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Battery Performance Testing

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By sancmat, Senior Member on 6th November 2018, 04:30 PM
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I saw some other threads out there (mainly on samsung's site) complaining about battery drain issues. I found them because I was having battery drain issues. So why am I starting a new thread? because I'm not complaining here. I am as scientifically as I have the patients for documenting what my battery life is while playing with various settings. I am starting by trying to get the most extreme positive battery life as possible. Then I will work my way back with features I would like to use to determine what is worth it and what is not. Feel free to join in the conversation with your own tests and results as well as requests for me of additional information on my settings or tests you would like to see. The more conversation here I see the longer I'm likely to continue running tests.



Hardware

46mm Bluetooth Galaxy Watch



Note: I also have access to a 42mm Bluetooth Rose Gold Galaxy watch and 2 Gear Classic watches.



Background

I started doing this because I upgraded to the 46mm Galaxy watch because I was only getting ~2.5 days out of my wonderful Gear S2 Classic. The advertized 4 to 5 day battery life with rumors of 7 days was just too good to pass up on. Plus I found an open box for a very reasonable price. By day 3 I was noticing that my battery life was terrible. At best it was the same as my Classic.

So I ran a little test. I wiped the phone Saturday morning. Charged to 100% and waited for the show. By 15 hours I was at 85%. That would total out to 4.16 days of battery life. Well not exciting but it does meet the advertized performance. So I turned on goodnight mode and went to sleep. 5 hours later I woke up and I was at 65% battery. By 29 hours I was at 50% (granted I left goodnight mode on for a lot of that).

After finding out that samsung customer support knows NOTHING about their own products (told me that my S2 didn't have sleep tracking, that the 42mm and 46mm had the same battery capacity, and asked me what color my 46mm BT watch was) I returned it to the store and got a new one. Since then I've been running various tests.


If you have questions about a given test please include the Test # in your post.



Test 1:
Always On Display - Off
Brightness - 3
Screen Timeout - 10 Sec
Good Night Mode - On From 11pm to 7am
Bezel Wake-up - On
Wake Up Gesture - Off
Bluetooth - On
NFC - Off
Notifications - On
Turn On Screen (Notifications) - Off
Samsung Health (Heart Rate) - Manual Only
Samsung Health (Step Tracking) - Off
Samusng Health (Sleep Tracking) - On
Samusng Health (Automatic Excersize Detection) - Off
Screen Capture - Off
Watch Face - Basic (3 Different)
OS Version - 4.0.0.1
Test Length - 2 Days
Battery Drained - 1% every 1:45 to 2 hours. Estimated at 8 days.

So this is the extreme test. Low brightness. No novelty features. No workouts.
I have 4 gmail accounts and 2 email accounts so there is a lot going on there. I've disabled instant messaging notifications and facebook becuase I just find them annoying. If I got a message I looked at it. Check the time whenever I felt like it. I would consider it normal usage. Everytime I would change a little setting I would charge back to 100% so I could get a solid measurement.

What a great number on this. Add in how fast this thing charges and it's a dream. I don't like to shower with watches on so I'll just throw it on the charger for 15-20 minutes and I feel like I might be recovering an entire day's usage. What have I learned? I'm keeping this watch and I'm turning some features back on.


Test 2:
Same settings as test 1 except I'll be putting the brightness up to 5. This is my preferred setting. This will be a short test. Probably let it drop 2% during the busy time of work. Then I'll be moving on to test 3. This will be done today.

Results
This went really well. still about 7.5 days of use estimated. And it was a very busy time for me message wise. This was a small test so I'm moving on.

Test 3:
Also a short test to be completed today. I'm going to put a fancier watch face on. The ones I've been testing with so far were very basic and mostly black. Tomcat has some bonus features but the other two were very very basic.

Edit - Changing this test. Found a watch face I really liked but instead of needing more color it needs more brightness. Brightness of 7 on this one so you can see the detail as it's a really dark face with grey on black text. Watch face is Stealth by ZWF ($1). I'll probably let this one run the rest of the day.

Results

Had great results on this. so these settings were left for my 3 day trip.

Test 4:
This test will be for the rest of the week. Almost a performance test the other direction. I'm going on a trip to the north woods MN with no internet. Just lots of hiking. For this I'll be turning back on heart rate and step tracking. Also When hiking I'll use exercise detection with GPS. But still no automatic exercise detection. I suspect that that feature drains a fair amount of battery given how effective it is.


Results

Well I'm back from the trip in 3 days of heavy use. Flash light app. 15k steps a day. 10+ flights of stairs registered a day. I still had just over 50% battery. After charging up and letting it run for the last 2 days of more normal use I'm seeing about 10% battery used a day. Here is my opinion on some of the settings as I've seen them.

Always On Display - Can be a huge impact on the battery life. Based on my small experiments with it I think it would last a couple of days but not much more. For me it's not worth it.

Brightness - With my other chosen settings this isn't a major impact since the screen isn't on much. I've been running at 7 and still getting 10% per day.


Screen Timeout - 10 Sec is good enough for me. As long as you are interacting with the watch it says on. No point in unnecessary screen time.

Good Night Mode - Slightly improves battery life at night. I'm seeing about 1% every 3 hours. Turns on automatically so there is no real need to turn it on manually.


Bezel Wake-up - This was a big one for me. I can't express how often I bumped the bezel turning on the screen. I'm happy to use the button to turn it on.


Wake Up Gesture - Same as above. Leave it off if you want the best battery life.


