Skagen Falster first look: An Android Wear smartwatch that does more, by doing less

CES 2018: A hygge move for Skagen

Fossil, not one to miss an opportunity to announce yet more wearables, is bringing a few new entries to CES 2018, including the first Skagen Android Wear smartwatch.

The Skagen Falster is the brand's first touchscreen smartwatch, having launched two Connected hybrids. It also joins the Kate Spade New York, another Android Wear watch under the Fossil Group umbrella.

Read this: All the biggest announcements from CES 2018

With so many Android Wear smartwatches out now it's getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd, but Skagen is bringing some intriguing new ideas to the table. But how does it shape up against the rest? Here's our first impressions of the Skagen Falster.

Skagen Falster: That sleek design

Skagen Falster first look: A smartwatch that does more, by doing less

If we had to describe the design of the Falster in one word, it would be "utilitarian". It doesn't really scream "Skagen" to us, with its own simple, rounded design with a black dial layered onto a metal body. It's not ugly, but it doesn't really feel like it has that Skagen identity.

There's just one button on the right side of the watch, but this clean, simple aesthetic plays into a larger concept on the Falster, which we'll get onto shortly. There's an ambient light sensor built into the screen – but no flat tyre – and a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor running the show.

But when we put it on our wrist, it was a lukewarm reaction. It's a perfectly fine smartwatch, just not one that will catch many eyes.

The watch will come in four colourways at launch, including the option of mesh straps in rose gold or stainless steel at $295, or leather for $275. It'll also fit any other 20mm strap of your choosing.

Skagen Falster: Android Wear and the hygge mentality

Okay, so about that simplicity, or "mindfulness", that Skagen talks about. While it adds a full touchscreen display, the Falster is as much about the things it takes away from the smartwatch experience. Skagen is essentially more heavily editing the data stream, giving you a bit more control over what notifications are shown and how they're displayed.

It was hard to get a good idea of this in our demo, but the watch uses minimalist faces that display select info without showing too much or throwing up a loud notification alert.

It's all about the hygge life, a Danish concept of being comfortable in a moment and not feeling overloaded. Skagen is applying this thinking to the Falster, and Fossil said that you'll be able to curate all of this in the smartphone app.

This should also eke out a bit more battery. Skagen still quotes the average 24-36 hours, but says we can expect a little more than other Fossil Android Wear smartwatches, depending on how you use it.

Early verdict

Skagen's idea of simplification is one we can definitely get behind, and we're interested to see how much this can impact the smartwatch experience. It might not be the most inspiring design Skagen could come up with, but it's in the software that the Falster may carve out its niche, in this ever-expanding landscape of Android Wear.


2 Comments

  • WillQB says:

    I like the uncluttered smartwatch experience this watch aims to give.

    When will you have a full review of the watch for us?

    • j.stables says:

      Review samples should be with us very soon – release is this month. 

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