Apple: 16 Minutes of Screen Usage & 48 Hours of Standby - Timing Screen Battery Life?

MICHAELSD

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Jul 13, 2008
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Curious how long Apple claims the battery life lasts, I found on their site they state:

"Testing conducted by Apple in March 2015 using preproduction Apple Watch and software paired with an iPhone using preproduction software with 5 time checks (4 seconds each) per hour. Battery life varies by use, configuration, and many other factors; actual results will vary."

https://www.apple.com/watch/battery.html

Technically this does not sound good at all. Their testing equates to 16 minutes of display usage and 48 hours of standby... I.e. according to Apple the Watch can only be used for 16 minutes if it's worn over two days. It's a miracle that my Watch seems to have gotten around 5 hours of moderate usage and is still at 55%. I'm interested in learning how long the Watch battery rates with the display on the entire time -- a 100% usage test. Has this been done already?
 

Gav2k

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Jul 24, 2009
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Why would you want to. I use my watch for 18 plus hours a day (mixed usage) and I finish the day with around 50% battery. At the weekend sat/Sunday my watch comes off charge on Saturday morning 7am and I don't charge it till Sunday evening with 15-20% battery left. Apple promised a day I'm getting more so I'm not complaining.
 
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MICHAELSD

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Why would you want to. I use my watch for 18 plus hours a day (mixed usage) and I finish the day with around 50% battery. At the weekend sat/Sunday my watch comes off charge on Saturday morning 7am and I don't charge it till Sunday evening with 15-20% battery left. Apple promised a day I'm getting more so I'm not complaining.
Two reasons:

1. To see how usage compares to other Apple devices. Over 4 hours would be impressive since I used to only get 4-6 hours on every device till the 6 Plus.

2. To figure out how far away we are from an always-on display for users that prefer that option.
 
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TallManNY

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Nov 5, 2007
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That would be interesting. But I think we are so far away from always on that it isn't really worth discussing. Also Apple will just use any efficiencies (and there are some coming with the CPU) to just make the watch thinner.
 
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MICHAELSD

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That would be interesting. But I think we are so far away from always on that it isn't really worth discussing. Also Apple will just use any efficiencies (and there are some coming with the CPU) to just make the watch thinner.
It's designed to be a watch. Thinner isn't better for a watch design.
 
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TallManNY

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It's designed to be a watch. Thinner isn't better for a watch design.
Explain that to the designers of the desktop iMac. Or look at the compromises built into the new MacBook.

The next form factor they introduce will be thinner. The next CPU they use will be much more energy efficient and they will use that savings to package watch in smaller form factor that houses more power running of a similar sized battery. Maybe they can get some savings from a more energy efficient screen. But to get that vibrant color screen to stay on all the time seems like it would take a quantum leap in tech.
 
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Michael CM1

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Feb 4, 2008
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I don't get the desire for it to be always on. Battery life will always be an issue, so why would this be something desired compared to using a faster processor or adding built-in cellular? I don't need the watch face to display anything when it's by my side. About every other electronic device with a display I can think of has some setting to reduce display power use when not in full use. Your iPhone doesn't always stay on. Neither does your computer or iPad. Most TVs have timers, and some have screen savers -- and they're plugged into a wall outlet.

So unless battery tech improves a great amount, I would just make peace with the display being off when not in use.
 
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p3ntyne

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Jan 10, 2014
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I don't get the desire for it to be always on. Battery life will always be an issue, so why would this be something desired compared to using a faster processor or adding built-in cellular? I don't need the watch face to display anything when it's by my side. About every other electronic device with a display I can think of has some setting to reduce display power use when not in full use. Your iPhone doesn't always stay on. Neither does your computer or iPad. Most TVs have timers, and some have screen savers -- and they're plugged into a wall outlet.

So unless battery tech improves a great amount, I would just make peace with the display being off when not in use.
As I've said many times before, current battery tech is good enough to power a screen for 48 hours straight. What everyone seems to forget is that an always-on mode, on other operating systems at least, is a low power replacement for the standard watch face, not just the usual watch face remaining on. The CPU hardly operates and most of the pixels are off.

It's funny how many people here say that they wouldn't use an always-on mode, simply because the Apple Watch doesn't have it. You can't deny that an always-on display is significantly better.
 
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Michael CM1

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As I've said many times before, current battery tech is good enough to power a screen for 48 hours straight. What everyone seems to forget is that an always-on mode, on other operating systems at least, is a low power replacement for the standard watch face, not just the usual watch face remaining on. The CPU hardly operates and most of the pixels are off.

It's funny how many people here say that they wouldn't use an always-on mode, simply because the Apple Watch doesn't have it. You can't deny that an always-on display is significantly better.
I cannot speak expertly on this tech since I've never seen it. But even in some low power state, there will be power used by any pixels on and a CPU driving any of it. I've only used my watch for a little more than a day, but it just doesn't sound like a feature worth giving up any battery life for. I flick my wrist and it's on.

Now if the hardware in these models is good enough to activate that through a software update with minimal nuisance, it might be in a future update. But it would need to be like the built-in flashlight app at first when it warned you about battery suckage due to using the flashlight -- not to mention being off by default. I'm guessing that just wasn't a priority right now considering the bugs that already need addressing.
 
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p3ntyne

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I cannot speak expertly on this tech since I've never seen it. But even in some low power state, there will be power used by any pixels on and a CPU driving any of it. I've only used my watch for a little more than a day, but it just doesn't sound like a feature worth giving up any battery life for. I flick my wrist and it's on.

Now if the hardware in these models is good enough to activate that through a software update with minimal nuisance, it might be in a future update. But it would need to be like the built-in flashlight app at first when it warned you about battery suckage due to using the flashlight -- not to mention being off by default. I'm guessing that just wasn't a priority right now considering the bugs that already need addressing.
Like you said, I believe Apple may do something like Motorola, where the always-on mode is disabled by default and when enabled, a warning informs the user that it will lower battery life. Although, the 360 has an LCD display, which makes it even worse when always on.

Even if flicking your wrist to enable this display seems easy, it is definitely not as convinent as boing able to see the time regardless of your position, especially when your hands on your desk, where you can move your eyes to the watch rather than your wrist to your eyes. Also, if your hands are full, it much more convenient to look down at the watch, than try and activate the screen holding a heavy load.
 
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