Fossil has had the nerve to endure a rather large mission back in 2016 – to launch at least a 100 different wearables of varying specifications, both smart and analog, through their many sub-brands like Michael Kors, Skagen and the likes before the year had been out (one of which was the Fossil Q Marshal). and ignoring how many of the 100 have actually had the fortune to taste success and be left in production, you gotta hand it to Fossil for making such a gutsy move that had the power to change the industry forever unlike any. Having made such a masterstroke as early on in their career, the sheer brilliance of the move not only had proven rather beneficial to the company itself but also had helped immensely to raise the bar for everyone else – thus paving the way for the modern smartwatches, as we know them now. So, in a manner of speaking, they themselves are the reason why we are now doing a Fossil Q Marshal Review. Curious isn’t it?
Rebuke the naysayers, but the smartwatch industry is actually in the middle of a crisis at the moment, with sales being less than half of what they were a year ago, and big players like Huawei, Motorola, and LG slowly beginning to shift their focus elsewhere. On the other hand, fitness trackers and their custom niche are enjoying a surprisingly steady growth thanks to their more competitive natures, affordable pricing and their ever-growing set of features. that being said, it’s still rather early to call it a day with the smartwatch niche due to the recent success that the Pebble watch had got as well as the chattering rumor mills that Google themselves are gonna be jumping into the bandwagon later this year with a supposed Pixel watch (fingers crossed).
In the past, we have often seen big name companies prancing into this niche and scoring superb goals rather easily. While it’s true that they had the benefit of novelty on their sides, the sheer will to create something new, something exciting and something for the masses (like the Apple watch) was the actual true-blue ingredient that often turned out to be the spark that had flamed their successes.
Hoping to follow in their success albeit a little bit, Fossil has now launched a brand new offering called the Fossil Q marshal under their famed Q line-up along with the more outdoorsy Q Wander, aimed at both men and women respectively. We have the former in our labs to test out today (yippee!) and that too in the more eye-candy silver variant.
- Fossil Q Marshal – The Best Android Smartwatch in 2018? Let’s Find Out!
- Fossil Q Marshal Review: Everything you need to know
- First Look at the Fossil Q Marshal: Watch Video
Internally, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 21000 processor, 512-MB of RAM and an ample 4 GB of storage are what that power the watch. There is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth baked into it. The front of the device employs a 1.4-inch glossy LCD touch-enabled display with a resolution of 320*290-pixel. Moreover, it also has sapphire glass protection to shield it from minor bumps and scratches. The steel and glass-based watch casing is obviously IP67 water resistant, and depending on the model of your choosing, you will get a choice of 22-MM steel, silicone or leather crafted straps – all of which are strength and wear tested.
The battery holds a minimum 360 Milliamps and there is quick charge 3.0 added to the power mix along with a wireless charging option (not available with the silver variant), however, you’ll need an extra specialized charger to access it. The device also sports a speaker grill as well as a microphone to help you attend and engage calls through it, there is, however, no LTE so you will need to pair a smartphone with it to access that function.
The 45-MM casing is mainly metallic with a few resin-reinforced parts near the lugs and panel sides added for better stability. Moreover, the bezel is a stationary one and it features a grippy design meant to avoid snagging as well as acting like a shield of sorts for the screen and innards. The whole device weighs in around 6.25 ounces and there is also plenty of curves thrown into the pot to better emulate the analog vintage wearable vibe.
Running on stock Android Wear 2.0, the device is compatible with any smartphones released in the last 4 years, and that includes iOS devices too. Moreover, the pairing process is also rather streamlined to better be of service. The app support is rather minimal at this juncture with only a very few willing to cooperate, however, that’s touted to be changed by the time the Wear OS 2.0 stable is gonna come out and it gets updated.
Fossil Q Marshal Review: Everything you need to know
#1 Fossil Q Marshal review – the design and build quality
When it comes to designing a smartwatch, companies of today don’t really have much room to play around with, let alone go crazy. So, that’s why most of the smartwatches usually end up looking the same with only a few differences here there to distinguish them for the sake of it. Embracing the moral of this particular theory, Fossil has opted for a simple, thematic design for their Fossil Q Marshal.
