How to get longer battery life from your Wear OS smartwatch

Several days away from the home or office can seem like a constant battle against battery life: your phone dies, your laptop dies, and your smartwatch dies. Despite all the technological advances we’ve seen in recent years, battery life for many devices doesn’t seem to extend much beyond the standard 24-hour runtime.

Constrained by the physical limitations of their hardware, manufacturers are instead making battery-saving tweaks to the software, like the Low Power Mode found on the Apple Watch and iPhone. These settings can actually make a difference, and they’re available on Wear OS too.

In Victoria Song’s Pixel Watch 2 review last year, she said she was impressed with the improved battery life compared to the original, but today that 24-hour ceiling still applies. With my own Pixel Watch 2, I usually worry that I’ll run out of power before the end of the day if I don’t charge it overnight, although I’ve found a few ways to extend battery life. I’ll address the ones below.

These steps apply to the Pixel Watch 2 with the latest Wear OS 4.0 installed. If you’re using another Wear OS watch (like the OnePlus Watch 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6), these tricks should work the same way. The screens and menus you see may vary in certain places due to the way different companies have customized Wear OS.

The battery consumption of smartwatches is largely caused by the screen, so it helps to leave the display on as little as possible. Start by going to the Wear OS Watch app on your phone and tapping it Viewing preferences > Display and gestures to make changes.

  • Shorten the screen timeout delay so that the screen turns off sooner after you stop using it.
  • Disable the Always on screen option so that the screen doesn’t use battery life when you’re not looking at it.
  • Disable the tilt-to-wake option. This can be useful for checking the screen, but can also be activated accidentally, using battery power.

If the screen always on and tilt to wake options are disabled, you’ll have to tap the screen to see the time or anything else. It’s a compromise, but almost every battery saving measure is in one way or another.

You can also adjust the screen brightness by swiping down on the watch face and tapping the brightness icon (the sun symbol). There also is a Adaptive brightness option here, which adjusts the brightness for you depending on the ambient light. This can save you battery life, but not as much as the permanently dimmed screen.

Speaking of the screen, your watch face can make a real difference to battery life. After all, it determines how many pixels are illuminated. Switching to a less busy, more minimalist look is something you can try. Not only can you search for watch faces with as little screen display as possible, but you can also reduce the number of complications with each watch face.

  • Crane Look at faces in the Watch app on your phone.
  • Swipe left and right to cycle through the watch faces that have already been set up. If you choose one of these, tap Editing to change it (perhaps with fewer elements on the screen) or Use on guard to apply it to your wearable.
  • To elect Add new to choose another watch face from the gallery. When one is selected, you can edit its colors and complications before tapping it Add to apply it to your watch.

If your watch buzzes and beeps all day it can negatively impact battery life, so if you can miss some of these notifications (or at least make them less audible) you can get extra time between charges .

  • In the Watch app on your phone, tap notifications.
  • Crane View all apps from the past seven daysand then change the Most recent dropdown menu item to All apps.
  • Turn off the toggle switch for the phone apps you don’t want to hear on your watch.

There are more features on your watch that you can edit. Swipe down on the main watch face and then tap the gear icon to go there Institutions.

  • Crane Apps and notifications via Settings to change which apps installed on your actual watch can send notifications.
  • below Sound And Vibrations In Settings you can manage the volume and vibration levels for notifications, calls and alarms. Choose this lower to extend battery life.

If you go to the Settings page on your watch by swiping down from the top of the watch face and tapping the gear icon, you can disable a few more features to regain some battery life. In any case, there are trade-offs you may (or may not) be willing to tolerate. However, they can come in handy when the battery is low.

  • Crane Place via Settings and then turn off Use location. This disables GPS, meaning your watch won’t know where it is (for navigation, for example) if it’s not connected to your phone.
  • Crane Connectivity via Settings, then WiFiand then turn off WiFi. If this is disabled, your watch will not be able to connect directly to Wi-Fi; everything has to come through your phone.
  • If you’re using an LTE watch, tap Connectivity, MobileAnd Mobile again, then Out. Your watch can no longer go online via mobile networks.
  • Crane Googling via Settings, then Assistantand switch off “Hey Google.” If this feature is disabled, you won’t be able to activate the Google Assistant with your voice, but you can press and hold the side button.

It may take some trial and error to figure out which features will give you the biggest extension of battery life and which features you can do without if it means less charging, but you should should find at least some of them useful.

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