Skagen Falster 2 review

Stylish, understated and underpowered

Image Credit: TechRadar

Specs and interface

  • Older Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset
  • Sometimes sluggish
  • Includes NFC for Google Pay

The Skagen Falster 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset. That's a three-year-old chipset that's been used in a lot of older smartwatches over the years.

While once it meant that swiping through Wear OS was reasonably speedy, slowdown is starting to become more apparent. Lag isn't as rare as it should be, with the watch reacting sluggishly at times.

Elsewhere, you've got a fairly standard Wear OS experience. Straight out of the box, there's an update to the latest Wear OS which is minimal and slick looking (therefore ideal for this watch) with tweaks to alerts meaning they no longer take up the whole screen.

You can easily swipe on the home screen in any of the four directions too, in order to access notifications, settings, Google Fit, and a feed that gives you information on upcoming appointments and anything else Google Assistant feels would be helpful. It's dependable if not as instantaneous to load as some may like.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Image Credit: TechRadar

More importantly, the Skagen Falster 2 has all the core features we'd expect from a smartwatch these days. There's NFC so Google Pay takes seconds to set up, built-in GPS, as well as heart rate tracking.

Every 20 minutes, your heart rate is automatically tracked, or you can choose to set it off via Google Fit. Don't be surprised when battery life is a little lower when regularly using the heart rate monitor and GPS.

The Skagen Falster 2 is also swim-proof up to 30 meters. That's also where having a silicone strap comes in handy, keeping the watch extra lightweight when you're in the water.

Compatibility

  • iPhone and Android supported
  • Works best with Android

Like with any Wear OS smartwatch, the Skagen Falster 2 will serve Android phone owners the best. You still need to keep the Wear OS app running in the background of an iOS device to receive notifications, and you certainly won't be able to interact with iMessage or an SMS through it.

Feedback from Google Fit is limited too for iPhone owners. Ideally, you need to use third-party apps like Strava to properly track your workout. For Android owners, the Google Fit phone app will do everything they could need and more.

This isn't exclusively the case with the Skagen Falster 2, of course, but it's worth noting for iOS owners considering any Wear OS watch. It will work, but not quite as effectively as if they're pairing it with an Android phone.

At least Google apps like Gmail allow for replies right from your wrist whether you have an iOS or Android phone, plus there's support for both Apple and Google Calendar. Google Pay works seamlessly too and is a huge advantage in saving you from carrying bank cards wherever you go.

Fitness

  • Built-in GPS
  • Swim-proof up to 30 meters
  • Heart rate monitoring

Features-wise, the Skagen Falster 2 has everything the energetic amongst us are likely to want. Its heart rate monitor tracks your heart rate every 20 minutes or at the touch of a button when using Google Fit. In our tests, it was on a par with the Apple Watch 4 too, with only ever so slight discrepancies.

The built-in GPS is also mostly quite effective although we did run into one minor issue when visiting a small shop. While the Apple Watch continued to track us, the Skagen Falster 2 lost its signal and failed to monitor that short distance.

Granted, most people using it for fitness purposes won't be popping into a shop for a sneaky bar of chocolate but it's still not ideal in a smartwatch of this kind.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Image Credit: TechRadar

When swimming, the Skagen Falster 2 hardly misses a beat however, and that silicone strap really is useful for drying off afterwards.

All fitness tracking is conducted primarily via Google Fit but iOS owners would be wise to install a couple of third-party fitness apps for extra functionality.

Google Fit uses Move Minutes and Heart Points to track how you perform, and it's a straightforward concept to figure out. Manually tracked workouts can also be set up, although the watch is pretty good at keeping an eye on what you're doing.

As a fitness watch, it's not quite as reliable as a dedicated solution (such as one of Garmin's offerings), but it's ideal if you're keen to mix fashion and fitness.

Battery life

  • Average battery life
  • Just under a day's usage
  • Battery saver mode

The Skagen Falster 2 uses a 300mAh battery which is perfectly fine and nothing more. Expect just under a day of usage assuming a mixture of GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, and other daily activities. Obviously, your mileage will vary but unless you hardly use the watch, you'll need to charge this up every evening.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Image Credit: TechRadar

Charging is easy enough thanks to the now traditional magnetic charging puck favored by all smartwatches, but you really are going to regret it if you forget one night.

There is a battery saver mode, but it limits things to the extent that it ruins the point of having a full smartwatch. Still, if you're okay with just the bare minimum, it can get you through a long day away from your charger.

The likes of the Apple Watch 4 looks better when it comes to battery life, although so it should given the heftier price tag.