As technology improves, we’re constantly looking for more ways to preserve energy and extend battery life, especially in electronics we use on the go.
Many smartphones now feature all-day battery life, including Apple’s two flagship iPhones. But with the emergence of wearables, many wondered if Apple’s first-generation smartwatch would live up to its initial promise of all-day battery life.
In a few short days of owning this device, I can tell you with certainty: The battery life on the Apple Watch is extraordinary and certainly lives up to that “all-day” promise, and then some.
When I received the Apple Watch on Tuesday, it had about 74% battery life right out of the box. By the time I got home around 10 hours later, it was only around 30%. But mind you, I had been using this thing constantly, playing with all the new watchfaces and features, tinkering with my settings, and showing it off to friends and colleagues. That’s not a “normal” day of usage.
The battery life was much better the next day. It was fully charged when I left in the morning, and it still had 79% left when I arrived home 10 and a half hours later. I didn’t really need to plug it in that night, but I did anyway.
These results were consistent the following day as well: I had roughly 80% battery life when I returned home from a full day at work while occasionally checking my wrist for the time, incoming notifications, random activity milestones, and sending off some cute animated emojis. And it stayed up pretty late with me, too.
This is a pretty big deal. There was a lot of scrutiny surrounding the Apple Watch, considering it’s a first-generation wearable product and battery life had been a major hurdle for wearables up to that point.
Furthermore, Apple has shown, at times, that battery life can be a weakness in its products. It was a major sticking point with the iPhone for a long time. But recently, Apple has been extremely creative about tackling battery life in its products: From software to hardware, Apple has applied unique energy-saving techniques; in the new MacBook, for example, Apple printed thin sheets of contoured batteries to fill every available space within the computer’s frame, giving that extremely thin and light computer a 9-hour battery life.
When Apple unveiled the Apple Watch in September but mentioned nothing about battery life, people started to worry. Apple’s official line around the time said you should “expect to charge it nightly,” but people wondered if it could actually make it through a normal day. After all, who would want to remove their watch in the middle of the day just to charge it?
Well, I’m happy to say the Apple Watch easily makes it through the day, and the night, too. Apple officially says the Watch has roughly 18 hours of battery life, and I find that to be accurate, if not a little conservative. You can own this Watch and feel confident it will work throughout the day.
This only bodes well for future Apple Watches. Pebble is the leader right now when it comes to offering smartwatches with great battery life — its e-paper watch lasts up to a week on a single charge — but Apple certainly has the resources to catch up.