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Skagen Falster Gen 6 Review: In Expectation Of Wear OS 3

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The Skagen Falster Gen 6 does seem very familiar, but that's not a bad thing.

Skagen Falster Gen 6
$295
Rating
star star star star star_empty
Pros
  • Great, industrial design
  • Clicky, responsive buttons
  • Good display
  • Really good, lag-free performance
  • Fast charging
  • Getting Wear OS 3 at some point
Cons
  • No Wear OS 3 out of the box
  • Not great battery life
  • No wireless charging

Skagen supplied us with a review unit of the Skagen Falster Gen 6, but didn’t have a say in our opinion, nor did they see this review before you. We’ve been using the device for a couple of weeks before forming an opinion.

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 came as a rather odd release by Skagen. Why? Well, because it’s an in-between software launches release. That’s not Skagen’s fault, though, more of Google’s. Samsung got exclusivity on the new Wear OS (3), and everyone else had to wait. That’s why Skagen wasn’t able to prepare Wear OS 3 for the Falster Gen 6. This smartwatch comes with Wear OS 2, just like its predecessor. Wear OS 3 is expected to arrive later this year, possibly in mid-2022. Skagen did confirm it’s coming, but it didn’t say exactly when.

That being said, you’ll get a very similar experience here as with the Skagen Falster 3. Not only will you get a similar experience in regards to software, but the hardware looks basically the same. We’ll talk more about that in the design section, though. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 turned out to be a really good watch, but truth be said, Wear OS 3 is the key word here. We’ll have to revisit this watch once it lands. That being said, let’s see what this watch has to offer, shall we.

Industrial design at its finest

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 offers that industrial design that Skagen users are quite familiar with. If you’re into it, then you’ll love the design of this thing. As already mentioned, it resembles the Falster 3, a lot. In fact, it’s almost impossible to differentiate them. The connecting points that protrude from the watches are a bit different, though, the ones on the Falster 3 are longer, and seemingly thicker. On top of that, most of the buttons on the Falster Gen 6 are a bit smaller. The two watches are the same in terms of size, though, and the rest of the design is basically the same, as you can see below.

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AH Skagen Falster 3 and Skagen Falster Gen 6 image 1

This watch resembles its predecessor a lot

If you loved the Falster 3 design, you’ll love this thing as well. This is a smaller watch than most of its competitors, though, and it’s also a bit thick for its size. It’s not too thick, though, don’t get me wrong. The Falster Gen 6 is made out of metal, and it has three physical buttons on the right. The middle button actually doubles as a rotating crown, and it feels good to use, though it’s not the most tactile we’ve used. There is a heart rate sensor on the back of the watch, along with some POGO pins, more on that later.

The Falster Gen 6 supports standard 20mm watch bands. So, you really don’t have to use the one that ships with the watch, swapping it for your own is easy. Do note that you should get a band that has a quick switch mechanism, so that you don’t need extra tools to replace it.

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It has a nice, sharp and bright display, but a rather petite one

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 features a 1.28-inch OLED display with a resolution of 466 x 466. So, that panel is more than bright enough, and it’s a round display. The watch does get bright enough, and there are a number of settings that you can opt for. While set to automatic brightness, there are three brightness settings at your disposal. If you opt for manual brightness, you’ll be offered five different brightness settings.

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The viewing angles are good, and so is the touch response. All in all, there’s not much to complain about here. The only thing that may bother some people is the display size. If 1.28 inches is too small for you, well, there are plenty of other options out there. Skagen, unfortunately, does not offer different sizes of the Falster Gen 6. This should suit both men and women, though, as most larger smartwatches cater to men these days.

It’s not Wear OS 3, but it performs really well

If you’ve used a recent Wear OS smartwatch, you’ll know what to expect here on the software side of things. Well, if you’ve used a Wear OS watch that performs well. That’s a hit and miss these days, and Skagen is one of the better OEMs in that regard. The Skagen Falster 3 offered really good performance, and the Falster Gen 6 follows in its footsteps, booster by a brand new SoC. The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ SoC is included here.

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I haven’t really experienced lag or anything of the sort here. The watch did skip a beat here and there, but that happens with basically any watch. All in all, the performance, in regards to smoothness, has been really good. Wear OS 2 is a really competent operating system, though too bad Wear OS 3 is not here. We’ve already mentioned it earlier, but that’s not Skagen’s fault, it’s more Google’s for giving Samsung a head start.

