Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
Hey folks. I have a 44mm Series 4 Apple Watch and I find the battery life is really poor. About six months ago I found that the battery life dropped to roughly 12 hours, but I assumed it was a bum update, either on my Watch or phone, and let it go, assuming it would be remedied in the future.

Now I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of Apple Watch ownership and the problem isn’t resolved. After an eight hour workday my battery life is around 35%, but after the same period of time my wife’s 40mm watch is around 70%.

Is this a bad battery or something on the software side of things? Wondering if I should try any troubleshooting before calling up Apple for a replacement.

Thanks.
 

iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
836
416
Cheshire, UK
No it doesn't sound normal.

Assuming you have already tried a restart of the watch to see if something has just gotten into a bad state (and you said you have updated so we can assume that of course) I would suggest disabling all 3rd party complications first and seeing if that has any impact then try removing 3rd party apps one at a time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Joelallen3

mk313

macrumors 68000
Feb 6, 2012
1,943
1,051
that seems like shorter battery life than normal, but some of that would depend on how you are using the watch. if it's away from your phone most of the time, that would impact battery life. If it's a cellular version and you're away from your watch and wifi, that would impact it even more. If you are streaming music or podcasts, that could also impact battery life vs a 'normal' scenario.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
Ideally you should be getting at least 16 hours usage..

16? My LTE Series 3 can easily manage well over 24 - there have been times when I forget to take it off at night and replace it with my Series 1 (which I wear for sleep tracking) and it's all still 25%, if not more, battery left by the time I wake up the next day.

Edit: By a shocking coincidence last night was one of those nights. 26 hours after first putting it on my wrist, my 3 has just been returned to the charger to top up with 63% battery left.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,377
UK
16? My LTE Series 3 can easily manage well over 24 - there have been times when I forget to take it off at night and replace it with my Series 1 (which I wear for sleep tracking) and it's all still 25%, if not more, battery left by the time I wake up the next day.

Mine is off the charger at 8am and by 23:00 last night was on about 5%. Which to me as long as it lasts all working day and evening I’m ok with that. Obviously we all want more battery but i charge every night no matter what so if it makes it through a day that’s fine.

Battery life isn’t what i would call good on my series 5 but it gets me through the day then It’s acceptable.

I look forward to series 6 when battery life will be improved
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
Mine is off the charger at 8am and by 23:00 last night was on about 5%. Which to me as long as it lasts all working day and evening I’m ok with that. Obviously we all want more battery but i charge every night no matter what so if it makes it through a day that’s fine.

Battery life isn’t what i would call good on my series 5 but it gets me through the day then It’s acceptable.

I look forward to series 6 when battery life will be improved


Do you have AoD turned on on your 5? I've heard that battery life is reportedly "less than optimal" on AoD enabled Series 5s.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,377
UK
Do you have AoD turned on on your 5? I've heard that battery life is reportedly "less than optimal" on AoD enabled Series 5s.
Yeah have AOD on at all times. I do use the infograph watch face which may play a factor.

To be honest i didn’t really notice much difference with AOD on or off.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
Yeah have AOD on at all times. I do use the infograph watch face which may play a factor.

To be honest i didn’t really notice much difference with AOD on or off.

Personally speaking I'd find that a little, shall we say, disheartening, given that my 3 was at 63% this morning after 26 hours (see edit to my post).
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,377
UK
Personally speaking I'd find that a little, shall we say, disheartening, given that my 3 was at 63% this morning after 26 hours (see edit to my post).

My series 4 was very good battery life. Series 5 is a lot worse and i have had issues over the course of the year with it. Like it going dead on 20% and battery staying on 100% for like 5 hours.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
My series 4 was very good battery life. Series 5 is a lot worse and i have had issues over the course of the year with it. Like it going dead on 20% and battery staying on 100% for like 5 hours.

When I watched the keynote and saw them announce the 5, I was all excited about replacing my 3.

Kinda glad the gods of procrastination took control of my destiny and kept me on my 3.

As you say, here's hoping the Series 6 gets it right.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,377
UK
When I watched the keynote and saw them announce the 5, I was all excited about replacing my 3.

Kinda glad the gods of procrastination took control of my destiny and kept me on myv3.

As you say, here's hoping the Series 6 gets it right.

