Rise of the Planet of the Smartwatches
We are nearing the end of the 2010’s and are well into the Smartwatch Wars. Apple is dominating the front, but the allied forces are coming up with new tricks to topple the tech giant. But can they do it?
The short answer: yes. I’m comparing two of arguably the best smartwatches in the game, the Fossil Q Smartwatch and the Apple Watch. Each has their pros and cons, but is the Fossil Q more satisfying than the Apple Watch? Let’s take a look.
Fossil Q Smartwatch
First and foremost, there are plenty of style options for the Fossil Q Smartwatch. Each of the options come at different price points and offer more of a selection. This is a plus because you can choose to save some money but still get a quality product.
I chose the Q Explorist (Generation 3) in the Smoked Stainless Steel color. The design is both classy and casual enough to wear at the office. This particular Fossil Q has a classic link band. However, lots of band-types are available so you can customize it according to your personal taste.
If you opt for a version with a linked band, then expect to have to get it sized. You can take the watch to your local Fossil store or any watch repair shop and they will happily size your bands for you. If you are a watch-nut like myself and own a kit, it literally takes about one minute to remove the links yourself with the proper tools. Don’t try this if you don’t know what you’re doing because the pieces are incredibly small.
Since the Q Smartwatch is not a certified Apple product, you will need to download a separate app if you have an iPhone. The app that controls the watch’s functions is called Google Wear. Once updated and synced, you can customize the face and notification preferences. Google Wear will sync your calendar and contacts to your watch making them easily accessible. Pairing this Google software to my iPhone was surprisingly easy and you’ll get all the functions without being restricted. My only hangup is that the app has to constantly run on your phone for it to be fully useful.
Let me tell you first off that the LED touch-face is beautiful and vibrant- more so than the Apple Watch, in my opinion. It also feels more natural with a circular face whereas the Apple Watch is square/rectangle.
The Fossil Q Smartwatch can do everything the Apple Watch does, and some (me) would say it’s more responsive to the touch. It’s very satisfying to use the touchscreen to swipe left, right, up and down and have the face react immediately. The notification haptic is subtle, yet effective and the sound is crisp.
Viewing the text and email interface on the watch is very clear and laid out a lot better than those on the Apple Watch. Like the Apple Watch, you can customize the watch face colors and layouts but gives you more options for doing so. The Q also has a unique feature that ‘rewards’ you with special watch faces for holidays and certain achievements. Each face is vibrant and has its own functionality. Google Wear also gives you access to Google’s virtual assistant, OK Google, which is far ahead of Apple’s frustrating bot, Siri.
The battery life is okay for day-to-day use, but it depends on the amount of notifications you receive. It’ll last your entire workday but that’s about it. The charging cord that comes with the Fossil Q Smartwatches feels inferior to the quality Apple Watch charger.
Lastly, if it is in any way a deciding factor, the Fossil Q Smartwatch has a very useful Flashlight function that proves to be useful when your phone is not in hand. It uses the watch’s vibrant LED screen to light the way.
Although I love my Apple Watch, I have to say that I am so much more happy with the Fossil Q Smartwatch. It’s beautiful, functional and can do everything the Apple Watch does and does it with a much better user interface. Sadly, the battery life, which is arguably the most important thing to consider, isn’t up to par. That said, I have a more enjoyable experience with my Q Smartwatch, however, for long days I’m sticking with my Apple Watch!