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Apple Watch 7 battery life could be its biggest upgrade

Apple Watch 7 leak
(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

The Apple Watch 7 battery life could be the key to making the best smartwatch even better. Several tipsters suggest the upcoming refresh will feature a significant battery improvement compared to previous generations. 

Rather than hone in on new health features or other functionalities, the Apple Watch 7 will reportedly receive both an external and internal redesign. And within the chassis specifically, Apple may have managed one of the substantial Apple Watch upgrades for everyday use in years.

No longer will the Apple Watch be rated for 18 hours, claims leaker Max Weinbach via his Pineleaks Twitter account. In a lengthy thread shared recently, Weinbach made claims about the iPhone 13, AirPods 3 and, yes, Apple Watch 7. Apparently Apple's flagship smartwatch will "see its first real battery life improvement."

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The Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE and all the best Apple Watch models are rated for 18 hours of battery life with normal use.

According to Apple, normal Apple Watch 6 battery use is 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playback via Bluetooth per day.

With the Apple Watch 5, Apple added an always-on display to the "normal use" parameters, but we haven't witnessed any true extension to the company's battery estimates. Sure, you can eke out a full 24 hours on occasion, or at least in power reserve mode. Yet the 18 hour battery life is as constant to Apple Watch users as the digital crown. 

Earlier this year Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also alluded to boosted battery life, referencing rumors of a double-sided System in Package (SiP) that would free up space inside the Apple Watch. 

A smaller S7 chipset, in hand with larger cases, could give the Apple Watch the room it needed to prioritize battery. The Apple Watch sizes are reportedly growing from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm, which might not sound like a significant change but millimeters make a difference on the wrist. 

Apple Watch 7 battery life: What we hope to see

A longer battery life opens the Apple Watch's door to a number of possibilities. For one, it could mean users are able to take an overnight trip and not fret about forgetting a charger. I've resorted to clipping this $10 charging accessory to my keychain so my smartwatch is never without juice. If my Apple Watch didn't track my steps, they didn't count, right?

Connectivity features could also benefit from better Apple Watch 7 battery life. LTE calling and messaging tends to tax the Apple Watch more than when its tethered to an iPhone. More people might be encouraged to pay the premiums for cellular if they know their Apple Watch can truly fend for itself an entire day.

I'd like to see a two-day battery life. That's about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4's maximum estimate, and possible to achieve depending on use. I'd even take a guaranteed 24 hours at this rate, though.

If you were wondering whether you should wait for Apple Watch 7 or buy Apple Watch 6, battery life alone is a reason to be patient. I'm optimistic the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 main spec difference will be estimated stamina. Of course I can't say for sure, but with the next Apple Event just days away it's worth waiting to find out.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.