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7 Ultimate Hacks to Optimize Your Smartwatch Battery Life

new Apple Watch series 8 on display

7 Ultimate Hacks to Optimize Your Smartwatch Battery Life

As great as smartwatches have become over the past few years, there is one complaint many users have. Unfortunately, the biggest complaint about any smartwatch from Apple or Google is battery life. The hard reality with smartwatches is that when the battery runs out, so do all of their functions. While a traditional watch won’t offer you text notifications, you never worry about being able to tell time. 

With the release of the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple has been able to push into a second day of battery. Fitbit promises up to 6 days under optimal conditions, but still, battery anxiety with smartwatches can be real. This is especially true as you get toward the evening and a worrisome 20% battery warning is delivered.

The important consideration here is that we hope smartwatches can help us stop looking at our phones so much. However, with battery life being a downside, smartwatches can’t replace smartphones, at least not yet. The good news is that there are hacks to help your smartwatch battery last a bit longer. They won’t double your battery, but they can help you get to a charger in time.

Push Notifications

Smartwatch on a man's hand outdoor. Man's hand touching a smart watch. Closeup shot of male's hand uses of wearable smart watch at outdoor. Smartwatch.
Turning off push notifications can help you help you use your smartwatch less frequently and increase battery life.

If you’re worried about battery life long term, you can hack your way to better battery life by disabling push notifications. In the case of the Apple Watch, it mirrors your iPhone alerts and so it adopts all of the push notifications you receive on your phone. Depending on the level of notifications you receive, disabling some of these can help you take back some battery life. You can disable them by opening the Watch app > Tap Notifications > and then tap on an app to see its various options. 

You can go down the list on the Apple Watch app on your iPhone to turn off notifications for the apps you don’t care to receive notifications from. Similarly, on Samsung Galaxy smartwatches, you can open the Galaxy Wearable app on your Samsung smartphone and disable notifications as needed. Just open the app > tap on Watch Settings > Notifications. 

On the Google Pixel Watch, navigate to settings on your Android device > tap on Notifications > select Show All > and then select the desired app to disable.

Heart Rate Monitoring

Apple watch 6
Deactivating heart rate monitoring is an easy way to give yourself extra battery.

While it’s a fantastic feature, constant heart rate monitoring on smartwatches can be a drain on battery life. As the monitoring continuously checks your pulse to provide a more accurate calorie estimation, it eats up more battery life. Fortunately, if you don’t want this feature at times, you can disable it and gain back some battery life. 

On the Apple Watch, you can go to the Watch app on your iPhone, go to Privacy > Health > Heart Rate, and then toggle the feature off.  For Samsung Galaxy Watch owners, you can go to Settings on the watch itself and then go to Samsung Health > Heart Rate > select Manual and, voila, disabled. Interestingly enough, Pixel Watch owners cannot disable heart rate monitoring. This said, Google promises that on its watches, Heart Rate Monitoring only uses up minimal battery life.

Brightness Levels

Apple Watch Ultra - Display in direct sunlight
The brightness level on the Apple Watch can be turned down to prolong battery life.

As with many electronics with screens, the brighter they are, the more battery life is being used. Computer owners know this to be especially true when running on battery life. Higher brightness settings can come in handy when you’re in direct sunlight, but if you are not in bright sunlight, having your screen fully turned up isn’t doing your battery any favors. 

Thankfully, turning down the brightness on smartwatches is super easy. On the Apple Watch, tap on the Settings app > Display & Brightness, and then tap on the slider to adjust the brightness level. Samsung Galaxy Watch owners can swipe down from the top of the screen and open up Settings > Display > Disable Auto Brightness/Adaptive Brightness and then use a slider to find the right brightness setting. Pixel Watch owners will perform a similar action and with the brightness lowered, should find some battery savings.

Change Watch Face

Silent vibrating alarm Apple Watch
Choosing a minimal smartwatch face can help reduce the impact on battery life.

This might not be a battery-saving smartwatch hack many people consider, but changing your watch face can be super helpful. The more interactive and data-heavy watch face you use, the more likely the battery is working in the background to present all of your data. If you want to try and conserve battery a little, pick a more simplified watch face and save some battery. 

All of the most popular smartwatches offer a set of watch faces so you can try different options to find which one offers the biggest battery savings. If you have the option, choosing a watch face with a darker watch face is a great idea, especially if your smartwatch includes an OLED display. With OLED smartwatches, black pixels are turned off and therefore consume less battery than LCD models.

Voice Assistance

Alexa vs. Siri
Disabling Siri and Google Assistant can help reduce another feature that uses up smartwatch battery life.

For better or worse, voice assistants on smartwatches are always listening. Privacy concerns notwithstanding, by being always on, voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant are draining battery life. The good news is that you can disable this feature and preserve battery life across all smartwatch brands and models. In some cases, specifically with Android models, you can still activate a voice command function by pressing a button. This enables you to still have access to various voice command features without the always-listening battery life drain.

Do Not Disturb

focus.status.on.iphone
Silencing some notifications can help reduce the impact on battery life.

One of the best additions to the iPhone over the last few years has been the Do Not Disturb mode. Adding this feature to the Apple Watch allows you to preserve battery life. When activated, the Apple Watch stops pulling down notifications, which as noted above, can provide an immediate battery boost. 

Better yet, if you do receive a notification, you won’t receive any screen activation when a notification arrives. Combined, these benefits add up to some additional battery savings. 

Both the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch and Google Pixel offer similar functionality. Between Do Not Disturb and Theater modes, you can disable alerts, system sounds, and wake-up gestures all in an attempt to preserve battery life.

Update Software 

upclose of apple watch 8
Updating the software on your smartwatch can help fix battery-draining bugs.

Something that often gets overlooked with smartwatch battery life is to make sure the software is updated. There is a good chance with every new update, Apple, Samsung, and Google will all work to improve battery life. Keeping your watch updated is an easy way to try and produce the best results with improvements to battery life. Software updates can be infrequent but updating when they arrive is highly recommended. 

Summary of Ultimate Hacks to Optimize Your Smartwatch Battery Life

NumberNameDescription
#1Push NotificationsBy stopping some push notifications, you can gain back some battery life. 
#2Heart Rate MonitoringTurning off heart rate monitoring is another easy way to conserve battery. 
#3Brightness LevelsAdjusting brightness levels will immediately help preserve battery every day. 
#4Change Watch FaceUse a darker or more minimal watch face to help gain some smartwatch battery life back. 
#5Voice AssistanceDeactivating Siri or Google Assistant is an easy way to increase smartwatch battery life. 
#6Do Not Disturb By activating Do Not Disturb, you can disable certain functions that can drain smartwatch battery life. 
#7Update SoftwareKeeping your software up to date ensures you are using the most optimal software for your smartwatch. 

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