Fossil has come a prolonged way given the entrance of its first hybrid smartwatches in 2015. What was once a tiny try with just a handful of inclination has grown to take over many of the brands under Fossil Group. Michael Kors, Diesel, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Skagen, and others all have hybrid smartwatches under their appendage umbrellas that pronounce to any brand’s style.
It’s not just the numbers and designs of these smartwatches that have developed over the past couple of years. Fossil’s Q height has also changed to offer the needs of its users. The Q app used to be sincerely limited, with a few customizable alerts and elementary activity information. Now, there’s some-more that hybrid smartwatch users can do with Q, and many of the new additions make the hybrid smartwatches much smarter than they seem on the outside.
From the beginning, Fossil was in a good position to try wearable technology. As a conform company, it already had blueprints for opposite watch styles. Those could (and would eventually) be blending into hybrid and full-on smartwatches. The new Fossil watch we tested is the Q Commuter, a unisex indication with a 42mm china case and a 22mm dim brownish-red leather band. Like the rest of the company’s hybrid smartwatches, the Q Commuter has a built-in accelerometer for activity tracking and a apart subeye that shows activity thought swell via the day. Its 3 earthy side buttons can be automatic to do several functions, and the built-in quivering engine lets the device hum when you’re receiving an warning (it doesn’t make any sounds). It runs on a unchanging watch battery that can be replaced, but it will last about 6 months before you have to reinstate it.
Aside from battery life, the interest of hybrid smartwatches is their design—the Q Commuter looks like any other normal watch and has scarcely the same pattern as the “regular” Commuter character that Fossil sells. Its $155 cost isn’t much opposite from the unchanging model: there’s only one hybrid Commuter smartwatch, but the unchanging Commuter has opposite case and rope element options that make it operation in cost from $95 to $155.
Back in 2015, Fossil Q inclination were sincerely singular in comparison to these new devices. Watches and bracelets could lane activity and bond to third-party aptness apps, accept notifications and alerts by tiny flashes of light and watch palm movements, and benefaction new “Q Curiosity” hurdles any day in the messenger app. With the updated app, the gimmicky oddity underline is left and the concentration is now on-watch controls and presentation management.
The Q Commuter has 3 side buttons, so you can program 3 “shortcuts” to them. Shortcuts are elementary facilities that only take the press of a symbol to initiate, making them easy to customize and program to the watch’s side buttons. Some are utterly basic, like dire one symbol to spin your smartphone’s music volume up or down. But other shortcuts are some-more difficult nonetheless elementary adequate for an analog watch. For example, you can program one of the side buttons to start a stopwatch, which will pierce the hands of the watch until you press the symbol again to stop it. The “mode toggle” control lets you cycle by all the subeye facilities and check opposite shortcuts at once.
One of the many difficult shortcuts is “commute time,” which will force the watch hands to show you the attainment or transport time to a specific destination. This is one of the few shortcuts that requires you to revise settings in the app—for the invert time shortcut, you must record the residence you wish to transport to. This is meant to be a place you go frequently like home or work, that way you can press the by-pass symbol on the watch at any time to see when you’ll arrive to that residence if you leave your stream plcae now, or how prolonged it will take to get there.
Since hybrid smartwatches don’t have digital displays, these shortcuts are almost meant to do what smartwatch apps would do on an Android Wear device or an Apple Watch. The knowledge may not be as abounding as you’d pattern from a unchanging smartwatch, but that’s the point. Hybrid smartwatches are built to say the analog pattern of a normal watch while incorporating some smart features. That means the controls and use cases may be some-more nuanced than you first pattern and, therefore, take some getting used to.
Yet but the clarity of a full digital display, we found the many candid shortcuts to be the easiest to know and the many useful. Music controls offer a discerning way to adjust the volume of your smartphone’s music but being nearby the device, and the “ring phone” by-pass is ideal for those who constantly displace their smartphone. we only used the invert time by-pass a few times, mostly given my invert isn’t the same every day and mostly involves at slightest one form of open transportation. The invert time by-pass bases its estimations on driving, so it would work better for those constantly in a car.
