Product Reviews

Skagen Falster

Skagen’s Falster is but its first attempt at making a smartwatch, but you wouldn’t know it just by looks alone. The design is sharp as an edge and it’s a strong signal that, yes, smartwatches are getting thinner.

At $275 (£279, about AU$350), the Falster commands a premium price that could be worth it for you if design and functionality are high up on your list of must-haves. We look forward to giving Skagen’s debut smartwatch a full run to see if Android Wear 2.0 helps or hurts this slick watch.

Design

It’s been a tough few years for watch fans who want the smarts that a touchscreen smartwatch can provide, but still would like a thin, low-profile piece to strap to their wrist. 

This usually involved compromise of some kind, but Skagen’s Falster is an honest-to-goodness step in the right direction of bringing a slim chassis to the smartwatch world, and it looks fantastic. Sure, we’re still not as thin as most analog watches just yet, but this is a battle being fought in millimeters – usually one at a time.

Like other smartwatches, the Falster features a hardware button – a requirement for Android Wear 2.0. An area where it sticks out is that it’s built with stainless steel and you can snag it in three colors: silver, rose gold, and black. Each has a distinct look, with the black version coming with a leather strap at the starting price, and the silver/rose gold options arriving for $295 with a nice mesh strap that looks like a milanese loop.

Performance

During our demo at CES 2018, we only had access to Falster models that were booted into what Fossil calls “retail mode”. It basically means that it works, but it tends to just want to roll through its set of features rather than let you play around with it. As such, we won’t really be able to discern its performance, for now, compared to the plethora of other wearables.

That being said, it fits on the wrist nicely and Android Wear 2.0 seems to be a perfect fit here. Skagen gets bonus points for packing in an AMOLED display that doesn’t have a flat-tire, coming full-circle in a way that matches the aesthetic of the watch itself.

Battery performance is, at this moment, unknown since we haven’t had time to test it. We expect it to fare for a full day before needing a recharge, and Skagen’s smartwatch is said to be loaded with battery-saving watch faces, so we’ll see how long that can stretch things out.

Early verdict

In case you’ve turned your back from smartwatches, it’s time to look again. The Skagen Falster looks to be the smartwatch that fans of low-profile analog timepieces have been waiting for.

We’ll be testing this device in and out over the course of the next few weeks to provide a full review, but even just an early taste at CES 2018 has us wanting more.


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