How to Improve Battery Life on your Smartwatch?
Any electronic device we know of today has one thing in common; it runs on power. With the world heading towards highly advanced gadgets every passing day, their hardware and software get all the more power-hungry, resulting in one inevitable outcome; faster draining of power. One such device that uses quite a bit of that battery can be found in our everyday lives strapped to our wrist; the ever-helpful smartwatch. Now for the million-dollar question, “how can you improve the battery life of your Smartwatch”.
Smartwatch manufacturers and tech giants like Apple and Samsung spend millions every year in R&D, finding better ways to improve battery life and optimise performance.
However, there are also some things that we can do in order to extend the battery life of these smart devices, and with a little bit of care, these steps should be able to help you squeeze the maximum juice out of your smartwatch.
ALWAYS-ON DISPLAY FEATURE:
Right off the bat, one of the main culprits that contribute to high power consumption is the display. The always-on display is an amazing feature we find in smart wearables like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the Apple Watch Series 6.
While it does minimise the need to flick your wrist to activate the screen, look at the time or any other notification that appears on your device, it drains a lot of battery when you don’t use the device as the display stays on 24/7.
Going into your watch settings and turning off the always-on display feature can greatly help increase your device’s battery life. Because let’s be honest, it is not very difficult to lift your wrist and tap the screen to see a notification or any other information you may need on your smartwatch.
Another cause for battery drain is the watch face that you use on your smart device. The smartwatch market thrives with watch faces with custom features, animations and colours created by both manufacturers and various third-party applications.
Watch faces with animations are more likely to drain your smartwatch’s battery much more quickly as the watch has to keep these animations running full time in the background irrespective of how much you use them. Using watch faces with little to no animations can significantly reduce the battery drain on your smartwatch.
Watch faces that are brightly coloured or have a lot of white space can also use a bit of your battery as your smartwatch has to keep the coloured or the white pixels turned on. Using a watch face with more black space reduces the amount of battery used by the device as it causes the display to turn the pixels off completely in the black areas.
Setting the brightness of the display to its maximum can also drain the battery of your smart device. It becomes a major contributor to battery drain, especially if your watch has an always-on display feature that you prefer keeping activated.
Most smartwatch displays nowadays are considerably bright, even with low brightness settings allowing your display and the information on it to be visible under most conditions. So reducing the display brightness on your smartwatch can also help improve its battery life.
CLOSING UNNECESSARY APPS:
Your smartwatch is almost like your smartphone’s secondary extension; therefore, its working and functions are similar to one. Your smartwatch, even though connected to your smartphone, is still a device that uses apps.
More often than not, we tend to open apps on our smartphones and forget to close them when we move to another app.
These apps, unless manually closed, still keep functioning in the background. It is the same in the case of smartwatches with various apps that allow us access to their various functions. Failure to close these applications after use will result in them running in the background and draining the battery.
Hence closing unwanted apps on your device is another way in which one can improve its battery life.
POWER SAVER MODES:
Smartwatches, just like every other smartphone in the market, come with a power saver mode. This feature cuts down on all the unwanted processes running in the background. Some smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 come with a power saver mode that takes things one step further, like shutting down Wi-Fi and turning everything into a grayscale mode.
The optimise battery option on the Galaxy watch 3 does nearly the same thing as the power saver mode. The only difference is that the Optimise battery option offers you recommendations from which you can choose functions you would like to disable, such as changing the Screen Timeout touch-to-wake up, NFC etc. NFC is an option that most people forget to turn off and not needed unless, of course, you use Samsung pay.
Another overlooked and seemingly innocent feature contributing to battery drain is the Smart Voice Assistant available on your smartwatch. Yes, Siri and Bixby are the culprits. The microphones are always listening for the “Hey Siri”, “Hey Bixby”, “Hey” incantation to trigger the Smart Assistant feature.
The raise to speak feature on the Apple watch series 6 also adds a bit of strain on the battery as it activates the microphone every time you lift your hand or flick your wrist.
Turning off these features can boost the battery life on your smartwatch to about 6 to 8%. It may sound like a negligible number but can prove very useful when it comes to those crucial days where every ounce of power is vital.
There are a plethora of applications and services that we subscribed to and a ton of people that we text, talk to, and connect with every day. Therefore, notifications are vital and inevitable as they keep us informed of what’s going on within our virtual space. But then they can also take a lot of battery. How? Every time a notification comes around, it activates the haptic feedback and turns the screen on.
Besides that, it has you looking at your phone more often, which translates to the screen being on most of the time. This may not seem like much, but it can take up a lot of battery over the course of the day. Therefore, reducing the number of notifications you get on your phone can also improve your smartwatch’s battery life.
Sometimes failure to update to the latest OS on your smartwatch can lead to battery drain as well because they are bound to have battery optimising updates.
However, in some cases, new OS updates might have bugs. This was true in Apple’s case, where consumers reported cases of abnormal battery drain on their smartwatches when they upgraded to Apple Watch OS7. The issue finally got settled by un-pairing and re-pairing the smartwatch after updating the OS on both Apple Watch and iPhone.
The new Apple Watch OS7 also comes with a new feature called optimised Battery charging which studies your battery charging patterns and optimises the battery accordingly.
HEALTH AND FITNESS APPLICATIONS:
We can find plenty of Health and Fitness tracking features on most smartwatches nowadays. With the rising concerns in health and fitness trends rising upward, more and more health and fitness tracking applications seem to flood the market every day.
These applications constantly rely on taking updates using the health-related features and hardware available on your smartwatch like the Heart Rate Monitor, ECG and Blood Oxygen Level sensor to keep you continuously updated.
Reducing the frequency of these updates can greatly help reduce the amount of battery drain as these applications involve the usage of a lot of data Software and Hardware to generate this information.
There are many features in a smartwatch that are not frequently used but stay active most of the time, and there are many other features that the software can control to optimise the battery. Ultimately saving your smartwatch battery boils down to one thing; force of habit. Habituating yourself to implementing these tips will help get the most out of your smartwatch in terms of power.
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