The Apple Watch is the best watch...

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by slenpree, May 23, 2015.

  1. slenpree macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2010
    (In my opinion and expectations for wearing something on my wrist) The Apple Watch is the best watch money can buy...... except when the battery goes flat.

    I like everything about my apple watch, actually in contrast to the iPhone it has good battery life as well. But in contrast to other watches, it's got exceptionally terrible battery life.

    I find it hard to believe apple were not able to design and build a better power source than a lithium-ion battery. Clearly some sort of kinetic energy recharge, perhaps mixed with a solar cell built into the screen, is going to be the killer feature of the apple watch "2"?

    Thoughts? Opinions? Any information about apple patents and buyouts that could provide a hint?
  2. iamasmith macrumors 6502


    Apr 10, 2015
    Cheshire, UK
    It's a really interesting idea and if anybody can take advantage of advances in this area I'm sure Apple can and will.

    I have a Casio ProTrek as well, it is solar powered but the specs say if kept in the dark under reasonable use the battery will last about 8 months without solar exposure.. and I've never seen it less than fully charged.

    There is, however, a major difference. There are sensors, Altimeter/Barometer and Compass and there is Radio reception to pick up time from radio transmitters, however..

    The Radio receiver only really kicks in if you ask it to establish time.

    The Compass turns off after brief use to preserve power.

    A/B don't take much power.

    And finally, the brains of the watch are probably far less than an original Palm Pilot with minuscule power requirements.

    There's a huge gulf between this and an ARM based processor running a Darwin BSD Kernel, the wireless connections we have and the display.

    As far as Wireless goes, BTLE only takes it so far then for full interaction I imagine that a higher speed Bluetooth implementation kicks in (with more power drain) or of course the Wi-Fi.

    All in all it's quite a big drain on the battery.

    If you consider you get 72 hours when on Reserve mode, when the Kernel and all the Wireless is shutdown (probably running off a firmware routine) with (IIRC an 800MaH battery in the 42mm) then the basic hardware drain is significantly higher than something like the G-Shock (but I'm a software guy really - just speculating).

    I think it may be some time before the efficiencies described are realised for motion and solar charging and for the unit to be self sufficient.

    There does, however, seem to be nearer term possibilities for extending the battery life using these methods. I think, however, their impact on launch of the original watch was so negligible that the effort and effort to accommodate it proved it to be not viable.
  3. jds4300 macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    The Apple Watch is the best watch money can buy? That's laughable! That's absolutely laughable!
  4. dandrewk macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    San Rafael, California
    What an insightful comment! I just love how you added to the thread with your searing intellect...
  5. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    The entire world is working on trying to improve over lithium-ion batteries because better batteries will be a game changer in so many ways. But mainly to store solar power and power cars. Tesla is devoting tens of millions to this research. It is not surprising that Apple hasn't improved on this as that sort of basic research doesn't seem to be their focus. Also the problem is just really really hard.

    But in fact, Apple has little need to improve here since Laptops and iPads provide two days of battery life if you are using them in any sort of mobile situation. Yes if you want to sit down with one of those devices and crank away without distractions for ten hours, you will drain the battery. But then you aren't really being mobile and you probably should have brought a charger and sat down next to a plug. And before you say "What about a long plane ride?" Well if you, like me, frequently bring a laptop, iPad and iPhone on a long trip (which if you are flying for 15 hours presumably means you are going to be away from home for many days), then there is no way to use all of them up in one trip.

    The iPhone 6 easily lasts through a day of my usage. I know only one person who regularly drained her iPhone in a day. She now uses a battery case and so this issue is done. She will never drain her iPhone and Mophie case in a day. And probably not in two full days.

    The watch will easily last a day, but it won't last two days. Incremental battery improvements aren't going to help much beyond making it a device that lasts two days. So charging will be an issue. Again though, how often is one away from wall outlets for longer than two days and yet still you want to jam away on an electronic device for hours during that time?

