Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control smartwatch review: So long flat tires

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Fossil Gen 3 Sport

Overall,  the Fossil Gen 3 Sport is a solid smartwatch with great fitness and health features that will please many seeking those functions.ns.

TA-ratings-93It’s been awhile since we’ve had a Fossil Wear OS (until recently called Android Wear) device in for review. The Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control smartwatch is packing a heart rate monitor and has also ditched the flat tire. Despite there not being a major demand for smartwatches, there still is a market large enough to justify making them. For those who are interested in smartwatches, the Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control just might tickle your fancy. For those who aren’t into wearables, well, this isn’t for you. Read on for the full review of the Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control smartwatch.

Specifications

The Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control has the following features and specifications:

  • Storage: 4GB Flash
  • Memory: 768 MB
  • Operating System: Wear OS by Google
  • Sensors: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Heart Rate, Altimeter
  • Compatibility: Android™ OS 4.4+ and iOS 9.3+
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® Smart Enabled / 4.1 Low Energy, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Battery Life: Estimated all day
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100
  • IP67 rated
  • Touchscreen
  • Activity tracking with heart rate monitor
  • Interchangeable watch straps
  • Custom watch faces
  • Water resistant up to 50m

What’s In The Box

  • Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control
  • Charging puck
  • Users manual and documentation
Fossil Gen 3 Sport

Goodbye flat tire.

Design

The Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control look is, well, basically it looks like a watch. It is round, has lugs for your interchangeable straps, and a crown that functions as a button. It is available in two color schemes: a black silicone band with a gunmetal finish to the body or a grey silicone band with a rose gold finish to the body. The build quality of the watch is top notch, just as I expected from Fossil.

The included silicone band is okay, but silicone bands are not my favorite as they do collect dust easily. What I do love is that the flat tire (on the display) of past round Wear OS watches is gone here. Many remember the Moto 360 and its flat tire. I actually wasn’t bothered by it for the longest, until I saw other watches without it. It does make the watch look much better without that flat tire.

The watch has a decent amount of weight to it, it’s not overly heavy but the heft does show the quality materials used. The body is fairly thick as well, so it sits up high on your wrist. I suspect they had to make it a bit thick to cram the new heart rate sensor into it. The included watch faces are actually pretty decent and the Sport Digital face goes well with the Samsung Galaxy S8+ I tested it with.

I do think the charging puck could be better designed. Wireless charging would be an excellent addition instead of the pogo pins used to charge. This would help with not having to make sure the pins are aligned correctly or worrying about the puck popping off.

Overall, this is a nicely designed watch. It’s clean, well built, solid materials although the band is a dirt and dust magnet.

Fossil Gen 3 Sport

The back and pogo pins.

Software/Ecosystem

The Gen 3 Sport is running Google’s Wear OS which has gotten miles better since it started as Android Wear. Wear OS has complications — any feature in a watch face that is displayed in addition to time — that can be added to watch faces that support it and that’s a great addition. Apple had complications on their watch faces but I do like Wear OS’s watch face options better than Apple’s offerings.

Complications allow you to add small tidbits of info to a watch face such as weather, text notifications, calendars, and more. I know I had a few complaints about Wear OS in the past, mostly its tilt to wake feature being buggy. I am pleased to say I didn’t experience any problems with the tilt to wake with the Fossil Gen 3 Sport, although I still think it was the last watch that was the issue and not necessarily due to the Wear OS.

You can use this watch with the iPhone but its usefulness is limited. Since iOS is a closed ecosystem, there are many functions you’ll be unable to take advantage of but if you’re just looking for notifications, heart rate monitor and fitness tracker then it should work great with the iPhone.

Overall, Wear OS works smoothly on the Gen 3 Sport. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you’re pairing this with any Android device.

Ease of Use

Pairing the watch with your Android device is fairly simple using the Wear app. You also get a decent walkthrough when you initially set up the watch. It’s basically a step by step tutorial and if followed it will be super easy. If you’ve never used a Wear OS watch before you’ll have a slight learning curve but everything is nicely laid out and you should have an easy time of it.

Overall, it’s super simple to use and setup thanks to the Wear OS app.

Fossil Gen 3 Sport

The band picks up dirt and dust.

Performance

The Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control performs as well as any other Wear OS I’ve used along with tilt to wake. I’m still not a big fan of using the built-in mic for phone calls and calling up Google Assistant, but I am learning to accept it. In the past, I didn’t use Google Assistant as much but now that I do, I use the mic more often. As far as the Wear OS performance, it was snappy and quick. There was an occasional stutter when swiping and I did find myself activating the screen from time to time by accident.

As for the heart rate monitor and fitness tracking, I wore the Apple Watch on one wrist and the Gen 3 Sport on the other and the results were nearly identical with very inconsequential differences. If you’re looking for a solid performer for fitness tracking and heart rate information, this should satisfy your needs.

Overall, the performance of this watch is super.

Battery Life

I couldn’t find the exact size of the battery in the Fossil Gen 3 Sport but the company says you should get all day battery. For me, the day starts at 5 am and ends around 9 pm. So that’s about 16 hours. I was able to get just over 13 hours, which I think is still good and depending on how long your day is, could be perfect. Battery life does vary on what you have working on the watch. If you shut off GPS and lower the brightness of the display you could get more out of it before having to recharge it.

I always run my devices at full brightness so I am sure that contributed to some battery drain. Overall, I think most people should get through the day on one battery here. It may take some tweaking to save power but it certainly can be done.

Fossil Gen 3 Sport

Heart monitor and fitness tracking will appeal to many people.

Price/Value

Priced at $275USD, the Fossil Gen 3 Sport isn’t the cheapest watch you can get but it is on the lower end of the spectrum price wise for Wear OS watches — and you do get the inclusion of a heart rate monitor. I think there’s great value here for those who are seeking a good sport watch with fitness features. If you’re not looking for that, then one of Fossil’s other offerings may be better.

Wrap Up

Overall,  the Fossil Gen 3 Sport is a solid smartwatch with great fitness and health features that will please many seeking those functions.

*We received a review unit of the Fossil Gen 3 Sport Q Control for the purposes of this review.

Fossil Gen 3 Sport

$275USD
9.3

Design

9.0/10

Software/Ecosystem

9.0/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Nice clean design
  • No flat tire
  • Android Wear 2.0 works well
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Swim proof

Needs work

  • Not a huge fan of the silicon band
  • Charging puck can slip off if not placed just right
  • May be pricey for some
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