It’s a simple fact that your smartwatch will need to be recharged at some point or another, which can be frustrating at times, and knowing how to extend battery life on Wear OS watches can help. Even the best Android smartwatches will eventually run out of power and need to be charged back up. Different steps can be taken to help make your watch last longer. By using one or more of these options, you’ll have a Wear OS smartwatch that keeps a more enduring battery percentage between trips to the charging dock.
How to extend battery life on Wear OS by reducing screen brightness
Some Wear OS smartwatches have ambient light sensors to automatically adjust the screen brightness based on the environment, which is the easiest way to manage your screen brightness, but not all have this feature. Here’s how to manually change your watch screen brightness.
As with most actions for making changes on your Wear OS watch, there are multiple ways to access screen brightness. The easiest is to swipe down from the top of the screen to view the quick toggles if available.
Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central
- In these options, you may have an icon that looks like the sun. If you do, tap on it and tap on the plus or minus to increase or lower the screen brightness. If you ** don’t have this icon**, see the following steps.
At the top of your quick toggles, select the gear icon to access your watch settings. You can also access your watch settings by pressing the side button and scrolling to it in your apps list.
- Once you are in the settings menu, choose the option for display.
- Now, you will see the different choices to edit for your Wear OS watch display. You’ll want to tap on adjust brightness.
- Here, you will see the plus and minus icons to raise or lower the display brightness.
The best plan is to set the brightness to a level that works in most lighting situations. Then, should you be in a dimly lit area for an extended period, you can lower the brightness. On the flip side, if you will be in a bright place for a while, then you’ll want to increase the brightness only to the point that your watch screen is visible. Remember, the brighter the display, the more battery that is used.
How to extend battery life on Wear OS by turning off tilt-to-wake
Tilt-to-wake is a good feature, but it drains battery life quickly. Thankfully if you turn this option off, Wear OS will still activate and show a notification that comes in if you raise your wrist within a few seconds of receipt. Otherwise, with tilt-to-wake disabled, your screen will stay off a lot more to save you lots of battery.
You’ll need to get into your watch settings, and the fastest way is to swipe down from the top of your screen and select the gear icon to access the settings menu. You can also access your watch settings by pressing the watch’s side button and scrolling to settings in your apps list.
- Scroll down the list of options until you get to gestures, tap on it.
- Here, you have the option to toggle off tilt-to-wake.
Now that this is turned off, when you raise your wrist or turn your wrist, your watch’s display won’t activate — saving precious battery life.
How to extend battery life on Wear OS by disabling the always-on display
The always-on mode of a Wear OS watch does use some battery, but it uses very little. Disabling it will gain you some percentage points over a long period. So unless you are using something like the TicWatch Pro 3 that has an ultra-low power secondary display that takes the place of the typical always-on opinion for other Wear OS watches if eeking out every last possible moment of battery is what you are going for — here’s how to disable the always-on display.
Access this setting from the display option in the settings menu. It can be accessed by either swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping on the gear icon, or by pressing the button on the side of the watch and scrolling the app list until you find settings.
- Select display in the settings menu
Scroll down the options until you see always-on and tap on it to toggle it off.
Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central
- Also, while we’re here, scroll down a bit more and tap on screen timeout to change this to a shorter period.
Keeping the always-on option off may seem like a great way to save a lot of battery life, but in reality, because of the way this feature is designed, it really doesn’t make a significant difference when you turn it off. Plus, if you do, every time you want to check the time, you’ll need to activate the full display to do so — using more battery than the always-on option.
As mentioned in step four above, another way to help save battery life is by lowering the amount of time that the fully active display remains on. By shortening this time frame, the screen will dim sooner, saving your Wear OS smartwatch even more charge.
How to extend battery life on Wear OS by limiting which apps send you notifications
Notifications are one of the things that are handled really well on Wear OS watches. However, this doesn’t mean that every single one that comes through your phone necessarily needs to alert you on your wrist. Each time your smartwatch buzzes, it requires a fair amount of power from the battery to operate the vibration motor, not to mention lighting up the screen.
- Open the Wear OS app on the phone that your watch is connected to.
If needed, scroll to the setting with the bell icon for notifications>
- When the notifications settings open up, choose change watch notifications.
- Here, you can toggle off alerts for apps that you don’t need to have come through your watch.
Notifications for things messaging apps, phone calls, and other time-sensitive items are ones you likely want to leave on. However, you may not need to know right away about a new theme for your Samsung phone or that Netflix has sixty new shows this month. The more you disable, the fewer times your battery will have to power those alerts.
Until a Wear OS watch comes out that can be powered by movement or the sun, the battery will eventually need to be recharged, and knowing the steps to extend it will be beneficial. Some other things can be done, like disabling 24-hour heart rate monitoring and SpO2 tracking if you have it, but these are pretty device-specific.
Should these features be available for your smartwatch, you can generally find those settings in the device-specific apps for that sensor — pulse, blood oxygen, or other installed health apps. Disable options as you need to find the best balance between battery longevity and maintaining a smartwatch’s benefits.