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Is the Galaxy Watch 4 battery life really that bad?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Watch this: the battery should comfortably last a day

I bit the bullet last week and bought a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. With the launch of the Galaxy Watch 5, prices tumbled on the remaining stock of 4s and I was able to pick one up for £165. What put me off spending even that modest amount for a smartwatch was many reviews complaining about the Galaxy Watch 4 battery life, with some claiming it barely lasted a day. Is the Galaxy Watch 4 battery life as bad as they say?

Galaxy Watch 4 battery life – what I’ve found

I’ve been using the Galaxy Watch 4 for a few days now and I’ve not found battery life to be a problem. I get up around 6:30am, go to bed between 10-11pm, and at the end of most days the watch has had around 50-60% of the battery remaining.

On a typical day, I will use the Watch to:

  • Record exercise – I spend between 1-2 hours walking my dog, and the phone automatically logs walks.
  • Measuring various health metrics – I’m not massively into health monitoring, but as I’ve been testing the watch’s many health features, I’ve been regularly taking ECG, ‘stress’ and blood oxygen level readings over the past few days.
  • Check smartphone notifications – most of my watch interactions involve reading notifications from my phone, without whipping the phone from my pocket. It’s hard to quantify, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m checking the detail of notifications 40 or 50 times a day, maybe more at weekends when I’m not sat in front of the computer all day.

I’m not using the Galaxy Watch 4 for the following:

  • Sleep tracking – as someone who has periodically suffered from insomnia over the years, the very last thing I want is a watch telling me how well or badly I slept. I know – I was there, man. Trust me, the only ‘cure’ for insomnia is not thinking about sleep. Sleep tracking is the exact opposite of that.
  • Music playing – You can store music locally on the Galaxy Watch 4 and pair it with Bluetooth headphones, so you can exercise without carrying a phone. I don’t do that.
  • Making calls – I don’t use the watch to make calls. That’s just weird.

So, hopefully that gives you a sense of my usage pattern. Obviously, the Watch 4 is new and the battery performance will deteriorate over time. That’s an unavoidable fact. But if you’re the type of person who uses a smartwatch like I do, then you’ve nothing to fear from Galaxy Watch 4 battery life – provided you can charge it every night.

It takes just over two hours to fully recharge a Galaxy Watch 4, by the way.

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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  • I have an Apple 4 Watch (given to me by my daughter), its battery life is about the same as yours and I use some of the same APPs, Heart, ECG, Weather, Messages and phone, I actually find the phone APP useful, mainly because my iPhone XS (also given to me by my daughter) its proximity detector isn’t working, and when you put the phone to the ear it does all sorts of strange things, I briefly enabled the watch eSim, and I found it most useful to make and receive phone calls (unlike yourself), without having to carry around the iPhone, although it did add £5/m to the data plan (O2).