Although all gadgets have their design challenges, there is one that continues to plague smartwatches – battery life. There are several ways to mitigate this, but unfortunately many smartwatch manufacturers choose the absolutely worst solution: to make the smartwatch bigger.
The latest example is Samsung. According to a SamMobile In the report, the company is considering a “Pro” version of the next generation Galaxy Watch. Details were scarce, except for one thing: this Pro model could potentially have a much larger battery than 572 mAh.
If true, this would be a meaningful upgrade. Poor battery life is one of the biggest complaints of consumers have reported with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 range. It is also common for Pro models to act as a premium option with longer battery life, better materials and, unfortunately, the largest possible signal display.
Samsung may be able to figure out a way to include a larger battery without increasing the size of the watch. However, recent trends for smart watches suggest otherwise. Get the Apple Watch. The 7 Series increased the size of the watches from 40 mm to 41 mm and from 44 mm to 45 mm. An iFixit The destruction revealed that the Series 7 batteries were 1.6% larger by 41 mm and 6.8% larger by 45 mm. Probably larger permanently switched-on displays need more powerful batteries to maintain the same 18-hour battery life.
Samsung is also to blame for this. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available in 41 mm and 45 mm versions. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is available in 42 mm and 46 mm. What would be the proposed “Pro” version? 43 mm and 47 mm? You may think that the 1 mm increase is not much to complain about, but it increases over time.
As a person with small wrists, I can say that watches over 42 mm are starting to become uncomfortable. (Not to mention, they look absolutely ridiculous.) To achieve the same performance – especially during training – I have to make certain adjustments to fit. And while people of all genders come in all shapes and sizes, excluding smaller options ultimately excludes large numbers of women. The result is that you end up treating younger people like you’re late.
Get the Garmin Fenix 6 and Fenix 7 series. The Fenix 6X Pro was the first to receive solar charging. People with smaller wrists, who may have wanted this feature, had to wait. And now, two years later, the 51mm Fenix 7X is the first and only model to receive an LED flashlight. It will probably run to smaller sizes in the future, but only Garmin can tell when. As a woman who runs at night from time to time, I would like to have this feature of the smaller Fenix 7S I tested. But getting this feature meant I would have to sacrifice my comfort. And what’s the point of a wearable device that you don’t want to wear?
At some point, this becomes unstable. There is a limit to how big we can make these devices before the battery gain is offset by the discomfort. It is bad business to exclude potential customers who happen to live in smaller bodies. Part of this is only the current limitations of wearable technology. Besides, nothing is set in stone yet. Samsung may simply dismiss the whole idea of a Pro watch. However, I hope that these companies use their resources to create new solutions to this problem, instead of always choosing the easy way out.