Apple lifted the embargo for large websites to publish their Apple Watch reviews this morning, providing us with detailed insight about various functions of the device. Battery life in particular has been one area of interest for several prospective Apple Watch buyers, and most early reviews found the Apple Watch to fulfill its promise of all-day battery life on a single charge.
Well-known tech journalist Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal offers one of the better looks at the Apple Watch’s battery life in her video of using the device in day-to-day life. The video keeps track of how much battery life the Apple Watch uses while Stern goes about her daily routine in New York, with the device fully charged at 7:30 AM and having five percent remaining at just past midnight.
Apple confirmed last month that the Apple Watch will have up to 18 hours of battery life with mixed usage, and last up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. Early reviews find the Apple Watch generally on par with, or falling slightly short of, those numbers based on articles published by Daring Fireball, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Techpinions and Re/code. We’ve compiled those findings in the roundup below.
John Gruber, Daring Fireball:
“After more than a week of daily use, Apple Watch has more than alleviated any concerns I had about getting through a day on a single charge. I noted the remaining charge when I went to bed each night. It was usually still in the 30s or 40s. Once it was still over 50 percent charged. Once, it was down to 27. And one day — last Thursday — it was all the way down to 5 percent. But that day was an exception — I used the watch for an extraordinary amount of testing, nothing at all resembling typical usage. I’m surprised the watch had any remaining charge at all that day. I never once charged the watch other than while I slept.”
Nilay Patel, The Verge:
“By the end of each day, I was hyper-aware of how low the Apple Watch battery had gotten. After one particularly heavy day of use, I hit 10 percent battery at 7pm, triggering a wave of anxiety. But most days were actually fine. Apple had a big challenge getting a tiny computer like this to last a day, and it succeeded — even if that success seemingly comes at the expense of performance.”
Geoffrey Fowler, The Wall Street Journal:
“The battery lives up to its all-day billing, but sometimes just barely. It’s often nearly drained at bedtime, especially if I’ve used the watch for exercise. There’s a power-reserve mode that can make it last a few hours longer, but then it only shows the time.”
Ben Bajarin, Techpinions:
“From my experience with battery life, Apple appears to have undersold it. The Apple Watch easily lasted a day, even a long day of heavy use. My Apple Watch battery never got below 20% and only once even got close to that. The day it did was a long day when I took it off the charger at 5:45am and used it frequently, including tracking my activity during a two hour tennis match, and I didn’t plug it back in until 10:30pm.
With my average usage, I tried to see how long I could go and several times over the week got nearly two days of battery life. This will obviously vary by person, but the fact Apple Watch users will not have to worry about battery life over the course of the day no matter how heavy it is used is important for the experience.”
Lauren Goode, Re/code:
“Apple has promised that the battery will last 18 hours per charge with normal use. It hasn’t yet died on me during the day, or even late at night. My iPhone actually conked out before the Watch did; this happened to Bonnie, too.
One day this past week, I woke up at 5:15 am, exercised for an hour using the Watch, ran Maps during my commute, made phones calls and received notifications throughout the whole day, and by 11:00 pm the Watch was just hitting its Power Reserve point.”
Apple Watch goes on sale April 24, with pre-orders and try-ons beginning April 10.