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Hands on: Fossil Q Wander review

A slim line smartwatch for daintier wrists

What is a hands on review?
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.


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


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

Update: The Fossil Q Wander has been discounted since its original announcement at IFA 2016. We've now seen the price drop to $149 /£150 (about AU$200) and it may go even lower during sales periods. The watch now also sports Wear OS software, but we've left our original hands on review intact below that refers to Android Wear software on the watch.

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.

Read more: Fossil Sport

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.

John McCann

Global Managing Editor

John got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile. Previously Phones Editor, John now looks after the day-to-day running of the site. When he's not got his head buried in mobile tech, you'll find John sitting behind the wheel in his regular TR Drives column.

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.