Series 4 - battery life problems

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #1
    I upgraded from the series 1 to the series 4 in October. I was expecting a massive increase in battery life. Everything I’ve read points to approximately double battery life (especially because the series 1 battery was already aging). Honestly, I don’t think the battery life is any better than my series 1... At first I thought maybe it was an anomaly, but I have been continually disappointed with it.

    Note that I sleep with my watch so I don’t charge it overnight. But I’ve been doing this for about 3 years. I’ve speculated that perhaps I just charge it less, because I am expecting better battery life.... but I am really starting to doubt that hypothesis.

    For example, last night I charged my Apple Watch to 95% before going to bed. Didn’t charge any this morning. I worked out for about 1.5 hours over lunch while listening to (downloaded) podcasts on my Apple Watch. At 1pm I get the 10% battery notification. I turn on theater mode. 2pm it’s 5%. I turn on airplane mode. Aside from my workout I really haven’t used it for anything at all today. Haven’t been getting notifications, messing around with it, or anything. I’m sure the listening to podcasts from it played a large role in this, but 90% decrease in 17 hours where I wasn’t using it outside of that 1.5 hours seems awfully bad...

    What kinds of experiences do you all have with battery life? Any suggestions to help? I’ve calibrated it a few times, restarted numerous times. When I first got it I set it up as new, so it shouldn’t have had weird issues from backup. Of course I could always try to set up as new again, but I don’t know how much that will do. Do you think there’s any way for Apple to check the battery and maybe even do a swap if it’s bad?
     
  2. mike9449 macrumors newbie

    mike9449

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    Sep 20, 2017
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    Phoenix
    #2
    Like you, I replaced my AppleWatch 1 with the 4. My experience has been a 2X increase in battery. The 1 would last almost 2 days and the 4 lasts almost 4 days (when I forgot to bring my charger on a trip).

    When I have the charger, I normally charge mine over night and the 4 has 75% battery left when I put it on the charger, whereas the 1 would only have 50% left under the same circumstances.
     
  3. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #3
    What kind of use? Any workouts, audio use, cellular use, frequent use? Or mostly just wear it and check time and occasional notification?
     
  4. mike9449 macrumors newbie

    mike9449

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    #4
    Normally, watch on at 5am, off at 10pm. Most days 50%-120% on activity rings, Saturday, 4 hours on a mountain bike (200%+ on all rings). Battery use doesn't vary much with level of activity. My 4 is Wi-Fi only, paired with my XR and AirPods all day (1-2 hrs of streaming).
     
  5. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    #5
    I have had the AW 1, 3, and 4. I have heard several people post recently that they are getting 4 days of battery life. I don’t mean any disrespect but I am curious to the settings used. Is the face turned off and touch-only? What else?

    I recently went through the AW4 vs Garmin thing and my main reason for leaving the AW4 was the battery life. The HRM on the AW4 is WAY better. WAY better. I have said that if Apple makes an AW that can last more than 5 days I will sell my Garmin Fenix 5 and go back.

    In my testing, which included normal use but doing my best to conserve battery by occasionally turning off the screen to touch/raise only, turning off most notifications and disabling LTE.. I was never able to make it a full 2 days. Maybe it could have limped over the finish line but I would be at 10% with a night of sleep to go (6-8 hours).

    I slept in my watch for the sleep metrics. I worked out (more on a treadmill than outdoors).

    I have had the Aluminum AW4 and the SS AW4 and no matter how I used it I Could not come anywhere near 4 days.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 27, 2019 ---
    If Apple today said an update to the AW4 would give it, on average, 4 days of battery life I would sell my Garmin Fenix and go back.
     
  6. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #6
    Thanks. Seems like pretty typical used. The 1-2 hours of streaming, is that coming from the Apple Watch? Because I’m wondering how much that contributed to yesterday.

    I’m confused by your post. There is no current setting on Apple Watch to keep the display always on... the default is touch/raise to wake (which is how I have it set). You can disable the raise to wake, but that’s far too useful for me.

    So you can were able to go (nearly) 2 full days, sleeping with it, and daily workouts? Interesting.

    I think I’m gonna try to do a better job of monitoring the battery life. Yesterday was definitely an anomaly, but it was just emblematic of the types of problems I’ve been having with it. I charged it to 100% this morning (about 2 hours ago) and it’s at 97% right now, so doing pretty good this far today. But I haven’t really been using it. Haha
     
  7. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

    Joined:
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    #7
    You are right.. and my wording may have been confusing. There is no always-on setting. You can set it to only turn on if screen tapped or by scroll wheel (which I think can control brightness at the time).

