The battery life of the Apple Watch has been debated ad nauseam in technology publications around the world. Although Apple took it upon itself to drop that we would use it “so much” that we would have to charge it every night, we users needed to experience those statements for ourselves . Would it be enough? Would it be too short? What would happen if my battery ran out at the end of the day?
Added to these questions was the importance of a device such as a wearable running out of battery. Apple hopes that we will eventually replace our wallets with the Apple Watch and Apple Pay. It is also no secret that it will play an important role in home automation. That’s why the battery issue is more important than ever.
Having spent more than three months with an Apple Watch since its launch, we can get a better idea of what to expect in this section. Does it fulfill its promise of duration?
The battery in everyday life
Before getting into the real life experience with the Apple Watch, we should start with Apple’s statements about its autonomy . According to the data provided by the company itself, the official duration is as follows (for the 38mm model):
- 18-hour daily autonomy: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app usage and a 30-minute workout with Apple Watch music playback via Bluetooth.
- 3-hour talk time: the call was made from the Apple Watch.
- 6.5 hour audio playback.
- 6.5 hour training: with the heart rate sensor activated.
- Using the 48-hour clock: looking at the time five times for 4 seconds every hour.
- Battery saving up to 72 hours: in this saving mode, the time was looked at four times for 4 seconds every hour.
The battery of the 42mm Apple Watch is larger than the 38mm model
In my particular case and with a 42mm Apple Watch (it has a bigger battery) , it has never lowered the battery level to 10% nor activated the power saving mode except in one occasion that we will see later. On a typical weekday I put on my watch between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning and take it off at night at 10:30 or 11:00 pm (in Canada they are very early risers and go to bed early). In between, I usually have this use of the Apple Watch:
- 16 hours on, with everything activated (sound, bluetooth, tactical engine at maximum, brightness at half and heart sensor).
- 20-30 minutes of monitored exercise.
- Email, call and WhatsApp notifications, about 20 a day.
- Calls of 2 or 3 minutes in total.
- Use Siri about 4 times a day.
At the end of the day, I usually have between 55% and 65% of the load, with maximum peaks of 75% and minimum peaks of 25% . I recognize that the first days the Apple Watch is used more than it should be and left the clock charging at night with 25%. In this sense and from my experience, this wearable does what it promises and goes beyond.
La era del Apple Watch, análisis.
However, if you ever forget to charge it at night, I probably ended up going into saving mode in the middle of the second day. The reality is that if you travel a lot you won’t be able to forget your charger or you’ll be left with a nice bracelet on your wrist.
The battery on a day of physical activity
A few months ago I started working at a golf course a couple of times a week . The experience of being in Canada would not have been complete without having a local job. I took the opportunity to look for something that was different, that took me out of the house and that involved physical activity if possible. On a typical work day, the physical activity recorded by the Apple Watch is as follows:
- Two 35-40 minute cycling sessions, 10 kilometres and about 200 calories each (the heart sensor is active during each session).
- 12,000 steps and 10 kilometers walked.
In addition to receiving notifications, making a call and using Siri as a normal day. On these days, the battery usually reaches 35% or 40% charge every night . So it has never left me stranded in the middle of the day.
False positives that activate the display also consume battery power
Despite this, when the watchOS 1.0.1 update came out I did notice how the autonomy was drastically reduced for a couple of days. At that time I published how important it was for Apple not to mess up the battery of the Apple Watch and the updates. I thought the reduction was due to watchOS 1.0.1 but I realized that there was one thing that changed in my daily routine .
During those two days, I was driving a machine like this on the golf course. One that requires turning the wheel constantly . Every time I turned my left wrist, the Apple Watch would turn on without me seeing it. That’s how it got up to 10% charge that day. The next time, I decided to change the wrist and the problem was solved.
Do you keep your promise? In my experience, the Apple Watch’s autonomy more than fulfills its promise. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t like it to last longer. Charging a device every night is an inconvenience that we accept with our smartphones . Now, if we want to have a smart watch, we have to remember to carry another charger in our travel bag. One that for the Apple Watch is also absurdly long.