My wife has been building up to run a marathon over the past year and in that time has run 2 half marathons and undertaken many runs of 10+ miles to prepare.
One thing that concerned us both is that she has to run through the country and so the element of safety comes to mind, particularly because she does not like to carry her iPhone with her. It is simply too big to carry comfortably and if you run you will understand that because any small annoyance can become a big distraction.
So, we purchased an Apple Watch series 5 cellular so that she would always be in contact and so that we could track her on her marathon run. We would know where to be when she reached the 13 mile mark and needed new fluids and gels and we could also be there at the exact time when she finished. Neither of these two things happened.
She had loaded up a playlist of songs to play through her wireless bone conduction earphones and was tracking run with the activity app which also meant that I could see where she was should there be a problem.
Long story short, the Apple Watch went from 100% battery to 0% in under 2 and a half hours. This to me is unacceptable and simply not good enough for a product that is touted continually as a fitness device and one that can save your life. It’s as if you can play at fitness with an Apple Watch, but don’t go too far or it will simply fail.
She had disabled the always on screen beforehand and only enabled the features she needed, but still it died less than half way through the marathon. If she had run a new world record of under 2:15:25 the Apple Watch would still have only just survived by 15 minutes.
This meant that we had no idea where she was and could not make sure that she was OK. She had lost her music and so had to run in silence and the Apple Watch did not record her completing the marathon- she only wanted to complete one marathon in her life, but the Apple records will not show it. Finally, we then had to wait for some time in the hope that she could complete the marathon and the worry was immense for all of the family waiting.
First world problems for sure, but the fact that the device she relied on to get her through, one that is more than £500 retail, is not capable of coping with a marathon run. Brilliant fitness capabilities? Yeah right.
I reached out to Apple today and had a chat with them. Here are some of the scripted responses I received in the live chat after they did some diagnostics and advised it was not broken-
I can only imagine how challenging it must be when the battery runtime is shorter than expected. You have come to the right place for help. Have you also implemented the battery optimization tips listed at https://www.apple.com/batteries/maximizing-performance/#watch ?
I would like to share the article https://www.apple.com/watch/battery/ . Here it shows a mixture of activity for the up to 18 hour battery runtime. When using the watch outdoors with both GPS and LTE enabled, battery shows in the link of up to 5 hours. Of course this estimate can differ per user depending on notifications, apps used, etc.
The next step is to restart both devices and try implementing the battery optimization tips. I can certainly needing the watch to have a long battery time especially when outside and alone. Safety is of the most importance. In the event if the battery runtime is still short after these steps, please chat us back with the case number for further support.
I’m not saying that Apple has been deceptive with the marketing just because ’18 hours’ is quoted everywhere. What I am saying is that if you do a workout for more than 3 hours with music playing (not streaming) and GPS running it is a pointless companion for your fitness and one that we will be returning.