Apple’s low power mode could turn Apple Watch into a real sports watch

Apple will soon release real sports watch with decent battery life.

The upcoming Apple Watch Pro (a probable name), will be the latest version of the Watch will have a larger, more shatter-resistant display, better battery life, a bigger, more rugged case made out of a premium material, and features such as enhanced hiking and swim tracking.

All of this sounds like Apple is preparing a competitor for Garmin’s popular Fenix wearables, which are bulky, rugged, powerful, and can track every sports activity known to man. They’ve got tons of battery life, making them ideal for very long activities like marathon running, Ironman triathlon, or hiking. They’re also the weapon of choice for adventurer types, who prefer not having to worry about charging their watch while on a multi-day mountain trip.

Garmin’s devices are highly specialized, but Apple Watch actually does a decent job in tracking sports activities too – DC Rainmaker, run by a man who tests wearables in extreme detail, has some data on that.

The big question about the Apple Watch Pro, however, is the battery life. Sure, Apple can put a slightly bigger battery into its larger case, but will it be enough to match the battery life on Garmin’s products, which is often measured in weeks?

My answer would normally be no. My Apple Watch 6 has a one, maybe one-and-a-half day battery life, and no matter what I did with it, I couldn’t squeeze much more out of it. Surprisingly, compared to normal usage, my Watch doesn’t bleed that much more battery life during activities such as running. Still, on days when I did workouts, I’d typically be in the red by evening time.

The feature Apple has reportedly been working on since April at least – Low Power Mode. Yes, the Apple Watch already has a Power Reserve mode, but it’s next to useless, as the Watch can only show you the time when in Power Reserve state (and it does that painfully slowly).

The new Low Power mode would let the watch run some apps and features without using as much battery life. Other details are absent, but the Low Power Mode sounds like exactly the kick Apple Watch needs to become a true Garmin watch competitor. A combination of a bigger battery and a dedicated mode of operation that saves battery life and lets you track sports activities at the same time could extend the Watch’s battery just enough for an Ironman, or a multi-day hike.

I still have my doubts as to whether the new Apple Watch Pro will match the battery life of dedicated sports watches. And we don’t know what kind of apps and features Apple will let us run while in Low Power mode. But if done correctly, it might make the Apple Watch Pro just compelling enough to chew off a chunk of Garmin’s hefty market share in the smartwatch premium segment.

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Sola James
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