Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is a stylish smartwatch that features the best hardware from Qualcomm. It runs Wear OS 2 super smoothly and is set to receive Wear OS 3 later this year, so your investment won't go to waste. Battery life is lacking, but fortunately, the watch charges incredibly fast, so you can get on with your day.
Wear OS runs great
Great health/sleep tracking
Battery life isn't great
No Wear OS 3 just yet
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When Fossil Group launched the Fossil Gen 6 late last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before Skagen got into the game with a new model of its own. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 was announced in January with the latest chipset from Qualcomm, and while it might sport a very familiar design, we're definitely not complaining.
One of the interesting things about Fossil Group is how its brands, including Skagen and Michael Kors, seem to cater to different audiences, with Skagen somewhere in the middle of Fossil's more traditional watch design and Michael Kors' flashy, fashionable smartwatches. And along with the rest of them, the Skagen Falster Gen 6 is also in the middle of an awkward phase where it's still not on the latest Wear OS 3, but it's trying to make the best out of Wear OS 2.3.
It features all the hardware upgrades you'll find in the Fossil Gen 6, so there's quite a bit to work with. That said, coming from using the Fossil Gen 5 as my primary smartwatch for more than a year, I was quite excited to experience the latest and greatest from Fossil Group, and it does not disappoint.
Skagen Falster Gen 6: Price and availability
Unlike the Fossil Gen 6, you won't find the Skagen Falster Gen 6 at too many retailers. You can purchase the smartwatch through Amazon or Skagen's own online store. It comes in a few different finishes, including black, silver, and smoke, and there are various watch bands to choose from.
The Skagen Falster Gen 6 retails for $295 and comes in a single 41mm case size.
Skagen Falster Gen 6: Looking good
The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is more or less the same as the Fossil Gen 6 in terms of hardware, from the 1.28-inch circular AMOLED display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and built-in GPS. Where this watch shines is in its design. It's borrowed from Skagen's earlier models, such as the Falster 3 — in fact, it's more or less identical despite the slightly smaller 41mm case and 20mm straps. But borrowing the design is far from a bad thing, as Skagen's smartwatch lineup takes a very minimalistic approach to design, one that's inspired by Scandinavian design.
|Category||Fossil Gen 6|
|Operating system||Wear OS 2.3|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, Wi-Fi|
That said, it is a bit chonky when you look at it. That's likely because its chassis is more cylindrical, whereas many of the Fossil models taper off towards the edge. This makes the Skagen look thicker than the Fossil models, even though they both measure in at the same 11.5mm. I was worried about how this would look on my wrist, as mine are pretty small, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the watch looked on my arm.
But outside of the design, I have to say I'm impressed with how it runs Wear OS. Seeing as this is still on the older Wear OS 2.3, it's a testament to how good the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ is, even if it launched nearly two years ago. Coming from the jittery mess of an experience on the Fossil Gen 5, it's quite refreshing to have smooth navigation and relatively quick app startups.
On top of running Wear OS 2.3 like a straight boss, the Skagen Falster Gen 6 also features impressive health tracking features. Fossil's Wellness app that was featured on the Gen 5 is back and now includes SpO2 monitoring, a feature that is pretty much par-for-the-course when it comes to the best Android smartwatches. I can't say I really have much use for it, but it's nice to have.
Automatic sleep tracking is also here, and it's probably my favorite feature on the watch. It seems surprisingly accurate and tells me not only how long I've slept but shows me when I was in light sleep, deep sleep, or when I happen to wake up in the middle of the night. It also gives me my daily, weekly, and monthly stats, and I can even set a sleep goal for myself. All this information is synced with Google Fit, which can provide more insight into how you slept, including your heart rate and sleep efficiency.
But even more impressive than the performance is the battery, and I'm not talking battery life (we'll get to that later). This thing charges fast, and I mean fast. Sometimes I'll wake up, and the watch will automatically switch to Time Only mode when the battery runs too low. I'll set it on the charger, get ready for the day, and once I'm about to head out the door, the watch will be fully topped up. Honestly, it's often surprising how fast it charges, and it even has a cute little animation of a figure plugging in a power cord when it's placed on the charger.
You'll also be happy to know that, like the Fossil Gen 6, the Skagen's charger is much more reliable thanks to the new charging ring design. But unfortunately, battery life is not quite as reliable.
