Rumor: Apple shooting for 19 hours of Apple Watch battery life under normal conditions, 2.5 hours 'h

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2015
Apple is targeting 19 hours of battery life under mixed usage conditions for its upcoming Apple Watch wearable, consistent with Apple CEO Tim Cook's estimate that users will want to charge the device daily.

Apple Watch Sport


When Cook unveiled Apple Watch in September, he was careful to paint in broad strokes, revealing a wide range of features, but little in the way of device specifications. The Apple chief later commented that that owners will "wind up charging it daily," though the company has remained tight lipped over the past four months.

On Thursday, people familiar with Apple's plans shed light on the situation, saying that
as of 2014 the company targeted battery life at 19 hours of mixed usage, reports 9to5Mac. More specifically, Apple was aiming to squeeze out 2.5 to 4 hours in "active" app use, 3 days in standby and 4 days in sleep mode.

However, sources warn that a first-generation version may not reach Apple's goals. The same people say current standard use estimates put Apple Watch battery life at around 3.5 hours, dropping to 2.5 hours under heavy load, while power-saving passive modes can milk 2 to 3 days.

Apple is still tweaking software to find the right mix of performance and survivability. For example, the company is targeting 4 hours of continuous exercise tracking when linked to an iPhone, suggesting raw data is handed off to the more capable handset for processing.

Battery life continues to be one of the most significant technical hurdles for smartwatch manufacturers and Apple faces the same predicament with its small form factor device. Apple Watch packs in a custom-designed S1 system-on-chip approximately as powerful as the A5 processor, as well as a Retina-quality display, both major draws on what is expected to be a relatively low-capacity battery cell.

Apple has not yet set a firm release date for Apple Watch, but holds to an "early 2015" launch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 146
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Isn't the beauty of a high end watch supposed to be NOT having to wind(charge) it? Good luck with this. The message on this product so far is too mixed
  • Reply 2 of 146
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Definitely a tough product to properly state battery life.

    There is no defined pattern of usage.

    But its definitely not a product you stare at with the screen on for hours or even minutes at a time. Like every watch that came before it, you glance at it when you need to. Even adding the actionable notifications into the mix, your interaction with it will still be minuscule compared to an iPhone.

    All it has to do is last a whole day under what becomes 'normal' usage for such a thing. I think its going to do exactly that, so they already nailed it.

    There will be the trolls that insist it needs to last 2 days, or 3, or 50...but I don't see what the big deal is about charging it every night. I'm not gonna sleep with damn thing on. So when I take it off, it get sets on the charging stand.

    The only "battery life" concern is whether or not you easily get through a whole day. Sounds like it will.
  • Reply 3 of 146
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Isn't the beauty of a 1. high end watch supposed to be NOT having to charge it? Good luck with this. 2. The message on this product so far is too mixed.

     

    1. Its as much a watch as the iPhone is a phone.

    2. It couldn't possibly be any clearer.

  • Reply 4 of 146

    It's a stepping stone. Early adopters will live with the limited battery life. Technology will eventually catch up.

     

    In time we can expect mobile devices embedded in our bodies with a 30 year battery life:

     

    After 30 years, you can renew it at a communal charging station:

  • Reply 5 of 146
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Didn't the 1G iPhone have 5 hours of talk time? That worked out fine. I'm sure Apple won't release something that can't be used for its intended purpose.
  • Reply 6 of 146
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Didn't the 1G iPhone have 5 hours of talk time? That worked out fine. I'm sure Apple won't release something that can't be used for its intended purpose.



    "19 hours of mixed usage" sounds about right for how I will use it, and that already gets me through a whole day, which is all I care about. So already with Gen 1, they appear to have nailed all that is needed.

  • Reply 6 of 146
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    pmz wrote: »
    Definitely a tough product to properly state battery life.

    There is no defined pattern of usage.

    But its definitely not a product you stare at with the screen on for hours or even minutes at a time. Like every watch that came before it, you glance at it when you need to. Even adding the actionable notifications into the mix, your interaction with it will still be minuscule compared to an iPhone.

    All it has to do is last a whole day under what becomes 'normal' usage for such a thing. I think its going to do exactly that, so they already nailed it.

    There will be the trolls that insist it needs to last 2 days, or 3, or 50...but I don't see what the big deal is about charging it every night. I'm not gonna sleep with damn thing on. So when I take it off, it get sets on the charging stand.

    The only "battery life" concern is whether or not you easily get through a whole day. Sounds like it will.

    If it only lasted 4 hours you'd still buy it and insist anyone who didn't find that satisfactory a troll. Just sayin.
  • Reply 8 of 146
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    If it only lasted 4 hours you'd still buy it and insist anyone who didn't find that satisfactory a troll. Who are you kidding?



    Right. This guy knows how it is.