Closer to looking like a traditional watch than anything else we’ve seen, the watch case is crafted from an anodized stainless steel block with either a gunmetal-tone or its natural hue, depending on what your jam is. The one we had in for reviewing came with a silver steel linked strap but you can always opt for a leather or silicone ones seeing that the Fossil Q Marshal sports a universal 22-MM band system for allowing easy band interchanging.
The case girth falls in and around the 14-MM nark, which we found to be a pleasure to sport on our wrist, without being neither too bulky nor too small and being just the right size. Just like what you would find on a traditional watch, there is a time-crown embedded on the right side of the device that unlike its analog counterparts, serves the purpose of a button here. a quick press on it can turn the screen on or off; a pretty long one can take you to the app list, and a quick double-press will allow you to enter the much publicized “theatre mode” in Android wear.
The speaker grill and microphone can be found on the right side of the watch embedded right beneath where the bezel meets the case. Truth be told, the weird placing choice is a bit annoying and I often found myself accidentally blocking it with my other hand when trying to call up someone or trying to take voice notes – not really a major hassle but annoying nonetheless.
The watch is pretty sturdy and strong courtesy of its metal-clad frame and sapphire glass construction, so the overall build quality gets a big old thumb – up from us. As I mentioned before, we got the silver variant with the steel linked strap for our testing. Which when mixed together, imparts a rather healthy overall vintage vibe to the Fossil Q Marshal.
The bands on the Fossil Q Marshal review model are detachable and interchangeable, which is something that we appreciate massively even at this price point. that being said, we loved the stock steel band (like mentioned before) that we had got with the watch, it’s pretty comfortable to sport and even don’t irritate much when used for long hours, which is – again – something that we appreciate very much here at GnD.
#2 Fossil Q Marshal – Performance and ease of use
One of the many key things to know about the Fossil Q Marshal is that wearing their take on the smartwatch genre will mostly feel like sporting any regular old watch. And while that might seem like an accusation at first gander, it’s actually a rather nice compliment for it is a particularly awesome quality that we (especially me) are hoping that other makers would eventually follow through.
The silicone straps are pretty comfortable for everyday use, and while its true that they have a bad habit for picking up lint and dust by the handful, it’s not so bad in the sense that it can be always be washed if the going gets too tough. The leather straps, on the other hand, doesn’t have that particular luxury, however, they would probably be what we would pick in a heartbeat because of their classy nature and their ability to pair nicely with a tuxedo or a buttoned-down shirt.
If you are looking for a device that is a bit sturdier and a lot flashier, you will certainly feel right at home with the Fossil Q Marshal silver variant. That being said, the steel linked band is not as adjustable nor flexible as its cousins are. therefore, if you have a skinny wrist or don’t have the patience for an ill-fitting watch, the silver variant might not prove to be the best way to go (update: as it turns out, Fossil does offer a pinning tool that can be used to adjust the links to your personal preferences and varied wrist sizes).
One of the many few things that make the Fossil Q Marshal a great device to use is the way everything, both internally and externally, has been handled. Take the “lift to check” functionality for example; at first glance, it will probably seem more like a gimmick, a novelty, if you will. However, in reality, that is one of the most convenient and handy features the Fossil Q marshal is bringing to the table. Just like so, while it’s rather true that there aren’t much watch faces on it to choose from, the ones we do have are highly customizable to the point of having an endless supply of them or till your imagination lasts. So, you see, it’s the simple things that make all the difference in the world.
First Look at the Fossil Q Marshal: Watch Video
From what I had seen till now, the performance is generally snappy, but there were times when the watch had behaved rather lazily for weird and unknown reasons. Preferring to lag sporadically rather than constantly, the device sometimes struggled rather devastatingly even when we were doing something as simple as taking care of a notification. Fortunately, it does seem like a problem, which would stem from the software and definitely not the hardware, and given time, Fossil can easily push an update to fix it, which, according to rumors, the guys at Fossil are currently working on.
