Having already reviewed a Michael Kors hybrid watch before I received the Fossil Q Grant, I pretty much knew what to expect. The watches are nearly identical in terms of software and functionality. However, it wasn’t until I used the Fossil Q Grant for an extended duration that I began to fall in love with the hybrid smartwatch idea even more. I’ve said it before, smartwatches still haven’t captured the mass market like smartphones or other consumer electronics.
While there are many people who see a usefulness in the smartwatch, I think those who don’t see a use outnumber them. I tend to be stuck wanting the smartwatch to be more useful than it actually is. For people like me, the Fossil Q Grant is a very happy medium between simple smart notifications and classic mechanical watch functionality. Read on for our full Fossil Q Grant review, yet another hybrid smartwatch that earns a Techaeris Top Pick award for 2017.
The Fossil Q Grant has the following features and specifications:
- Compatible with iOS and Android™
- Stainless Steel
- Two-Tone Gray Hardware
- 44mm Case
- Auto Update Time & Date
- Filtered Notifications
- Fitness tracking
- Bluetooth 4.1
- No Charging Necessary
- Lithium Battery Cr2430, 3V Included
- Remote Control Activation
- Clasp Fastening
- Water Resistant Up to 5 ATM
- 2-Year Warranty
What’s In The Box
- Fossil Q Grant hybrid smartwatch
- Quick Start Guide
- Case Back Tool
Much like the Michael Kors watch I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Fossil Q Grant is simply put, an elegant traditional watch design. Our review unit was the Smoke Tone stainless steel version and being a fan of dark tones, I love it. There are two other versions with leather bands, blue, and white faces. The stainless steel version does cost a bit more than the leather but it is the best looking in my opinion. The watch does have some heft to it considering it’s all metal but it’s not overbearing on the wrist at all.
The dark color flows over nicely to the watch face with a slightly lighter gray and orange tips for the hands. Roman numerals are used for the numbers, which I really love as it gives the watch a timeless look. Along the outer rim of the face are the days of the week, which are a bit small but larger than the Michael Kors watch. These are used for checking the date by pushing the button on the side.
The inset is used for the secondary button which can be programmed to show you a 2nd-time zone and show your alarms. Like the Michael Kors, this watch does not have any sort of illumination. I do wish they would have added an LED light ring inside the watch so you could see in the dark. Or even glow in the dark or illuminated hands. The lack of illumination is my only complaint about this watch at all and it’s not a deal breaker.
UPDATE (08/21/2017 08:28pmEST): In our original review we mistakenly said that the Fossil Q Grant did not have illuminated hands. During our testing, we did not see that the hands glowed taking the watch from sunlight conditions to dark conditions. Initially, we inquired about this and were told by Fossil that these hands indeed did not glow. After further investigation and inquiries, we’ve discovered that they do in fact glow. We are removing this as a con and adjusting the performance score to reflect this change. Thank you to reader Shayne for pointing this out to us.
The only buttons on this watch are the three side buttons which look like your traditional watch buttons. The bottom button is called the Remote Control button and it commands the Fossil LINK feature which lets you control music, take a picture, or ring your phone if you lose it. The middle button is the multitasking button which controls the arms of the watch as well as alarms and alerts. The top button allows you to see the date: when pressing the button the arms move to the name of the day and the date.
Overall I love this design. I love the quality build and the materials used in this stainless steel chassis and band. It’s my opinion that hybrid watches like the Fossil Q Grant look much more elegant than most smartwatches because of the physical watch face. Sure you can emulate these through software and make your smartwatch look similar, but it’s just not as good. I fully expect that there will be those who disagree with me and that’s perfectly fine.
The Fossil Q app is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Once the Q Grant is setup in the app and connected via Bluetooth, you’ll have everything at your fingertips. The Fossil Q Grant was used with my iPhone 7 Plus but the watch does work with the same Fossil Q app on Android. The app allows you to control your notifications with the ability to add up to six contacts and six applications you want to see notifications from.
You can also set your alarms within the app and set the second time-zone should you be tracking time elsewhere. The second time-zone is activated by pressing the crown (center button), after which the hands will move to show the second time-zone you chose. The Q Link button is right under the crown and you can program that in the app to ring your phone, control music, take a photo, or track goals.
The app also does sleep tracking, which I did not test as I don’t like sleeping with a watch on. The watch does track your steps which then uploads to the app to give you your daily step count as well as the ability to look at your past steps. Step tracking seems to be on par with Apple’s Activity app, they’re pretty close. The app is very simple to use, intuitive, and nicely designed.
Ease of Use
Very simple to use, the three buttons are clearly marked in the app and programmable. Since the smart notification bits are super basic, everything here is easy to get through. The core use for this watch is to tell time first, notifications and smart functions second and it does all of it with ease.
Operation and performance were always spot on. Even when I left the Q Grant at home to wear another watch when it was in range it connected back up to my iPhone quickly. Notifications came through every time and there is a nice pause to give you time to discern who the notification is coming from.
The Fossil Q Grant hybrid smartwatch does not need to be plugged in like smarter smartwatches. Fossil claims up to 6 months of battery life on a standard watch battery which doesn’t seem all that bad. It probably eats up more battery than a non-hybrid/non-smartwatch but that’s to be expected with the Bluetooth connectivity.
Since I’ve had this unit in for review the price has dropped on the Fossil Q Grant, this particular model is $175USD and honestly, that price is pretty spot on. Really, you get a lot of watch here for that price.
This watch is slick, the two-tone gray color is amazing and the design is just stunning. I’ve said it before, you can change those smartwatch faces with software but these hybrid watch faces look so much nicer. Sure, you have to live with the same face every day but this is a sexy face! I will repeat what I mentioned in my Micheal Kors review below.
- This watch is not for a person who wants a fully capable smartwatch for apps, games, and dozens of other functions.
- This watch is for the person who just wants a beautiful and premium watch with the added functionality of basic fitness tracking and minimal notification alerts from a select list.