We’re all in agreement that the Apple Watch is a great device that helps you stay connected, organised and (arguably) a little more productive all day long. Even if some might argue that the uses are limited, if you’re like us, you’re in love with your Apple Watch, despite what others might say.

But, like all tech that we rely on in daily life, battery life is becoming an increasing priority. Every release, we hope that big tech companies announce a better battery that lasts longer, that is more optimised, and that can get us through the day. But instead, we seem to be given a long list of new features and occasionally a “we’ve improved the battery” bullet point on the extended list of new fancy features. The bottom line is that if your phone or watch dies, you could have all the best features in the world, but they ‘ain’t no good.

So, in our ultimate guide, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about your Apple Watch battery life, including;

So grab a cup of tea and get ready to find some tips so you can stay powered up all day long!

Apple Watch batteries, the technical bits worth knowing

So batteries are complicated, and in fairness to Apple, they are trying to improve them with each release. It just so happens that we, as consumers, want more and more from our devices.

The thing is, when it comes to batteries, the core components (the chemicals inside) don’t age particularly well, and when they age, they lose an element of efficiency. In basic terms, your battery has a lifespan, and as time passes, the amount of charge they hold diminishes.

Those are the facts, but the real-life takeaway is that although your watch or phone might say it’s 100% charged (and in fact it is), 100% on day one will last longer than 100% on week 1, 2 or 102 because the batteries can’t physically hold as much power as it did when it was brand new.

Now, we’re not trying to scare you here and honestly, the average person will probably never see a significant change in battery life year over year or so, but it is essential to be aware that as your devices get older, the battery won’t be as good as it was when it was brand new.

To complicate things further, the actual batteries themselves can deteriorate at different rates based on their conditions, such as extreme temperatures and environmental factors. More on the factors that impact on battery life later.

Now to help users understand their battery health a little more, Apple Introduced a little-known feature called Battery Health.

Battery Health: What is it, and how can you find out your battery health?

Battery health in the world of Apple Devices is defined as:

          A measure of battery capacity relative to when it was new. 

In basic terms, lower capacity means fewer hours of usage between charges. If your battery health is 100%, it’s likely you’ve just walked out of the Apple Store with your new watch.

How to check the battery life of your Apple Watch

If you’re lucky enough to have an Apple Watch Series 3 or onwards running WatchOS7 or onwards, you’ll be able to find out how healthy your battery is straightforward.

  1. Open your watch and go to Settings
  2. Scroll down to Battery and select it
  3. Scroll down to Battery health, and here, you’ll see your health.

How long does the Apple Watch battery last?

This is a tricky question because there are so many factors that can affect battery life which we’ll go into later, but that being said, we dived into the depths of Apple’s archive to pull together the below comparison.

Since the launch of the first-ever Apple Watch, Apple has introduced different usage tests to detail how long their batteries last; the Apple Watch Ultra has seven, yes seven different usage tests, which are;

  1. All-day battery life
  2. Mult-day adventure
  3. All-day 4G LTE battery life
  4. Talk
  5. Workout
  6. Charge
  7. Audio playback

You might be thinking, “well, on a normal day, I might use a bit of all of those features” we have to applaud Apple for trying to be specific. The problem is they’re specific with every new iteration of the watch, which means there’s no standardised comparison. We’ll state below how tests were conducted.

Model Battery Life From New
Apple Watch Ultra Up to 36 hours
Apple Watch SE2 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 8 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 7 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch SE Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 6 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 5 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 4 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 3 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 2 Up to 18 hours
Apple Watch Series 1 Up to 18 hours

Apple Watch Ultra Battery life

  • Up to 36 hours
  • All-day battery life is based on the following use: 180-time checks, 180 notifications, 90 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth over the course of 36 hours; Apple Watch Ultra (GPS + Cellular) usage includes a total of 8 hours of LTE connection and 28 hours of connection to iPhone via Bluetooth over the course of 36 hours. 
  • Testing conducted: August 2022
  • Source; Apple