Bluetooth - Required on for use of the watch. Ignore people who tell you to turn it off unless you have LTE. Even then Bluetooth is more efficient than LTE.


NFC - I've had this on for most of my testing. No impact to battery. I'm leaving it on.

Notifications - What's the point of the watch without notifications. I do leave it off for facebook because I find the frequency irritating.


Turn On Screen (Notifications) - Leave this off. Unless you are planning on looking at every message that comes in then this is wasted screen time. It's a definite off for me.

Samsung Health (Heart Rate) - I'm leaving this one off for now. I'll run a test with it on once I have good solid data on my current preferred settings but I suspect (based on the time that I had it on) that it's taking a few percentage per day.


Samsung Health (Step Tracking) - Turning this back on had no impact on my battery life. I'm not sure it ever actually turned off in the first place. Which is good news since I like this feature.

Samusng Health (Sleep Tracking) - Leave it on. No real impact on battery life from what I can see. Again. I'm not sure turning it off is really possible.

Samusng Health (Automatic Excersize Detection) - I have this on for Running and Cycling on and everything else off.


Screen Capture - Why? never tried it since I don't care. Off


Watch Face - I tried a few here. Nothing too colorful since I don't like the style but with the screen off most of the time then it doesn't seem to matter much.

If you are seeing poor battery life then try these settings out. Your usage can change the results however if you are down in the 3 day or less range without AOD then I would return your watch and get a new one like I did.
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12th November 2018, 02:50 AM |#2  
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I'm done with my testing for now. I'm happy with my settings. If anyone has questions let me know but in summary the battery life on this thing is amazing. I can charge the battery to 100% while I'm in the shower after a day's use.
17th November 2018, 09:04 PM |#3  
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Getting 6 days of battery life
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19th November 2018, 04:24 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranop11

Getting 6 days of battery life


With HRM on that seems consistent with me. I went 3 days without any charging of normal use (including a couple of phone calls) and ended with 53% battery life. I'm going to get it charged up and see how things go with AOD. I'm guessing based on my short tests it's going to drop down to around 3 days.
19th November 2018, 11:12 PM |#5  
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I have the 46mm. I'm happy getting 2+ days while having Always On enabled and brightness at 7. Previously with my S2 Classic, I could barely limp to the end of the day with those settings, and sometimes it didn't quite make it, depending on use. I generally recharge it every day anyway, but it's nice that it only needs a brief charge at this rate, and I can disable Always On any time I need it to last longer. I guess I'm just old school and feel like the watch doesn't "feel like a watch" if I can't look at it any time and see the time.

The only power-eating feature I don't use is gesture wake... because it will annoyingly not activate sometimes when you want it to, and of course it activates dozens of times or more every day when you don't intend for it to. I looked forward to trying this again with the Galaxy Watch and the battery life that would make this feasible to use, but in the end I disabled it.
20th November 2018, 10:11 AM |#6  
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Apart from intensive fitness tracking, step counter is pretty hungry battery eater. I observed that during work hours ( 9a.m. - 3 p.m. ) when I do not move much battery consumption is in average 4-5%. total As I get home and move more ( 4p.m. - 11 p.m. ) it is 15-20%.
I left switched it on as I like it
3rd January 2019, 06:41 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sancmat

Good Night Mode - On From 11pm to 7am

How do you set Good Night Mode to a schedule or automatic? I can't find any schedule or automatic detection settings for it anywhere on the phone or watch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sancmat

Samsung Health (Step Tracking) - Off
Samsung Health (Automatic Exercise Detection) - Off

Same question as above for all the Samsung Health stuff. I found a setting for manual heart rate but can't find how to turn actually off the things quoted above. All I can find is an option to disable notifications, nothing else. I can't find any settings for them anywhere on the phone or watch.

Thank you for the help!
17th January 2019, 09:33 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maniac78

How do you set Good Night Mode to a schedule or automatic? I can't find any schedule or automatic detection settings for it anywhere on the phone or watch.



Same question as above for all the Samsung Health stuff. I found a setting for manual heart rate but can't find how to turn actually off the things quoted above. All I can find is an option to disable notifications, nothing else. I can't find any settings for them anywhere on the phone or watch.

Thank you for the help!

You have to go into the Samsung health app on the watch itself. Scroll all the way down and you'll see settings.
17th January 2019, 01:48 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davtse

You have to go into the Samsung health app on the watch itself. Scroll all the way down and you'll see settings.

That's odd, I have very little under the Samsung Health App settings. All I see is:
Profile, Units, Workout Detection (Healthy Pace, Cycling, Elliptical, Rowing, Dynamic), Inactive Alerts (off/on), Help
And I can't find any of those options under any of those settings menus.

Samsung Gear app on my phone says all apps and the watch OS are up to date. So not sure why I wouldn't have those options but it's not a big deal anyway, I was just curious.
23rd January 2019, 07:24 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maniac78

That's odd, I have very little under the Samsung Health App settings. All I see is:
Profile, Units, Workout Detection (Healthy Pace, Cycling, Elliptical, Rowing, Dynamic), Inactive Alerts (off/on), Help
And I can't find any of those options under any of those settings menus.

Samsung Gear app on my phone says all apps and the watch OS are up to date. So not sure why I wouldn't have those options but it's not a big deal anyway, I was just curious.

On app on the watch itself? Weird mine has those settings.
23rd January 2019, 08:28 PM |#11  
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The watch it's self. However I don't see any relevant settings in the phone app either.
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