This post was published 4 years ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
One of the most common concerns about smartwatches which puts people off buying one is battery life. On the face if it a 1-3 day battery life looks pretty awful compared to the several years as you would normally get from a standard watch. However, I look at it differently. The way I see it, my ordinary watch is more likely to die on me while I am out and about than my Moto 360.
“Say what!? How can this be so?” I hear you ask. Well, at this point I do appreciate that you’re probably pretty confused what I am on about, so let me explain.
Firstly, let me run you through how I use my 360: I get up in the morning, grab it off the dock (which I keep on my beside table) and strap it on my wrist, wear it all day and then when I go to bed I remove it (usually still with 50-70% battery left) and place it down on the dock. It starts wirelessly charging and provides a nice dim blue night clock.
Now let’s contrast that with me wearing my regular watch (which I have not done since purchasing the 360): I get up in the morning, grab it off the beside table, strap it on my wrist, wear it all day and then when I go to bed I remove it and place it down on the table where it ticks away very quietly.
So all-in-all the routine has not changed. The fact it requires charging has not changed the way I have to use to watch or caused me any more hassle. In fact it the only difference here is that has a nice neat dock to put it on which is far tidier (but requires no more effort) than placing it directly on my beside table.
But back to my original statement where I claimed my regular watch was more likely to die throughout the day. Can you see where I am going yet? The regular watch is draining the entire time and the 360 is being regularly charged but never getting close to dying on me. What this means is that the short battery life is never actually becoming an issue on my smartwatch.
However, wearing my regular watch, maybe in 12 months time from now, maybe in 15 or maybe more, it will suddenly, unexpectedly and without warning: die on me! I am left not only not knowing the real time but potentially being misled.
Here’s how it would pan out: I glance down at my watch initially oblivious to the fact it’s not actually 8AM and I don’t have an hour before my lecture, but rather my watch has stopped and my lecture started 20 minutes ago! Or perhaps I’ll be left simply feeling confused as to why it’s so dark at 3PM. Either way, less than ideal I am sure you’d agree.
On my smartwatch this simply won’t happen. It is topped up every night and yet its battery life is actually 2-days and so if I had a power-cut one night or was unable to charge it for a day then I will get another day out of it, no biggie.
Or if in some very unusual circumstance, I did somehow manage to not charge it for 2 days, then at least it would clearly know it had died, as it would have vibrated to let me know before switching off. That way I can then seek other sources for the time (such as my phone) and not once will I have been fooled into thinking the watch was still working and giving me the correct time.
Also, there is the matter of what happens when battery does eventually die on my regular watch. If it dies, I have to go to a jewellers and pay for a new battery and some wise, old watch-wizard to fit it because it requires all manner of jiggery-pokery to get the bloody back cover off and then consequently, I’ve wasted time and money which I could have spent enjoying a nice, steamy coffee and a glorious BLT with my Moto 360 periodically checking my (much lower) heart rate as I sit contented and free of stress.
Of course, I could attempt the procedure myself, but the experience is no better. It’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll somehow bugger my finger and scratch the watch trying to remove the back with some inadequate tool from eBay, which took 3 weeks to arrive from China because I lost the last one, just to discover that I’ve purchased the wrong battery so I can’t fit the damn thing anyway and end up feeling all the more stressed and still not knowing the bleeding time!
And all that just for the luxury of being able use a watch I can’t see at night because the glow-in-the-dark paint on the hands and numbers hasn’t got enough sunlight during the day from under my sleeve and I also cannot use to control my music, hail a cab, buy pizza, annoy my mates via text, turn on my computer by yelling or even simply to find out how long it would take me to travel to the moon and back by space hopper!
And I think, when you look at it like that, the battery life of a smartwatch like the Moto 360 begins it not look all that bad after all!
But what say you guys? Do you have a reason why the battery life would still really bother you? Maybe your use case is different from mine. If so, let us know in the comments!
Either way, I hope I have opened your mind up to a potentially different outlook on the smartwatch battery situation which might also just help a few people who are currently on the fence about purchasing one.