- Stylish design
- Bright, sharp screen
- No GPS
- No heart rate sensor
- Quite pricey
Surprisingly few new Android Wear watches have launched in 2018, although Fossil has been busy working on a couple of snazzy new wearables with fashion-conscious users in mind. I’ve been rocking the Skagen Falster smartwatch to see if it’s worthy of a place on your wrist.
Skagen Falster review: Design
A lot of smartwatches these days, such as Apple’s Series 3 Watch and the Huawei Watch 2, sell themselves on their functionality. They aim to pack in as many features as possible, to prove their worth to any potential buyers.
On the flip side, this Skagen Falster wearable puts style first and foremost. Thankfully we’re not talking outrageous bling or ornamentation, either. This is a case of minimalist design work, reminiscent of the old Moto 360 smartwatch. And damned if we don’t absolutely bloody love it.
That circular, stainless steel body has a premium look and feel about it. I found it a good size, not too chunky for my rather spindly wrists, with a satisfying heft to boot. A single, solitary button sits on the right edge of the watch, with the majority of interactions coming through that touchscreen. Like Apple’s own wearable, it’s a simple and smooth finish and it works really well.
Attached to the smartwatch you get a sleek genuine leather strap. This can be snaffled in a couple of different colours and it’s a standard 20mm band, so can be easily swapped out.
These days we fully expect our smartwatches to be water resistant, and the Skagen Falster doesn’t disappoint. You get full IP67 certification, so you can go for a swim or leave the watch on in the shower. Just make sure you swap off the leather strap first.
Skagen Falster review: Features
While this watch definitely satisfies in the looks department, it’s sadly not quite as smart as we would have liked.
Google’s Android Wear OS is on board and this provides all of the basic functionality you’d expect from a smartwatch. You get full notifications support, and can download apps via the Google Play store. The interface is very touch-friendly and logically laid out, so navigating through the various menus and opening apps is a quick and simple process.
Go check out our full Android Wear tips and tricks guide for more info.
However, when it comes to bonus features, the Skagen Falster falls short of most rivals. The likes of the Apple Watch Series 3 and Huawei Watch 2 boast built-in GPS, cellular support, heart rate monitors and the like, which is especially ideal if you want a dedicated fitness companion. Sadly Fossil’s wearable doesn’t offer any of these features. If you want GPS support, you’ll need to keep the Skagen watch connected to your smartphone. And you can forget about pulse monitoring; the best this device can do is track your steps all day long.
Skagen Falster review: Display
Thankfully the Falster does partially redeem itself with a rather stunning 1.2-inch display. This rounded screen isn’t ruined by a bottom bumper, like Motorola’s old Moto 360, so you get a full view at all times. Likewise, the 390×390 pixel resolution means crisp and clear visuals.
Viewing angles are perfect and on top brightness, I had no problems seeing in strong daylight. Something helped by the sharp contrast.
I also really like the unique watch faces which Skagen has designed for this watch. The default face is slick as well as functional, so I kept that as my main choice for the majority of the review period.
Skagen Falster review: Battery life and performance
Performance is not a problem for Fossil’s smartwatch. We rarely saw a stammer as we zipped through menus, with our taps and swipes all resulting in instant responses from the device.
However battery life is a little weaker than most rivals. If you literally use the device as a watch, along with checking notifications as they pop up, then you can expect a full day of use between charges. However, if you start messing around with apps you might find the Falster fails just before bedtime. In comparison, most other smartwatches we’ve tested can keep on going all day, while Fitbit’s Ionic lasts even longer.
Skagen Falster review: Verdict
Starting at 279 pounds, the Skagen Falster watch is almost as expensive as Apple’s own Watch and many feature-packed rivals. In other words, as far as value for money goes, this device is sorely lacking. No GPS support or heart rate monitor means fitness fans in particular are better served elsewhere.
However, if money isn’t an issue and you simply want a great-looking wrist rocket, the Skagen Falster is certainly a sleek choice.