does the apple watch over heat in the sun?

BDwy27

macrumors member
Original poster
May 27, 2015
91
41
I ordered a space Greg 42 mm watch! June 16 estimate! I work outside a lot! Does the apple watch over heat if its out in the sun a lot? I know the iPhone over heats in high temps but has anyone had a problem especially with space grey being dark and sun don't mix well!
 

LoveToMacRumors

macrumors 68020
Feb 15, 2015
2,407
2,004
Canada
I ordered a space Greg 42 mm watch! June 16 estimate! I work outside a lot! Does the apple watch over heat if its out in the sun a lot? I know the iPhone over heats in high temps but has anyone had a problem especially with space grey being dark and sun don't mix well!
Yup it will melt
 

iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
588
183
Cheshire, UK
There is a thermal shutdown that kicks in if it is operating in an environment that is too hot. I saw it on another thread but can't be bothered searching for it.
 

BrettDS

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2012
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Orlando
I have the silver stainless steel model, but I've spent several days out in the sun at Disney with the temps in the upper 80's or low 90's and didn't have any issues with overheating.
 
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Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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There is a thermal shutdown that kicks in if it is operating in an environment that is too hot. I saw it on another thread but can't be bothered searching for it.
The specified operating temperature is 32F to 95F. Apple also advises to keep the watch out of direct sunlight.
 

Raggamuffin

macrumors newbie
Apr 12, 2015
18
0
Had a 38 stainless out on a fishing boat in the ocean. The sun was brutal. Put her through hell. Went swimming, built sand castles with the kids, rinsed the sand out from behind the crown with salt water. These things are pretty tough. Not sure how long they'll stay airtight.
 

smoknyreyz

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2008
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Nashville, TN
My wife and I spend most every weekend on our boat during the summer. I always have to put my iPhone in the shade or wrap it up in a towel or t-shirt to keep it from overheating in the direct sunlight on the boat. I've spent 3 weekends on the water with the watch now in direct sunlight, and the watch hasn't overheated once.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,690
12,408
I've had no trouble with it out in the hot sun. I got Apple Care just in case. This thing is on my wrist. My wrist goes places and does stuff. I can't baby it. If I have to, I'm not going to wear it. The only concession I am willing to make is to not swim or shower with it on and to have it under a warm sleeve I'm the winter. But next generation better be waterproof!
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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The specified operating temperature is 32F to 95F. Apple also advises to keep the watch out of direct sunlight.
That last part is kinda misleading. This is the exact quote:

For example, Apple Watch shouldn’t sit unattended in direct sun for long periods, undergo dramatic changes in temperature or humidity, or be left in a car on hot days. Storing and using your device outside of the recommended temperature range could shorten its battery life or cause other damage.
Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204508

So yeah, they just don't want you to leave it there all day. The angle of incidence for the watch on your wrist in a typical day won't be as direct as leaving it out flat on a table with a clear view of the sky all day, for example. Part of the time it will also fall under shadow from your body unless you never move and keep your arms outstretched.
 
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avalys

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2004
299
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Fortunately, in most circumstances when using the watch in the sun, it is attached to a highly advanced, ~100-200 pound, fluid-equilibrated, dynamically regulated evaporative heat sink: your body.

As long as it is attached snugly to your wrist it is not going to deviate much from body temperature.
 
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Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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As long as it is attached snugly to your wrist it is not going to deviate much from body temperature.
Do you know this for a fact? The part of the watch that actually touches the body is made of ceramics -- a known insulator. If the sun is shining on your black watch face which is going to absorb heat, I would think the temperature of the watch will exceed body temp. Also, if the watch is directly related to your body temp, then it's always going to be operating 3.7 degrees hotter than Apple's recommended operating specs. Add to that Apple specifies "ambient" temperature. So while your body may regulate the temperature somewhat, clearly the ambient temperature is an issue. And then there's the sun which can start a fire when focused through a lens ... And the watch crystal is in fact a lens. When I'm walking down the sidewalk or hiking a trail, my arm and watch face is exposed to the sun, often for a significant amount of time, which is evidenced by the sunburn I can sustain after exceeding the sunscreen protection time. The watch has no such protection.

