A superb watch let down by outdated Put on OS

Patrick

Skagen smartwatches are fashionable for a cause. They provide almost an identical options to Fossil’s present smartwatch lineup, solely in a minimal, Danish-inspired design. The brand new Skagen Falster Gen 6 isn’t any completely different.

Taking plenty of what we love concerning the Fossil Gen 6 — and some issues we don’t fairly love — Skagen’s new Put on OS smartwatch launches for almost $300. Do you have to purchase it? Learn all about it in our full Skagen Falster Gen 6 evaluation.

What it’s essential to know concerning the Skagen Falster Gen 6

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • Skagen Falster Gen 6: $295 / £279 / €299

Fossil Group rolled out its Gen 6 smartwatch platform in August 2021, bringing new Qualcomm chipsets, up to date health-monitoring sensors, and software program options to its line of Put on OS watches. It debuted all of those options first on the Fossil Gen 6. The Skagen Falster Gen 6, unsurprisingly, runs on the identical underlying platform because the Fossil watch, solely it has a Danish-inspired design like different watches within the Falster collection.

Catch up: Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch evaluation

The brand new Gen 6 smartwatch options making their debut on the Skagen watch embrace an upgraded coronary heart fee sensor, which permits for steady monitoring and improved accuracy, in addition to an SpO2 monitor for checking your blood oxygen ranges all through the day. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 can also be in a position to cost 2x quicker than earlier than, attaining an 80{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} cost in about half-hour. That is partially due to the brand new Snapdragon Put on 4100 Plus chipset, which isn’t solely extra battery environment friendly but in addition decreases app loading time by as much as 30{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24}.

You’ll additionally acknowledge acquainted options carried over from the Skagen Falster 3. You may make and obtain cellphone calls instantly on the watch, due to the built-in microphone and speaker. The Falster Gen 6 additionally options Fossil Group’s fantastic customizable battery modes, permitting you to tweak battery settings to your liking.

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 combines the Fossil Gen 6’s {hardware} with a Danish-inspired design.

As a result of present limitations of Google and Samsung’s Put on OS 3 construct, the Skagen Falster Gen 6 will run an older model of Put on OS, model 2, till mid-2022. Google has not but revealed when OEMs like Fossil and Skagen can replace their watches to Put on OS 3. Happily, the Falster Gen 6 will certainly obtain the replace; we simply don’t know when that may occur.

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 will likely be obtainable within the US, UK, and different European nations in January 2022 for $295/£279/€299 from Skagen.com. Will probably be supplied in only one 42mm measurement, however 5 types and three colour choices: silver, charcoal, and black. Skagen says the watch will launch globally “quickly.”

What’s good?

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review watch face on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I’d say most individuals gravitate in direction of the Skagen Falster collection due to its design. The Falster Gen 6 is straightforward, understated, and well-built, similar to the Falster 3. The truth is, there aren’t many design variations between the 2 watches. They each have round, angular instances with three pushers on the correct aspect — two of which might be custom-made to open any app you’d like. The center pusher is your typical all-apps button/house button/rotatable crown combo, which is nice for navigating round Put on OS’ interface.

General, I really like the Falster Gen 6’s design. It’s gentle and easy, which is what I normally search for in a wearable. As famous, it solely is available in one 42mm measurement this 12 months, which can irk some customers who’ve smaller wrists. Regardless of its larger measurement on paper, although, it doesn’t appear too huge on my average-sized wrists.

See additionally: The most effective style smartwatches

Let’s speak concerning the new stuff. Just like the Fossil Gen 6, the Falster Gen 6 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Put on 4100 Plus platform, which is presently one of many highest-end wearable chipsets obtainable.

Efficiency is noticeably quicker on the Skagen Falster Gen 6 than it was on the Falster 3. App loading does certainly appear quicker, and I haven’t skilled the traditional Google Assistant lag that I do with different Put on OS 2-powered units. Some efficiency hiccups are nonetheless current, although. Waking the system from its charging state and from the always-on show normally ends in some lag. Nothing main, however value noting.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review google assistant weather

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The watch additionally costs manner quicker than earlier than. We’ll speak about battery specifics in just a little bit, however if you do must cost, it takes below an hour to succeed in 100{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24}. That is in comparison with the Galaxy Watch 4, which takes over two hours to succeed in a full cost.

Once more, just like the Fossil Gen 6, there’s a brand new SpO2 sensor within the Skagen Falster Gen 6 for monitoring blood oxygen ranges all through the day. You’ll primarily use it for spot-checks. It doesn’t file at evening throughout sleep monitoring, nor does it file robotically through the day. It’s additionally not medically validated by the FDA, so it shouldn’t be handled as a medical system.