Wear OS 3 is coming, though

This watch will likely become way more appealing once Wear OS 3 lands, but it’s really competent as it is. You have access to Google Assistant, of course, access to pretty much any app available for Wear OS, and so on. What’s you’re getting here is basically stock Wear OS 2, with some added wellness features, and some watch faces provided by Skagen. There are not that many added choices in that regard, though.

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The always-on display option is available here, but it will impact your battery more, more on that later. You can customize two out of three buttons on the side, top and bottom ones. There are many options for that, so you can tweak it just to your liking. You can, of course, change widgets, and so on. This is a very familiar Wear OS experience, and the performance is good, so I don’t really have anything to complain about here.

All is good from the connectivity standpoint

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The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.2. That is good, but some wearables tend to have issues with connectivity, regardless of the Bluetooth tech they’re equipped with. Well, I have to say that I didn’t have such issues with this watch. What is interesting, however, is that the icon signaling disconnected status did appear on my watch’s display several times. The watch did remain connected during that time, though. That is rather weird, but I guess it’s a bug of sorts. Considering that the connection was unaffected, I didn’t have any issues with notifications or anything of the sort.

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The Skagen Falster Gen 6 relies on ‘Wellness’ and Google Fit app for fitness

The Skagen Falster Gen 6 comes equipped with the ‘Wellness’ app. That app may seem familiar if you’ve used Fossil’s watches. What is interesting, however, is that the ‘Wellness’ app doesn’t have a version for your phone. Instead, Skagen expects you to connect it to Google Fit. That is what most people will prefer anyway, as that is the hub most Wear OS users use either way. In any case, this app will track your steps, workouts, sleep, and SpO2. Considering this is Google Fit we’re talking about, most of you are probably familiar with how it goes. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is not exactly a fitness-y watch, but it can serve as your fitness companion, without a problem. Oh, and yes, GPS is included here, and the watch is 3 ATM rated, so it’s basically swim proof.

The battery life is not great

The battery life was one of my main concerns when it comes to this watch. I was expecting excellent performance thanks to the new chip, as even its predecessor offered really good performance. I was right to be afraid, to be quite honest. The battery life is far from great. Most of you will be able to get a full day’s worth of battery life, but if you really push the watch hard, as I did, with everything it can offer, it will die before you go to bed.

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You can get a full day’s worth of battery

Those use cases are really extreme, but I really wanted to see what it can do. When I didn’t use its display and fitness-related feature extensively, I usually ended up with around 15-25% of battery left, at the end of the day. So, all in all, the battery is not that bad, it’s passable, but it’s not great. I got spoiled by Huawei’s smartwatches in the last year or so, which offer up to two weeks of battery life. The same goes for Skagen’s hybrid smartwatch I reviewed last year. This is the reality of Wear OS watches, though. That won’t be a problem for most people, though, as the watch does charge up rather fast, and it will last for the whole day, for most of them. Do note that some of my colleagues from other publications got significantly better results, though.

It charges rather fast

When it comes to charging, a charging cradle ships with this smartwatch. Unfortunately, the watch still charges via pogo pins included on both the watch and charger. In my experience, those do get dirty from time to time, so if you face any charging issues after a while, just clean them real quick. The watch magnetizes to the charging cradle in the right position, so you don’t have to worry about perfect alignment. What’s also worth noting is that you’ll get to around an 80-percent charge in half an hour of charging, which is not bad at all.

It includes both a speaker and a microphone

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Not all smartwatches come equipped with a speaker and a microphone. Though, truth be said, more and more of them do. A couple of years ago it was a rarity, but that’s not the case anymore. The same goes for the Skagen Falster Gen 6. There is a speaker included on the watch, and also a microphone. You can easily use Google Assistant directly through the watch, or make phone calls, if you want. Do note that the speaker is quite limited, of course, considering its size, and the microphone is not the best, but it does the trick. People did report I sounded different while talking through the watch, but they didn’t complain much. It’s pretty much what you’d expect.

Pricey, but worth it… for some

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So, is the Skagen Falster Gen 6 worth $295? Well, if you like industrial design, you want a Wear OS watch that will get Wear OS 3, and you don’t mind spending almost $300, then sure… go for it. The Skagen Falster Gen 6 is a good watch, that’s for sure, but it has a lot of competition out there. Huawei’s recent smartwatches are more fitness-focused, and offer a lot better battery life. Samsung already has a watch with Wear OS 3 installed, and so on. There’s plenty of competition out there for this smartwatch, even from its sibling, Fossil. Still, this is a good, and very capable smartwatch, and it will certainly appeal to people who enjoy industrial design.