My Apple Watch keeps running out of power. How can I get better battery life?
Our first day with the first-gen Apple Watch was disappointing, battery-wise. By 6.15pm our iPhone had run out of battery, and just half an hour later the Apple Watch gave up the ghost. Perhaps our first day's use had been a little excessive - we'd been checking out the apps and messing around with settings - but it's not as if we'd run a marathon.
This poor experience was shared by many new Apple Watch owners. Apple said the watch would offer an "all day battery life" - that's up to 18 hours of normal use, which it defines as "90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours". That first day we made it to almost 11 hours on the watch.
We got better at managing our watch use, and the hardware got better too; the Apple Watch Series 2 is good for a solid two days of typical use, and the Series 3 isn't far behind provided you don't hammer the cellular feature too much. But even owners of these newer models are sure to be interested in ways to stretch that performance still further.
With this in mind, we present our top tips for saving battery life on the Apple Watch. For similar advice for your smartphone, take a look at our tips to get better iPhone battery life.
Next, a warning: if you've got the cellular-enabled Apple Watch Series 3, your device's battery performance will be heavily influenced by the extent to which you make use of the new cellular feature.
One occasion, during review testing, we kept the Series 3 away from its iPhone for a morning, and in five hours it dropped 32 percentage points (55% to 23%); as a control, the Series 2 fell just 19% (from 38% to 19%) in the same period.
In other words, the first place to look if your Series 3 is turning in subpar battery performance is your own cellular habits, which you may need to curb.