Watch 4 battery life much worse than Watch 3

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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I had a watch series 3 LTE (LTE not activated) and recently switched to a Watch series 4 GPS.

The Series 3 would do between 2 and 3 days regularly. I once monitored it carefully and it went from 100% to 8% in 70 hrs, just short of 3 days, ie an average of about 1.3% per hr.

My Series 4 drops from 100% to 50% in 24 hrs, ie average about 2% per hr.

I know these are well in excess of the spec number of 18 hours, but I was not expecting the Series 4 to be so much worse than the Series 3.

I have crawled through settings looking for something on my S4 which could explain this.

At first there was the 'new device' factor where I was setting it up and exploring faces etc, but I am past that stage.

Any comment or advice?

Thanks
[doublepost=1548705366][/doublepost]Just found this article and thread which seems to explain things.

BUT currently my Usage/Battery is showing:
Usage: 7 hrs 48 mins
Standby: 9 hrs 46 mins

This doesn't look right....what could be "using" battery 80% of the time?
 

rgyiv

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Jan 30, 2018
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I pulled my watch off the charger this morning, and I'm at 6 hours 38 minutes standby with 1 hour 14 minutes of usage....so yeah, that usage number probably explains it, but unfortunately is doesn't really pinpoint the cause...hmmmm
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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I pulled my watch off the charger this morning, and I'm at 6 hours 38 minutes standby with 1 hour 14 minutes of usage....so yeah, that usage number probably explains it, but unfortunately is doesn't really pinpoint the cause...hmmmm
Thanks! Yeah I think the high usage number is the key...but I don't have any apps I didn't have on my 3 and as far as I can tell the settings are the same.:(
 

rgyiv

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Jan 30, 2018
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Thanks! Yeah I think the high usage number is the key...but I don't have any apps I didn't have on my 3 and as far as I can tell the settings are the same.:(
And I'm assuming your lifestyle didn't change with the new watch? Working out more, checking your heart rate more, etc...
 

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
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And I'm assuming your lifestyle didn't change with the new watch? Working out more, checking your heart rate more, etc...
Correct. For the first day I was experimenting with watch faces and complications etc, and using it more, but after that usage was the same as with the 3.

Since posting earlier I have unpaired and re-paired and restored from the last backup of the S3. Fingers crossed.
 

sharpimage

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Sep 19, 2018
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I thought it was well documented in these forums that S4 has less battery life than S3
 

Mike Boreham

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I thought it was well documented in these forums that S4 has less battery life than S3
Yes, as I discovered after initial post and mentioned in the addition to post #1. But it is not quite a simple as 'S4 has less life'. From other threads here and elsewhere the experiences seem very mixed, with many reporting some improvement or the same, and many reporting drastic reduction. One thread even suggested there might be two hardware variations.

Based on this thread, where two people reported unpairing/repairing fixed it, I unpaired/and repaired last evening. So far the initial signs are very promising. Only 3% reduction in 8 hours, and usage 36 mins out of 7h 55m standby.
 
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rdavis41

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Jul 10, 2009
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I would agree that Series 4 does not get the same battery life as the Series 3. I routinely have to recharge my battery after my workouts (2-3x daily if planning to use overnight for sleep tracking). Which is beginning to make me question whether Apple Watch is the watch I should be using versus a better Sport Watch and battery of a Garmin watch.

Again though, battery life on the watch depends on utilization of notifications, gps, and optical heart rate monitor on the watch.
 
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Mikeeee

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Sep 27, 2017
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I'm having the exact same problems. I've tried everything. Hard reboots, re-pair as new, no apps installed, Background App Refresh turned off, running in Theatre Mode, but my Series 4 is eating up usage time even under all those conditions. For example right now I'm at 60% with 19 hours, 15 minutes Standby and 7 hours, 37 minutes Usage. This is way out of whack. Should be 1-2 hours usage max. Not sure it's battery issue though. Perhaps something related to one of the sensors that isn't shutting down properly. I setup a Genius Bar Appt for tomorrow.


I had a watch series 3 LTE (LTE not activated) and recently switched to a Watch series 4 GPS.

The Series 3 would do between 2 and 3 days regularly. I once monitored it carefully and it went from 100% to 8% in 70 hrs, just short of 3 days, ie an average of about 1.3% per hr.

My Series 4 drops from 100% to 50% in 24 hrs, ie average about 2% per hr.

I know these are well in excess of the spec number of 18 hours, but I was not expecting the Series 4 to be so much worse than the Series 3.

I have crawled through settings looking for something on my S4 which could explain this.

At first there was the 'new device' factor where I was setting it up and exploring faces etc, but I am past that stage.

Any comment or advice?

Thanks
[doublepost=1548705366][/doublepost]Just found this article and thread which seems to explain things.

