With the Fossil Q Venture smartwatch, the popular brand has reaffirmed its commitment to Google’s wearable platform, putting out its third-generation devices – and its first to feature Android Wear 2.0, the most feature-rich revision of the wrist-worn OS.
At a fair price and with a solid construction, it’s a worthy entry into the flailing Android Wear market, though the omission of a few key features may turn some diehard wearable fans away.
Fossil Q Venture price and availability
- Starting RRP at £259 / $255 / AU$399
- Pricing varies depending on strap configuration and finish
- Better deals already available at third-party resellers
First revealed in September 2017, the Fossil Q Venture is now on sale through Fossil’s stores and online, as well as at third-party retailers.
With a smart finish and attractive design, it’s competitively priced against the competition, with prices starting at £259 / $255 / AU$399 if you pair the watch with a leather strap rather than the premium chain-link option. The rose gold finish pushes the price up a little more too.
With no 4G-equipped equivalent, beyond design your options are limited – but you can already knock a chunk off that entry price if you shop around with third-party sellers, making the Fossil Q Venture an even more tempting proposition.
- Lightweight, relatively compact design
- Single button in crown, but no rotating bezel or crown
- Well-suited to smaller wrists
Fossil has a heritage of delivering sleek watch designs at a relatively affordable price, and the Fossil Q Venture continues in that tradition.
The Fossil Q Venture opts for a round face design, with an unmarked bezel (rather than the sports-orientated numbered bezel that some smartwatches make use of). A single button sits on the right-hand side of the face, within the crown.
But that crown doesn’t rotate, nor does the bezel. That means you’re going to have to scroll through any lists with your fingers on the smartwatch’s touchscreen, which could be a bit fiddly for those with chunkier digits.
However, plenty of other brands also take this approach, including Tag Heuer, Mont Blanc, Misfit and LG. So you’re only looking at the Apple Watch 3 or Samsung Gear S3 if you want that functionality – and that’d be at the expense of the Android Wear 2.0 ecosystem.
It’s a relatively compact design overall, making for a subtle, discreet smartwatch – one that, if paired with a reserved face, could easily pass as a traditional wristwatch.
With a 42mm face and being only 11.5mm thick, it’s lightweight for a stainless steel watch, and you’ll forget you’re wearing it until you need it or get a notification, which is a good thing.
The one flourish on the smooth steel watch face is a thin textured ring around the outer edge of the face – again, thin enough to be subtle, present enough to be an attractive touch.
The 18mm strap can be changed, with Fossil offering leather and metal options. We removed a few links from the stainless steel strap we were provided for a better fit, but be warned – we endured a squeakiness in the strap when shaking our wrists that could frustrate if you’re a regular wrist waggler.
Rated for IP67 water protection, you’ll be able to take the Fossil Q Venture into a shower without any problems, while it’ll also survive a dunking in 1 meter of fresh water for 30 minutes, should it slip into a puddle, pond or fall victim to a pedalo lake boating accident.
Charging is carried out over a small round magnetic puck, securing itself to the underside of the smartwatch for ‘wireless’ charging. It held firm throughout our charging sessions, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it slipping off and waking up to find an uncharged smartwatch.
- A round-face for the first time in a Fossil smartwatch
- 42mm diameter case face
- Rich OLED display
Previously, Fossil has opted for the dreaded “flat tire” approach to smartwatch displays, but with the Fossil Q Venture it finally brings a fully-rounded screen.
At 42mm diameter, it’s a relatively small display for a smartwatch, but the clarity and the brightness of the screen mean that all text, notification icons and watch face elements remain legible, whatever the time of day.
Whether fully lit or in its at-a-glance always-on low power / low brightness mode, the Q Venture was always easy to read, and never overly reflective, even in direct sunlight.
It’s worth noting however that it’s not quite an edge-to-edge display – a black ring separates the used screen real estate and the metal frame.
As it’s quite compact you may find it at times a bit difficult to tap and select smaller icons. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s here where an alternative control option, such as a rotating bezel or crown, would have been useful for those with bigger fingers.
As Android Wear 2.0 was designed with these design considerations in mind, it’s a big opportunity missed.