After the recent update which introduced automatic Essential Mode scheduling, we decided to run a test to see how much battery life we could get from our TicWatch Pro 3 using the new feature.
We set the watch to enter Essential Mode at 10pm every night, and wake again at 7:30am. To further help reduce power consumption we turned off the following features:
- WiFi (the watch is never out of Bluetooth range of a phone anyway)
- OK Google Detection (it’s just as easy to hold down the power button to summon Google)
- Tilt to Wake (just tap the screen to wake instead)
Our use of the watch was fairly light during the test period, we used it for message notifications throughout the day and exercise tracking each morning, as well as sleep tracking at night. 24 hour heart rate and blood-oxygen monitoring was enabled – you could probably get more battery life if you switched these off.
The test began at 12pm at noon on Saturday, with 100% charge, and by the same time the following Tuesday, the battery was at 21%. By 10pm on Tuesday evening it had fallen to 6%. So we got three and a half days life out of a full charge for the TicWatch Pro 3, after which there was still just enough juice to go into Essential Mode for maybe another day or two.
Mobvoi claims the watch can last 45 days in Essential Mode only and, if that’s accurate, 6% charge should be enough for a couple of days at least.
Obviously everybody’s useage patterns will be unique to their lifestyle but, if you use the new Essential Mode scheduling feature to automatically power the watch down overnight, we think most people could safely expect a minimum of three days on a full charge. If you’re a light user, it wouldn’t be too hard to push the watch to four days from a single charge. For comparison, the Apple Watch 6 only lasts 18 hours, according to Apple – you need to charge it every day.
In Essential Mode, you still get heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and step counting features, as well as time and date on the screen, so if there are periods when these are the only features you really care about, you can significantly extend your battery life by using the low-power mode for even longer than just night time. But most people will want to have the watch’s smart features enabled during the day time, so 3-4 days is a realistic expectation in this case.
EDIT: After a second attempt at the test, under the same conditions, the watch lasted just over 4 full days on a single charge before hitting 5% battery life and automatically switching into Essential Mode. The only real difference this time around is that we didn’t spend as much time poking around in the various settings menus to explore new features, which probably consumed a bit more battery life in the previous test.
We’re currently testing how long it can survive in Essential Mode using only that remaining 5%, and will report back.