Even so, the Falster Gen 6’s readings have been spot-on with my fingertip pulse oximeter and Withings ScanWatch. My numbers not often dip under 95{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} or so through the day. On a number of events, all three units I simply talked about reported the identical readings. Nonetheless, the Falster watch would fail to file my knowledge a few quarter of the time I attempted to check it.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review spo2 blood oxygen readings on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I nonetheless very a lot respect Fossil Group’s skill to deliver on-wrist calling to its current-gen smartwatches. Having the ability to reply calls in your wrist can turn out to be useful, although I don’t anticipate most individuals to make use of this function daily. I referred to as my spouse a number of instances over the Falster Gen 6, and she or he famous that it sounded tinnier than a standard cellphone name. I additionally skilled a couple of connectivity points and name drop-outs through the testing interval.

Listed below are a couple of different good issues concerning the Skagen Falster Gen 6:

  • Show: The 1.28-inch AMOLED show is crisp, vivid, and stays loads seen in out of doors settings.
  • Music storage: The Falster Gen 6 has 8GB of cupboard space for apps and music. It’s loads of room for a couple of exercise playlists, made even higher now that Put on OS 2 units can entry Spotify and YouTube Music.
  • Android and iOS suitable: The Falster Gen 6 can pair to each Android and iOS telephones. At the moment, Put on OS 3 units (learn: the Galaxy Watch 4) can solely pair to Android smartphones, however Fossil Group says it plans on supporting this function with Gen 6 units as soon as Put on OS 3 rolls out.
  • Amazon Alexa coming quickly: The Skagen Falster Gen 6 will supply assist for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Fossil Group says it’s anticipated to launch within the first half of 2022. It’ll additionally arrive for all Gen 6 smartwatches, not simply the Falster Gen 6, and it’ll be obtainable when Put on OS 3 rolls round, too.

What’s not so good?

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review google assistant sorry there was a problem error

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Let’s get it out of the way in which. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 runs on Google’s Put on OS 2 platform, however gained’t obtain the replace to Put on OS 3 till mid-2022. It’s a irritating limitation for everybody besides Samsung, which has unique rights to the platform till Google finishes its construct of the software program.

Fossil Group and Skagen are clearly making an attempt to make up for Google’s neglect.

It’s not Skagen or Fossil Group’s fault that the Falster Gen 6 is operating an older construct of Put on OS — and I do suppose Google screwed over plenty of OEMs by giving Samsung the rights to Put on OS 3 first — however that is what ships on Skagen’s $300 smartwatch in early 2022.

Take a look at: The most effective Put on OS watches

I’ve had some gripes with Put on OS 2 previously, and the model on the Falster Gen 6 doesn’t appear to have improved a lot since late 2020. Skagen and Fossil Group are clearly making an attempt to patch holes within the OS left by Google’s neglect.

There’s a Fossil-branded Wellness app preloaded on the Falster Gen 6, which homes metrics like your exercise, sleep, cardio health, blood oxygen, and coronary heart fee knowledge. However it’s also possible to entry all of those metrics in Google Match, the inventory health platform on Fossil-made Put on OS watches. The Cardiogram app additionally comes preinstalled on the watch, which means there are three (three!) other ways to verify your coronary heart fee knowledge.

So as to add to the confusion, the inventory Exercise app on the watch solely permits for generic out of doors and indoor exercises, not even permitting you to specify which sort of out of doors or indoor exercise you’d like to trace. Most customers might want to circumvent this web page — which is featured prominently on the primary tile — and observe their exercises with Google Match as a substitute.

It’s all a bit too messy for my liking.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review smart battery modes

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Battery life continues to be a ache level for Fossil Group smartwatches. Until you flip off sure very important system sensors and options, you’ll battle to get greater than a day of use out of the Skagen Falster Gen 6. I ceaselessly point out the Apple Watch’s day-long battery life, although most Apple Watches can final into the second day with minimal utilization. With the Skagen watch, you’ll cost it earlier than mattress each evening if you happen to hold every little thing turned on.

To melt the blow, you may make the most of the watch’s built-in customizable battery modes. With these, you may activate and off sensors that you could be or might not use. As an example, I not often use Google Pay on my watch, so I normally hold NFC turned off to avoid wasting a little bit of battery life. On the Falster Gen 6, there’s a brand new possibility to modify to prolonged battery mode robotically or when your watch reaches 10{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24}, which is a pleasant contact.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review heart rate sensor on table

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

There’s an all-new optical coronary heart fee sensor contained in the Skagen Falster Gen 6. Skagen says it permits for steady monitoring all through the day, together with improved accuracy. I can vouch for the previous, however not the latter.

Certainly, the Falster Gen 6 information coronary heart fee knowledge all through the day, the inclusion of which is appreciated. Resting coronary heart fee readings have lined up effectively towards the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and Polar H10 chest strap. Kudos, Skagen.

Nonetheless, the Skagen smartwatch ought to actually solely be used for exercise monitoring in a pinch. The upgraded coronary heart fee sensor may have the ability to offer you a normal concept of how your exercise goes, nevertheless it’s not dependable for many use instances. See under for a 3.5-mile run with the Skagen Falster Gen 6 (inexperienced), Polar H10 (yellow), and Apple Watch Collection 6 (blue).

