Apple Watch Battery Life (Explained!)

Battery life on the Apple Watch has always been one of the downsides. People are getting used to it, but there are still a lot of people who don’t want to constantly charge their watch, especially when it advertises sleep tracking as a feature. Luckily, Apple made a few improvements with their new watches.

Apple Watch Battery Life

The Apple Watch Series 8 has 18 hours of regular battery life and up to 36 hours in low-power mode. The Apple Watch SE has up to 18 hours as well, but lower life for workouts and audio playback. The Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life with 36 hours of regular use.

Below we’ll go over what you can expect from each of Apple’s 3 watch models, as well as some tips at the bottom of the article that you can use to make your Apple Watch last as long as possible.

Apple Watch Series 8

The Apple Watch Series 8’s battery life is 18 hours according to Apple’s website. Using the watch’s Low Power mode setting, you can extend that to about 35 hours. How long the battery life lasts also depends on what you use it for, so Apple has given the following battery life information:

  • 1.5 hours talking on the watch via LTE and not connected to an iPhone.
  • 11 hours of audio playback via Bluetooth.
  • 11-hour workout w/o GPS.
  • 7-hour workout with GPS.
  • 6-hour workout with GPS and LTE.

The Series 8 also charges the fastest out of the different Apple Watch models. This watch charges to 80% capacity in 45 minutes and will charge to 100% in 75 minutes.

The Battery life on Apple’s flagship watch model has improved over previous years, but it’s still limited to about one day of use which will be disappointing for a lot of users who are hoping for better battery life. Those that do want an Apple Watch with a bit better battery life they should look at the Apple Watch Ultra which we’ll talk about below.

Apple Watch Battery Life

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE has a battery life of 18 hours given Apple’s test of notifications, music playback, and a 60-minute workout. The low power mode is also going to extend the battery life of the Apple Watch SE, but it doesn’t appear to be published. The best guess would be between 30 and 36 hours. They also gave battery life for the following activities.

  • 1.5 hours talking on the watch via LTE and not connected to an iPhone.
  • 14 hours of Family Setup (setting allowing kids to have a watch without a phone and for the “find my” app to be tracking them).
  • 10 hours of audio playback via Bluetooth.
  • 10-hour workout w/o GPS.
  • 6-hour workout with GPS.
  • 5-hour workout with GPS and LTE.

The Apple Watch SE does not have fast charging like the Series 8 and takes about twice as long: 1.5 hours for 80% battery life and 2.5 hours for 100%.

The Apple Watch SE is the less expensive option for getting an Apple Watch. It has a smaller screen and is missing a few of the features that come on the Series 8 like the temperature sensor, the always-on display, the Blood O2 app, and the ECG app. A lot of people are perfectly happy without those features though and would gladly save some money to still have a great smartwatch.

Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra has an all-day battery life of up to 36 hours on a single charge. The watch’s battery life increases up to 60 hours when using low power mode. The Ultra’s battery life also decreases to 18 hours when using LTE.

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  • 2.5 hours talking on the watch via LTE and not connected to an iPhone.
  • 20 hours of audio playback via Bluetooth.
  • 18-hour workout w/o GPS.
  • 12-hour workout with GPS.
  • 10-hour workout with GPS and LTE.

The Apple Watch Ultra takes about 1 hour to charge to 80% battery life and 1.5 hours to charge to 100%.

The Apple Watch Ultra is a new addition to the lineup and one that finally has the battery life that many adventurers have been waiting for.

Before now most people that use a watch for sports or outdoor activities relied on other brands like Garmin which have longer multiday battery lives. The Apple Watch Ultra finally competes on battery life and durability and might lead to even more people ditching their other watches for Apple.

Apple Watch Hermes and Nike

The Apple Watch Hermes and Nike are listed as their own models on Apple’s website, but both of these models are just Series 8 Apple Watches with brand-specific bands and features. For battery life on these models see the Apple Watch Series 8 above.

Low Power Mode

One of the most important features for extending the battery life of your Apple Watch is the new low-power mode setting. This setting is going to help you almost double your battery life on most of these watches.

Many people will just leave the setting on all the time. If not the watch will usually ask you if you want to turn it on when you get to about 10% battery life or less.

Low power mode does a few things to save battery on your watch. If you have the Series 8 or the Ultra this mode will turn off the Always on Display so that it will only light up when you use the watch. The mode will also disable some of the sensors like the heart monitor which are normally always running and it will send fewer signals via its wireless antennas.

Tips to Extend Battery Life

Here are a few tips to make your Apple Watch’s battery last longer:

  • Manually turn on low power mode above 10%.
  • Use a simple watch face (dynamic ones with moving parts or bright figures drain the battery faster).
  • Make it so that it only lights up when you tap it. Turn off wake on wrist rise.
  • Turn off notifications you don’t care about.
  • Reduce screen wake time. (You can adjust how long the screen is on after waking it up).
  • Turn off “Hey Siri”.

Word of Caution

As a word of caution, the battery life numbers referenced are all from Apple, which is biased to make their product look good. Many of the numbers were given as the maximum range for that activity.

The actual numbers you will get could be lower than their tests. As these models are out for longer we’ll probably start to see more battery life tests being done by 3rd parties who will be more objective.