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David Smith Tests the Apple Watch Series 7’s Battery Life in the Scottish Highlands

David Smith recently spent three days hiking in the Scottish Highlands. He took his Apple Watch Series 7 along to see how its battery life fared on long hikes.

Smith, who recently wrote about the battery sipping Coros Apex Pro, a dedicated ‘adventure watch,’ put the Series 7 in Theater and Airplane modes to conserve battery life and hit the trail. The Apple Watch performed better than expected:

The result was surprisingly solid. For a day where I tracked a 16mi hike over the course of 5½ hours, the watch only used around 27% of its battery. This was using the built-in workout app with route recording active. So it uses around 1.7%/mile. On my second day I put it in ‘Power Saving Workout’ mode, which doesn’t record heart rate data as quickly. This used 23% for a 14mi hike, or around 1.6%/mi…which was actually less of a difference that I’d have guessed. So I just left it in regular workout mode from then on.

For comparison the Coros watch I was wearing on my other wrist did the entire 3 days/45miles of the trip using only 20% of its battery (around 0.4%/mile) so still dramatically better.

As Smith concludes, Apple’s investment in improving the brightness of the Series 7’s always-on display has had the nice side effect of making multiple-hour workouts possible without immediately needing to recharge the watch. Also, even if you don’t have an all-day hike planned, Theater and Airplane modes are good to keep in mind when you want to extend the battery life of your Apple Watch.