If you’re struggling to make it through a full day with your Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch before the battery dies, have no fear. Our guide to getting longer battery life from your Android Wear watch will help your wearable device to survive until you get home, complete with tips and tricks for getting days of basic functionality.
Now that we’re into 2017 we’re finally getting some feature packed and – dare we say it – stylish smartwatches to choose from. We’re pretty big fans of the Huawei Watch 2, while the new LG Watch Style and Watch Sport already look like strong competition for best smartwatch of the year.
Another reason we’re falling in love with smartwatches is Android Wear 2.0, which offers a strong user experience. You get some impressive functionality packed in there, and that includes a much-needed spot of resource management. Because as we all know, smartwatches still suffer from pretty rubbish battery life.
That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to getting better battery life from your Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch. Whether you just want a couple more hours between charges, or a watch that’ll last you days, here’s the best ways to improve your device’s battery life right now.
Read next: Best Android Wear 2.0 apps and games
How to get better battery life from Android Wear 2.0: Tweak the display settings
One of the biggest battery drainers of your Android Wear watch is that bright and bold screen. So head to the display settings and make sure you’re not wasting battery power unnecessarily.
Drag down the Android Wear 2.0 notifications bar by flicking your finger down from the very top of the watch’s screen. Here you’ll find a cog icon, which is a shortcut to Android Wear’s settings menu. Tap this and then prod ‘Display’.
In here you’ll obviously find the settings for the watch’s screen. You can turn down the brightness to extend your battery life by hitting ‘adjust brightness’. Automatic brightness usually works well, but slim back to level 1 if you want longer life. You can also turn off the ‘Always-on screen’ option, which stops the watch from displaying the time when not in use. This should extend your battery life by a couple of hours or so per charge, depending on how much you use it.
How to get better battery life from Android Wear 2.0: Cut the connectivity
After the screen, the next big power drain is all of those built-in radios which keep your Android Wear watch connected to your phone and the internet.
If you have cellular connectivity in your watch, disabling this will help to extend your battery life by several hours between charges on average. You can also kill the WiFi if you don’t mind using your phone as the main internet hub. And if you’re not using Android Pay for anything, try knocking off NFC too.
You can do all of this by heading to the main Android Wear 2.0 settings menu (see above) and tapping ‘Connectivity’. Then just disable each feature you don’t need by giving it a tap.
How to get better battery life from Android Wear 2.0: Turn off gesture support
Head to the watch’s settings menu and scroll down to Gestures and you’ll have the opportunity to turn off Tilt-to-wake gesture support. This means your Android Wear device won’t wake up when you lift your arm, which can often activate the screen by accident and drain your battery faster.
How to get better battery life from Android Wear 2.0: Turn off Google Assistant voice detection
Head to the Android Wear 2.0 settings menu and scroll down to Personalization, and then tap the ‘OK Google detection’ option. This stops the watch from constantly listening for your ‘OK Google’ command when the watch is on, which helps to save a little bit of juice.
How to get better battery life from Android Wear 2.0: More extreme solutions to get days of life
If you’re heading off somewhere and you basically just want to use your Android Wear smartwatch as a way of telling the time, you can knock off most of its functionality to do so.
Pull down the notifications tab and you’ll notice an icon that looks like a plane. Tap this and the watch’s connectivity will be severed. In other words, Bluetooth, cellular and other features will be cut. That means you won’t get any notifications at all, which boosts battery life considerably.
Hibernate the watch
You can hibernate your watch at any time using Android Wear 2.0’s sleep function. This is like a less extreme version of powering off your watch and only switching it back on when you need to use it.
To hibernate an Android Wear watch, drag down the notifications tab and you’ll see an icon that simply looks like a watch. Tap this and you’ll notice the screen goes dark and you’ll be told to push the power button to wake the wearable up. In this mode, very little power will be drained.
Video guide on how to get better Android Wear 2.0 watch battery life
Here’s our full video tutorial on how to get better battery life with Android Wear 2.0, showing you step-by-step what to do.