Reviewed: Fossil Q Smartwatch

This review contains affiliate advertising 

It’s safe to say that there are smartwatches aplenty in the market these days, from the more well-known models such as the Apple Watch to something a little less popular like the Nokia watches. Fossil has seen a gap in the market to perfectly marry form and function to produce a style forward, yet still ultra-practical smartwatch.

Fossil Q Explorist Smartwatch | The Man's Handbook Blog


The overall design is simple, rather than reinventing the wheel a-la Apple Watch, Fossil has opted to take a traditional design and load it with a tonne of clever tech. All Fossil Q models come with interchangeable straps, the Explorist edition works with all of Fossil’s 22mm straps…and there’s a lot to pick from! The watch itself has a 45mm face, but due to the traditional round finish, it doesn’t feel big and bulky on the wrist, it’s made from stainless steel with a smoky grey finish which looks great for both casual and formal wear.

You can select and design a huge range of faces, as well as download more from the Google Play store, the pre-loaded Fossil faces are available as digital faces or analogue and allow for additional extras such as date, weather, heart rate and steps to be pulled onto the watch-face.


The Fossil Q Explorist Gen 4 smartwatch runs off the Google Wear OS platform, you might be thinking that this is therefore only an Android-compatible watch, and you’d be wrong. Google Wear OS works on Android 4.4+ (excluding GO edition) and it also works seamlessly on iOS 9.3 and up…yep, Google and Apple are finally burying the beef and making devices that work on each other’s platform. The Fossil Q range all come fully equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi making it super easy to get yourself up and running.

The Techy Bits

Fossil Q Explorist Gen 4 Smartwatch | The Man's Handbook Blog

Whilst it can look just like a regular Fossil watch, the Q Explorist Gen 4 is packed full of clever tech. As you’d expect with a Google watch, you get the likes of Google Pay, Google Play and other Google Apps built into the watch, however, the watch allows you to leave your phone behind as it comes complete with built-in GPS. This means you can run, swim and ride to your heart’s content without needing your phone with you, whilst you can’t make calls and send messages, the watch will continue to track your movements and log them for you.

You’ll be able to get all your notifications straight to your watch, even from apps such as iMessage and WhatsApp. You can store music directly onto the watch, meaning you can listen to your workout playlist, even when you’re not connected to your phone. The Fossil Q Explorist Gen 4 edition is also swim-proof, features rapid charging which gives you over 80% juice in under an hour and will automatically update the time depending on your time zone.

The Verdict

For something that looks like a traditional watch, the Explorist certainly picks a punch. It’s full of clever bits of tech, works great with Android or iOS devices and also looks absolutely fantastic, really you can’t fault it. The screen is big, bright and easy to see in different lighting, it’s comfortable and convenient and gives you everything you need at your fingertips. Being able to change the straps out is a great little addition, giving you one watch for a variety of different occasions.

It comes in at £269.00, which when compared to the Apple Watch Series 4, which has very similar technology but a starting price of £399, it shows there really are alternatives to Apple’s flagship wearable.

If you’re interested in the Fossil Q, which would make a fantastic Christmas Gift, check out the Explorist by clicking here.