Let’s hope so, rumours of a bigger battery for sleep tracking so will be needed
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
Thanks for all the responses and sorry for my delay in doing so, posted this right before heading to bed last night.

No it doesn't sound normal.

Assuming you have already tried a restart of the watch to see if something has just gotten into a bad state (and you said you have updated so we can assume that of course) I would suggest disabling all 3rd party complications first and seeing if that has any impact then try removing 3rd party apps one at a time.

I tried a full restart of the watch as well as un-pairing and then re-pairing it with my phone, though admittedly I picked to restore from backup. Might have to set it up as a new watch as a last resorts.

I don't use any third party complications but I've gone ahead and uninstalled everything that's not a stock app this morning to see if that helps.

that seems like shorter battery life than normal, but some of that would depend on how you are using the watch. if it's away from your phone most of the time, that would impact battery life. If it's a cellular version and you're away from your watch and wifi, that would impact it even more. If you are streaming music or podcasts, that could also impact battery life vs a 'normal' scenario.

Nope, it's never far from my phone. It is LTE-equipped and I used that service for a bit but I actually cancelled it once this COVID-19 business started. I tried disabling the cellular antenna back when I had service enabled but it didn't seem to have any appreciable difference on battery life.

16? My LTE Series 3 can easily manage well over 24 - there have been times when I forget to take it off at night and replace it with my Series 1 (which I wear for sleep tracking) and it's all still 25%, if not more, battery left by the time I wake up the next day.

Edit: By a shocking coincidence last night was one of those nights. 26 hours after first putting it on my wrist, my 3 has just been returned to the charger to top up with 63% battery left.

Yeah, I definitely remember being able to use it for sleep tracking late last year, which is why it's been so bizarre for it bitching to be about having "10% battery left" about 11 hours after putting it on my wrist.

My series 4 was very good battery life. Series 5 is a lot worse and i have had issues over the course of the year with it. Like it going dead on 20% and battery staying on 100% for like 5 hours.

Yeah, thinking it's a bum battery. Thankfully I have Applecare on the device, so it should be a fairly simple exchange process.

This shouldn't have anything to do with my phone itself I assume? I'm using a 2017 iPhone SE. Could it have issues maintaining a connection because it's an older device, and is thus putting the watch under more stress?
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,377
UK
Thanks for all the responses and sorry for my delay in doing so, posted this right before heading to bed last night.



I tried a full restart of the watch as well as un-pairing and then re-pairing it with my phone, though admittedly I picked to restore from backup. Might have to set it up as a new watch as a last resorts.

I don't use any third party complications but I've gone ahead and uninstalled everything that's not a stock app this morning to see if that helps.



Nope, it's never far from my phone. It is LTE-equipped and I used that service for a bit but I actually cancelled it once this COVID-19 business started. I tried disabling the cellular antenna back when I had service enabled but it didn't seem to have any appreciable difference on battery life.



Yeah, I definitely remember being able to use it for sleep tracking late last year, which is why it's been so bizarre for it bitching to be about having "10% battery left" about 11 hours after putting it on my wrist.



Yeah, thinking it's a bum battery. Thankfully I have Applecare on the device, so it should be a fairly simple exchange process.

This shouldn't have anything to do with my phone itself I assume? I'm using a 2017 iPhone SE. Could it have issues maintaining a connection because it's an older device, and is thus putting the watch under more stress?

Try deleting some apps on your watch and see if it makes a difference as bugs can happen with apps using the battery. It worked for me when I had issues
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2017
4,205
8,838
Thanks for all the responses and sorry for my delay in doing so, posted this right before heading to bed last night.



I tried a full restart of the watch as well as un-pairing and then re-pairing it with my phone, though admittedly I picked to restore from backup. Might have to set it up as a new watch as a last resorts.

I don't use any third party complications but I've gone ahead and uninstalled everything that's not a stock app this morning to see if that helps.



Nope, it's never far from my phone. It is LTE-equipped and I used that service for a bit but I actually cancelled it once this COVID-19 business started. I tried disabling the cellular antenna back when I had service enabled but it didn't seem to have any appreciable difference on battery life.

Yeah, I definitely remember being able to use it for sleep tracking late last year, which is why it's been so bizarre for it bitching to be about having "10% battery left" about 11 hours after putting it on my wrist.



Yeah, thinking it's a bum battery. Thankfully I have Applecare on the device, so it should be a fairly simple exchange process.

