Smartwatches With the Longest Battery Life

Go well over a day without charging your wearable

The Apple Watch has received praise for many things, but battery life isn't one of them. Rated for 18 hours of use between charge — for versions including the Apple Watch 2 — this wearable needs to be plugged in every night. That could cut it for some, but it isn't ideal or convenient for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of other options that let you stray from the cable for longer than a day. Read on to learn which smartwatches are your best bet when it comes to longevity.

Pebble Smart Watch
Pebble Smart Watch. Alissa Holland/Moment Mobile/Getty

Pebble Watches

Due to the fact that it uses a low-energy e-paper (rather than an LCD or OLED) display, the original Pebble can last for up to 7 days on a charge. Even the more recently announced Pebble Time Round, with a circular color display, can last for as long as two days. 

The trade-off, of course, is that you can't do as much with the screen on Pebble watches. The displays are non-touch, meaning you'll need to navigate the watch screens by using buttons rather than by swiping, and though some Pebble models feature color displays, they still can't compete with the vibrant colors and higher resolution on other smartwatches from Apple, Motorola, Samsung and others. Also, keep in mind that Pebble has effectively shut down as an independent company. Among other things, this means that warranty support is no longer available, and you'll now have to buy Pebble devices from a third-party retailer — though the upside is that prices will tend to be on the cheap side.

On the other hand, because Pebble watches have low-power e-paper displays, they can afford to have always-on screens. That means you don't even have to tap the watch to see if you have any new notifications.


What Is a Smartwatch and What Do They Do?

Vector Watch

This one's a more recent entrant into the smartwatch space, and the company behind it made a big splash when it claimed that its device can last up to 30 days. It's unclear how exactly the company is able to get such an impressive battery life, but apparently part of the equation is the proprietary, low-power operating system. 

Like with Pebble smartwatches, getting that extremely long battery life comes with some sacrifices, including settling for a black-and-white display rather than a color screen that delivers crisp and bright images. There's also no touchscreen. However, Vector has merged with fitness tracker giant Fitbit, so its future watches will likely bring more activity-tracking features to the table.

Vector Watch is currently only selling its smartwatch in the UK, though it could make it to the US in the future. Prices range from $219 to $349, and there's a huge variety of styles. In fact, some of them are so classy they might be worthy of a place on this list of the most attractive smartwatches.

Citizen Eco-Drive Proximity

The final smartwatch on this list is definitely on the expensive side. The Proximity sports a circular display and has the classic good looks you'd expect from a regular wristwatch, but it also has some high-tech features. When paired with your phone via Bluetooth, the device will alert you to any new calls, messages, emails, calendar reminders and more.

For the time being the Proximity smartphone companion app is only available for iPhone users.

But let's get to the battery-saving feature: This watch is solar-powered, which means it works best when it gets sufficient exposure to light. In fact, Citizen warns that some of the watch's functions will not work as well when it doesn't receive enough sunlight, in order to preserve the watch's battery life. This might not sound exactly like a particularly smartwatch, and it's true: You do have to make several trade-offs. The advantage, though, is that you get months of battery life, so it's a win when it comes to convenience.

Bottom Line

The smartwatches with the longest battery lives aren't the ones you'll see at the top of most "must buy" lists; they usually sacrifice some significant features like touchscreen displays to deliver their impressive lasting power. It all comes down to your priorities, as is often the case when purchasing tech.