AT A GLANCE: QUICK RATINGS
Where To Get It
A Deep Dive Into Explorist Men’s Smartwatch
Fossil Gen 3 Explorist and the more advanced Fossil Gen 4 and Fossil Gen 5 are rated in the top ten smartwatches for men. In 2019, the Fossil Gen 4 Explorist came out in the top five.
It gets a 93% overall rating and the Gen 4 a bit higher.
The Fossil Gen 3 is an affordable men’s smartwatch that can do almost anything except diving and heart rate monitoring — and what it could not do, Fossil upgraded in its Fossil Gen 4 Explorist. This watch is durable and stylish.
The Fossil Gen 3 does not have GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, or NFC but these features are available in the upgraded Gen 4 version. These are definite upgrades, but the rest hasn’t changed. Both watches have a lot of style and durability at a great value.
Both The Fossil Gen 3 and Gen 4 Explorist are classic rugged looking analog smartwatches with stainless steel durability. You can change the watch face to a digital reading as well the watch band. The Fossil Gen 3 came out in August 2017 and a year later, in August 2018, the Fossil Gen 4 Explorist came out.
Who Is It For?
Men who like big, sturdy, attractive smartwatches with the flexibility of customizing and changing watch faces, analog as well as digital. They are big, stylish, and look good at play as well as at work.
Their price range is very reasonable for the quality. Fossil Gen has the ability to switch bands of either leather, silicone or stainless steel metal in numerous colors.
What's in the Box?
Watch with a band, charging cable, quick start guide and user manual.
- Rugged body built for durability
- Bright Screen: easy to read
- Custom watch face, bands, and side buttons to make it yours
- Microphone and loudspeaker
- No NCF, Heart Monitor, or GPS (Gen 4 has these features. To access GPS on the Gen 4 Smartwatch, please start a workout on the watch through the Google Fit Workout App).
- Takes time to charge and the battery life is not great
- No SIM slot
- iPhone pairing can be limited
- Can be heavy for some, and not recommended for a small wrist
Main Features and Functions
- Compatibility with IOS 9.3 or later, Android 4.4 or later.
- Notification on SMS, phone calls and Reminders including texts, Hangouts, FB Messenger, Twitter DMs, the first part of LinkedIn messages.
- Accelerometer and gyroscope
- Sleep monitor, Heart Monitor (only on the Gen 4 version) measures distance and steps
- BlueTooth, Wifi, no GPS or NFC (But GPS and NFC in the Gen 4 version, as well as a Heart Monitor)
- RAM 512 with an internal storage of 4GB
- screen resolution 454x454 pixels
- Screen type OLED, multitouch
- size of the watch face is 46mm ( 1.8 inches) height. Gen 3 is thinner at 12.5mm as compared to the Gen 4 at 13mm
- Band size is 22mm, Gen 3 available in Smoke, Silver, Steel Strap and Brown leather, whereas Gen 4 is available in Blue, Rose Gold, Smoke, Silver and Black.
- Water resistant to IP67, so you can swim down to 30 meters. Sing in the shower, run in the rain or track your laps with your smartwatch but don’t use it diving.
- Microphone and loudspeaker let you make phone calls directly through your watch without removing your phone from your back pocket. You can pair Bluetooth headphones to your Fossil Gen 3 and Gen 4 Explorist smartwatch
- Ability to assign functions to the side buttons of the case, interchange straps, and watch face to make it the way you like it
- Battery: charging times are long and it fails to get through two days.
- Snapdragon 2100 software by Qualcomm.
Fossil Gen 3 Explorer is a great looking watch if you like big, steel smartwatches and the price is reasonable, but with the added features that were upgraded a year later, the Gen 4 may be an even better value. It is packed with the features you would expect in a smartwatch today.
Personally I like having a Heart rate monitor and GPS, although I could forgo the NCF. There is not much difference when it comes to style, quality and looks between the two watches.
Considering what you do get with the features in the Fossil Gen 4 Explorist, the value is very compelling, especially if you like a big watch face. If you are looking for a smaller smartwatch check out the Fossil Venture series.
The main difference between the two is size – Explorist is 45mm in diameter, Venture is 40mm. This means the exchangeable bands are different as well with the Explorist, using 22mm bands and Venture using 18mm. The price is essentially the same.
Although the Venture is geared to women, the 40mm watch face may appeal to men as well. The watch comes in many colors including Black, Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Rose Gold Mess, and Smokey Grey.
I recommend adding a Screen protector with tempered glass to protect your investment.
The Amazon Site has the following precaution for anyone wearing a pacemaker and the use of smartphones: “Important health precautions: Persons with implanted medical devices should:
Keep the product more than 20 centimeters away from their medical device when the product is turned on.
Never carry the product in their breast pocket.
Use the wrist opposite the implanted medical device to minimize potential for RF interference.
Do not wear the product if you notice any interference”
This is a controversial issue with most claiming that cell phones and smartwatches do not affect their device. Here I would recommend checking it out with your physician.