Skagen Falster Gen 6: Performance over efficiency
If you're expecting a watch to run marathons, well, that's all it might be able to handle. If you're lucky, the Falster Gen 6 will last you roughly through the day and perhaps until the following morning. But on average, it's a one-day watch, which is pretty disappointing compared to other Wear OS watches like the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, which can go for a few days before needing a top-up.
Fortunately, it charges pretty fast, but of course, you'll need to be around a charger when it dies. Also, there are multiple battery modes, and the extended mode manages to get close to two days while maintaining many of the tracking and connectivity features. However, you'd have to forget about the always-on display. I usually keep my Wear OS smartwatches in this mode since it gets me what I need for much longer. Still, even with the low-powered co-processor helping run things behind the scenes, battery life isn't phenomenal by any means, and reminds me a lot of the Fossil Gen 5.
Of course, it also depends on your usage, but really not by much. And don't even think about streaming music from Spotify or YouTube Music, or you'll kill the battery quick. Tracking workouts also seems to run the battery down a bit faster than usual, which is something I have to be wary of as someone who frequents the gym.
Speaking of the gym, if you're a fitness enthusiast thinking of getting the Skagen Falster Gen 6, make sure you spring for the silicon watch bands and not the steel mesh. It's very awkward to put on, and it gets scuffed up very easily. The leather watchband is also a good fit, which my colleague Nicholas Sutrich has on his unit, as it features a silicon underside so you can still workout and look good doing it.
Of course, you can't have a Wear OS review without bringing up the elephant in the room, and that's Wear OS 3. No, it's not here, and you shouldn't expect it to arrive on this watch until later this year. It's a bummer, too, because the update could potentially provide even more performance and battery life improvements. Not only that, but the lack of Wear OS 3 will ultimately weigh in negatively on an otherwise good Android smartwatch, and you'll see it in just about every review of the Skagen Falster Gen 6 or its Fossil counterpart.
Skagen Falster Gen 6: Competition
If you're impatient and want to get on Wear OS 3 right now, then you'll be best off with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. While it's best used with Samsung phones and anyone who actually likes Bixby, it offers a brand new smartwatch chipset that brings impressive performance and better efficiency than Qualcomm's chip. It also has LTE options which is a big plus for anyone that doesn't want to be tethered to their smartphones.
Another smartwatch to consider is any of the TicWatch Pro 3 models, especially the new Ultra. Not only will they be Wear OS 3 ready, but they easily have some of the best battery life of any Wear OS smartwatch, meaning you won't have to worry about charging it for a few days. Plus, Mobvoi has impressive health tracking software that rival's Skagen's.
If you won't wanna go with Wear OS, you can also try something a bit more fitness-focused such as the new Garmin Venu 2 Plus. Not only does it offer great battery life that can last more than a week, but it's a truly gorgeous smartwatch, even if it is on the pricier side. It also has plenty of workout modes, making it perfect for fitness enthusiasts, and it works with both Android and iOS, which is a plus for iPhone owners.
Skagen Falster Gen 6: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a stylish Android smartwatch
- You're a fan of Wear OS
- You can wait for Wear OS 3 later this year
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're looking for a smartwatch with great battery life
- You want a Wear OS 3 smartwatch right now
- You want LTE connectivity
The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is a stylish Android smartwatch that performs well and looks great doing it. Thanks to Fossil Group's health tracking features and improved sensors, it's a fine choice for anyone who's into fitness. Plus, you can be sure that your investment should last you for some time when the watch is updated to Wear OS 3 later this year. However, the watch has some downsides, such as poor battery life and the lack of LTE connectivity that might turn some people away. It also doesn't help that Samsung is overshadowing other Wear OS watches as the only company running Wear OS 3.
4 out of 5
If you're still jaded from the Wear OS smartwatches of yore, now's the time to start looking at the platform again. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 makes the best out of an awkward situation as it waits for the next big Wear OS update, thanks to Qualcomm's snappy chipset and a fantastic design that can go from business to fitness with the switch of a watch band. Battery life might not be the best (or anything close to it), but the watch charges incredibly fast, so you'll hardly notice it.
There are better, cheaper options out there, but anyone who picks up the Skagen Falster Gen 6 won't be disappointed.
Skagen Falster Gen 6
Bottom line: While the hardware is no different than what you'll find on the Fossil Gen 6, Skagen's smartwatch manages to differentiate itself with its signature Scandinavian design, which will no doubt turn some heads. Battery life could be better, but thankfully it charges fast enough that you won't mind too much.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.