Whether from Apple, Samsung, or others, we all deserve battery life that keeps up with the way we actually use smartwatches.
It’s Time Smartwatch Buyers Demand a Week of Battery Life
On a sufficiently long timeline, smartwatch battery drain seems inevitable. Personally, a watch wasn’t charged overnight just because it came off the charger. Charging is not always possible on long trips, whether because you are busy, there is no power nearby, or you don’t have the right accessories on hand. It’s not difficult with a device that is effectively an extension of your arm.
These issues make the battery life of some watches a problem. Samsung claims the Galaxy Watch 4 can last for 40 hours, but real-world requirements like GPS and activity tracking lower that number, which means it’ll likely get charged every day. Apple watches are even worse with a rating of just 18 hours. Buyers may even need to top up twice a day when tracking sleep or walking a long distance.
The more flawless and extensive the smartwatches, the more important the battery life is. Devices, for example, tend to have an ever-growing list of health sensors, but that could backfire if you reduce the amount of time you can wear a device on your wrist.
The Seven Day Goal
Why Go for a Weekly Battery? First, assuming easy use in most cases, various smartwatches have already hit or exceeded this mark. Fitbit Sense can theoretically last six days or more, and some standard Garmin devices last up to two weeks. In the extreme, Garmin Enduro and Coros Vertix 2 have a rating of around two months or more, with the former being an almost impossible-to-kill solar model. All of these numbers are of course ideal scenarios, but seven days should be an achievable minimum.
From the owner’s point of view, one week creates a standard with room to breathe. It is possible to forget about recharging for a day or two and have time. It solves problems not only for travellers but also hikers who can be extremely GPS dependent but try to avoid bulky batteries or solar panels. It feels really absurd for someone to need a watch charger for a weekend getaway when “dumb” clocks can run for months or years.
A week of casual clothing also means a few days of more sophisticated clothing. My weight lifting sessions regularly exceed two hours; With some smartwatches with a shorter lifespan, the energy evaporates before my eyes. However, if I have a Garmin I can get by on battery for a week. Even two or three days of continuous use is better than having to recharge everything, those nights.
Why don’t smartwatches have longer battery life?
Various hurdles have come together to affect the battery life of the smartwatch, especially ergonomics. On a technical level, nothing stands in the way of companies putting huge batteries on their wrists. But these devices can quickly become too much. Heavy or uncomfortable for everyday use. much less throwing and rotating or lifting weights in the gym. Wearable device engineers are constantly striving to balance smartwatch battery life with other concerns.
One of them is software support. What makes smartwatches attractive is what they can do: for example, switch from Spotify to navigation or smart home app in seconds. to mention a high-quality screen and an elegant user interface. The Apple Watch has terrible battery life precisely because it is a polished cat for all trades, while vendors like Coros and Garmin make fitness-oriented devices that can afford to forego features such as screen resolution and robust software on the device.
The dilemma is so great that companies come up with clever tricks to reduce energy consumption. Mobvoi, for example, added a low-power secondary display to its TicWatch Proline, while Fossil decided to introduce custom battery modes for Wear OS and optionally disable some sensors. Newer devices with an “always” screen tend to decrease the brightness and refresh rate every time you lower your wrist.
There are also less practical interests at stake, particularly aesthetics and profit margins. We know this because they regularly market smaller watches and trackers for women with stereotypically “girlish” ribbons and colours. Fashion often comes before utility, which is why even Garmin sells products like Lily.