Another bug that had us annoyed was related to the display. Whenever we had enabled it’s otherwise brilliant always on display function, something static like the Fossil Logo would leave a slight burn in that wouldn’t leave the premise for a few minutes, if not hours. Sadly, however, unlike the former issue we had with its performance, this is something that is closely related to the hardware itself and therefore, is not something that an update could provide a fix for.
#3 Fossil Q Marshal review – features and battery life
Saying that the Fossil Q Marshal is pretty thin on functions will probably be an understatement, but if you are a guy looking for a smartwatch that flashes in looks but not so much in its functions, the Q Marshal can certainly pose to be an “okay” proposition. Running on a very pure and stock version, this Fossil Q Marshal is very much an Android Wear show by itself. Therefore, the level of experience you are gonna get with the device will mostly depend on how you are gone be viewing the interface as an operating system.
Even with the occasional roadblocks and slight laggings, I loved how the OS was so zippy on the Marshal. But then again, most of that particular credit will go for the brand new blazing fast Qualcomm SD 21000. At the end of the day, however, if speed and performance alone are what you are looking for in a smartwatch, there are far better ones to consider than this one (Apple watch, I am looking at you).
The device is capable of making and receiving phone calls, which can be enabled by accessing the Bluetooth menu placed within the watch. That being said, the speaker volume isn’t that great meaning that you can only hold a normal conversation when placing it closely by your ear. The microphone, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise and can definitely do a good job of catching your voice clearly.
With the fair amount of time, we had spent with Fossil Q Marshal, the “Ok Google” command to invoke the Google Assistant didn’t properly work all the time if not often. Then again, it’s definitely not something that we had seen before especially, at these ranges. Functionality is rather limited when it comes to engaging with emails and messages, and even though you can employ the Google Voice to get the job done, that can only work properly when there isn’t too much ambient noise.
The watch allows you to engage with music and control its playback, and this feature works surprisingly well across a plethora of popular music apps like the Apple music, Spotify and Google music. Enabled by the 4 gigabytes of internal storage, the inbuilt music player app also allows you to sync up files to the watch so that you can listen to them even without the hassle of your phone. If battery life isn’t one of your main concerns, some pretty awesome games like Mine cart and Nougat land can be downloaded to the watch to help you pass the time more easily.
Battery life is one place where a considerable amount of improvement has been made with the Fossil Q Marshal. Easily being one of the most long-lasting offerings in the business, much of its pure awesomeness can be attributed to the brand new power – focussed SD SoC. Even with the display set to full-blown ambient mode, we always had enough power to clock in a full day before we needed to recharge it up. While it’s true that the box says that you can charge it up to 80% in under 2 hours. In actuality, we had only managed to get it up to 60% under the same time frame using a 10W charger.
We love the Fossil Q Marshal for
- Classy, vintage-inspired looks
- Extra wide, glossy LCD display
- Superb build quality
- Android wear 2.0 support
- Built-in, fully-featured activity tracker
- Multi-platform compatibility
- Water and dust resistance (IP68 rated)
We don’t love the Fossil Q Marshal for
- Brings nothing new to the table
- Poor outdoor legibility
- The Skin is very light on features
Final Verdict About Fossil Q Marshal Review
For starters, what works well for the Fossil Q Marshal will probably be its gorgeous design. It looks more or less like traditional 45-MM watch, with the round dial and metal frame. Going the traditional way, you will get an option to choose from a leather, silicone or steel band from which the metallic one being the more popular choice. The extra wide screen might not be up to everyone’s tastes, but the sheer size of it is actually what that makes it such a sheer joy to use.
For all the valid aspirations about tracking your fitness and exercise regimes, the Q Marshal sadly misses out on featuring a heart rate sensor. while I am still sticking by my earlier word about this watch is more about fashion than function, the above-said feature, it had been present, would have surely opened a whole new niche for this model to dwell in. and perhaps, be even more of service to the masses.
Fossil really knows how to make awesome watches, and that hasn’t really changed with the Q Marshal. If you are on the hunt for a no-frills smart device and want nothing but the best in terms of power, style, and performance, you definitely can’t do better than the Fossil Q Marshal.