Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition review: Great design with minor bugs

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Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards

The Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition is running Android Wear 2.0 which is a great improvement over the previous generation of Android Wear.

Fossil has made some excellent time pieces over the years and continues to do so. Before I started writing and reviewing products and before smartwatches, I owned a half dozen Fossil watches. Now that the watch market is leaning to smart and hybrid watches, Fossil is doing the same. In this review, we take a look at the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition smartwatch. This is the first full smartwatch from Fossil we’ve reviewed as previous reviews have all involved their excellent hybrid smartwatch line. Let’s take a look at the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition and see what makes this an excellently designed watch, albeit with some issues.

Specifications

The Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition has the following features and specifications:

  • Storage: 4GB Flash
  • Memory: RAM is 512 MB
  • Operating System: Android Wear™
  • Sensors: G-Sensor, Gyroscope
  • Compatibility: Android™ OS 4.3+ or iPhone 5/iOS 9+
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® Smart Enabled / 4.1 Low Energy, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Battery Type: 360mAh
  • Battery Life: Estimated all day
  • What’s In the Box: Wireless Charger (USB Type) / Quick Start Guide
  • Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100
  • IP67 rated
  • Touchscreen
  • Activity tracking (no heart rate)
  • Interchangeable watch straps
  • Custom watch faces

What’s In The Box

  • Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition
  • Leather strap
  • Metal strap
  • Charging puck
  • Users manual and documentation
Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards

I really loved the design of this watch.

Design

The high point of the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards watch is its design. It has a very outdoors rugged vibe to it and is very attractive. The watch is IP67 rated so you won’t have to worry about a bit of water hurting it. The only button on the watch is the faux crown that doesn’t turn but does have a push button in the middle. The speaker is located on the left side and microphone just under the crown. Fossil includes both leather and stainless steel straps which are both very high quality and attractive. As I have another Fossil watch with a stainless steel strap, I opted to use the leather. I particularly love the thread accents and Cory Richards branding on the leather strap.

The watch casing is made of stainless steel and is fairly thick. Smartwatches are generally a bit thicker than traditional watches in order to fit the components inside of the case. However, the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards is thicker than some other smartwatches I have used in the past which may turn some buyers off.  The watch face glass looks about the same as any other smartwatch. I’d recommend a screen protector if you can get one, as many smartwatch faces tend to scratch easily from accidental strikes against other objects.

Overall the design of this smartwatch is attractive as it has an active yet refined look to it that plays well with casual and semi-formal wear.

Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards

Android Wear watch faces are abundant and that’s a great advantage of the Apple Watch.

Software/Ecosystem

The Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition is running Android Wear 2.0 which is a great improvement over the previous generation of Android Wear. Notifications are much improved on Wear 2.0 and the whole OS feels more intuitive. Probably the best addition to Android Wear 2.0 is the addition of complications on watch faces. Like the Apple Watch, you can now add small bits of information to your watch faces. These complications allow you to have your must have data right on the watch face. Things like weather, calendar, messages, and so on are easily accessible right on the watch face. Android Wear itself is much improved and Android Authority has a pretty good short overview of what to expect from it.

While Android Wear 2.0 is a great upgrade from the last generation, this watch does seem to have some little bugs in it. The most annoying bug I found with this watch is the unreliability of the tilt to wake feature. The watch face is supposed to turn on when you raise your wrist to look at it but I found that wasn’t always the case. More often than not, the watch face did not respond which meant I had to tap the face to wake it up. This isn’t an issue with Android Wear as I have two other Wear watches that both perform this task correctly 99% of the time. So either this is a hardware issue with the sensor or Fossil’s version of Android Wear needs some sort of update.

One thing I will note as well. If you’re looking to use this watch, or any Android Wear watch, with your iPhone, I strongly suggest you rethink that idea. While Android Wear does work with iOS, it is gimped in many ways and you will not get the full watch experience. That being said, Android Wear 2.0 is a great improvement and works brilliantly here. My only issue is the tilt to wake not working properly and that’s really a big deal for me as I’d like to be able to not have to manipulate the watch with my other hand just to see the time.

Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards

The crown doesn’t turn but has a button in the middle.

Ease of Use

Pairing the watch to your Android device is fairly simple using the Android Wear app. Navigating through the Android Wear UI is also easy and intuitive compared to the last generation. You also get a decent walk through when you initially set up the watch. If you’ve never used an Android Wear watch before you’ll have a slight learning curve but everything is nicely laid out and you should have a smooth go of it.

Performance

The Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition performs as well as any other smartwatch I’ve used (save the tilt to wake issue). Using the built in speaker and mic for phone calls is a bit hokey at first and people do look at you when you’re talking to your watch. Perhaps one day talking into your wrist will be commonplace, for now, it’s not a feature I used beyond testing.

Battery Life

Battery life is going to vary depending on what features you use and screen brightness. I had screen brightness to full and all features on all of the time. This gave me an average battery life of 6-8 hours which I feel needs improvement. Battery life should be, at the very least, 10-12 hours as this would get most through a full day. Maybe Fossil can fix battery life through software updates in the future, we sure hope they can,

Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards

Battery life could use improvement.

Price/Value

The MSRP on the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition is $325USD which is pretty hefty considering some of the bugs. As of this review, you can pick the watch up on Fossil’s website for $243.75USD which is a substantial price cut and could be worth picking up.

Wrap Up

The Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition is a very nice looking watch and it has a premium build. If you can get over the tilt to wake not working properly as well as the mediocre battery life, this could be a great watch for you.

*We were sent a sample of the Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition for the purposes of this review.

Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition

$325USD
Fossil Q Marshal Cory Richards Edition
8.4

Design

9/10

    Software/Ecosystem

    9/10

      Ease of Use

      9/10

        Performance

        9/10

          Battery Life

          7/10

            Price/Value

            9/10

              Nailed it

              • Great looking design
              • Includes two straps, leather and metal
              • Well built feels like a tank
              • Android Wear 2.0

              Needs work

              • Battery life needs improving
              • Tilt to wake doesn't always work
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