Back in October 2017, I posted a quick review of the Apple Watch Series 3. The review was more hope than review as I hadn’t had a chance to put the device through its paces, and the biggest question hanging over the review was battery life.
After working on my 5K speed for a while, I finally had the opportunity and weather to go for a longer run outside. I left the house around 4:00 PM without having charged my watch since putting it on in the morning. I ran with my AirPods connected to and playing music from the watch. My phone was sitting at home in Airport Mode.
Unfortunately, I forgot to look at the battery life immediately after the 1 hour and 40 minute run as I stayed out to hike Turkey Mountain with my wife afterward. It wasn’t until about 8:30 PM that the Apple Watch informed me that its battery life was down to 10%.
To be completely candid, I am not a heavy Apple Watch user outside of running. I rarely use it for anything more than looking at the time and weather or reading incoming notifications. As I sit here writing this post, it’s 5:45 PM, and my watch shows 78% battery remaining so it was probably in the 80% range prior to my run.
On the run itself, I was using NikePlus to track both the normal running metrics and heart rate. The Apple Watch had cellular turned on, and I sent and received a few text messages during the 3 hours I was away from my phone. And like I said above, the watch was playing music through my AirPods for the duration of the run.
In my previous quick review, I said that 2 hours of battery life was the absolute minimum I needed for the Apple Watch to be a good standalone tracking device. Based on my experience yesterday, I believe 3 hours is a reasonable expectation, possibly significantly longer if you skip AirPods and music.