Apple Watch SE2 battery life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • All-day battery life is based on the following use: 90-time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours; Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) (GPS) usage includes connection to iPhone via Bluetooth during the entire 18-hour test; Apple Watch SE (2nd generation) (GPS + Cellular) usage includes a total of 4 hours of LTE connection and 14 hours of connection to iPhone via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours.
  • Testing conducted: August 2022
  • Source: Apple

Apple Watch Series 8 Battery Life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • All-day battery life is based on the following use: 90-time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours; Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS) usage includes connection to iPhone via Bluetooth during the entire 18-hour test; Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular) usage includes a total of 4 hours of LTE connection and 14 hours of connection to iPhone via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours. 
  • Testing conducted: August 2022
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 7 battery life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2021 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2021
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch SE battery life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2020 using preproduction Apple Watch SE (GPS) and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2020
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 6 battery life

refurbished apple watch series 6 gps+cellular stainless steel - graphite

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2020 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2020
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 5 battery life

refurbished apple watch series 5 pink sport band stainless steel gold cellular

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2019 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2019
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 4 battery life

refurbished apple watch series 4 black sports band gps space grey

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2018 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2018
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 3 battery life

refurbished apple watch series 3 nike+ space grey

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch All-Day Battery Life testing was conducted by Apple in August 2018 using shipping Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS), each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2018
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 2 battery life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch battery testing was conducted by Apple in August 2016 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, and Apple Watch Edition, each paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2016
  • Source, Apple

Apple Watch Series 1 battery life

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Apple Watch battery testing was conducted by Apple in August 2016 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 1 paired with an iPhone; all devices were tested with prerelease software.
  • Testing conducted: August 2016
  • Source, Apple

So, basically, unless you’re getting the newest ultra, you can expect a brand new Apple Watch to last around 18 hours if you live in the perfect conditions in which Apple conducted their research.

Now with the second-hand Apple Watch market growing and many people turning to buy more affordable, refurbished models, it poses the question, what should you be looking out for?

Battery life of refurbished Apple Watches

If you’re considering purchasing a second-hand or refurbished Apple Watch, what should you expect from your battery? We like to think we know a thing or two about refurbished Apple Watches; after all, we’ve been selling them for years.

So what can you expect? Well, we can’t speak for everyone. However, we have stringent rules when selling Apple Watches. We will not sell any Apple Watch Series 3 or above with less than 80% capacity, regardless of its age. Why Series 3 you ask? Well, prior to series 3, there’s no way of actually telling a battery’s health. 

Based on this, here’s what battery health you can expect when buying a refurbished Apple Watch from us.

Model Battery Life From New Battery Life From Refurbished
Apple Watch Ultra Up to 36 hours Up to 28.8 hours
Apple Watch SE2 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 8 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 7 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch SE Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 6 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 5 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 4 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 3 Up to 18 hours Up to 14.4 hours
Apple Watch Series 2 Up to 18 hours NA*
Apple Watch Series 1 Up to 18 hours NA*

*Unfortunately, it’s impossible to test battery health on Series 1 or Series 2 devices.

Three factors that impact on the battery life of your Apple Watch

If you’re wondering about the kinds of things that impact the battery life of your Apple Watch, you’re not alone. It’s a question we get asked a lot. And while we can’t speak for every model or every user, there are three factors that Apple point out as having an impact on the battery life of any Apple Watch.

  • Extreme temperatures – using your device in extreme temperatures below 0 or above 35 degrees can impact performance.
  • Cases – oddly, Apple claim that charging your device when it’s inside certain styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect battery capacity, so it might be worthwhile taking off your fancy case when charging.
  • Store it half-charged when storing long term – if you’re planning on not using your device for some time, it’s worthwhile storing it at 50%. Keeping it at 0% may mean the battery falls into a deep discharge state. Storing it at 100% may have a similar effect in that it might hold less charge in the future.

15 tips to extend the life of your Apple Watch battery

If you’re here for hacks on how to get your watch to last for five days, then you’re likely to be disappointed, sorry. The majority of our, and others you’ll find online, boil down to the same simple formula; use fewer features and increase your Apple Watch battery life.

