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Skagen Falster 2 WearOS smartwatch adds all the fitness

Heart rate, GPS, swim-ready and NFC Google Pay, arriving Sept. 12.

The new watch with three different bands.
Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

The great smartwatch showdown is underway, and one of the most stylish Google WearOS smartwatches is getting a big set of fitness updates.

The Skagen Falster 2, arriving Sept. 12 -- possibly the same day as Apple's next Watch unveiling -- does look more promising than the good-looking but bare-bones first-generation Falster watch from earlier this year. 

The Falster 2 has a complete set of fitness functions: GPS, heart rate tracking, an altimeter and Google Pay for NFC payments, in case you're out somewhere without your phone or wallet.

The Falster 2, like the original Falster, is pleasantly minimal-looking, with a clean stainless-steel case that doesn't add too many watch-dial flourishes. The watch comes in rose gold, silver, gray and black, and has a 40mm diameter, more compact than Samsung's recent Galaxy Watch, but looks to still be considerably thick. Straps are 20mm.

The price isn't bad: $275 (£269) for a leather-banded or silicone-banded model, or $295 (£299) for a version with a magnetic steel-mesh band. But keep in mind, Google and Qualcomm could be unveiling more smartwatch surprises in just a few weeks.

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