    A solar cell the size of the watch wouldn't help much unless it was left out and exposed to the sun for hours. And by that I mean angled to face the sun. I believe kinetic recharge also only delivers a bit of energy. The watches position on the wrist is terrible for solar. Resting on your side the watch face is vertical to the sun and in the shadow if the sun is on the other side of your body and you aren't going to get much energy while in doors. But it might work well for kinetic because of all the activity of the wrist. But I don't know if those things can be miniaturized and still produce any meaningful electricity. Still that seems to be the best bet.

    The actual other easy fix is that the CPU in the watch is far from optimized in size. The super small CPUs that Samsung is working on will use a lot less power. So there are real saving that can be had there even with current (no pun intended) technology. But even that seems like you are just going to be talking about three days of power. Apple may chose to crank of the speed of the CPU or more likely slim the watch and include a smaller battery.
  6. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Jun 16, 2009
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    I'm glad you are enjoying your watch. I don't have mine yet, but from my brief exposure to it at my try on I believe you are pretty much correct.

    Since you've been on this forum for a while you recognize jds4300 as just a skulking troll and know to ignore his posts.

    I believe that Apple, within the last year, has bought up a number of small companies that are into battery technology. They also seem to have a frenemy relationship with Tesla so as iamasmith said in his post, if anyone can take advantage of technology in this area, Apple can.


    I just read the post by TallManNY and have one comment. The one thing you lightly touched on that is helping a lot of people is portable power sources. Some of them are getting to be quite large electrically while remaining physically small. Some have the capacity to be solar charged, the Waka Waka comes to mind here, so you can, with proper sized power sources and judicial use of them, stay off the grid for quite a while.

    If you were going hiking, say, and wanted to go extra light you could go with an iPhone and your :apple: watch and a portable solar powered charger and I believe do quite well, even if you wanted to add an iPad or iPad mini to the mix.
  7. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    For the solar power to work, I think you'd have to limit your hiking quiet a bit in the day and set up your solar panels. a lot of the hiking I've done has been in forests and generally the trees are blocking a lot of the direct light. But maybe you get enough to keep an iPhone going. Solar power is great, but it works best in the middle of the day with the panels pointing as directly as possible at the sun. That is tough to do while walking.
  8. mark34 macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2006
    I use my watch fairly actively every day. When I take it off at night it has 40-60% battery life left. I'm not sure how much more I can ask.. They need to improve it so we can have built-in LTE and GPS, true , but the current watch has excellent battery life. Just charge it at night and never give the battery another thought.
  9. slenpree, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

    slenpree thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2010
    In contrast to the iPhone it has good battery life; But in contrast to other watches, it's got exceptionally terrible battery life.

    But yeah, I agree it can always last all day which is a good start compared to say the iPhone which can easily go flat within a day. However, this is just one more thing to charge and it would be nice if the apple watch didn't need charging each day. When people have showed interest in my watch, as soon as they know the battery lasts about a day, they are not really interested in many of the other features and I don't completely blame them.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    The watch as it is now, and a lot of it runs off your iPhone to save battery, lasts for about 18 hours according to Apple. If you look at teardown photos, you see that it takes up about half of the watch's case. So do the math on how much larger the device would have to be to last even two days. We're talking about 50 percent larger volume, so imagine extending the 42mm watch about 10mm up and down or everything out by maybe 3 or 4mm.
  11. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    It is about as insightful as the Op comment. Everyone is obviously entitled to their opinion, but it is not much different than saying a Ford Focus is the best car you can buy.
  12. dandrewk macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    San Rafael, California
    Not even close. Did you read the OP's comment? If anything, the post is a bit sarcastic. He's saying "best watch you can buy, except when the battery dies". IOW, he wished the battery were better.

