46mm Bluetooth Galaxy Watch
Note: I also have access to a 42mm Bluetooth Rose Gold Galaxy watch and 2 Gear Classic watches.
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.
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 - 220.127.116.11
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.
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.
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.
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.
Had great results on this. so these settings were left for my 3 day trip.
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.
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.