an important thing to consider when choosing an Apple watch

watchOS & Apple Watch Apps

I have had my 38 mm apple watch now for around four days, and I am very happy with it, apart from one major thing.

When I decided which watch to order I never even considered the larger 42 mm model. This was because I have small wrist, and I thought that as a voice over user I would have nothing to gain with the larger screen. however, I didn't consider the battery life difference.

I think its very understandable that I didn't think there would be much of a difference between the battery life of the 38 and 42 mm watches. After all Apple has been totally silent about the battery life of the 42 mm model, only saying the following.

"Apple Watch battery performance claims are based on test results from the 38mm Apple Watch. A 42mm Apple Watch typically experiences longer battery life."

The battery claims that the above quote is referring to say that the 38 mm watch can, on average, make it 18 hours. I have found that this is more or less true, although I would say my battery has died closer to sixteen hours in.

So what am I disappointed by if the 38 mm model has made it close to Apple's official claims? I am disappointed that Apple has not given the specific battery life of the 42 mm model, because I believe it last significantly longer.

I do not have any first hand experience with the 42 mm model, but from everything I have read it seems to really run laps around the smaller model when it comes to battery life.

The reviewer at the link below has claimed battery life ranging from twenty five hours to thirty two hours.

Apple Watch battery performance claims are based on test results from the 38mm Apple Watch. A 42mm Apple Watch typically experiences longer battery life.

Of course everybody uses the watch differently, and one person can't compare battery life results to another, but every person I have read about who has the 42 mm model seems to have consistently much longer battery life.

I would give you more scientific numbers on this, but they are not out there right now, which is really the whole problem. I am not mad that the 38 mm battery does not last as long as the 42; after all the larger watch has a larger battery. I am just upset that Apple did not better inform users who were deciding which watch to get.

In conclusion I am not suggesting that anyone avoid the 38 mm watch, I am simply saying that battery life is probably a larger thing to consider then you might have originally realized, when weighing the choice of which size to get.

I intend to visit the Apple store next week and see the 42 mm first hand to decide if the larger size could work on my wrist. If I am happy with the larger size I believe I will exchange my smaller watch, even though it will mean that I will probably have to wait months before I get the larger option. Just to make it clear I am happy, over all, with my watch, and I am really going to miss it if I have to wait for the 42 mm model.



Submitted by peter on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

it is possible that using VoiceOver could also be an extra drain on the battery since it takes energy to pump out that sound.

Would be interesting to see some real comparisons between the two watches with and without VoiceOver.


Submitted by Kelly on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I have a 42mm Apple Watch, and I use VoiceOver. I used it very heavily on Saturday, including many uses of Maps for directions. After about 12 hours on my wrist there was 17% left. Sunday was a pretty light use day with no use of Maps, and after 13 hours on my rist there was 65% remaining. Monday was a pretty normal day of use for me with a few uses of Maps for directions, and after 15 hours on my wrist there was 54% remaining.

Different people's experiences are really what we need, and yours are very detailed and informed kelly. Maps do drain the battery really quickly. In my experience I don't think there is any way I could get fifteen hours out of my 38 mm and have fifty percent battery left. Thats even with pretty light use.

Submitted by tibi on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hi all! Thank to all of you Who shared the experiences with the two different size of the Watch. I have the same problem as Tree. I donțt know which model should i chose. The two reasons i am still thinking areȘ the way it will look at my little wrist and the difference between the battery duration. Can someone give me more Information regarding that? Your experience in the day usage, is the Watch of 42 mm to big for a little wrist, or a girl for instance? Please help me! Thank you anticipately!

Submitted by Tree on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I believe it might be best to shoot for the forty two if it fits comfortably on your wrist, but if your smaller I don't think you should get the forty two without looking at it. I honestly think you just need to see both sizes. I still have not had time to look at the forty two in a store. I'm hoping to go today and make a final decision, even though my local store has been totally booked with try on appointments for weeks. I can't tell anyone what to do, but what I wish I had done was to order both sizes and then just take the one back that I didn't want; either do that or go to the store before you order them. I have heard that both watches are not too huge. I have pretty tiny wrist for a guy, almost as small as my fiancé, and the 38 is perfect, but I think I might also have room for the forty two. Remember that the measurement is the hight of the case, so going from one edge of your wrist to the other.

Submitted by TreoRenegade on Saturday, May 30, 2015

As a woman, my wrists are predictably small. I wore a Pebble watch for over a year comfortably, so my first mission was to compare its size with the larger Apple Watch. Once I confirmed the 42mm was noticeably smaller than the Pebble, I ordered it. No regrets.

I've never had the smaller AW, so can't make comparisons. But I can confirm that the battery life on the 42mm is greater than advertised. Indeed, I had a battery-watch app on the watch, but removed it since it was unnecessary. It stays juiced 2 days most times.

My usage on a typical day:
- creating multiple by-voice tasks in ToDoist,
- frequently dictating brain-dump style notes in Drafts and DayOne,
- InstaGram comment alerts/reading (50-70 daily),
- eMail & SMS alerts/reading (I get a couple of dozen court-efiling email notices daily M-Sat, many of which result in immediate voice-created on-watch notations),
- Magic/Golden/Blue Hour alerts (photography is my zen zone),
- Hooks alerts/review,
- Telegram app alerts/review,
- Deliveries alerts/review,
- Twitter trend alerts/review,
- and a separate Twitter stream I set up exclusively to yield breaking news alerts.
Probably some other alerts I forgot to mention here. I don't use map-related stuff on the watch, since it's so much easier to view on the 6+ large screen. On the other hand, I remain a big fan of location-based alerts.

I use the Modular watch face, with a second time zone World Clock. So, I've been nothing short of amazed regarding battery longevity. I'm guessing that, like the 6+ vs 6, bigger device size translates into a more powerful battery. My sole regret: decades ago, I killed a beloved watch by inadvertently smashing it as I walked past a wall corner. Ever since, I've worm my watch on the inside of my wrist. The Apple Watch was designed to be worn atop the wrist. But I'm still trying the inside position. Sometimes, lifting works to turn on the watch face. Other times, I have to lightly tap the screen. So I'd prefer that it work as usual sitting on my inner wrist, but I'm willing to tolerate intermittent grrrr's generated by my particular situation.