    And are you actually defending jds4300, a well-known troll in this forum? What part of his obnoxious response did you find helpful? He merely flamed the OP without giving a shred of reasoning for doing so.
  13. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015

    The Garmin Fenix 3 is my standard bearer for battery potential in a smart watch. The Garmin has WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. It will last >20 hours with GPS fully active and 50 hours with GPS in an economy mode. It will last 6 weeks with GPS off in its watch mode. The Fenix 3 does not have all the AW's smart watch capabilities, and it is a bit larger and less attractive. On the other hand, it is rugged and waterproof to 10 ATM.

    So, Apple simply choose to emphasize other features that burn battery at a massive rate. I am hoping that Apple figures out the secrets Garmin has discovered, so a future AW can have its own GPS and last more than a few hours.
  14. Blakjack, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015

    Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    It really is the best watch money can buy in terms of what it can do combined with its stylish versatility.

    It doesn't have to be the best looking watch, it just has to be stylish which it is.

    I don't think its thats laughable at all.

    Simply comparing the watch to an expensive mechanical or even a watch like a Garmin doesn't make sense and it is not fair.

    If your buying the apple watch, you're hopefully like me.....looking for a watch that does a lot all while looking nice and not like samsung gear watch.
  15. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    It's certainly the best smart watch money can buy in my opinion. In that respect it's not laughable at all. You cannot really compare it to the mechanical watches out there. That said I rather spend £520 on an :apple:Watch then several thousand on something like a Rolex, Tag Heur, Omega etc. Too me those are a waste of money as all they are are expensive items that just tell time which is no different then a cheap Timex or Casio will do.
  16. Fabienne macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2009
    Some super-sexy place in the Midwest
    I love my Apple Watch. I am amazed it does what it does so well. The best thing in the world is that Activity app, and I am sure it will get even better in the future. Really makes you want to get up and walk around during the day (I have had a blood clot in my leg so that is REALLY important), makes the old chest strap obsolete for workouts, you don't have to plug it into your computer, and much much moar. I would not like to have a Rolex, could not care less about a Tag Heur, or any of those others. It's far more fun to be able to answer a phone call on your wrist. Voice recognition on it is tops, too.
  17. MacCubed macrumors 68000


    Apr 26, 2014
    I love my Watch, it's a great product, definitely my favorite watch i've owned. @iamasmith Lost fan??
  18. yaboyac29 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2014
    so the best watch to you is a watch that just tells you the time? cool.

    i like mine, it tells me the time and MORE.
  19. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    What a shame, the man prefers traditional watches that've been serving mankind for centuries.
  20. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Don't feed the troll, please. The guy has posted essentially the same thing in a ton of different threads. He's either truly mental, or more likely, simply your average under-bridge-dwelling garden variety with a mission to rile up Apple fans. ;)
  21. telefono macrumors 6502


    Dec 17, 2007
    I like Watches that tell the time, have been collecting for decades mechanical watches etc.

    But, from now on.................I too like my Apple Watch because it tells the time and More :)
  22. Easttime, Jul 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015

    Easttime macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2015
  23. sickducker macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2014
    And those luxury watches will depreciate much more than 520 pounds. I never get the watch as an investment argument, because it is like the worst investment ever.
  24. Ulenspiegel, Jul 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015

    Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere

    I was referring to traditional watches in general. Nevertheless, I am open to discuss the history of wristwatches.

    The production of the very earliest wristwatches goes back to the 16th century. The first armwatch was worn by Elisabeth I. of England, made by Robert Dudley in 1571. From the beginning, wristwatches were almost exclusively worn by women, while men used pocket-watches.
    Wristwatches were first worn by military men towards the end of the 19th century. Officers in the British Army began using wristwatches during colonial military campaigns in the 1880s (Anglo-Burma War of 1885).

    Taking into account the above mentined the traditional wristwatch technology is more than four centuries old.
  25. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    A typical solar watch stores it's energy in a 0.04 Wh button cell and can run over six months from a full charge without being topped up while the Apple Watch uses a 0.78 Wh battery pack which lasts approximately one day. Current solar and kinetic charging technologies would need to step up by a huge magnitude to be able to generate enough energy and be packaged into the small physical space available in the Apple Watch.

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