The Apple Watch is nearly upon us, and the initial reviews have been mostly positive. The watch has been praised for its exceptional good looks and laundry list of impressive features; some reviewers have dinged it for slow-running apps and confusing navigation.
But perhaps the most important, and closely watched, aspect of the Apple Watch is its battery life. There were some concerns leading up to the reveal that the Watch would feature poor battery life, perhaps lasting not even a day. But contrary to these fears, the Apple Watch seems to live up to, and in many cases exceed, its listed 18 hours of battery life.
Still, that doesn’t seem to have satisfied the majority of reviewers.
Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue found that his Apple Watch easily ran longer than 18 hours, at one point pushing past 24 hours. Still, he lamented the fact that you can’t wear the watch at night when it’s connected to its charger.
Over at USA Today, Ed Baig said he was able to get about 18 hours of heavy use out of his Apple Watch. But as Baig pointed out, competing smartwatches like the Pebble can last at least a week.
Nilay Patel at The Verge saw similar battery life numbers, with his Apple Watch running most of the day without issue. He did, however, point out that the watch ran down to 10 percent after a day of heavy use, “triggering a wave of anxiety.”
Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff had a more positive take on the Apple Watch’s battery life, explaining that he was left with about 30 percent battery life nearly every day, even with the watch’s display brightness set to 100 percent.
Surprisingly, Lauren Goode at Re/code found that her Apple Watch lasted longer than her iPhone. Her colleague Bonnie Cha also saw her phone give up the ghost before the watch.
The Telegraph’s Matt Warman saw a full two days of battery life with his Apple Watch. Geoffrey Fowler at The Wall Street Journal, though, said his watch barely lasted all day, while Cnet’s Scott Stein said that no matter what he did, the Apple Watch wouldn’t last more than a full day.
One thing the reviewers agreed on was the fact that the Apple Watch’s charger can sometimes slide off of its magnetic charger or not connect to it entirely, keeping the watch from charging overnight. Baig, Ulanoff, and Goode each had the same experience with the watch’s charger.
So where does that leave us? Well, in a nutshell it seems that Apple has more than delivered on the Apple Watch’s battery life; it doesn’t seem like it will die on you while you’re sitting at your desk at work. Having to recharge another device each night, however, was a letdown for many reviewers.
There are smartwatches out there that can last for several days on a single charge; the Pebble, with its E Ink screen, lasts up to a week. None of these watches offers all of the features and refined design that the Apple Watch does, however.
In other words, if you’re going to get an Apple Watch, you’ll have to make sure you have the time to juice it up –– likely at night.