While all gadgets have their design challenges, there is one that continues to plague smartwatches – battery life. There are a few ways to mitigate this, but unfortunately many smartwatch manufacturers choose the absolute worst solution: make the smartwatch bigger.
The latest example could be Samsung. according to a SamMobile report, the company is considering a “Pro” version of the next-gen Galaxy Watch. Details were sparse, except for one thing: this “Pro” model could potentially pack a much larger 572mAh battery.
If true, that would be a worthwhile upgrade. Poor battery life is one of the biggest complaints user to have reported with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 lineup. It’s also common for “Pro” models to function as a premium option with longer battery life, better materials and, unfortunately, the largest possible horn display.
It’s possible that Samsung could find a way to fit a bigger battery without increasing the size of the watch. However, recent smartwatch trends suggest otherwise. Take the Apple Watch. That series 7 increased the size of the watches from 40mm to 41mm and from 44mm to 45mm. A I attach it tear down revealed that the Series 7 batteries were 1.6 percent larger in the 41mm model and 6.8 percent larger in the 45mm model. It’s likely that the larger always-on displays required beefier batteries to maintain the same 18-hour battery life.
Samsung is also to blame for this. That Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 came in 41mm and 45mm variants. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is available in 42mm and 46mm. What would be a suggested “Pro” version? 43mm and 47mm? You might think that a 1mm increase isn’t much to complain about, but it adds up over time.
As someone with petite wrists, I can say that watches over 42mm are starting to get uncomfortable. (Not to mention they look absolutely ridiculous.) In order to get the same performance — especially during exercise — I have to make certain adjustments to the fit. And while people of all genders come in all shapes and sizes, excluding smaller options ends up excluding a large number of women. The result is that you treat smaller people as an afterthought.
Take Garmin’s Fenix 6 and Fenix 7 ranges. The Fenix 6X Pro was the first to feature solar charging. Those with smaller wrists who would have liked this feature had to wait. And now, two years later, the 51mm Fenix 7X is the first and only model to get an LED flashlight. Smaller sizes are likely to come in the future, but only Garmin can say when. As a woman who occasionally runs at night, I would have liked to have had this feature on the smaller one Fenix 7S I tested. But to get this feature, I had to sacrifice my comfort. And what good is a wearable that you don’t want to wear?
At a certain point this becomes untenable. There’s a limit to how big we can make these devices before the battery gains are offset by discomfort. It’s bad business to exclude potential clients who happen to reside in smaller establishments. Some of these are just the current limitations of wearable technology. Also, nothing is set in stone yet. Samsung might just ditch the whole “Pro” watch idea. Still, I would hope that these companies would use their resources to come up with new solutions to this problem instead of always taking the easy way out.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/8/23017059/samsung-galaxy-watch-smartwatch-wearables Samsung, please don’t overdo it with your next smartwatch