Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

It’s always a special moment when wandering around the massive, sprawling halls of CES 2019, you come across something you hadn’t heard of, and didn’t expect to see. That’s how we stumbled on the Oskron smartwatch. Produced by the same company responsible for the Lunar solar smartwatch, it has a party trick to end them all — a screen you can’t see until it lights up.

At first glance the Oskron looks like a regular sporty chronograph-style watch. It has a crown flanked by two buttons, comes with a masculine metal bracelet, and is large and weighty on the wrist. Push the crown and the magic happens — a previously invisible screen springs into life on the bottom half of the face. This small display shows scrolling notifications, step count for the day, a timer, and international time zones.

Compass points the way

We love the attention to detail here. When the screen activates the watch hands quickly move out of the way, making it easy to read the display. Leave the buttons alone for a moment, and the screen disappears, returning the look to that of a regular mechanical watch. The top button activates a find-my-phone feature, while the bottom button activates the built-in compass. This is an unusual feature addition, but is part of the company’s DNA, as it makes the same magnetic compass mechanisms for other smartwatch firms.

The compass is driven by the same gearbox mechanism that shifts the hands to show the display.  They rotate smoothly and quickly, always updating with your direction. Obviously this feature can be used for navigation purposes, but we’re not entirely sure how many people will find it helpful. We were told it works in conjunction with navigation apps on your phone, and the watch will vibrate and point in the direction you need to travel, which sounds helpful. We couldn’t test this at the time.

At its heart the Oskron smartwatch is a hybrid, but as they usually don’t have displays, this sits somewhere alongside the stunning Alpina AlpinerX. The screen is bright and clear, and although it’s small, provided the information is concise and glanceable you’ll be fine. We can’t imagine reading long messages though. The buttons have a soft, quality feel to them, and the body feels heavy and well made.

Where to buy

The case is big at 45mm and the face is covered in mineral glass, while the charging port on the back clips into place rather than using unreliable magnets. It syncs with both Android and iOS phones, and the battery is expected to last at least a week before needing a recharge, which is decent for smartwatches with a screen.

It’s always refreshing to see smartwatches like the Oskron that do something a little different.

If you like the look of the Oskron smartwatch, how do you go about buying one? That’s the difficult part at the moment. Oskron sells it through the firm’s own website, which isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, plus it’s listed only in euros. It’s also for sale though Amazon Germany, and both places charge 450 euros, which converts over to about $520. There’s no doubt that’s expensive — less than the aforementioned Alpina AlpinerX, but equal to a feature-packed Apple Watch Series 4.

It’s always refreshing to see smartwatches like the Oskron that do something a little different, especially when they edge towards traditional watch styles, rather than overly technical pieces.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Mobile

OnePlus 7 to use latest body design to get rid of the notch, leak suggests

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new slider body design. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Product Review

Apple brought ECG tracking to consumers. Withings is making it affordable

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $400, and the highlight function is the electrocardiogram, which has the potential to save lives. Withings’ new Move ECG has the same capability but at a fraction of the cost.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.