A organisation of 3 shortcuts can be saved as a preset, which lets you fast program all 3 shortcuts to the 3 side buttons. Presets are meant to be finished to make certain life scenarios easier by giving you on-watch controls that you don’t need to consider about. For example, the pre-fab Travel preset includes the second time zone, mode toggle, and ring phone shortcuts, arguably the 3 many useful shortcuts for when you’re traveling.
You could even make presets for opposite times of your day and switch them out at any time by using the Fossil Q mobile app. Set the music volume shortcuts and the thought tracking by-pass to use during your morning walk, and then switch to the preset including the invert time, mode toggle, and music control shortcuts for your drive to work.
Presets seem to be the long-term use for shortcuts. Initially, it’s fun to play around with opposite shortcuts and switch them out frequently. But over time, users will likely prefer just a few shortcuts and possibly keep them reserved to the watch’s 3 buttons at all times or create presets they can switch between at their leisure. While there’s a bit of a training bend when you first use a hybrid smartwatch like the Q Commuter, Fossil put things in place to make the “smart” aspects of the device as programmed (or set-and-forget) as possible.
Notifications and alerts
Fossil redesigned how its hybrid smartwatch delivers notifications—instead of tiny lights and colored windows on the watch’s face, now the watches only quiver and pierce hands to a specific time. In the app, you can allot contacts and apps to specific numbers so that the hands of the watch pierce to that series when you accept a specific alert. we reserved calls from anyone to 12, so the watch’s hands pierce to that series whenever my smartphone gets a call.
The same can be finished for apps, and Fossil smartwatch alerts support a series of mobile apps including WhatsApp, Facebook, Hangouts, Pinterest, Skype, Slack, Snapchat, Spotify, and more. we use WhatsApp to speak with my boyfriend instead of Apple’s local Messages app, so we finished certain to set WhatsApp to the series 6 so we never missed a content summary from him.
Assigning contacts and apps in the Fossil Q app is painfully simple, too. All the numbers on the watchface are in a grid, and you can daub the series to which you wish to allot the alert. Fossil’s revamped notifications complement is even easier than the shortcut/preset menu given there’s not much of a training curve. Even if some users don’t wish to worry with shortcuts and presets, it’s easy to spin any watch series into a vigilance for your contacts and smartphone alerts.
I wouldn’t suggest assigning an warning to any number, though, given 12 opposite contacts and apps to remember is a lot. we only reserved notifications to 12, 3, 6, and 9 and kept it limited to my many used apps and many critical contacts.
A hybrid for the smartwatch age
People are truly starting to welcome smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, but there will be some who don’t wish to give up that analog watch experience. Regular watches aren’t going anywhere, but Fossil is smart to dive into the hybrid smartwatch difficulty so it can yield those business with a “smart” choice that isn’t a entirely fledged smartwatch.
The updates to the Fossil Q height make it even easier and some-more cultivatable for people to welcome the thought of a hybrid smartwatch. I’m blissful Fossil got absolved of the Q Curiosity plea given it was fundamentally filler content—something for the company to hang in the app to inspire some-more interaction. But as other smartwatches have proven, a underline like that is unnecessary. Users especially correlate with a smartwatch messenger app to change and customize settings for their device, and that’s it. Fossil finished the Q mobile app better by expelling the flint and adding some-more shortcuts, presets, and presentation options so users could some-more simply make their watches their own. As a wearable surrogate for your smartphone’s close screen, Fossil’s hybrid smartwatches are much better than they were a few years ago.
But there’s still a training bend to the Fossil Q platform—if you wish a wearable that you can slap on your wrist (with abounding default settings) and go, then hybrid smartwatches aren’t for you. Convenience is one of the biggest selling points of unchanging smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, as many of the information relayed to the watch automatically comes from the smartwatch immediately after setup. Only those who don’t mind spending time getting to know their watch and customizing the side symbol functions will enjoy wearing a Fossil Q hybrid device.
- Traditional watch designs
- Months-long battery life
- Multiple shortcuts to allot to any side buttons
- Presets make it easy to keep a multiple of shortcuts on hand
- Fossil Q supports countless app notifications and alerts
- More difficult than a unchanging watch
- Information from some-more formidable shortcuts could be lost in interpretation in the analog watch face
- Lots of alerts to remember if all watch numbers are reserved to contacts and apps
- Not as available or strong as bone-fide smartwatch platforms