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Apple Watch Series 8 battery life: Here's what you need to know

How long can you keep your device on your wrist between charges?
By

Published onApril 14, 2024

An Apple Watch Series 8 on a user's wrist displays 100% battery life.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Despite its robust ecosystem and highly accurate health and fitness sensors, the Apple Watch Series 8 still falls short in one major area. Battery life on the company’s wearables remains a frustrating oversight. Like the newer Apple Watch Series 9, the Series 8 packs a useful temperature sensor for detailed sleep tracking. However, users are left scrambling to create effective charging routines to have enough juice for overnight stats. If you’re unsure what to expect or feel your Apple Watch is dying too quickly, we have you covered. Find out more about the Apple Watch Series 8’s battery life and how the company attempts to help with Low Power Mode.

QUICK ANSWER

The Apple Watch Series 8 features the same battery life and fast charging specs as its predecessor and the newer Series 9. However, users can easily stretch their devices beyond a full day thanks to Low Power Mode.

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
AA Editor's Choice
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
Excellent Retina display • Premium design and build • Advanced health tracking sensors
MSRP: $399.00
A very powerful device for anyone inside Apple's walled garden
The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features advanced fitness and health tracking tools, including a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and better insights into women's cycles. The device also features a thick front crystal over its display for improved durability. Additional highlights include Crash Detection, Low Power Mode, and extensive third-party app support.
See price at Amazon
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Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 45mm)

Apple Watch Series 8 battery specs

Despite our grumblings, Apple still has yet to improve the battery life specs on its standard wearable. However, the company did introduce Low Power Mode to help users eke out extra time on the wrist.

Apple Watch Series 8
Battery life
Up to 18 hours
Up to 36 hours in Low Power Mode
Wireless charging
Magnetic Fast Charging USB-C Cable
Charging adapter
Not included in-box, sold separately

It’s worth noting that a Series 9 vs Series 8 comparison shows the same battery specs on both devices, so it’s not worth updating to the new model if you’re solely after more time between charges. If you feel your Apple Watch is dying quicker than expected, your device may have bigger issues. Check for new software updates, or try unpairing and repairing your watch.

Apple Watch Series 8 battery life: What to expect?

An Apple Watch Series 8 with ample battery life rests on its charger.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 8 features a battery life claim of 18 hours. Notably, Apple labels this a “full day,” though we’d consider 24 hours a full day. Fortunately, we’ve found Apple’s claims underestimate what users will experience. During our Series 8 review, the device easily lasted 24 hours, including a GPS workout and sleep tracking.

These specs are identical to those of the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Series 9, which means Apple hasn’t made the strides shoppers asked for from generation to generation. Battery life is also largely dependent on device use and can disappear quickly depending on which tools you use most. The battery on the Series 8 can support 11 hours of music playback or indoor workout tracking, for example, but only around 7 hours of tracking an outdoor GPS workout. If you have an LTE model device, the watch battery can sustain an hour and a half of talk time.

Though the Series 8 didn't bring marked improvements to battery life, Apple did introduce Low Power Mode.

That isn’t to say Apple hasn’t offered any improvements. Alongside the Series 8, Apple introduced Low Power Mode to help users get more time between charges. This feature was part of the watchOS 9 software update and rolled back to older devices. That is to say, any Apple Watch Series 4 or newer can utilize Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode

To save battery, the Apple Watch will automatically prompt you to initiate Low Power Mode when your battery hits below 10%. Once charged back up to at least 80%, Low Power Mode will disable. During our review, the Apple Watch Series 8 extended battery life beyond its 36-hour claim in Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode disables always-on display, irregular rhythm heart rate notifications, high/low heart rate notifications, start workout reminders, and background heart rate and blood oxygen measurements. Using your device in this power-saving setting can also impact the speed of outgoing phone calls and Siri queries. If your paired iPhone is out of range, it also disables Wi-Fi and cellular connections and incoming calls and notifications. Finally, Low Power Mode can decrease updates to watch face complications such as weather.

Apple Watch Ultra line

If you are committed to the Apple ecosystem but require the best possible battery specs, we recommend the Apple Watch Ultra or Ultra 2. These devices boast much larger batteries than the Series 8 and 36-hour battery life specs. That means multiple nights of sleep tracking before reaching for your cable.

The extended battery life is especially helpful for long-distance training. We found a one-hour GPS workout utilizes about 5% of the Ultra’s battery when using Low Power Mode. In addition to its their impressive durability and beautiful, oversized displays, battery life is one of the features that warrant the line’s lofty price tag.

Does the Apple Watch Series 8 charge any faster?

An Apple Watch Series 8 rests next to its fast charging cable.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 7, 8, and 9 each offer fast charging capabilities. The devices can power from 0 to 80 percent in about 45 minutes. The Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2 also support fast charging; however, with bigger batteries, the device will charge from 0 to 80 percent in about an hour.

The device features the same fast-charging architecture as the Series 7, cutting charge times down considerably.

The Apple Watch Series 8 ships with a magnetic fast-charging cable in the box. You can distinguish this module from older chargers by the ring of aluminum around the magnetic end and the USB-C connector. You will need to purchase a power adapter. Some third-party chargers also feature fast charging capabilities, including multi-device charging pads.

The wearable’s battery tech vs the competition

A collection of leading wearables rests on a bench.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 8 still has ground to make up compared to other leading smartwatches. From the Wear OS stable, Galaxy Watch 4, 5, and 6 series devices have Apple beat. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, with its 590mAh cell, provided close to two full days of battery life during our review period.

The Google Pixel Watch, on the other hand, doesn’t fare as well. We were disappointed to find the watch only lasts one day between charges, despite its affiliation with Fitbit (a company that typically offers great battery specs). Fortunately, the Pixel Watch 2 offers some improvements, including fast charging specs. The OnePlus Watch 2 features the most impressive battery specs of the Wear OS family with its unique dual-chip architecture for more power-saving capabilities.

The Series 8 battery life may have Google's Pixel Watch line beat, but it still underperforms compared to competitors such as Garmin.

Of course, the latest Galaxy Watches, Pixel Watch 2, and OnePlus Watch 2 are all incompatible with iOS. For Apple Watch alternatives for iPhone loyalists, we look to Garmin. The Garmin Venu 3, the top company’s smartwatch available, offers five days on a single charge. Meanwhile, hybrid smartwatches like the Withings ScanWatch 2 offer even better battery life.

Overall, Apple’s flagship wearable still falls short regarding battery life. Endurance athletes, in particular, may have difficulty making the Series 8 a mainstay for training.


FAQs

Apple includes a magnetic fast charger to USB-C cable with each Apple Watch Series 8. You will need to buy your own compatible power adapter.

It is safe to charge the Series 8 overnight. Apple even offers NightStand mode which turns your device into a bedside alarm clock when charging.

No, the devices share identical battery specs.

If you already own a magnetic fast charger, you do not need to purchase a new one. Older chargers will also work; however, they do not tap into the fast charging architecture found in the device.

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