     

    4 hours is not 19 hours, or have we not learned our numbers yet?

  • Reply 9 of 146
    I just don't see people "using" an Apple watch in the same way they do an iPhone. That is, it would be strange to be spending an inordinate amount of time looking at and interacting with a watch-sized device, when you can just as easily use your iPhone where you'll see things much bigger and can properly interact. You have to have your iPhone with you anyway, so continually looking at a tiny screen to see portions of messages or notifications just doesn't make sense to me.

    So battery life really shouldn't be an issue, if you're just using the watch occasionally for notification viewing and maybe some minor interaction. Just the idea of playing games on your watch seems silly, at best.

    Overall, I just don't buy that the smart watch is going to be the next big thing. Of course I'm a guy wearing an automatic timepiece that is as much a piece of me as my wedding ring is, so a smart watch would need to be REALLY compelling for me to give up what I have, even if I am (and have been for 20 years) a big Apple fan.
  • Reply 10 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Here's an idea: wait for the watch to be released and reviews to come out. That will give us the best indication of battery life under real world usage.
  • Reply 11 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Isn't the beauty of a high end watch supposed to be NOT having to wind(charge) it? Good luck with this. The message on this product so far is too mixed

    Well the good thing is nobody is forcing you to buy one. :)
  • Reply 12 of 146
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Yikes. 2.5 hrs is unacceptable under any conditions (other than holding down the "emergency battery drain" button).

     

    People will look like idiots walking around with dead devices strapped to their wrists (or worse; rolled-up inside their coat pocket).

  • Reply 13 of 146
    Good news . I just pre ordered mine on http://amzn.to/1yUdSQv i can't wait :( by the way i think Amazon is still running what they call Cyber week.
  • Reply 14 of 146
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Didn't the 1G iPhone have 5 hours of talk time? That worked out fine. I'm sure Apple won't release something that can't be used for its intended purpose.



    I had a cell phone in 1999 that had a 2 hrs of talk time. That worked out fine (back then) as well. 

    So what's your point, in 2015?

  • Reply 15 of 146
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,632member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Yikes. 2.5 hrs is unacceptable under any conditions (other than holding down the "emergency battery drain" button).

     

    People will look like idiots walking around with dead devices strapped to their wrists (or worse; rolled-up inside their coat pocket).


    Umm...if it is inside a coat pocket, how will people look? Not following.

     

    These battery targets are fine for me. I plan on buying 2. I am sort of curious how quickly they will charge. 

     

    Com'on chairman honeycrisp! Know what I see when I look at my wrist? My wrist!

  • Reply 16 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    bobschlob wrote: »
    Yikes. 2.5 hrs is unacceptable under any conditions (other than holding down the "emergency battery drain" button).

    People will look like idiots walking around with dead devices strapped to their wrists (or worse; rolled-up inside their coat pocket).

    Since to display only activates when you raise your wrist how would you know if the device is dead? More often than not the device will be in sleep mode.
  • Reply 17 of 146
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Isn't the beauty of a high end watch supposed to be NOT having to wind(charge) it? Good luck with this. The message on this product so far is too mixed



    Huh? The physical reality of any electronic device is it will need power, and the more functionality the more power... the only reason, say, Casios, can get away with a bit of solar recharging is they don't actually do much: keep and display time and date and a bit of stopwatch action for the most part. Mechanical watches that self-wind do even less...

  • Reply 18 of 146
    Apple's biggest failure in the making - right up there with the Lisa and the iPod Hi-Fi:

    - fugly;
    - bulky;
    - ridiculous battery life for a timepiece.
  • Reply 19 of 146
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Yikes. 2.5 hrs is unacceptable under any conditions (other than holding down the "emergency battery drain" button).

     

    People will look like idiots walking around with dead devices strapped to their wrists (or worse; rolled-up inside their coat pocket).




    That's more than the average smartphone daily usage and as an accessory I'd expect active interaction with a wrist device to be less. 19 hours of mixed use sounds like a more than reasonable day plus, so with nightly charging, which is a fairly light burden, I don't see that as an issue. Plus with 3 days in standby were you to use it as a simple timepiece where it would only wake up when you checked the time it would be more than fine as surely sometime during this three days you'd have the opportunity to take it off and give it a charge. Ever since my feature phone days I've charged devices while I slept.... I still do even though my 6 Plus doesn't need to.

     

    Those special individuals that must watch movies on their wrist? Need to tape a smartphone there: the bigger screen will keep them from going blind (depending on what they watch of course.,...).

  • Reply 20 of 146
    I'm getting two so battery won't be an issue for me. One for work, then when I get home I'll throw it on the charger and wear a sporty one the rest of the day. Hopefully they'll get some kind of solar charging system like earlier rumors pointed out or maybe a kinetic charging system. Doesn't have to fully charge the watch, just enough to help the battery last longer.
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