I own the Apple Watch Series 8, 45mm, GPS model. It has been the ultimate companion of my wrist for the last few weeks.
Though the watch enjoys a good reputation for many of its capabilities, battery performance has never been its strong suit.
For times immemorial, Apple has been offering 18h battery performance on its watches. Things never changed until the arrival of the Apple Watch Ultra. It is Apple’s biggest watch to date. ( and so the one with the largest battery)
Series 8 never got the hardware improvement, but with WatchOS 9, Apple introduced a rather unique solution to the problem: low power mode.
The basic idea behind this feature was to limit battery drain by turning off most of the fancy features on the watch. More on that later.
I had this natural curiosity to find out how long the Apple Watch Series 8 could last in low-power mode. Well, it turned out to be a big surprise for me. I am going to share all the specifics in this post, but the geek in me wants to tell you more about the Low Power Mode.
What exactly is the Low Power Mode on the Apple Watch?
If you own Apple Watch Series 4 or later, that too with the WatchOS9 installed on it, you might have noticed the yellow ring that appears on the screen at the top center. This ring or circle is accompanied by other subtle changes that include yellow battery percentage in the control center and yellow time in the Nightstand mode. Well, all these are these signs tell you that the watch is in low power mode.
Well, it doesn’t take long for you what the mode exactly does. The Low Power Mode on Apple Watch turns off several of its battery-hungry features including always-on display, background heart rate measurements, and so on. The ultimate goal is of course to extend its battery performance.
To turn on this mode manually,
- Just swipe up from your home screen on the Apple Watch.
- Tap on the battery percentage
- Toggle the switch for ‘Low Power Mode’
As you toggle the switch, a notification will pop up on the screen with the following message.
‘Save Battery Life by turning off Always on Display and limiting the sensors as well as the Wi-Fi connections of your Apple Watch.
Incoming Notifications may be delayed.
This will turn off features such as:
- Background Heart Rate Measurements
- Heart Rate Notifications
- Blood Oxygen Measurements’
Of course, the message doesn’t cover all the functionalities that will be stripped off in this mode.
At the end of this message, you will have two options. You can turn on the low power mode for as long as you want, or you can turn the feature on for 1 Day, 2 Days, and up to 3 Days.
How I was able to get 70 hours of battery life on my Apple Watch?
As I mentioned earlier, I was curious to know how long can Apple Watch last in low-power mode.
The official claim for Apple Watch Ultra is 60 hours and for the Apple Watch Series 8 is 36 hours.
As it turned out, the official claim is an understatement.
I charged the watch to a full 100 percent. And as soon as I had the watch on my wrist, I toggled the switch for ‘Low Power Mode’. Now, I had to patiently wait for the watch to drain out completely.
One day passed, and the battery didn’t take a big hit as I used it only as a wristwatch to tell time. I completely deleted it from my iPhone so there should be no notification buzzing through the watch.
On the second day, I got bored so I set several timers and used the stopwatch feature on the watch as it is my long-time habit. I made a couple of NFC payments and perhaps controlled Spotify from my wrist. I was expecting a full drain after 48 hours, but the watch refused to die.
On the third day, I was careful not to use the watch for anything but the basic time-telling feature. I just wanted the maximum output it could deliver. 72 hours performance would have made a complete 3 days but the battery was fully drained right after it passed the 70 hours mark.
Only a true Apple user can appreciate these numbers. Having used Apple Watches in the past, this was my consistent gripe with the company. The low-power mode is a step in the right direction at least for users like me who hate charging the watch every day.
In the past, we had to turn off several features to get the max juice out of our Apple watch. Low power mode has made this simpler for many of us.
I must admit that I didn’t follow the routine of a normal individual to get such a high score. Most of the time, the watch was practically useless except for telling the time.
I don’t know what numbers you can get following the same strategy as it depends on the battery condition. Mine was a new watch used for less than 1 month.
The insight that I want you to take from this post is that ‘Low Power Mode’ is impressively effective in prolonging the battery life of the Apple Watch. It should be used more often in regular routine. That is only if you are uninterested in health monitoring and sports tracking.
I created this blog to help people find the right smartwatch for their taste, to keep tabs on the latest news and leaks, and to share my experience with different smartwatches.