Over a month ago, Samsung started rolling out its One UI Watch 5 update on older Wear OS-powered smartwatches, including the Watch 4 and Watch 5 series. And now that we've been using these smartwatches for a while, it's safe to talk about how the new update affected battery life.
To put it bluntly, battery life was worryingly bad for the first few days after I got the One UI Watch 5 update on my Galaxy Watch 5. Thankfully, it was just a temporary setback, and I'm glad I waited a few more weeks before drawing a definitive conclusion.
While it may be debatable that modern smartphone firmware updates no longer need to “settle” before battery life goes back to normal or improves, the notion certainly seems to hold true for Samsung's Wear OS smartwatches. And we're happy to say that, after a couple of weeks or so, battery life on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 running One UI Watch 5 appears to have improved, even compared to the level it was on the previous firmware.
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One UI Watch 5 made our Galaxy Watches last longer
For more context, I'm using the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5, and for the most part, I keep location and AoD disabled. However, all the Health features are always on. That includes continuous heart rate and stress monitoring, blood oxygen during sleep, snore detection, and the new “skin temperature during sleep” feature.
Before the One UI Watch 5 update, I'd get a little over two days of battery life on a full charge. After the update, my Galaxy Watch 5 is nearing three days. And if these UI readings weren't enough, it certainly feels like I'm charging my smartwatch less often than I used to.
The Galaxy Watch 4 appears to be in a similar situation. As a side note, we've also noticed significant GPS accuracy improvements since the One UI Watch 5 update, at least on the Galaxy Watch 4.
With better location tracking, battery life, a slightly smoother UI, and more features, One UI Watch 5 seems like a fantastic update so far. It's a great feeling when your device improves after a new firmware update rather than becoming worse. And my Galaxy Watch 5 feels better to use than it did even fresh out of the box.