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review heart rate data vs Polar H10 Apple Watch Series 6

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Sadly, GPS accuracy is equally unreliable. Within the first screenshot under, you may see the Falster Gen 6 (inexperienced) veer off into the center of the road — the place there was no tree protection or some other interference — whereas the Coros Vertix 2 (yellow) and Apple Watch (blue) stayed on the correct path.

The second screenshot above is just a little arduous to comply with, nevertheless it exhibits the Skagen smartwatch utterly dropping its GPS sign after I ran below a bridge. I by no means obtained a “location unavailable” or any form of GPS error throughout this a part of the run. Moreover, resulting from GPS monitoring points, the Falster Gen 6 reported my general distance to be a sizeable .58 miles shorter than the Vertix 2. That’s fairly the gap contemplating this was a 3.5-mile run.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review sleep tracking data on wrist

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Sleep monitoring has additionally not been an excellent expertise. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 failed to acknowledge after I went to mattress and awoke at particular instances all through the evaluation interval. One evening, it reported I went to mattress at 1 AM, although my Fitbit Sense reported a (right) 11:30 PM bedtime.

I’ll additionally use this chance to touch upon Google Match’s sleep knowledge web page. There’s no technique to faucet on any of the sections to get extra knowledge on a selected metric. As an example, you’re caught with the essential, pared-back sleep levels graph, regardless that there’s presumably extra knowledge to dig into. Because the Falster Gen 6’s exercise knowledge is primarily despatched to Google Match, this might trigger frustrations for anybody seeking to collect extra insights from their tracked knowledge.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 specs

Skagen Falster Gen 6
Show 1.28-inch AMOLED
416 x 416 decision
326ppi
Dimensions 42mm with 20mm straps
Supplies Stainless-steel case
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 4100 Plus
RAM 1GB
Battery 300mAh
30 minutes to 80{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} cost
Storage 8GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Altimeter
Ambient gentle
Compass
Gyroscope
Off-body IR
SpO2
PPG coronary heart fee
GPS
{Hardware} Rotating house button + 2 extra pushers
Speaker
Microphone
IP score 3ATM
Connectivity Bluetooth 5 LE
NFC
Wi-Fi
Compatibility Android
iOS

Skagen Falster Gen 6 evaluation: Ought to I purchase it?

Skagen Falster Gen 6 review vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Left to proper: Skagen Falster Gen 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Skagen delivered a fantastic smartwatch with the Falster Gen 6. {Hardware} and design are Skagen’s sturdy fits, in spite of everything, so it’s no shock that the Falster Gen 6 stands out with its aesthetics and normal construct high quality.

It falls massively brief in health monitoring, although, which is an more and more essential focus space for smartwatches. Even general-purpose smartwatches just like the Falster Gen 6 are competing with the Galaxy Watch 4 ($249) and Apple Watch Collection 7 ($399), whether or not Skagen admits to it or not. Each of these units are glorious health trackers, and placing out an costly smartwatch that falls so behind on this class makes it powerful to suggest to a big quantity of customers.

In the end, older software program and inaccurate health monitoring make the Skagen Falster Gen 6 arduous to suggest.

Throw in the truth that it gained’t get the Put on OS 3 improve for one more six months or so, and Skagen is driving a tough discount with the Falster Gen 6. Maybe we’ll be having a special dialog as soon as Put on OS 3 rolls out, as soon as Alexa assist arrives, or as soon as Skagen can get its health monitoring below management. However for now, there are many different smartwatches we suggest over Skagen’s newest.

Skagen Falster Gen 6 press image black

Skagen Falster Gen 6

Every part we like concerning the Gen 6 platform, now in a Danish-inspired design

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is the Danish model’s newest Put on OS smartwatch. Though it will not get the Put on OS 3 replace till mid-2022, the Falster Gen 6 gives stable specs, quicker charging, and upgraded well being sensors.

Prime Skagen Falster Gen 6 questions and solutions

Q: What occurred to the Skagen Falster 4?
A: Technically, there is no such thing as a Skagen Falster 4. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is the successor to the Falster 3. Skagen modified the moniker to be extra in-line with different Fossil Group smartwatches.

Q: When will the Skagen Falster Gen 6 obtain its Put on OS 3 replace?
A: The Skagen Falster Gen 6 will likely be up to date to Put on OS 3 in 2022. Google has but to offer out precise particulars for the Put on OS 3 rollout timeline, so we’ll seemingly want to attend a couple of months to be taught extra.

Q: Does the Skagen Falster Gen 6 work with iPhones?
A: Sure, the Skagen Falster Gen 6 works with each Android and iOS units. In line with Fossil Group, the Falster Gen 6 will proceed to work with iOS units, even after the Put on OS 3 replace.

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