Fossil Q Wander/Q Marshal hands-on review: Fossil’s ever-expanding portfolio now includes the likes of Michael Kors and Misfit, but we spent time with some of the newest smartwatches under its own brand, the Fossil Q Wander and Fossil Q Marshal.
Fossil Q Wander/Q Marshal: Specs at a glance
|OS||Android Wear 2.0|
|Processor||800MHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100|
|Extras||IP67-certification, activity tracking, sleep tracking|
Fossil Q Wander/Q Marshal: Hands-on review
Both wearables share the same underlying internals, but each is styled for slightly different users. In the case of the Q Wander, the watch sports a rounded shiny steel casing, available in gold or gloss black.
Like the company’s first Android Wearable (the Q Founder), the circular display retains the ‘flat tyre’ design most prominently seen on the first generation Moto 360, but one of Fossil’s other new smartwatches, the Michael Kors Access, actually integrates this element into its casing design. The 1.5-inch display is technically sharper than the Q Founder’s thanks to the fact that it offers the same 360×360 resolution at a smaller (45mm case) size, but you’d be hard pressed to notice, save for the fact that overall the Q Wander in particular, feels more compact and better suited to daintier wrists.
The watch’s rounded body is still fairly thick as is often the case with such wearables, but it doesn’t protrude too much when on the wrist. The Q Marshal meanwhile intentionally boasts fractionally larger dimensions. It offers the same 1.5-inch circular display, but this time, it’s surrounded by a larger notched bezel. Overall the Marshal swaps out the Wander’s curves for harder lines and a black or brushed stainless steel body, but both look great.
Fossil also naturally pairs the Marshal with strap options made from hardier looking materials; there’s a large metal link option, a host of darker leather choices and even ruggedized rubber on offer, but as both watches support standard 22mm band sizes, you aren’t tied to some proprietary set of Fossil options and can instead easily swap out the quick-release straps for any alternative you like the look of.
On the inside, both watches boast Qualcomm’s new wearable-specific Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. It’s a quad-core chip backed up by 512MB of RAM and 4GB of ROM, just as with the previous generation of Snapdragon 400-powered Android Wear devices, but Qualcomm’s new line of processors should grant these new Fossil watches significantly greater battery life, and indeed the company quotes 24-hours of continuous use from both the Wander and Marshal in place of the Intel-powered Q Founder which lasts for around half that time.
Each watch’s 360mAh battery (the Q Founder featured a 400mAh battery) charges wirelessly by way of a significantly redesigned magnetic charger that’s markedly more portable and compact than Fossil’s first effort, which looked as though it was more if a presentation stand for your watch than a charger.
Software-wise both the Q Wander and Q Marshal come running the latest build of Android Wear 2.0, boast tons of own-brand watch faces along with the standard Android Wear fair and as well as the pre-existing activity tracking, also now integrate sleep tracking too. As with the Q Founder, both offer support for devices running Android 4.3 and up or iOS devices running iOS 8 and up.
Both watches look like timely improvements to 2015’s Q Founder and should broaden the appeal of Android Wearables from Fossil. Pricing between £279 and £299 (depending on body/strap combinations) for either watch and they’re both available now.
Watch our hands-on review of both the Fossil Q Wander and Q Marshal here: