The most obvious benefit of the Fossil Q Grant’s analogue layout is the fact that you don’t have to charge the watch for complete usability, since the “watch” part runs on a quartz movement that provides the time and a chronograph function, and there is no battery-killing screen to power either. Fossil claims the battery life should last you about 7 days when fully charged. I found the claim to be generally true, though I might not be the heaviest user of all the features.

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Functionality, again, takes a bit of a reduction as compared to the Fossil Q Founder. Once you download the Fossil app, you can customize your notification settings for things like calls, emails, text messages, and social media. This should be a breeze for anyone who was great at the game Simon Says – the electronic one that requires memorization and repetition of color patterns. The reason is that you assign a color to a notification, and the watch will vibrate and have lights on the side of the case (the small square to the right of the screw in the second image above) blink the assigned color for your alerts. So, if you’re anxious about a follow-up email from a job interview, say, you can set that to red and not be glued to your phone in a social setting. Honestly, I thought the system would be a big pain but once I got the hang of it, I actually quite liked it.

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In addition to notifications, you can also use the Fossil Q Grant to track Q Curiosity, which I honestly did not use much. It’s a fun idea where you get notifications encouraging you to engage with a “Curiosity Challenge” that I believe are all photo challenges that are then shared on the “Curiosity Feed.” It’s a neat idea that I think could be grown into something really great in the future – and possibly work well with those younger customers who are purchasing (or are gifted) the Fossil Q Grant in lieu of a traditional fashion watch – which, again, the Grant mimics perfectly.

Finally, there’s Q Fitness that tracks steps and calories. You can set a goal and do all the good stuff provided by most fitness trackers. Just don’t take it personally when you’re teased by the app for not hitting your goals. Like the Fossil Q Founder, there is no heart rate sensor in the Fossil Q Grant.


In terms of quality over time, I’ve been using the Fossil Q Grant since about early November 2015 and the Q Founder since maybe a month after that. It’s about mid-February 2016 as I’m writing this, and I personally haven’t had any issues with quality. The strap on the Grant feels OK, but it sure isn’t going to last too long, while the bracelet on the Founder still works just as expected – nothing to write home about, but a preferable option. Just get a higher quality aftermarket strap for it, and swap it out occasionally, if you prefer a strap. As my final gripe, I’d once again say that the battery life on the Fossil Q Founder has been a bit lower than I would want it.

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I used both of these Fossil Q watches, and I have to say that while products like the Apple Watch and TAG Heuer Connected watch get a big share of attention, a lot of buyers simply can’t or won’t spend close to or over $1,000 for a piece of technology that they know will likely be obsolete/updated sooner rather than later. For this considerable portion of the population, the Fossil Q Founder and Fossil Q Grant provide some great options that won’t make you feel too guilty when the inevitable next new thing is out. Aside from the Apple Watch, the Q Founder finds itself in the same realm as watches like the Motorola Moto360, the Samsung Gear G2, and the Huawei Watch.

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Fossil was a little late to the smart watch game, but they’re also a massive watch manufacturer with a huge number of annual sales and subsidiary brands (Zodiac, Skagen, and an entire armada of fashion labels among them), and they seem serious about taking on the smart watch market with a focus on both touchscreen smart watches and also wearable technology that integrates a traditional watch with connected features. Look no further than their acquisition of Misfit, a maker of attractive health and sleep monitors that the brand will undoubtedly integrate with their current selection. Their opening salvos, the Q Founder and Q Grant provide great functionality at an accessible price point. Price for the Fossil Q Founder is $295  and the Fossil Q Grant is $195.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Fossil
>Model: Q Founder & Q Grant
>Price: $295 for the Q Founder and $195 for Q Grant
>Size: Q Founder is 47mm wide, 13mm thick; Q Grant is 44mm wide, 15mm thick
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes for Q Founder, sometimes for Q Grant
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Q Founder is for the frugal technophile looking for a fun, affordable, and capable smart watch; the Q Grant is for someone who is mostly interested in notifications and/or fitness tracker but wants the analog-watch look.
>Best characteristic of watch: Both deliver a solid product at a good price.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Q Founder’s battery life and Q Grant is quite thick at 15mm.

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