The 8 best ways to improve battery life on a Wear OS smartwatch

After years of the Apple Watch’s dominance in the smartwatch industry, the latest version of Port OS by Google finally seems to have caught up. Wear OS gives your smartwatch many features such as installing applications, take calls and respond to notifications. Although it’s feature-rich, one of the downsides of most Wear OS smartwatches is poor battery life.

You’ll need to charge Wear OS smartwatches almost every day, which isn’t ideal. While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 improves on that front, it’s still not an endurance champion. If you’re tired of fast battery drain, here are some ways to improve the battery life of a Wear OS smartwatch.

1. Disable always-on display

Most Wear OS smartwatches with OLED displays support the Always On Display feature. When you activate the function, your smartwatch displays the time and other information on the screen, just like a conventional watch. Always On Display is both useful and cool. However, it is a major factor affecting battery drain.

If that’s not important to you, here’s how you can turn off Always On Display to extend the battery life of your Wear OS smartwatch.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Tap on the Display option.

Display settings

Step 3: Scroll down and turn off the toggle next to Always On Display.

Always on show

2. Enable Auto-Brightness

Manually adjusting the screen brightness all the time isn’t ideal. If the brightness is high when you’re outside, you may forget to turn it down when you’re back inside. This can affect battery life as high brightness requires more power. It’s best to set your smartwatch display to auto-brightness for this reason. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Tap on the Display option.

Display settings

Step 3: Enable the toggle next to Auto-Brightness.

Auto Brightness

3. Use a watch face with fewer complications

A watch face can have multiple elements ranging from time, date, weather, activity data, heart rate, etc. These elements are called complications. The more complicated the face of your watch, the more the battery drains. So choose a simple watch face that doesn’t have too many complications. Here’s how.

Step 1: Long press on your current watch face to view available watch faces on your smartwatch.

current watch face

2nd step: Scroll through the available options.

different watch faces

Step 3: Tap a simple watch face that you like and doesn’t have too many elements.

simple watch face

Your watch face will be replaced with the one you chose.

4. Turn off GPS when not in use

Most smartwatches have built-in GPS that helps track workouts and navigation when using Maps. However, you do not need GPS to be enabled at all times. Here’s how you can turn it off.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Scroll down to find the Location option and tap on it.

location settings

Step 3: Turn off the toggle next to On to disable GPS.

disable GPS

Head to the quick settings panel to enable the toggle whenever you want to use GPS.

5. Disable wake-up gestures

Wear OS smartwatches have wake-up gestures that light up the screen by detecting certain hand movements. There are two downsides to this feature when it comes to battery life. First, there will be accidental triggers, which means moving your hand in certain ways can turn the screen on even when you don’t want it to. Second, the watch’s sensors will always remain active while tracking hand movements.

Both of these factors contribute to battery drain. Here’s how to disable gestures on your Wear OS smartwatch.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Tap on the Display option.

Display settings

Step 3: Turn off the toggles next to “Raise wrist to wake” and “Touchscreen to wake”.

Wake-up gestures

6. Disable Automatic Health Monitoring

One of the primary use cases for a smartwatch is for health and fitness tracking. This includes tracking heart rate, SpO2 levels, and you can even enable blood pressure monitoring on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. By default, your smartwatch will automatically measure parameters, such as heart rate, at regular intervals. .

If you find it useful, you can leave it enabled. However, if you are not aware of it, you can turn it off to save more battery. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the health monitoring app on your smartwatch. We use a Galaxy Watch 4 with the Samsung Health app.

Samsung Health

2nd step: Scroll down and tap the Settings button.

Settings on the health app

Step 3: Select the Heart Rate option.

heart rate measurement

Step 4: From the available settings, select Manual Only.

manual only

7. Reduce screen timeout duration

You can set a particular duration, after which your smartwatch screen will turn off automatically when not in use. Setting a lower duration will ensure the screen turns off quickly when you are not using the smartwatch. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Tap on the Display option.

Display settings

Step 3: Scroll down to the Timeout section of the screen and tap on it.

screen timeout setting

Step 4: Select 15 seconds which is the least available option.

set screen off time

8. Use Battery Saver When Battery Level Is Extremely Low

If your watch’s battery level is extremely low and you want it to last a few more hours, your only option is to enable battery saver mode. Here’s how you can enable it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Wear OS smartwatch using the toggle in the quick settings panel.

Quick Settings on Wear OS

2nd step: Go to the Battery Settings tab.

Battery settings

Step 3: Enable the toggle next to Power saving.

Energy saving mode

You can see from this screenshot that enabling power saving mode on the Galaxy Watch 4 can extend the battery life by almost 10 hours, which can be quite significant.

Save battery on your Wear OS smartwatch

Following these steps will help you save as much battery as possible on your Wear OS smartwatch and extend the battery life for a few more hours. The improved battery life is always welcome, no matter how many extra hours you get.