Apple Watch battery life: how many hours does it last?

Apple Watch battery boosting accessories

Entrepreneurial inventors are already tinkering with ways to extend the battery life with on-wrist chargers, going as far as opening up pre-orders for their Apple Watch bands as accessories.

But hold up. Before you wind up your arm to throw money at the screen and tell me to "shut up," know that the extra battery life comes at a different sort of cost: style.

Apple Watch battery life: how many hours does it last

Up with the battery life, down with the price

Even if the unshapely Wipowerband and marginally better-looking Reserve Strap double the battery life, they make the Apple Watch price seems a the more outrageous when it looks like you bought something from Fisher Price.

There's also no way to tell if all of the watch's built-in sensors will work properly with these accessories.

Apple Watch battery life vs Android Wear

Apple Watch's battery doesn't last as long as most Android Wear watches, and that's awful for everyone considering the already diminished capacity of these Google-powered watches.

Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch lasted me about a day, give or take a few hours. Note that I mean a full 24 hours when I, not Apple, say the word "day."

The battery life on Android Wear watches isn't much better

Apple Watch vs Android Wear battery life

Sony Smartwatch 3, with its larger 420 mAh battery size, lasts a day and a half off on a full charge. It's more than double the size of the Apple Watch battery size. LG G Watch R and Asus ZenWatch fall in between.

Of course, this is only slightly better than the Apple Watch battery life and still not good enough for most people's hectic, notification-bombarded lives.

Apple Watch battery life vs Pebble

This is where Pebble smokes Apple Watch and all other smartwatches. The original Pebble, Pebble Steel and the new color e-paper Pebble Time can last up to seven days.

Apple Watch vs Pebble battery life

Pebble Time Steel lasts 10 times longer than Apple Watch

That's only bested by Pebble's own Pebble Time Steel, which promises to last 10 days with a fraction of a millimeter of extra thickness. It's a worthy trade-off.

With a 7:1 and 10:1 battery life ratio, battery life-conscious folks might find it hard not to pass up the Pebble Time or Pebble Time Steel pre-order instead of waiting for the Apple Watch.

What's next for Apple Watch's battery

Apple Watch sales so far indicate that there will be an Apple Watch 2, and if that happens, battery life needs to be extended beyond the current edition's 18 hours.

Apple Watch battery life: how many hours does it last

Up with the battery life, down with the price

Battery life needs to go up, while the Apple Watch price needs to go down, and that's likely to happen with larger, more efficient batteries and more streamlined software.

The third-party straps that acts as on-wrist chargers, while not ideal in their current unstylish form, may be a good idea for Apple to develop later on. I was impressed with the unique recharging methods of the Samsung Simband prototype last year. There's some merit to these concepts.

Until then, check out all of our other smartwatch coverage. I think it's time for the Apple Watch release date, though I'm not sure. No joke, my Android Wear watch died while writing this.

Matt Swider