    I was asking if the great battery life might be from using this setting where the display only turns on from scroll wheel (or I think tapping).

    If you are OK with a few days of battery life and not looking for a ‘workout’ watch, the AW is as good as it gets. I loved my AW4. I just didn’t like 2 days or less of battery life.
     
  8. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #8
    gotcha. I do have raise to wake enabled, but I also had that enabled on my series 1. Plus I don’t think it’s making that massive of a difference. Thanks for the help!
     
  9. gadgetfreak98 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #9
    I think this is similar to my situation. Are you using Overcast? I wonder if this isn't the root cause of our respective battery drainage issues. I'll have to be more systematic about measuring battery drainage on watch with a podcast, and watch, but listening to nothing. Either way, it seems the issue has been getting worse for me...
     
  10. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #10
    I have a series 3 but if I work out and listen to downloaded music or podcasts, it eats up about 40% of my battery life per hour ( while on cellular connection). So at 1.5 hours, that’s about 60% giving you about a 30% decrease during the other 15.5 hours. That seems about right to me. I’d recommend checking your battery life before and after your workout to see how much of your battery is getting sucked up there vs the rest of your day.
     
  11. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #11
    Yeah I do, and I'm sure that's contributing some. However, I used Castro for a few months (without opening/syncing Overcast) and I didn't see a huge notable difference. I also use a sleep tracking app which may contribute.

    Another thing I've noticed is that watch seems to charge soooo slllooowwwwwlllyyy (at least sometimes). I used to (series 0/1) pop it on the charger for 30 minutes and it would seem to increase around 40% (assuming starting from 40% or less), but now it takes at least double that time. Just the other day it was around 15%, put in on the charger for almost an hour and a half, and it still only got up to about 50%.
     
  12. NativeTxn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    #12
    I’ve had the 40 mm series 4 for about a month. At first, no real issues. Would get home from work and it was still around 50% after being off the charger for about 10-12 hours, getting email and message notifications mostly.

    Then about a week ago, it just started draining really fast. Hadn’t made any changes but I’d be lucky to get home with more than about 12-15% left.

    I’ve tried restarting both the phone and the watch, hard resets, and unpairing and repairing from backup.

    Yesterday my usage stats were very similar to my wife’s and hers was at about 60% after a full day and I had had to charge mine as soon as I got home.

    I chatted with Apple and they ran a diagnostic test and said the battery passed. They had me unpair and repair as a new watch. Did that and pulled it off the charger this morning at 6:33 AM and left it sitting on my bed table all day while I was at work. So it literally did nothing all day but sit there.

    When I got home, it was at 36% at 5:44 PM.

    So just under 6% an hour doing nothing sitting on my bed table.

    My wife’s was at 70% and she’d been using it all day including a nearly hour workout.

    So, there seems to be something wrong that I can pinpoint. Apple tech support told me to watch it for 24-48 hours and let them know if it didn’t resolve and they’d set up service.

    But I think I’ll probably chat with them tonight because 6% an hour doing literally nothing but sitting in the bed table seems really excessive, IMO.
     
  13. mk313 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #13
    I'm curious if you take a lot of pictures throughout the day. We were in China last year & my battery was draining crazy fast. In the end, I diagnosed it as because I was taking a ton of pictures & it was uploading all of the new photos (or at least a lot of them) to my watch over bluetooth or wifi. It was killing my battery. I changed my photo settings to only sync one folder (that was static, it didn't get dynamic updates) and my issues went away. I recently enabled live photo syncing of my most recent photos and I've seen a real hit on my battery life. I used to end the day around 35-40%, but now, I'm well below 25%. In fact, as I write this @ 8:15 PM, I'm down to 9%. I don't take a ton of photos, but enough that it seems to be having a noticeable impact on my watch.
     
  14. NativeTxn macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #14
    I don’t take a ton of pics on a day to day basis. Maybe anywhere from 0-5 on a “normal” day.
     
  15. NativeTxn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    #15
    I chatted with Apple again last night and this rep said she saw where they’d run the diagnostics on the battery but the results looked a little strange even though it passed. So she set up a service appointment for this weekend.

    Hopefully they can get it sorted out so that the watch is actually usable throughout a full day.
     

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14 March 26, 2019