BUT currently my Usage/Battery is showing:
Usage: 7 hrs 48 mins
Standby: 9 hrs 46 mins

This doesn't look right....what could be "using" battery 80% of the time?
 

PaladinGuy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2014
601
270
I would agree that Series 4 does not get the same battery life as the Series 3. I routinely have to recharge my battery after my workouts (2-3x daily if planning to use overnight for sleep tracking). Which is beginning to make me question whether Apple Watch is the watch I should be using versus a better Sport Watch and battery of a Garmin watch.

Again though, battery life on the watch depends on utilization of notifications, gps, and optical heart rate monitor on the watch.
I’d be much more likely to lean that direction, if Garmin’s were able to do quick replies to iMessages. I know it’s not Garmin’s fault, but it’s basically a deal breaker for me to not be able to act on any notifications. If I were to start doing more long distance, outdoor running, I might just deal with it.

I also just really like the versatility of the Apple Watch. I have the steel one and it goes really well with business attire with leather strap or the link band.
 

menace3

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2008
564
158
Seattle, WA
I had a watch series 3 LTE (LTE not activated) and recently switched to a Watch series 4 GPS.

The Series 3 would do between 2 and 3 days regularly. I once monitored it carefully and it went from 100% to 8% in 70 hrs, just short of 3 days, ie an average of about 1.3% per hr.

My Series 4 drops from 100% to 50% in 24 hrs, ie average about 2% per hr.

I know these are well in excess of the spec number of 18 hours, but I was not expecting the Series 4 to be so much worse than the Series 3.

I have crawled through settings looking for something on my S4 which could explain this.

At first there was the 'new device' factor where I was setting it up and exploring faces etc, but I am past that stage.

Any comment or advice?

Thanks
[doublepost=1548705366][/doublepost]Just found this article and thread which seems to explain things.

BUT currently my Usage/Battery is showing:
Usage: 7 hrs 48 mins
Standby: 9 hrs 46 mins

This doesn't look right....what could be "using" battery 80% of the time?

I dont know how new your watch is, but have you rebooted it lately. I find when my battery is lacking, there's an app stuck still trying to install. I've been awake since 6AM, went for a run, and now 6 horus later I'm at 89% on my AW4.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,278
153
Canada
Interesting.....

switched to AW4 LTE 4 days ago , battery seemed great so far , on par with 3 , however last night it dropped from 85 going to bed to 0 in 8 hours of sleep.....seems to be back to normal now.

not sure what it was that caused it....could be something not shutting down.

it looks like a high load on the watch , since my sleep was tracked most of the night , it was just loosing 10% per hour or so.
 

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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434
UK
Based on this thread, where two people reported unpairing/repairing fixed it, I unpaired/and repaired last evening. So far the initial signs are very promising. Only 3% reduction in 8 hours, and usage 36 mins out of 7h 55m standby.
Longer use since then and the AW4 has settled down around 1.6% per hour. Pretty good but not as good as the AW3.

I am relieved that since the re-pairing my usage stats are more sensible: currently 2 hrs usage and 15 hrs standby. Battery currently showing 76%.
 
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rgyiv

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2018
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Longer use since then and the AW4 has settled down around 1.6% per hour. Pretty good but not as good as the AW3.

I am relieved that since the re-pairing my usage stats are more sensible: currently 2 hrs usage and 15 hrs standby. Battery currently showing 76%.
Glad it's leveled back out!!
 

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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Unfortunately yesterday it reverted to high consumption mode. I checked usage/standby and saw that usage was about 85% of standby. I rebooted the watch and it reverted to low consumption mode with usage about 10% of standby for several hours.

There was no change in my activity or usage which would explain this.

Seems like a rogue process, but what? I only have two third party apps on the watch, Dark Sky and Smart3D (which enables me to control my MFI hearing aids from my watch). I guess next stop is deleting these from my watch as a diagnostic.
 

OBirder

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May 13, 2015
362
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I use approx. 2% per hour (without workout) and this was approx. the same on the AW3 (maybe 1.8% or 1.9%) I think the 1.3% on your AW3 was unusual low and that's what you are comparing now.

But I use as well increased amount of features. Cellular + GPS (I had that before), Walkie Talkie on the weekends. 2 workouts of approx. 45 minutes 5 times a week. Fall Detection ... Infograph watch face with 8 complications ... An approx. 33% increase in display with increased brightness ...
I have more Apps in the Dock than I had before (Dock Apps typically update in the background - more usage).

I easily make it through the day and could make it through a second. I typically charge every night (watch in nightstand mode) and so I rather use the features available and it's meeting my expectations.
 

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
I use approx. 2% per hour (without workout) and this was approx. the same on the AW3 (maybe 1.8% or 1.9%) I think the 1.3% on your AW3 was unusual low and that's what you are comparing now.

