The first smartwatches were conceived by tech companies as a sort of secondary screen to a smartphone, as they featured color touchscreens and displayed notifications and were able to send some commands to the phone, plus, with a variety of sensors, they could measure fitness-related activities. Their functionality is still pretty much the same, but companies are looking at these devices as fashion accessories because they are worn at all times and they remain visible, so they improved the design and build quality of smartwatches. On the other hand, companies that are known for their traditional watch designs are now looking into making their devices a little smarter by including Bluetooth connectivity or even a touchscreen and a full operating system made for these devices, like Android Wear.
The American watch manufacturer Fossil has already released some smart accessories with their Fossil Q lineup, and a couple of weeks ago, the company introduced their first smartwatch running Android Wear, the Fossil Q Founder. The watch has been available to purchase in the US through the company’s website since last week, and now the Q Founder was spotted in the Google Store, but the listing reads “coming soon”, so there’s no way of knowing when will it become available. Apparently, the store will sell two models, one with a leather band and the other with a stainless steel link bracelet. Although there is no pricing information just yet, the prices shouldn’t be too different from the ones offered from Fossil. The one with a leather band is currently selling for $275 while the one with the metal band costs $295.
The Fossil Q Founder is the second smartwatch to be powered by an Intel processor, the other one being the much more expensive TAG Heuer Connected. Besides that, the hardware is not that different from other Android Wear offerings, although some may appreciate the design and craftsmanship that was put into this particular watch and its stainless steel case. It features an almost round display as it integrates an ambient light sensor and the hardware is rated IP67, so it can be submerged in water and it is dust resistant. The watch is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or more recent versions as well as iPhones with iOS 8.2 or newer versions.