WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know that most of people think smartwatches are disposable after a certain period of time. But when people buy smartwatches that cost $600 or more, some would consider the purchase like a small investment and the question about the item's lifespan suddenly become interesting, the same kind of thought you would have while buying your new smartphone.

So how long will a smartwatch last?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,754 Posts
Smart watches use lithium batteries, so mah storage capacity depletes with every charge cycle. Repeated over-charging and over-discharging more rapidly degrades mah capacity and therefore useful life span.

FWIW my WearOS watches would endure about 1.5 days between charges when they were new. This lasted about ~15 months, before the mah capacity noticeably started to deplete. So mine have been ~18 month disposable devices. My latest, fossil gen4 explorist is just shy of 2 years old. It currently lasts ~11 hours and switches over to dumb-watch endurance mode. This is with everything turned off. I am not a heavy-interactive user. They're just screen-off wrist buzz notifiers for the 5-6 text messages I get each day.

Other watch designs that endure ~7+ days between charges when new, start off at a major advantage in this regard. Their lithium battery mah capacity still depletes with every charge cycle, but since they start off life more power efficient... the useful life-span of the product can be much longer. My Amazfit stratos lasts a good ~4 days between charges, when used as a wrist buzz notifier. It has always been about a 4-5 day device since day-1. Its been outstanding in this regard. Unfortunately the accompanying phone app (now called Zepp) is buggy since the October update and it bricked my watch. So it too is looking like a 15~16 month disposable device, not because of the battery, but because of poorly maintained software updates.

For these reasons I would have a hard time justifying a smart watch purchase in that price range. If I had serious health issues that needed continual monitoring my views would probably be different.
 

·
Registered
testing testing something pizza
Joined
·
19,949 Posts
As Kramer said, the two sticking points are battery chemistry and software support.

Battery chemistry isn't going to change anytime soon, so expect no more than 3-4 years of usable battery capacity at most. It's possible to change some models' batteries (a new battery for my Series 4 AW is less than $30 at ifixit-dot-com), but because you'd need to pry apart some adhesive, they're not as dead-simple to change as the battery on, say, a Swatch.

Software support seems like it's more difficult for non-computer companies to understand. Traditional watch brands make one-and-done products, and they don't have to worry about third-party development platforms, either. This is why Google and Apple are the two biggest players in smartwatches (and why Samsung, an electronics powerhouse at heart, is also still hanging in there). Apple's Series 3, introduced in 2017, still runs the latest watchOS three years later, which is about the same amount of support given to the Series 1/2 and first-generation models; so in their case, OS support pretty much aligns with battery life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,252 Posts
Software support is about 3-4 years. You may use it more but your smart watch will be dropped one thing at the time.
Battery will be more or less useful for about 3-4 years depending on type of the watch.
Wear OS and Apple are first to go since they have highest charging cycles.
It's not far fetched to evaluate average life of regular watch on the wrist somewhere between 4-8 years until normal person will get bored and get another one So smartwatches are not that different from regular watches in this regard.
Many people on the forum seem to flip watches even faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I think it's worth mentioning the screen too.

Modern smartwatches mostly use AMOLED screen, it means that your watch's screen won't last as long as the traditional LCD screen. Even if you can replace the battery for the watch, the screen might not be as good as before, the AMOLED screen would deteoriote gradually with time. It's a natural process with AMOLED technology and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top