But I use as well increased amount of features. Cellular + GPS (I had that before), Walkie Talkie on the weekends. 2 workouts of approx. 45 minutes 5 times a week. Fall Detection ... Infograph watch face with 8 complications ... An approx. 33% increase in display with increased brightness ...
I have more Apps in the Dock than I had before (Dock Apps typically update in the background - more usage).

I easily make it through the day and could make it through a second. I typically charge every night (watch in nightstand mode) and so I rather use the features available and it's meeting my expectations.
Thanks. I agree my 1.3% on the AW3 watch is unusually low, but the key thing you mention is that you are getting only slightly less battery life from your AW3 than your AW4. I am getting a lot less.

Unfortunately because my AW3 battery life was so good I didn't look at the usage/standby ratio, as I have been on the AW4. I am convinced a process is behaving differently on the AW4 from the AW3, using up battery. I am currently at 38% since last full charge, ie 3.2%/hr, and usage/standby is 18h 26m/19h 58m.

How close are your usage/standby?
 

Knight3

Suspended
Oct 19, 2018
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Unfortunately yesterday it reverted to high consumption mode. I checked usage/standby and saw that usage was about 85% of standby. I rebooted the watch and it reverted to low consumption mode with usage about 10% of standby for several hours.

There was no change in my activity or usage which would explain this.

Seems like a rogue process, but what? I only have two third party apps on the watch, Dark Sky and Smart3D (which enables me to control my MFI hearing aids from my watch). I guess next stop is deleting these from my watch as a diagnostic.
Would you mind listing the apps you installed besides the default ones?
I had a similar issue and deleting the Spotify and Audible apps brought it back to normal. It's probably what's going on with yours even when your usage hasn't changed.
 

Mikeeee

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2017
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Would you mind listing the apps you installed besides the default ones?
I had a similar issue and deleting the Spotify and Audible apps brought it back to normal. It's probably what's going on with yours even when your usage hasn't changed.
I have the same problem as Mike with 0 apps installed and using the watch in Theater Mode. Have you been watching your usage vs standby time? What have you been experiencing?
 

Mike Boreham

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Original poster
Aug 10, 2006
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Would you mind listing the apps you installed besides the default ones?
I had a similar issue and deleting the Spotify and Audible apps brought it back to normal. It's probably what's going on with yours even when your usage hasn't changed.
They're mentioned in the second paragraph of my reply you quoted ;)! Dark Sky and Smart3D (which enables me to control my MFI hearing aids from my watch).

However I have a hunch the problem might be Autosleep. It is not installed on my watch but it is on my phone. The default setting is to monitor heart beat 24 hrs a day, and my health data shows it has been doing this. This is like doing a continuous workout. However it can't be as simple as this as this because my AW3 had it installed with the same setting. So maybe there is a difference between how AW3 and AW4 respond to the heart data requests from Austosleep. The setting can be adjusted to only monitor say 11pm to 7am when you are likely to be asleep. But for now I have deleted it as a diagnostic. As I say this is only a hunch at this point.
 

OBirder

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2015
362
255
Unfortunately because my AW3 battery life was so good I didn't look at the usage/standby ratio, as I have been on the AW4. I am convinced a process is behaving differently on the AW4 from the AW3, using up battery. I am currently at 38% since last full charge, ie 3.2%/hr, and usage/standby is 18h 26m/19h 58m.

How close are your usage/standby?
There must be something else going on. I am at 79%, usage/standby: 1h 24m/11h 45m (no workout today).
 

Mikeeee

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2017
396
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They're mentioned in the second paragraph of my reply you quoted ;)! Dark Sky and Smart3D (which enables me to control my MFI hearing aids from my watch).

However I have a hunch the problem might be Autosleep. It is not installed on my watch but it is on my phone. The default setting is to monitor heart beat 24 hrs a day, and my health data shows it has been doing this. This is like doing a continuous workout. However it can't be as simple as this as this because my AW3 had it installed with the same setting. So maybe there is a difference between how AW3 and AW4 respond to the heart data requests from Austosleep. The setting can be adjusted to only monitor say 11pm to 7am when you are likely to be asleep. But for now I have deleted it as a diagnostic. As I say this is only a hunch at this point.
I have auto sleep on my phone but not my watch as well. Not sure if that's the problem as the watch can be working great for 10 hours and then all of a sudden have very high usage numbers after that. I'm currently testing Workout Power Saving Mode set to ON. See if that makes a difference.
 

danny842003

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
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1,237
My series 4 is worse than my series 2 ever was.
It’s not so much of an issue as I think the habit of charging it every night will ensure it doesn’t run out. If I was doing it every 3 days I would probably forget and have a dead weight on my arm.
Still this weekend I was busy moving and couldn’t find/forgot to charge. It was pretty disappointing if not unexpected that it couldn’t do the second day.
 
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