Skagen revamps its slick-looking Falster smartwatch

The Wear OS-based Falster 2 packs heart-rate tracking, GPS and NFC.

Skagen's Falster has been one of the darlings among Wear OS smartwatches thanks to its posh yet minimalist look, but it was hard to recommend to everyone when there were no standout features besides the design. The Fossil-owned brand is fixing that today with the Falster 2. It still maintains the Danish brand's aesthetic but introduces a heart-rate sensor, GPS and NFC payments. You can use this to track an outdoor run and pay for a snack after your workout. Skagen is promising some tangible improvements on the outside, too.

The Falster 2 has a slimmer bezel, for one thing. Not that the original's was egregiously thick, but it makes for an even cleaner aesthetic. Plus, with a case that's 2mm smaller than before, the 1.19-inch face now seems bigger. The casing is now billed as "swim-proof," and there are two customizable pushers (the two smaller buttons you see above) to provide speedier access to apps. Even band choices are slightly better. There's a magnetic mesh strap that, like the Apple Watch's Milanese Loop, can fasten quickly while giving you an adjustable fit.

Skagen's new smartwatch arrives September 12th starting at $275 with silicone or leather straps, and $295 if you want that steel mesh. It's a tempting option, but there is one catch: The Falster 2 is running on the aging Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip and will arrive two days after Qualcomm unveils the 2100's successor. While the watch ticks many of the right checkboxes, it could feel slightly obsolete before you've opened the box.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2018 here!