Battery differences between Series 2 38mm & 42mm

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by WingNut33, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. WingNut33 macrumors newbie

    WingNut33

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Location:
    Currently near Los Angeles
    #1
    I'm looking for some real world observations on the battery life of the two sizes for the Series 2. How much battery life are you getting out of them, especially when you use the fitness functions on a regular basis. The primary fitness function I would use is the GPS.

    I've been looking for a GPS watch for my running (usually about 3 times per week anywhere from 3 to 6 miles) that also has good smartwatch functions. This seems like the way to go, especially since I already use Nike+ Run Club app on my 6S, and I could get the Nike+ watch. As I've looked at posts about the different sizes, I feel like I would need to go with the 38mm because I have thin wrists for a guy (just over 6 inches, or 155mm), but I'm a little concerned about the battery life with a smaller one than the 42mm.

    In the couple days I've looking at the forums, I've noticed people putting how long they use their watch each day, but they very rarely say what size they have. I think that's a crucial piece of info for those of us who are undecided.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    I have the 42mm Nike watch. I just measured my wrist. Just under 7" (172mm).

    I typically go to bed with 55% battery. That represents 6am to 11pm usage. At least 60 minutes of workout with continual hr monitoring. I estimate that 10% battery gets me 4 hours.

    I've attached a photo of the 42mm on my wrist.

    BTW, The NRC app on the watch needs a lot of work. It ain't that great. Lots of annoying limitations. As soon as apple builds a way to access the hearth l health data on the web or a Mac app, I'm dumping NRC.

    IMG_8791.JPG
     
  3. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #3
    I run and weightlift almost everyday. My running has the GPS enabled. I own the 42 MM Stainless Series. I wear my Watch for approximately ten hours a day and achieve an average of 62-66% end time.

    Without the GPS enabled on the same time frame, I end with approximately 70%.

    Those numbers are exactly what I determined it would end up almost daily.
     
  4. DeNachtwacht macrumors member

    DeNachtwacht

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #4
    This has been posted here a couple of times before... there are NO differences between the 38mm and 42mm. The 42mm has a bigger battery to power the larger display, Apple balanced the two out.
     
  5. WingNut33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    WingNut33

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Location:
    Currently near Los Angeles
    #5
    Thank you. I didn't see that it the posts I read. That eases my mind that I should get the same battery performance with either. That means I'll get the one that fits best rather than focusing on the tech specs.
     
  6. macintoshmac macrumors 68000

    macintoshmac

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #6
    Apple has based its entire marketing on this, and they are true to it even today. Focus not on tech specs but what you like more.
     
  7. eviljack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #7
    Not from my experience with the Series 1. I had the 38mm for over a week before I returned it for the 42mm. I would end the day with <20% battery. With the 42mm I'd be at >30% with the same use. That was before Apple pushed that update that greatly improved battery life for the watch so I have no experience with the 38mm now.
     
  8. MattDell macrumors 6502

    MattDell

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    My other half and I bought the 38mm and 42mm, respectively, last week. Her only complaint with the watch is that her battery life is noticeably less than mine. Over the past week we've been on vacation doing most of the same activities: running and hiking. At the end of the day my battery is usually around 55% and her battery is usually around 30%.

    Since being back from vacation and into our sedentary office lives my battery is around 80% on a low activity day and her battery is around 50%.

    She debated getting the 42mm instead, but ultimately after trying mine for a few hours really couldn't see herself with that size watch and is going to keep her 38mm.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. MacDevil7334 macrumors 6502a

    MacDevil7334

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #9
    This makes sense if you think about it for a second. From a component point of view, the 38 mm and 42 mm versions of the watch are basically identical except for screen size. If you used the watch with the screen on most of the time, you would probably expect the battery life to be pretty similar between the two models, since the bigger battery on the 42 mm would be offset by the greater power drain of the larger screen.

    But, that's not how the Apple Watch is used. In fact, Apple has explicitly designed it so that the screen is on for as little time as possible since it is such a battery drain. With the screen (mostly) out of the equation, the 42 mm watch and it's bigger battery have a clear advantage. This is because all the other components (Bluetooth and GPS radios, sensors, etc.) are all identical between the two watches and, more importantly, use the same amount of power. So, with the screen off most of the time and all other power drains being equal, the watch with the larger battery will have better battery life in real world use.
     
  10. DeNachtwacht macrumors member

    DeNachtwacht

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    #10
    And, as stated numerous times here before: there are NO battery differences. If I am going to use the GPS on my 42 the whole day and compare the battery with my daughter's 38mm, then I am just making an unfair comparison. It's nothing more or less...
     
  11. Ixidor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #11
    Same experience here. My wife has a 38 mm series 1 good aluminium and I have a 42 mm series 1 gold aluminium.

    I don't know why people keep saying that is has been "established" that both have the same battery life when clearly, many of us have found that the 42 mm lasts longer (assuming same series). And interestingly, I don't think I've come across someone who found the 38mm lasting longer (assuming similar usage).

    MacDevil's explanation makes sense.
     
  12. WingNut33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    WingNut33

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Location:
    Currently near Los Angeles
    #12
    Thanks everybody!

    I went and tried them both on. I really think I'll go with the 42mm after I've set the money aside. That $$$ is the biggest issue with these things!
     
  13. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #13
    I think the 42 mm is the better choice from my experiences. Though not cheap, but I think you will really like it and how well it communicates with the iPhone. Which are you looking to purchase, the aluminum or stainless in Series 2?
     
  14. WingNut33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    WingNut33

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Location:
    Currently near Los Angeles
    #14
    I'm looking at the Nike+ version. I like the band, so why pay more for just that when I can get the watch that comes with it?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 2, 2017 ---
    I really thought I'd need to wear it above the wrist bone the whole time, not just when I was running. When I did that the 42mm looked too big. When I was talking to the guy at the store, he told me that the HRM was pretty accurate for him even below the wrist bone for daily use. When I put the 42mm in that position, it looked good. I can move it up when I'm running or working out.
     

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