- Skagen wearables look really nice
- Convenient smart features
- Specified notifications on the Hybrid
- Google Assistant on the Smartwatch
- Smartwatch battery life is not impressive
- Hybrid only allows three button features
- Too uncomfortable to sleep with for sleep tracking
We’ve seen better smartwatches and activity trackers, but these watches look very good and do everything they’re supposed to do.
Smartwatches are everywhere now. And, generally speaking, we all know because they look like smartwatches. They don’t exactly blend in with your fashion-forward outfit. And depending on your job, they might not count as professional.
Skagen aims to change that, though, with their hybrid and smartwatches that still uphold the classic Skagen look and design. Skagen, by the way, is owned by Fossil, so they’ve been making watches for quite some time and they have some experience with hybrid watches as well (Jeff reviewed the Fossil Q Grant on our YouTube channel a while back).
In this post, we’ll go over the design and functions of both watches. We’ll also talk about the pros and cons of each, what we like, what we don’t like, and all that jazz.
Skagen Hybrid Watch – Review
The Skagen Hybrid Watch is like an entry-level smartwatch. Basically, it tracks activity, gives you notifications for various apps, and has a few other neat tricks, but it doesn’t have a touch display and doesn’t allow you to respond to notifications.
In terms of design, this is a really nice looking device. You can’t tell at all that it’s anything more than a traditional, analog watch. It’s very professional and stylish, and there are several bands to choose from. Skagen has always put out simple, clean, yet interesting watches and their Hybrid is no exception.
I would note, though, that the standard leather bands are too big for a petite wrist, so if you’re a smaller person or just have smaller wrists, keep that in mind when you go to pick out what band you’d like.
The Hybrid watch has a clean design with just three buttons on the side that you can set to control various features. You can choose which face you’d like, as well. Some of them are very simple and some have a bit more going on, but all the options look great.
Features + Function
Like we said, Skagen’s Hybrid Smartwatch is not a full-blown smartwatch. As the name suggests, it’s a traditional watch with some smart features. We’ve seen something similar with the Garmin Vivomove HR.
The Hybrid pairs with both Android and iOS phones via Bluetooth and is managed through the Skagen app, which has a clean layout and is easy to navigate. The app keeps the watch automatically set to the correct time and date, including updates and adjustments for timezone changes and Daylight Saving time.
The company uses the term “discreet alerts,” which is just a special way of saying the watch vibrates for notifications. Although there’s no display to tell you what the notification is for, you can set specific alerts from within the app. So, for example, my watch is set to vibrate and point to 9 when I get an email. You can even set alerts for specific people – the hands usually point to 12 when I get a text, but point to 3 if I get a text from my friend Alex. It does take a bit of getting used to and it’s not the same convenience as a full-blown smartwatch, but it works well and I found that I started to rely on it after a couple days.
The app also allows you to personalize the function of the three buttons on the side of the watch face. You have the following options: activity, notifications, date, goal tracking, ring phone, second time zone, take photo, music controls, music volume up, and music volume down. Unfortunately, you can only choose three at a time and I really wish you could choose more because they’re very convenient. I set one of the buttons to music controls, which was super nice to have while driving.
The activity tracking on this watch is very basic. Obviously, this isn’t meant to be a fitness watch. It’s just to keep track of how many steps you take throughout the day, to help you make sure you’re up and about enough, and it covers those basics just fine. It is capable of sleep tracking, although I can’t imagine anyone wanting to sleep with it on.
The Hybrid Skagen runs on a replaceable CR2412 battery, which means no charging, but you’ll have to change the battery now and then like you would with other watches.
The Skagen Hybrid is priced at $175, but certain models are often on sale for $125. If you’re going to buy a nice watch, you’re going to spend at least as much, so we don’t have any gripes with the cost here.
Skagen Smartwatch – Review
Now, as nice as the Hybrid is, you may be looking for something with a little more, uh, brains, to it. The Skagen Smartwatch is a fully loaded smartwatch that still maintains the stylish look that is associated with the Skagen brand.
Like the Hybrid, you can choose from various band options to personalize the look of the watch, although there’s just the one face style for the Smartwatch. It’s an interactive, full color display, touchscreen round face with just one button on the side – a very simple, sleek design. It still looks like a smartwatch, but it’s more subtle than other options, like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit Ionic, for example. I think the round face really helps, along with the traditional-looking band options.
I will say, though, that the mesh bands are difficult to adjust. However, it’s not like you’ll be adjusting the band often. Theoretically, you’re only doing it once, so we’re not really calling it a problem.
Features + Function
As we mentioned, this watch has full smart features. Everything from activity tracking to text notifications to voice commands, etc., etc..
Set up was really easy out of the box. The watch’s smart features are powered by Google Wear OS (supported by both Android and iOS phones), so you just download the app and follow the directions. And since it uses Google Wear, it syncs with your Google account seamlessly and has Google Assistant.
You navigate the device using both the side button and the touchscreen. Personally, I like the touchscreen, but not everyone does, and you do have to use it, so that’s something to keep in mind.
You get smartphone notifications right on the display and can answer calls and respond to texts from your wrist. You can also check the weather, world time, and add third-party apps from the App Store or Google Play.
The activity tracking is managed through Google Fit. It’s not on par with, say, Fitbit or Garmin, but that’s to be expected. You aren’t choosing a Skagen for your smartwatch if you’re looking for a fitness device. Google Fit will track all your basics, including sleep. Although, again, we don’t expect anyone to be sleeping with this watch on.
SEE ALSO: Garmin Vívofit 4 Review
The company says the battery can provide up to 24 hours of use on a single charge, which might be true, but in my experience, it’s not making it there. I would plan to charge the device overnight like you do with your phone. The charger, by the way, is an inductive magnetic charger. It’s pretty nifty, but it’s also not a common charger, so don’t forget it if you go somewhere.
The Skagen Smartwatch is priced at $275 or $295 depending on which band you choose. I don’t know that I’d pay so much for a smartwatch from a company who’s just stepped into the game, but I would pay so much for a nice, classic watch. So, ultimately, I think the price is okay. Although I’d be on the lookout for a sale anyway.