Fossil has come a long way since the debut of its first hybrid smartwatches in 2015. What was once a small endeavor with just a handful of devices has grown to take over most of the brands under Fossil Group. Michael Kors, Diesel, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Skagen, and others all have hybrid smartwatches under their accessory umbrellas that speak to each brand’s style.

It’s not just the numbers and designs of these smartwatches that have evolved over the past couple of years. Fossil’s Q platform has also changed to serve the needs of its users. The Q app used to be fairly limited, with a few customizable alerts and basic activity information. Now, there’s more that hybrid smartwatch users can do with Q, and many of the new additions make the hybrid smartwatches much smarter than they appear on the outside.

Design overview

From the beginning, Fossil was in a good position to explore wearable technology. As a fashion company, it already had blueprints for different watch styles. Those could (and would eventually) be adapted into hybrid and full-on smartwatches. The new Fossil watch I tested is the Q Commuter, a unisex model with a 42mm silver case and a 22mm dark brown leather band. Like the rest of the company’s hybrid smartwatches, the Q Commuter has a built-in accelerometer for activity tracking and a separate subeye that shows activity goal progress throughout the day. Its three physical side buttons can be programmed to do various functions, and the built-in vibration motor lets the device buzz when you’re receiving an alert (it doesn’t make any sounds). It runs on a regular watch battery that can be replaced, but it will last about six months before you have to replace it.

Aside from battery life, the appeal of hybrid smartwatches is their design—the Q Commuter looks like any other traditional watch and has nearly the same design as the “regular” Commuter style that Fossil sells. Its $155 price isn’t much different from the regular model: there’s only one hybrid Commuter smartwatch, but the regular Commuter has different case and band material options that make it range in price from $95 to $155.

To read more please visit https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/12/revisiting-fossil-hybrid-smartwatches-from-curiosity-to-practicality/