And finally some anecdotal evidence: a friend went hiking this weekend with the ambient temperature in the 90s. Along with a sunburn on his arm, he reported that the watch did not accurately count his steps, an issue he has not had previously. So either the watch suddenly forgot how to accurately count his steps, or it was heat impaired since that was the only difference between that particular hike and others.
 

Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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That last part is kinda misleading. This is the exact quote:

Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204508

So yeah, they just don't want you to leave it there all day. The angle of incidence for the watch on your wrist in a typical day won't be as direct as leaving it out flat on a table with a clear view of the sky all day, for example. Part of the time it will also fall under shadow from your body unless you never move and keep your arms outstretched.
Keep in mind that when the watch is sitting, it's not in active use. Now I have a docking cradle on the dash in my car for my iPhone. Depending on the position of the sun, there are times of the day when I can't drive with it on the dash because of the sun. It doesn't take long at all to overheat such that I can't use it, and it takes a lot longer than just a few seconds of being in the shade to resume working. That tells me that any realistic exposure to heat while wearing the watch is going to take longer to dissipate than a few moments of protection the shadow of your body happens to provide, especially if the ambient temperature is quite warm as well. Not to mention, when being worn, the watch is actively being used.

You also failed to mention Apples warning to avoid rapid temperature and humidity changes. The kind commonly found in the Summer along the Atlantic seaboard, where outside temperature and humidity can be quite high, and can instantly change to very low temperature and humidity inside an air-conditioned building, and vice-versa. Add to this something like a dry 90 degree day at the beach on the Pacific coast, and submerging the watch in 50 or 60 degree sea water.

So we can speculate all day whether the watch will survive any of this, but until we have tests, all we have is Apples warnings, and behavior of similar electronics in similar conditions.

It's clear to me from all of Apple's disclaimers, that the Watch may be engineered to a higher standard, but it's really designed for the office environment, or running on the treadmill at an air conditioned gym.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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Central U.S.
Keep in mind that when the watch is sitting, it's not in active use. Now I have a docking cradle on the dash in my car for my iPhone. Depending on the position of the sun, there are times of the day when I can't drive with it on the dash because of the sun. It doesn't take long at all to overheat such that I can't use it, and it takes a lot longer than just a few seconds of being in the shade to resume working. That tells me that any realistic exposure to heat while wearing the watch is going to take longer to dissipate than a few moments of protection the shadow of your body happens to provide, especially if the ambient temperature is quite warm as well. Not to mention, when being worn, the watch is actively being used.

You also failed to mention Apples warning to avoid rapid temperature and humidity changes. The kind commonly found in the Summer along the Atlantic seaboard, where outside temperature and humidity can be quite high, and can instantly change to very low temperature and humidity inside an air-conditioned building, and vice-versa. Add to this something like a dry 90 degree day at the beach on the Pacific coast, and submerging the watch in 50 or 60 degree sea water.

So we can speculate all day whether the watch will survive any of this, but until we have tests, all we have is Apples warnings, and behavior of similar electronics in similar conditions.

It's clear to me from all of Apple's disclaimers, that the Watch may be engineered to a higher standard, but it's really designed for the office environment, or running on the treadmill at an air conditioned gym.
If your iPhone is in a docking cradle on your car dash it is probably charging if it is docking. Charging iPhones heat up a lot faster, especially in the hot sun. As for submerging in chilly water back and forth, Apple technically says not to submerge it so they're covered there. As for rapid humidity changes, they probably meant not to wear it into a sauna, but that's only me guessing. I think a lot of people would be ticked off if Apple Watches suddenly stopped working this summer when things get humid. They probably tested that lol.
 

Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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If your iPhone is in a docking cradle on your car dash it is probably charging if it is docking. Charging iPhones heat up a lot faster, especially in the hot sun. As for submerging in chilly water back and forth, Apple technically says not to submerge it so they're covered there. As for rapid humidity changes, they probably meant not to wear it into a sauna, but that's only me guessing. I think a lot of people would be ticked off if Apple Watches suddenly stopped working this summer when things get humid. They probably tested that lol.
Well we can make excuses for anything, but no, my Phone has overheated in its cradle without charging. It has also happened after laying on a table in the sun at a restaurant for less than 10 minutes. The sun heats up electronics quickly, especially with black surfaces absorbing the heat. I found that when I did have to lay my phone out in the sun, turning it over to the metal reflective side seemed to help keep it from over heating so quickly.

OK, so forget chilly water. How about wearing it at a restaurant where you're working in a hot kitchen, and then have to go into a walk-in freezer to work, and back. But I don't know why you'd follow the Apple guidelines explicitly with respect to water when the language is just as vague about how much water it's safe to expose the watch to. Apple never specifically says not to submerge it, they just don't recommend it. Just like they don't recommend you expose it to extreme heat and cold.

And finally, yes, I'm sure they tested it in common weather conditions, but this about following Apple's guidelines explicitly. On the one hand you're willing to interpret the guidelines loosely with respect to exposure to the sun, but when it comes to others like water exposure you're being conservative.
 

H3rman

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2015
474
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I wore it all day in 32c (90F for those of you still using old money), direct sunlight, walked 14 miles in it during that particular day and it just worked and worked all day long with no issues. I also have a space black watch and we all know black absorbs light and gets hotter than lighter things. Even so, it stayed no hotter than the ambient temp all day.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2010
1,142
661
Denver, CO
Do you know this for a fact? The part of the watch that actually touches the body is made of ceramics -- a known insulator. If the sun is shining on your black watch face which is going to absorb heat, I would think the temperature of the watch will exceed body temp. Also, if the watch is directly related to your body temp, then it's always going to be operating 3.7 degrees hotter than Apple's recommended operating specs. Add to that Apple specifies "ambient" temperature. So while your body may regulate the temperature somewhat, clearly the ambient temperature is an issue. And then there's the sun which can start a fire when focused through a lens ... And the watch crystal is in fact a lens. When I'm walking down the sidewalk or hiking a trail, my arm and watch face is exposed to the sun, often for a significant amount of time, which is evidenced by the sunburn I can sustain after exceeding the sunscreen protection time. The watch has no such protection.

And finally some anecdotal evidence: a friend went hiking this weekend with the ambient temperature in the 90s. Along with a sunburn on his arm, he reported that the watch did not accurately count his steps, an issue he has not had previously. So either the watch suddenly forgot how to accurately count his steps, or it was heat impaired since that was the only difference between that particular hike and others.
I suggest you return your Apple Watch before your wrist catches fire.
 

Shinigami301

Suspended
Jun 5, 2010
216
125
cogito, ergo zoom.
And finally, yes, I'm sure they tested it in common weather conditions, but this about following Apple's guidelines explicitly. On the one hand you're willing to interpret the guidelines loosely with respect to exposure to the sun, but when it comes to others like water exposure you're being conservative.
Meanwhile, you're willing to interpret the guidelines loosely and submerge the watch, but are conservative about the temperature range (which applies to an unworn watch). Make up your mind.

Just spent two days on the beach in 90 degree weather. No issues.
 

Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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Meanwhile, you're willing to interpret the guidelines loosely and submerge the watch, but are conservative about the temperature range (which applies to an unworn watch). Make up your mind.

Just spent two days on the beach in 90 degree weather. No issues.
I never raised it as an issue. I'm merely presenting an interpretation of Apple's suggested use, based on specs.

However, I think your report and H3rman's are more useful than debating an interpretation in a vacuum.
 
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