Fossil is showing off a new wearable device at SXSW this year, and this time it's a fitness tracker called the Fossil Q Motion.
Looking extremely similar to the Misfit Ray (which Fossil also now owns thanks to last year's buyout) the $95 Q Motion tracks steps, sleep and all the usual metrics. There's no screen, and the design is fairly minimal, but the features are very Misfit-esque too.
First look: Misfit Ray review
As well as activity tracking, the Q Motion will alert you to notifications via vibration and a coloured LED and there's some smart button functionality, just like Shine 2 and Ray. You can tap the band to initiate pre-determined IFTTT recipes such as starting a playlist, taking a photo remotely or making your phone ring.
The Fossil Q Motion also uses a coin-cell battery for six months of battery life and it's water resistant to 50m, so you can take it in the pool.
Fossil Q Motion: First look
We got a quick play with a Q Motion at Fossil's SXSW 2016 pop up but it was only a demo unit and only the black model outside the glass cases.
Still, it's as light and comfortable as you'd expect and we got to see how discreet the new LEDs are - much more so than the Q Reveler and Dreamer, with the coloured LEDs peeping out from underneath a small Fossil logo. The vibration motor is strong but not too annoying and the main module pops out quickly and without fuss. We didn't get to try out any of the smart button features.
Overall, it's a well built, sleek device at a good price for a fashion product and we're looking forward to getting hands on with some of the different styles available. There's nothing particularly new here but it might appeal to anyone who has been wearing a not so chic tracker for the past year or two and is ready to upgrade to something more stylish.
As we said it is very similar to the Misfit Ray but W. Revere Griffin, a senior watch designer at Fossil, told us that the development of the Q Motion predates the Misfit acquisition. "This was in development way before the Misfit deal, which happened very fast - there were rumours of that acquisition only about a month beforehand."
As ever, the Q Motion will work with Fossil's own custom app - we rather liked the look in our testing so far, though we have had some pairing issues. And Fossil isn't locking users down to its own app either. "We don't want to put off users who have three years' worth of data with Fitbit or Nike. We're a fashion company, we want to focus on the thing that you wear and not which app you use."
Fossil Q Motion: Initial verdict
This is part of a huge year of wearables for Fossil, which hasn't made a secret of its intentions to own the market this year after snapping up Misfit last year. At CES it stated that it would launch more than 100 connected devices in 2016.
It will be interesting to see how much of a splash the Fossil Q Motion makes given the near saturation of the fitness tracker market, the just launched Fitbit Alta and the lack of new features on show here. Surprisingly, few fashion brands have ventured into the fitness tracking fray, apart from Swarovski – another Misfit partner – which revealed to Wareable at CES that its initial Swarovski Shine pilot had been a resounding success.
Hot on the heels of SXSW, Fossil will be at Baselworld, where we'd bet on seeing a handful of new smartwatches.
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