The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.
Fashion meets function with the Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR Smartwatch from Best Buy!
Smart watches have been around for a number of years now, and although they aren’t as prevalent as the smart phone, they have been gaining ground with new technology and have been getting better and smarter with each new generation, bringing them closer to what people would actually want out of a smart watch. Of course most people know about Apple Watch and Samsung Gear smart watches, and how expensive they can be, but there are other brands out there that may have flown a bit under the radar being eclipsed by the others. Fossil has been a trusted name in watches since 1984 and they are one such alternative to the pricier options in the smart watch arena.
The new Fossil Q Venture HR is one of two new models of their 4th generation smart watch offerings. Some new technologies added to this one may have you take the leap into an upgrade from their previous version of the Venture. The additions include the new models namesake HR which stands for heart rate, as it adds a heart rate sensor, very good for the health conscious. One touch allows you to monitor your current heart rate. You can even set it to record your heart rate throughout the day and graph the changes via the smart phone app. They have also added GPS and GooglePay, two very useful features when you are out and about and perhaps lost and need a cab. Always knowing your location and being able to pay for purchases where applicable are very convenient features indeed. This is thanks to the inclusion of NFC or near field communication that allows transfer of data at literally a tap. Many smart phones have had it for awhile and is now a key feature in current smart watches. Of course the new Fossil HR also includes classic features, such as google voice assist so you can get info on the fly, access to your contacts and email through your phone so you can respond to messages without pulling that lug out of your pocket. Whenever you get a text or a Facebook notification, you’ll get a little haptic feedback in the form of a vibration on your wrist. Access to app stores is available through the watch as well as setting alarms, stopwatch timer, even a “flashlight” for seeing in dark places. While a flashlight on your watch may serve its purpose, it is no substitue for the one your smart phone can provide, especially since it just makes the screen brighter and is sure to drain the battery.
The watch has a microphone but does not include a speaker, so If you want to listen to music from your watch you will need to pair it to a bluetooth speaker or headphones. At 40mm the screen is 2mm smaller than the previous model, but is more water resistant, Fossil touts it as resistant to 50m, which would more than suffice the casual swimmer. The watch feels very well made too, heavy and solid, and features a rapid charging wireless magnetic charger. A really cool feature is that as a 3rd party smart watch the Fossil HR is able to be used with either Android or Apple OS’s, making it a great gift for someone regardless of their brand affinity. The Fossil Q comes in another model called the Explorist that reatains all the features of the Venture, but is larger at 45mm screen and 22mm strap as compared to the Venture’s 18mm strap. Both models come in a variety of styles and colors and of course every band can be swapped out and modified.
I have heard that these 4th generation smart watches have the same processor and battery as the predecessor which has become a point of contention. It seems to me that the processor does a decent job at handling tasks but with some quick scrolling and rapid button pressing in odd combinations does seem to “confuse” the watch, no different than any computer really, but it can freeze the screen. One problem I had when wearing the Venture HR was that after a couple hours for no apparent reason the touchscreen stopped working. I could still see the time and work the buttons, but was incapapble of tappng the screen. I couldn’t figure out a hard restart of the watch and the only way to get it reset was to use the Wear Os app on my phone to factory reset and unpair the watch. It was a pain to have to reconnect and re-update all the software, plus I lost my step count on the pedometer! Perhaps it was a fluke, but there should be an easier way to reset the watch by holding in a button for a few seconds in case you can’t tap the screen. The battery seems pretty decent for the 24hr life expected per charge. With average usage that seems legit, if you are using more energy heavy apps like the heart rate sensor many times a day and choose the always on display option, then you might not make it that long.
Packed with features and style for days, the Fossil Q HR series of smartwatches are a great addition to the pantheon of competitors out there, and at half the price, this would make a great stocking stuffer for the techie in the family this year.
As you can see, the Fossil Gen 4 Venture HR Smartwatch from Best Buy is not only stylish but also packed with features! Add it to your Christmas wish list today!