Look around – smartwatches are not cheap. It’s easy to drop hundreds of pounds on an Apple Watch, or many thousands of pounds on a Tag Connected or Breitling Exospace B55 Connected. It’s safe to say that we are currently paying the price to buy into what is still a very young and evolving market, and it appears as though tech giants and Swiss watchmakers are hesitant to launch a loss-leader or affordable feature-packed option, because there is little money in it for them in a market where people are spending huge amounts.
That is, until now. American designer and manufacturer Fossil Group have launched their own smartwatch called the Q Founder, an affordable and feature-packed smartwatch that has a fantastic balance of looks, functionality and price. In many ways, Fossil has played a blinder – they have sat back and allowed the smartwatch wars to unfold only to release a competitor to the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices that can hold its own. Here’s everything you need to know about the Fossil Q Founder:
Design and Appearance
The Fossil Q Founder has a brushed stainless steel case and is available with a stainless steel strap or leather strap. The case size is 47mm, and the watch looks a lot like the Moto 360, in that it has a round display and a black bar where the screen cuts off at the bottom.
Speaking of which, the display dominates the front of the watch. It’s a 1.5-inch unit that remains on to display the time. The Q Founder looks like a normal watch when you are not playing with the display. It’s a little on the large side, but it still looks great.
Features and Technology
The Fossil Q Founder runs Android Wear and has support for Android devices running 4.4+ and iOS devices running 8.2+. It connects to a smartphone – or tablet – by Bluetooth 4.1 LE and it has 4GB of on-board storage for apps, with a 400mAh battery that’s rated for ‘a day’.
The watch is IP67 water resistant and it boasts a 240 PPI 1.5-inch round LTPS LCD display, powered by 1GB of RAM and an Intel processor. For those of you who have a keen eye, you will have noticed that those are similar specs to the Tag Heuer Connected. You will have also noticed that 240 PPI isn’t as good as the Apple Watch’s 326 PPI. To that end, we’d say there’s more to a display than the amount of pixels it has and the Q Founder’s display has proven itself to be a responsive, vibrant one in tests conducted and published on YouTube.
Pricing and Availability
In the UK, the Fossil Q Founder Stainless Steel will set you back £279.00 with free shipping directly from Fossil, while the Leather version is cheaper still, at £259.00. That’s a lot less than the Apple Watch Sport, which will set you back £339.00 for the 42mm version.
In the US, pricing is very similar. The stainless steel Fossil Q Founder has a RRP of $295.00 directly from Fossil while the Q Founder leather version costs $275.00 directly from Fossil. Additional straps can be purchased for around $30.00.
The Q Founder looks great, runs great and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s a serious smartwatch – make no mistake – yet people aren’t being asked to drop the kind of money that could buy a new top of the range smartphone. Overall, Fossil could well be onto a winner here.