Hands on: Fossil Q Wander review

A slim line smartwatch for daintier wrists

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Fossil Q Wander isn't exactly small, but its slimmed-down proportions will be welcome relief to those who find the current fleet of smartwatches a little overbearing on the wrist.

For

  • Attractive design
  • Easy to change straps
  • Simple magnetic charger

Against

  • No heart rate monitor
  • Still not small
  • Flat tyre screen

The Fossil Q Wander, one of two new Android Wear smartwatches from the time piece manufacturer, is a smartwatch for ladies and those with slimmer wrists.

Q Wander prices start at $295 (around £200, AU$390), depending on the type of strap you fancy with silicone, leather and stainless steel all possible options.

The metal design is sleek and elegant, rather than the more rugged Q Marshal, which gives it a more subtle appearance on the wrist. It also won't drown smaller wrists in a sea of casing, which sees the Q Wander targeted more towards the female market.

Fossil Q Wander review

You can easily swap straps too, allowing you to change the look of your Q Wander for a night out or exercise session. It can also track your steps and activities, giving you a weekly report on your movement.

It sits comfortably on the wrist, with the flat plastic rear devoid of a heart rate monitor. While you won't be able to track your beats per minute, the Q Wander is water resistant so you can take it for a quick dip.

The screen is bright and clear, making it easy to read and there are a number of watch faces pre-installed on the Q Wander allowing you to personalize your new wearable. You can even program certain watch faces to appear at specific points in a day.

Fossil Q Wander review

That means you could have a fitness watch face ready for your morning workout, which then changes to something more professional when you get to work, and then switches to something more personal come the evening.

It's not fully circular however, with it sporting the same "flat tyre" chunk at its base - just like the Moto 360 - when Fossil has hidden some sensors.

Most of the time you won't notice it, but when you do it's a little annoying it's not a full circle like, you know, an actual watch.

Fossil Q Wander review

On screen you'll find the stock Android Wear setup, with a wide variety of applications now available for your watch. And the good news is you don't have to have an Android phone for the Q Wander to work – it'll also play nicely with iPhones.

Navigation is smooth and loads times are fast, thanks to the Snapdragon 2100 chip sitting inside. That's an upgrade over the processor found in the older Q Founder and the performance difference between the two is noticeable.

Charging is easy too, with a magnetic disk which sticks onto the rear of the watch. It's very, very similar to the charger for the Apple Watch – some may say too similar.

Fossil Q Wander review

Early verdict

The Fossil Q Wander isn't exactly small, but its slimmed-down proportions will be welcome relief to those who find the current fleet of smartwatches a little overbearing on the wrist.

The strong design and improved performance makes the Q Wander a solid smartwatch, but at the end of the day it doesn't boast any additional functionality over the competition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and operating systems. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week (for the highest score on Super Mario Bros using a giant controller), John hasn't looked back since.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.