This shouldn't have anything to do with my phone itself I assume? I'm using a 2017 iPhone SE. Could it have issues maintaining a connection because it's an older device, and is thus putting the watch under more stress?

A good while back (when the 3 was still the latest) I started to have serious battery issues where the watch would expire mid afternoon.

I noticed then they there were multiple times the battery didn't seem to get to 100% when charging overnight until I restarted it. I even went as far as sending my Watch off to be inspected but that yielded no results.

This happened several more times until I unpaired it and set it up as new. Ever since then it's been golden.

My guess is that one of the Apps went bad and when I restored the backup I restored the bad app.
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
A good while back (when the 3 was still the latest) I started to have serious battery issues where the watch would expire mid afternoon.

I noticed then they there were multiple times the battery didn't seem to get to 100% when charging overnight until I restarted it. I even went as far as sending my Watch off to be inspected but that yielded no results.

This happened several more times until I unpaired it and set it up as new. Ever since then it's been golden.

My guess is that one of the Apps went bad and when I restored the backup I restored the bad app.

If removing the third party apps doesn't seem to have any effect, I'll set it up as new tomorrow morning and give that a spin.
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
Five hours into my day and the battery level reads 61%, so it looks like unloading the apps hasn't done much of anything. Guess I'll be wiping it tonight.
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
Set it up as new last night. Battery is at 60% after five hours, so it looks like we’re more or less back on track for the usual 12-hour lifespan.

I guess the watch just needs to be replaced at this point.
 

toxtrepla

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2020
379
1,448
My S5 usually end the day with anywhere between 30-40% left depending on tracked workouts that day. AOD on all the time and usually Infographic with no 3rd party complications.

That’s the ONLY thing I miss from my Fitbit Versa I used for a bit. I could go 5 days on a charge. Totally different class of ”watch” though. If Series 6 can get battery life right and allow sleep tracking or just 2-3 Days without a charge, that would be enough for me to give my S5 to my wife and upgrade.

WIth that said, based on what others are seeing with long term degradation of battery life, I may have to use my AppleCare battery replacement at some point!
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
Watch ended up hitting 1% at 9:26pm. I put the watch on at 10:09 this morning so about 11.5 hours today. Nothing outside of the ordinary except for a 1 hour outdoor walk I did, and even then there was no media playback or anything out of the ordinary.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,266
49,478
In the middle of several books.
I think a big part of your problem is with the SE. When I had the original SE with my Apple Watch, I found that the phone was constantly struggling to keep a BT signal with the phone etc. Using Siri didn’t work right most of the time due to the older SE and older BT. Since getting the new SE, my previous problems have disappeared.
 

nrvna76

macrumors 65816
Aug 4, 2010
1,243
1,268
Now that I’m on a lot of conference calls at home I find my watch battery much worse... seems odd that it hurts the watch that much as I’m using the iPhone with airpods but it is noticeably worse on high call days...
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
I think a big part of your problem is with the SE. When I had the original SE with my Apple Watch, I found that the phone was constantly struggling to keep a BT signal with the phone etc. Using Siri didn’t work right most of the time due to the older SE and older BT. Since getting the new SE, my previous problems have disappeared.

This wasn’t an issue in the early months of ownership of the Watch, however, unless iOS 13 went and cocked something up.
 

neoelectronaut

Cancelled
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
3,417
2,093
I think a big part of your problem is with the SE. When I had the original SE with my Apple Watch, I found that the phone was constantly struggling to keep a BT signal with the phone etc. Using Siri didn’t work right most of the time due to the older SE and older BT. Since getting the new SE, my previous problems have disappeared.

For what it's worth, I decided to run a test today. Before leaving home this morning I turned off Bluetooth on my phone, so the watch isn't communicating with the phone at all. After two hours of usage I'm already at 81% battery life, which is on track with the typical "10% used per hour" I've been experiencing, so I can rule out my iPhone itself having some affect on the Watch.

I'm not sure what else to test at this point.
 

Regbial

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
841
739
that seems like shorter battery life than normal, but some of that would depend on how you are using the watch. if it's away from your phone most of the time, that would impact battery life. If it's a cellular version and you're away from your watch and wifi, that would impact it even more. If you are streaming music or podcasts, that could also impact battery life vs a 'normal' scenario.
even in airplane mode?? :(
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.