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How Samsung is addressing its biggest smartwatch concern

Smartwatches oftentimes feel like the frequently overlooked cousin of the smartphone. There are far fewer of them on the market and the major companies that do produce them only make a handful of lines when compared to the plethora of new phone series that are introduced and iterated on every few months.

Innovation has certainly taken place in smartwatches since their introduction to the scene, but due to the lack of industrywide support, progress has felt relatively slow. One complaint with the technology that’s been echoed for quite some time is that battery life for smartwatches across the board just isn’t where it needs to be yet.

Many users aren’t satisfied with that 24-hour battery life for a piece of technology so crucial to the lives of those who wear them.

In general, most devices will hold a charge for around 24-hours or so depending on how frequently they’re being used and how demanding the applications are. Unfortunately, many users aren’t satisfied with that 24-hour battery life for a piece of technology so crucial to the lives of those who wear them. 

Calls for better battery life in smartwatches have been made since their debut, but there hasn’t been much tangible change made by manufacturers on that front. That is, until now. Samsung seems to be working on a new Galaxy Watch, not a new iteration of its current offerings, but a new device to add to its lineup. One of the first noticeable differences in the rumored “Galaxy Watch Pro” as it’s being called is a massively increased battery size when compared to Samsung’s other models.

Samsung’s newfound battery efforts

The new watch is rumored to have a 572mAh battery according to an exclusive report by SamMobile. For reference, the 40mm Galaxy Watch 4 has a 247mAh battery and the 44mm variant is equipped with a 361mAh battery. The Watch Pro’s battery cell is significantly larger than both iterations, which suggests that Samsung is looking to shake up the way smartwatches have been treating battery life with its future releases.

This isn’t the only change that the company is rumored to be making when it comes to smartwatch batteries, however. A piece spotted in Korean production reports seems to indicate that the Galaxy Watch 5 will be made with a battery bigger than that featured in the Watch 4. The Watch 5 piece is a 276mAh-capacity unit, which doesn’t outshine the Watch 4’s 247mAh cell by much, but it could indicate that better battery life is coming for all of Samsung’s new smartwatch offerings, not just with the rumored Watch Pro.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better

Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on the wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s important to note that if a device hosts a big battery, that doesn’t necessarily mean that its battery life will be improved due to its size alone. For example, the difference between the Watch 5’s 276mAh battery and the Watch 4’s 247mAh cell likely isn’t significant enough for users to experience a notable difference in battery life if the cell’s capacity is all that Samsung plans on changing. When it comes to batteries, it’s not always about the size but how they’re used. 

Despite the relatively small battery capacity difference between the Watch 4 and 5, Samsung could rework other internal processes to reduce strain and better optimize its devices, resulting in improved battery life. There’s no confirmation if that’s what’s going on behind the scenes at the company, but the change in battery seems to suggest that some sort of rework is happening. 

Although fans are hopeful that battery life improves with the new part, there are many other reasons why Samsung could have switched things around. But the difference between the rumored Galaxy Watch Pro and the Watch 4 and 5’s batteries is significant enough to convince many that the Watch Pro will have a greatly improved battery life.

The Galaxy Watch Pro

Some users with the 44mm Galaxy Watch 4 reported having up to 40 hours of battery life thanks to the 361mAh battery, so the 572mAh cell rumored to be in the Watch Pro will likely exceed what’s been seen by quite a bit. Considering how significant an increase the Watch Pro appears to have, it feels like a safe bet to expect better battery life when it eventually launches.

If the rumors regarding the Watch Pro’s battery cell are to be believed, it could potentially get close to [seven days].

There were rumors before the Watch 4 launched that it would have seven days of life from a single charge, which obviously turned out to be untrue. If the rumors regarding the Watch Pro’s battery cell are to be believed, it could potentially get close to that amount of time. While that would be ideal, there are still too many unknowns to be able to say for sure if that’s even possible at this point, however.

Regardless of the specific amount of time the Watch Pro can potentially hold a charge, one thing about Samsung smartwatches is abundantly clear -= their battery life outshine that of Apple’s smartwatch offerings. 

Samsung’s major competition

The Apple Watch has stayed consistent in its battery life for several iterations at this point, roughly 18 hours, and Apple appears almost uninterested in changing that. The company seems to subscribe to the idea that users are charging their devices once every day at night. While that’s generally true, many smartwatch users are looking for their devices to be a little bit more reliable if they’re planning on being without charging options for extended periods of time.

For example, if someone were to go camping, they’d likely need to leave their smartwatch at home seeing as it’ll only be useful for the first day — and if it’s being used as a GPS for navigational purposes, it might not even last that long. Apple hasn’t changed much in its devices for its community looking to expand the use cases for smartwatches, so it seems as if Samsung is upping its smartwatch game to capitalize on that.

Workout mode in Samsung Health, with the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If Samsung’s new smartwatches are able to hold a charge for longer while supporting heavy app use like GPS, they’ll become the obvious choice for those who enjoy exploring the outdoors. That said, it is a very big “if,” so it’s important to keep that in mind. If Samsung can’t properly get a leg up on Apple, smartwatch users are likely to just stay where they’re most comfortable or even switch to watches that might be more feature-light but hold a charge for far longer like the Fitbit Versa or the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.

Although the future is looking bright for Samsung’s smartwatches, there are still a lot of unknown elements as most pieces of evidence are rumors and leaks instead of officially announced facts. Hopefully, the company is able to appeal to smartwatch users and meet their needs, but it’s still possible that Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch offerings will still fail to truly revolutionize the way the devices handle battery life. Most fans, however, are keeping their fingers crossed.

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Peter Hunt Szpytek
A podcast host and journalist, Peter covers mobile news with Digital Trends and gaming news, reviews, and guides for sites…
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