Photo: Instagram/fossil

Smartwatches tend to fall within two categories. They either fall more on the technological side (think: Apple Watch) or lean on the technical functionalities it can offer (think: Fitbit for their health and fitness related functions or Garmin for their global positioning system interface). 

But if you’re like me and the most advanced watch you’ve ever used is the basic Casio digital watch that somehow seems indestructible, diving into the smartwatch bandwagon can be confusing, to say the least.

In addition, the smartwatch market is huge and only set to grow bigger. According to the Allied Market Research, the market for smartwatches is estimated to grow to US$32.9 billion (S$44.7 billion) by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 67.6 per cent. 

Here to challenge the Apple watches and Fitbits of the world, American fashion label Fossil has launched a watch that combines fashion and function. After testing the generation 4 Q Venture HR, which was part of the brand’s latest additions, for a week, here’s my verdict on this smartwatch.

 

Photo: Fossil

What we like about it: 
 
The 40mm circle stainless steel face with three crowns on right gives the watch a distinctive clean and modern design that would carry well for most, if not all, social events. Points for sleekness. 

Are you one of those who doesn’t like to see fingerprints on your touchscreen devices? If you know exactly what I mean, then you’ll appreciate this watch’s touchscreen design that doesn’t dirty easy with the natural oils on the hand.

The watch strap is also interchangeable. A quick push of the locking pin system makes the strap change easy enough even for the least dextrous of us. Sold separately, there are over 20 strap designs to choose - from dusty pink suede, sporty grey silicone to stainless steel bracelet. PS: If you like dusty pink, that colour tends to get dustier with each wear - quite literally. 

Versatility in design also comes with the ability to change the dial design of the watch. With over 36 permutations, you can choose from the timeless analog design to ones that can tell time, your heart rate (with the in-built heart-rate tracking) and even the number of steps you have taken thus far. 

The Wear OS by Google app allows you to pair the watch to your Android or Apple phone and get the statistics of your daily activities and exercise routines. Google Fit and other third party apps are also reportedly compatible with the watch. The untethered GPS also allows you to run handsfree (and play stored music through third party apps) and track your mileage. In the end, the statistics did make me more aware of how much more steps I had to take to clock the recommended daily 10,000.

The battery life of the watch wasn’t great. While the watch did live up to its 24 hours battery life on an hour of charging claim, the constant need to recharge daily can become quite a chore for some. However, charging it up was pretty simple as the charging port would magnetic connect to the back of the watch. 

Of course, this Fossil watch also has other typical smart functions like notifications of incoming calls and messages transmitted via Bluetooth. I liked that I was able to control the playback from the watch that was playing on the Spotify on your phone because it was synced. The watch also has a torchlight function, but I didn’t quite know what to do with it. Lastly, the watch is swim-proof and while I didn’t get to jump into a pool with it, it survived going into the shower with me. 

 

Photo: Fossil

Verdict: I liked that I could look good in it and that it had functions like health and fitness tracking, and since I could control my music on the go - it’s served me well. 

The Q Venture HR watch retails for $469-489 and is available at Fossil stores, selected department stores and Zalora. 

 

ALSO READ: ONE WOMAN’S MISSION TO MAKE PEARLS FASHIONABLE AND COOL AGAIN