Apple Watch owners just got an amazing free battery upgrade

Low Power Mode is coming to Apple Watch devices from S4 onward, here's what that means and when you can get it for free

Apple
(Image credit: Apple)

I've known dozens of Apple Watch users over the years and without exception they all love their Apple wrist-worn devices. That said, however, the one shortcoming that I always hear about again and again is the limited battery life. 

At Apple's 'Far Out' event, held 7 September, the Apple Watch Series 8 was revealed and, among other features which I'll get into below, it finally introduces a Low Power Mode. Hurrah!  That, Apple claims, can improve the 18 hours per charge to up to 36 hours per charge, so if you're travelling, have forgotten your charger, or just don't want all features available then you can turn the mode on and extend a single charge's use. 

But here's perhaps the best bit: Low Power Mode will also come to every Apple Watch from Series 4 onward, so long as it's running watchOS 9 or later. Now that's a big feature upgrade without needing to go buy the new one. The new software will arrive from 12 September 2022, so keep an eye out for that new update to get the best from your Apple Watch. 

While older Apple Watches, such as the Series 7, do already feature a mode called Power Reserve, that turns a whole bunch of features off. The new Low Power Mode sounds significantly better as it doesn't limit you to only being able to see the time. Always-on and automatic workout detection are disabled, but you get to keep activity tracking and fall detection features, among others.

Apple Watch Series 8: What's new?

Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

While the Low Power Mode is not therefore an exclusive Apple Watch 8 feature, the 2022 Apple Watch does add a brand new temperature sensor. This is particularly useful for women tracking their monthly cycles, in particular those monitoring ovulation windows for family planning reasons, and it's all automated.

There's also Crash Detection, which isn't only based on software and a new algorithm, but hardware: the Watch Series 8 features an improved three-axis gyro and high G-force accelerometer that can measure up to 256G, to gain real insight should you ever be in a car accident and need to call emergency services (even automatically if it's particularly bad). The mode only kicks in when you're driving too, to preserve battery life and any privacy concerns (as it also uses the mic, GPS, barometer and other sensors).

The Apple Watch Series 8 will be available from 16 September, priced from £419/$399 or $499 (with Cellular). Not interested in buying new hardware? If you're non-plussed about the temperature sensor then there may be no reason. Take a look at the Series 6 and Series 7 offers below should you be looking for new but not latest hardware. After all, they'll all get the new free battery upgrade. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.