That being said, some of the below are things that might not immediately spring to mind. So here are our 15 to get the most out of your battery:

  1. Delete unused apps – these can take up memory and battery usage.
  2. Turn off push notifications – this is likely the single most significant drain on your battery; turn off unnecessary notifications
  3. Close background apps – having apps open in the background will drain your battery.
  4. Lower screen brightness – the higher your brightness, the quicker your Apple Watch Battery will drain.
  5. Turn off wake on wrist raise – another fancy feature that will drain your background.
  6. Turn off Hey Siri – let’s be honest, how often have you used it in the last week?
  7. Turn off background app refresh – background app refreshes use computing power, and using computing power will drain your battery.
  8. Disable always-on display – is it necessary? Probably not. 
  9. Turn off the heart rate monitor – using it only when you need it will extend the life of your battery.
  10. Reduce the wake screen time – again, is it necessary?
  11. Turn on power reserve – a simple tip to help your battery cope.
  12. Reduce animations – fancy watch face animations are excellent, but they’ll drain your battery.
  13. Use a dark watch face – believe it or not, we’ve tested this one, and it works.
  14. Disable Bluetooth – this one is particularly annoying, but it works.
  15. Enable Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode – going into a meeting? At work? Put your watch into one of these modes to extend your battery life.

As you can see, a lot of the tips and tricks don’t get around the problem that the Apple Watch can be a power-hungry little device, so the best way to increase your battery life is to use it less.

But if you are someone who needs or wants to use their watch for everything, then our tips above will help you get the most out of your battery.

5 of the best tips to improve your Apple Watch battery life!

Apple Watch Low Power Mode – what you need to know

Low Power Mode was introduced as part of watchOS 9, and the verdict is still out on its use.

What is Low Power Mode on Apple Watch?

Low Power Mode reduces the amount of processing power that your Apple Watch uses in order to extend its battery life. The less processing power your watch uses, the longer your battery life will last. Unfortunately, it does have its downsides, like slow performance; however, it can be a lifesaver when you need it most.

What does Low Power Mode do on Apple Watch?

Essentially, Low Power Mode forces your watch to use less power in order to run its core apps. It will turn off; Always On Display, heart rate notifications and other health measurements in order to preserve its own battery. It will also reduce the amount of background app refreshes and slows down Siri requests.

Is Low Power Mode worth it?

The verdict is out on this one, as it very much depends on your own usage. If you find that you’re regularly running low on battery and are in need of a quick power-up, then Low Power Mode could work for you, but it’s received mixed reviews online.

Common signs of Apple Watch battery deterioration

From handling thousands of Apple Watches, here are the most common signs that your Apple Watch battery is nearing it’s of end-of-life:

  • The watch no longer charges to 100%
  • The watch only lasts for a few hours before needing to be charged again
  • The watch takes longer to charge than it used to
  • The watch is hot to the touch after being used or charged

Replacing your Apple Watch Battery

If you’ve noticed that your Apple Watch battery has been deteriorating for some time, then it’s not the end of your Apple Watch – you do still have some options.

Replacing the battery

You might not know this, but you can actually replace Apple Watch batteries. It’s quite a complicated process, so it’s best to use a reliable provider; however, once replaced, it will literally be like new. Visit repairs.gadgetgogo.co.uk to get an instant quote to fix or replace your Apple Watch battery. 

Recycle the device

If both the battery has reached its end of life, and you’re at the end of your patience with it, we offer a recycling service. We try and do all we can to avoid tech going into landfill, and what’s more, we’ll even pay you for the privilege. Get a free quote today.

Apple Watch batteries are complicated things – they hold a lot of power and can be frustrating when they start to deteriorate. What’s more, is that Apple can be vague about what you should expect from your device. Luckily, there are plenty of support options available should you need them. Our team at Gadget GoGo offer a recycling service as well as a battery replacement for those who are struggling to get their watch to charge fully. Get in touch if you have any questions or would like more information!