I have been one of the early adopters of smart watches thanks to the Pebble. Over the years, having used everything from Android Wear to Apple Watch, I do yearn for the simplicity of the Pebble which at the end of the day was a very unobtrusive timepiece. Times have changed, quite literally, and all watch companies now want something in their portfolio that resembles a smart watch. This is where a wearable like the Skagen Jorn hybrid from the house of Fossil becomes an interesting play.
Skagen Jorn Hybrid Watch Price in India: Rs 14,295
Skagen Jorn Hybrid Watch specifications: Discreet Alerts | Replaceable CR2412 Battery | Activity Tracking | Works with Android Devices 4.4+, iOS 8.2+/iPhone 5+ | Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart Enabled / 4.1 Low Energy | Water resistant
The Skagen Jorn Hybrid Watch is like any traditional wrist watch. It has a crown and two flanking buttons. The watch face is unremarkable and you will surely miss the four coloured dots on the left which the watch uses for notifications in a very cryptic kind of way. The review unit we had came with a 22mm leather strap, but then you can change it to whatever strap you want. The best feature for me is the fact that this has a replaceable battery and does not need to be charged every day.
The Skagen Jorn is a wrist watch at its core. So you have the option of using it like a regular watch, though that would not make much sense. For the smart features you download the Skagen app on the phone and connect the smartphone to the watch. Once that is done, you can set up activity tracking on the watch which will sync with the phone at regular intervals — it does not seem to sync real time and needs a push for the same. The app does a lot more than track activity. It lets you customise what the buttons on the phone will do — like open camera or start music.
As anyone who has used a smartwatch will know, notifications are the biggest connect with these devices. On the Skagen Jorn, notifications are discreet. Discrete though is an understatement. The app lets you decide which colour each kind of notification is associated with. So if you get a slack notification the dial will move to the respective colour. And this for me is the biggest issue with the watch.
Despite the slight buzz and the dial moving around I pretty much missed all the notifications in the ten days I used the watch for. But then moving from an Apple Watch, I did not miss the notifications much and actually enjoyed the lack of attention for a bit — remember, I have been wearing a smart something on my wrist since 2013.
Also, the app does a good job of keeping track of your activity, calorie burn and sleep. The figures were quite accurate in comparison with the other wearables I have.
So should you buy this watch?
Well, the Skagen Jorn is for those who think smart watches are too loud for their style and would like something that retains the old world charm of a wrist watch but also makes the timepiece smart. The Skagen Jorn is one of the most discreet smart watches around and given that it does a good job of keeping track of steps and calories, I figure there will be a lot of people tightening this strap. I might be one too.