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Fossil’s New Smartwatches Indicate Wearables Are Finally Headed in the Right Direction

One of the many fashion brands to get involved in wearable technology, Fossil introduced their own fitness trackers and smartwatches last year. Dubbing it their Q line, Fossil put a heavy emphasis on style, with terrific leather and metal bands on cases that looked they were lifted from regular wristwatches. Earlier this year they decided to toy around with a smart analog watch, using LEDs and vibrations to alert users of notifications, but now they’re back at it with Android Wear. Their 2016 line of Q devices was announced yesterday, including two new smartwatches and one fitness tracker.

Q-Wander

The smartwatches run Android Wear, which means as far as functionality goes, they’re about on par with any other Android Wear-based smartwatch out there — expect to use it mostly for notifications, navigation, and voice commands using Google Now (remember, it’s possible to use one with an iPhone, too). Fine by us — more time to dig into how these new watches look and feel. The Q Wander is one that caught our eye. With a slimmer case and band plus a smaller size option, it’s the first Fossil smartwatch we’ve seen that looks suitable for smaller wrists. We’re not going too overboard with the enthusiasm, though — size options are 46 mm and 44 mm, so even the smaller option here is pretty big when compared to the rest of the smartwatch market. Still, the gold-colored case option, the refined minimalist look, and the leather band options make it look like something we wouldn’t mind adding to our collection.

Q-Marshal

The other new smartwatch is the Q Marshal, which goes in the other direction. It’s bigger and bulkier, with a navy blue case that features dimples around the edges of the plated case. It’s supposed to be the more rugged option, but it looks like the Q Marshal and the Q Wander were cut from the same cloth — both kind of have that minimal feel, with bezels cut down to almost nothing.They look clean, and while we still have a feeling that digital displays are a limiting factor when it comes to stylishness, we really like the angle Fossil has taken here. The only thing we don’t know is battery life, but with the previous generation clearing the full-day threshold, we’re expecting the new ones will be at least on par.

Q-motion2

Fossil’s updated fitness tracker is called Q Motion, and will be able to track steps taken, distance traveled, hours slept, and other fitness stats while pushing smartphone notifications using LED lights and vibrations. Like a few other fitness trackers we’ve seen (Misfit comes to mind), the Q Motion can also be used as a remote camera shutter, music remote, or lost and found device for your phone, just by tapping on the tracker. It’s water-resistant up to 50 meters as well, and has a battery life of six months on a replaceable coin cell battery. Style hasn’t been ignored here, either — the Q Motion features a slim silicone band and a clean, rounded tracker unit with a nice metallic sheen to it.

New-QWander-Marshal

The Q Marshal and Q Wander will both be available later this year for $275 each, while Q Motion will be available in summer for $95. You’ll also be able to purchase interchangeable metal, leather, and silicone bands for the two smartwatches, in a variety of colors.