Bad battery life

I am using an iPhone to pair with the watch. I started from a full charge and estimated 26 days of battery life, with the following settings:

  • activity tracking + move iq
  • no gps
  • no move alert
  • no sleep pulse ox
  • 20% backlight
  • no backlight gesture

I also had good sunlight exposure almost every day. The watch lasted 15 days. I brought the device in my local Garmin shop, but they only reset the settings, which lead to no changes, as the next test with the same settings resulted in 16 days battery life.

Judging by what is supposed to be normal (, I am planning to return it to the shop once again. Does anyone else experience this issue? I am interested in what you guys think.

  • Not sure I can help you. I have similar settings to you except I dont have persistent BT connection and sync my watches manually, but I use GPS for running on a daily basis. Also I have Bluetooth ON during my runs to do not miss call/SMS notifications.

    It's wintertime in southern hemisphere and I dont have sun exposure due to short daylight and mostly cloudy days. I charged my watches 7 days ago, have 77% of battery, 23 days estimated, 3.5h of GPS usage. It gives 3.3% per day on average. 

    While your data shows 5-6% per day. It looks like Bluetooth is the culprit in your case. But it's unclear whether it's due to some external factors or because of some bug in Garmin firmware.

  • Ah, and I have watch face not updating every second, but rather every minute. Like this

  • I find it illogical and not really thought through that Garmin offers no way of turning off the seconds (or rather, enabling them only on gesture or button push) on the only digital watchface that enables two graphical widgets / complications. I definitely want to display the 48h barometer widget and the 24h sun animation on the main watchface because that is perfect for me. The seconds are displayed as soon as the watch detects even the slightest movement, so basically only not when the watch is not worn. That undoubtedly and unnecessarily uses some battery.

    And that watchface, by the way, is exactly the watchface Garmin uses in all promotional material together with the claimed battery life.

  • I feel you, but it's hard to please every customer because use cases are indefinite. For me persistent BT connection has no value (watches are "smart" enough wthout it) since I don't need push notifications, weather info, or controlling music on the phone. I don't need barometer and solar charging graphs on the main watchface, because I don't use that info frequently and when I need it I can just scroll to appropriate widget. 

    It's hard to blame Garmin for putting best case figures into promo and ad materials, all vendors do this. I have a habit of halving any promo/ad figures for any product just because of YMMV, but in my use case Instinct Solar battery life beats advertised figures. Also from my experience there is often disconnect between R&D and Sales departments - I can imagine as engineers said that battery lasts 24 days in certain circumstances, but Sales generalized to 24 days in their materials as well as put watchface with the solar graph jsut because Solar is selling point of Instinct Solar. 

  • I totally get what you're saying, and can well imagine that engineering / marketing split, but in my case, at least, I don't even use Bluetooth or any kind of smartwatch connection, and basically no GPS.

    My only 'sin' would be that I am using a watchface that updates every second because I want to have two graphical widgets. It would be kind of disappointing if that were the reason.

    Then again, it would be quite simple to solve it if Garmin were interested. Simply add the option to turn off seconds in that watchface, or add a second watchface like that, but with seconds only enabled on gesture or button press.

  • Update seconds minimal impact on battery. Updating values is much bigger yes. In the winter, my watch always lasted a few days longer than declared. When the weather is sunny I got through the moon with the occasional use of GPS. One more thing, if I charge the battery to 100% and disconnect it right away, then I have 99-98% the next day, if I wait 20-30 minutes after 100% of the battery, then I still have 100% the next day.

  • I've found a drastic reduction in battery life estimates following the most recent update; from 32 days to 26. I don't know whether your issue could also be firmware related? I'm also not too sure how this will affect actual values...
    I was getting 20 days + 10 or so hours of GPS activity off a single charge. 
    Concerned that this will heavily affected by the recent update, if the new estimates are anything to go by!

  • I have the last SW System Software 15.10 and sensor hub 6.01 since yesterday. the battery predicted me 33 days at 85% before installation. There are 33 days left after installing this new SW. So no change for me. In the morning I have 32 days and 84% battery. Try restarting and you will see. The prediction of days is an estimate. Battery percentages are important. If you have pulse ox off, no gps, I have 5% backlight, etc ... then the battery without solar charging decreases 1-3% per day. When I was out in the sun a lot, I had 50% in the morning and 54% in the evening! Of course without the use of GPS.

  • With those settings, i drop at least 5-6 percent per day. There must be something wrong with my battery. The employees in my local Garmin agreed that 15 days of battery is not normal, so they’re going to test it once again. I’ll let you guys know the outcome.

  • Try resetting the settings and see. Here you see a graph of one of the users.