moved on from the “flat tire” screen with a lower chunk missing from it, first seen in Motorola’s original Moto 360. It is what it is, and we know a number of people have been happy to make this trade-off over the past couple of years. It’s also eschewing some part of the fitness market with the absence of a heart rate monitor. With a number of fitness-specific players in the Android Wear market now, this is pretty easy to forgive.
The new watches both retail between $479 and $499. They both have 22mm band connectors, and Fossil is also selling their own range of bands with them. They’re available in store and online (from Fossil’s Australian site) now. We’re looking forward to checking them both out in more detail, and should be seeing some review units in the coming weeks.