Fossil's New Smartwatches Have the One Feature You Want

Fossil isn't hopping off of the wearable train anytime soon. The watch giant is introducing two new smartwatches, the Q Wander and the Q Marshal this month. Both start at $295 and will be available for preorder on Friday (Aug. 12). The two watches will officially hit store shelves on Aug. 29.

If you were hoping for a huge departure from the existing Fossil Q Founder, you may be disappointed—or pleased. These two new watches are fairly similar. Both the Wander and Marshal have 45 millimeters cases (2mm smaller than the Founder), feature always-on displays and run Android Wear. Both are compatible with Android and iOS (in a more limited fashion) and work with partner fitness apps like Google Fit, UA record and MyFitness Pal.

The always-on display is somewhat of a big deal, in that we miss it when it's not there. It's not a new feature, though—Fossil's own Founder had one, as do the LG Watch Urbane and the Sony Smartwatch 3, among some other Android Wear devices.

Like the Q Founder, neither of Fossil's new devices have a heart rate monitor. While this feature has become much more common on Android Wear watches, as well as the Apple Watch and upcoming Pebble Time 2, it's still not ubiquitous for smartwatches, and likely won't be missed by the target audience.

MORE: Best Smartwatches - Top Picks for Android and iOS

Both watch displays, which measure 1.4 inches in diameter and have a resolution of 320 x 290 pixels, feature the "flat tire," in which a small sliver at the bottom of the display is blank (the Moto 360 made this look famous—or infamous, depending on how you look at it).

The Q Wander and Q Marshal have identical capabilities, with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1. Fossil estimates the watches will last 1-2 days on a charge, and will use the same wireless charging pad as the Q Founder, which we found to be rather bulky.

Last year, Fossil acquired fitness tracker and wearable maker Misfit in an attempt to supercharge its own wearables, which include a number of fitness trackers like the Q Dreamer and Q Reveler.

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