Skagen Falster 3 Price, Release Date, Battery Life – So last night I re-watched Minority Report, the future-noir thriller from 2002. and what kept catching my eye was the watch John Anderton wore to keep track of the time horizon. This was actually an Omega rebranded as a Bulgari for some reason. But the point is, I suddenly wanted this watch face on my wrist. As much as I love my Garmin Marq Captain, with this screen, it just wasn’t going to happen.
And I expected to say, well the same thing I always say about Wear OS smartwatches. Great hardware, shame about the software. But thanks to recent Wear OS updates, an app called Facer. And a long-standing issue with some Fossil hardware, this time around, the script is flipped.
Now that’s not to say the design suffers, but the Skagen Falster 3 continues its intoxicating blend of Danish minimalism with a splash of excess. The latter from this trademark, oversized lugs. Like all Wear OS watches that are worth anything, the Falster 3 sports two customizable pushers, and an active rotating crown. And this 22-millimeter band is a fun little bait and switch. It looks like woven fabric, right? Well, it’s actually a silicone mesh that you can get as wet as you want without damaging it, just like the watch itself.
If it weren’t for the charging issue that I’ll touch on in a second, my only complaints about this hardware would be that the screen doesn’t get quite bright enough in direct sunlight, and you know, the casing feels just a smidge too light. I like a little more heft than this. Normally, here’s where I’d pivot to the problems endemic to Google’s Wear OS. Many of which are still here. The random disconnections, the crown not working in all apps and Google Assistant’s buggy, laggy lack of responsiveness.
But the watch has the requisite gig of RAM, so it runs most of the time smoothly. And more importantly, Google seems to have patched the biggest bug, which is notifications not getting delivered reliably. If you watched by Galaxy Z Flip review, you’d remember that this is a phone that basically requires a smartwatch. And I’ve been getting messages on Falster 3, just like I should. Oh, wait, what? Google also shipped a new feature this past week to help in the fight against Coronavirus. So you can hit the ideal 40 seconds. It might sound like a gimmick, but our biggest enemy as we try to beat this thing is creeping complacency, and this helps fight it.
Speaking of quarantine, you might be making more phone calls these days and with the built-in speakerphone. You can make and take calls with both Android and iPhones on the Falster 3. Callers said I sounded fine, if not perfect, and at my end, the speaker was clear but could’ve been louder. Wear OS doesn’t offer much space for manufacturers to express themselves. But the Skagen folks have squeezed some personality into things like the charging animation seen here. The watch faces are similarly minimalistic, which isn’t really my bag.
So last night, unable to fall asleep, I must’ve pushed a dozen watch faces to the Falster 3 from the Facer app. You can find pretty much anything in Facer: my requisite Star Trek LCARS, Minority Report monstrosity, to licensed designs from actual watchmakers. There’s so much diversity here, you can lose yourself just shopping around, and it’s tough to find a watch face that doesn’t look great on the Falster 3 hardware.
But here’s the thing, you can also install Facer on a Samsung watch. While those don’t have as distinctive a look, their Tizen software is far more responsive. Also, those watches last longer than Falster 3. Unless I use one of Fossil’s power-saving modes, I only get one day, even when in lockdown at home. And you can charge Samsung watches on a wider array of chargers as well, thanks to wireless charging. They’re even able to top up on the back of some smartphones.
By contrast, Fossil has stuck with the simplicity of this ring and pin system, which is fine until the glue melts. Now I haven’t had this issue happen to my review devices. But unlike a real owner, I only use them for a few weeks at a time. Every year I see the problem reports resurface on Reddit on Fossil’s own help site, and every year I ask Fossil about their issues with glue on smartwatches. And every year they tell me they’ve fixed them in the latest generation.
Yeah, they’ll swap them out at the retail store for you, no problem, but at some point, you’ve gotta say maybe just go with wireless charging. Kill two issues at once. Of course, that would reasonably make up the price. The Skagen Falster 3 is $295, which puts it on par with Fossil’s fifth-generation house brand and slightly below the Moto 360 Revival. If it were me, I’d probably go for the Moto, just because I prefer a more assertive industrial design. And I’m not planning on using the watch with an iPhone.
And for most people on Android, I’ll continue to recommend the Galaxy Watch Active 2. Which can now be had for $250 at Best Buy. Hopefully, as Google continues to refine, Wear OS and Fossil iterates on hardware for the next generation. It will get back to a point where I can make an unqualified recommendation of a Wear OS watch. Today, you should only buy the Skagen Falster 3 if you’re really in love with this design.