Apple watch battery

On our family vacation to Spain this summer, my wife’s Samsung Galaxy Watch 4(?) would have it’s battery die before lunch some days. Background, we walk and hike 20-26,000 steps a day, 15-20km. In addition the heat hit 39-40C some of the days we were there. (BTW if the GPS was running, we hadn’t set it explicitly)

She dislikes the watch. Before I run out and buy an Apple watch (to replace her Samsung), would it have lasted any better on a long day of walking in the heat? We don’t need sleep tracking, just a watch that lasts all day outside keeping track of activities.

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I bought my current Apple Watch 4 or 5 years ago.
I wear it about 23h a Day, with around 30 Min loading before Bedtime, and another around 30 Min. in the morning, and it is doing absolutely fine with that. I am right now (17:30) at 68%.

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Thanks. At home my wife’s Samsung watch gets adequate battery life, i.e. it needs to be recharged daily. At 10pm, I’m often taking it downstairs to charge.

What concerns me about Apple watch, how well do they last on a really active day? The number of really active days climbs every year. If I sink money into a watch I want to know it will last a whole active day.

I have concerns, on a recent holiday in Ibiza (an island off Spain) My battery depleted more quickly each day than at home, despite me being less active.

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Thanks for the info. So apparently I should have waved hi :slight_smile:

Guess I now need to figure which Garmin watch doesn’t look ugly and does a good job.

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I wouldn’t buy a Smart-Watch solely on that criteria.
Even if you run out of battery under that special conditions early that day, you could e.g. take an external battery, and a charging cable, and recharge during your breaks.

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My longest day with the Apple Watch was a 5h 30m 24km hike around the Peak District and from memory, the battery was fine. I took a portable battery charger but don’t recall having to use it. This was back in 2018, so was probably a Series 3 or 4 (I can’t recall which)

Garmin does seem to be king of the battery life - I’ve a Garmin Instinct 2 and get 29 days (just smartwatch) after a full charge!


If you’re interested in the Apple Watch for really active days, have a read through this article posted _david-smith.

Key takeaways:

  • The display is what really drains the battery. Use Theatre Mode.
  • The GPS doesn’t really consume all that much juice
  • Fiddling with low power settings in this environment doesn’t really make a major impact.
  • Airplane mode is another battery saver.

Do these tricks and you should easily get through the days without much issue.

I will add that in the past, if bluetooth was enabled and your phone was in range, the watch would rely on the phone’s GPS. For that reason, I actually have a shortcut I made which triggers a “Low Power Mode” of my own making which effectively does everything recommended in the post but also fully kills Bluetooth.

Garmin and other makers primarily focused on exercise can’t be beaten yet on battery and sports focused features out of the box, but the compromise is a much lower resolution and colourful screen as well as reduced day to day functionality and app integration.

Finally, I had to do a fair bit of calibration with my Apple Watch (Series 6) in order to get it to match up to what my old school Garmin was recording for distance and path. The Apple algorithms try to be smart and interpolate between the different points but I feel it’s a very mixed bag.


Very interesting article - Danke. I should also add that neither my wife (or I) will every be hugely app focused on a watch. I want it to tell time and measure stuff.

How did you do the calibration with distance? I’ve found that it will over record miles for me.

To calibrate, I simply followed Apple’s recommended thing of walking in a clear and open area for about 20 minutes. That helped a bit, but it wasn’t until I used a third party app which allowed you to disable Apple’s “Calibrated distances”.

I used my Garmin on my opposite wrist as a control measurement on my various hikes on different terrain and elevations and I compared with the stock Fitness App and the third party option. I think over time the calibrated options have gotten better since I last did the tests a couple of years ago.

I wasn‘t aware that „Danke“ is a common term in the English language!?

I live out in the high desert of the southwest where it gets into the high 100s. I do a lot of hiking and am very active. Using either the built in Fitness Hiking setting or AllTrails, I still get all day battery life. I charge it before bed so I can do sleep tracking and in the morning to get a full charge.

I’ve also had Galaxy watches and didn’t much care of them.

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Yes, mine is five years old and goes all day, often for two on one charge: I have walked in the upper 80s in Eastern Pa with it with no problems and gone out in my ‘nature reserve’ for hours with it on in those temps; including digging and even using a pick axe occasionally.
I have notifications on it from my phone, a timer and stopwatch which I don’t use a lot, it opens my MacBook too, otherwise I use it for time and date. I think it is Gen 2. I never used the ‘fitness’ or so called ‘health apps’.
I used to use a radio controlled Casio tough ‘shock’ watch set to the Colorado atomic time clock and Greenwich in the UK. I just like having perfect time, though I don’t need that really now and this one seems as tough.

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Trying to do a wrap up reply, apologies if I miss anyone:

@motopascyyy - thanks for helping me see how to get the most out the Apple watch battery.

@Ulli - I’m allergic to the idea of carrying a spare battery to plugin to something, most of the time it is just extra weight. I also suspect my wife and I are the edge case for these devices. We care far more about fitness than smart watch features.

As to Danke, I picked it up somewhere along the way and us it unconsciously. However I only use it when writing. I assume most people who read it understand what I mean.

@drezha you know I may just have to do that walk to test the battery life of a watch. (The peak district is on the list of places for us to walk).

@Ben_Wah Another plus for Apple watch battery - Gracias.

@TudorEynon - nice to hear a 5 yr old watch still does well.

  • Mark - a human

I rather don’t think so.
The small circle I walk every day with my dog has 5km, and my wife is doing 10.000+ Steps without even leaving the house.
As we are wide away from being sportive in any kind of definition, if we are doing some walking/hiking during vacation in the Alps Area, we have normally 30km+ a day, if we are doing it with ease.
Also, the Temp on your Wrist is Body-Temp, which normally range between 35 and 38 Degrees. If you are wearing a jacket, it would be likely 40+ Degrees. I never observed any increasing problems with the Battery of my Apple Watch during the “Jacket-Season”.

I would assume, that there are a lot of real sportive people out there, doing a lot of more workout during a day, or a vacation, and I could not remember to hear too much complaints about the endurance of the Apple Watch Battery for them.
So I don´t think that you have to worry about that for your case.

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@mlevison — I read through this whole thread and I didn’t see anyone mentioning this, so — please forgive me if this is super obvious. You say your wife’s smartwatch is a Samsung Galaxy, but you don’t mention what phone/OS she uses. The Apple Watch only works when paired to an iPhone, so I wanted to make sure you knew this (and that she indeed uses an iPhone) before you run out and spend $$ on an Apple Watch.

Please disregard if iPhones are used throughout your household! :wink:

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do you have always on screen? I have a series 6 . I normally charge it every 12 hours as I do not like battery to go below 50 %. However, I just checked my watch’s battery health is still 85% (less than 3 years, not sure this is normal)

Not sure what is the best way to charge the watch, multiple times but short charge or one charge per day with longer charge

According to Apple it doesn’t matter. If you charge by 10% 10 times a day, it’s the same as one charge from 0 to 100%. This counts as one charge cycle.

I turned off the Always on display as I prefer without and it was burning between 10 and 13% of battery a day.

My one is a Series 4 as far as I remember.
So I don´t have the always on function, and I also can’t see the Battery Health Status.
But Apple has some informations on the Battery