The Prime strap beefs up Apple Watch’s battery life

prime
The Apple Watch is no exception as it almost always requires a daily charge. Battery bands are becoming a staple accessory, and here’s another one to add to the list — the Prime strap. What’s unique about Prime is that it uses the 6-pin port under the metal shield on the bottom of the watch to charge the wearable.

PrimeThe watch band itself houses two changeable 150mAh batteries on both sides of the band that charge the watch via the 6-pin port. It’s more like you’re placing your Apple Watch into a permanent power bank. Which brings us to the band itself. It looks bulky and is visually unappealing. There’s a stainless steel version and one that’s made of aluminum alloy, which come in two sizes of 38mm or 42mm. They both look like bulkier straps you’d find on old calculator watches.

One Prime battery adds nine hours to the lifespan of the watch, so as the kit includes two, the beefy watch band should extend the battery life by 18 hours. Swapping batteries is pretty simple as all you have to do is tap on the side compartments of the band to open them. Then take the batteries out and pop the new ones in. There’s a color LED light on the strap that displays the status of the battery.

BrilleTark, the makers of this device, launched the Kickstarter recently and has currently made $6,950 of its $30,000 goal.

The company is also offering a Prime Bank, where you can store and recharge your batteries on the go. The batteries take about 2.5 hours to fully charge, and the Bank itself is an all-in-one charger that has a Lighting port so you can charge your phone at the same time. If you don’t want the Bank, the standard kit comes with desktop recharger with a USB charging port and an AC plug.

You’ll also be getting a Prime Toolkit with screws, a screwdriver, and a 6-pin port opener. That’s right, buying the band means you’ll have to put the whole thing together yourself, though it doesn’t look complicated.

And to top it all off is a hefty price tag. The Super Early Bird option lists aluminum alloy variant for $200, and that comes with everything including the Prime Bank. The stainless steel Super Early Bird costs $300. There’s a lot of pricing options to choose from, but it goes all the way up to $380.

It’s a pricey accessory for a bulky watch band, but sometimes the option for a little more juice is worth it.

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Pro Tip: Max out your iPhone battery life with this extreme trick

Save your battery with this pretty extreme trick.

My iPhone 6 Plus is a battery hog. I routinely get around 12 hours off of one full charge. I carry around external battery packs to make sure I’m not short when it matters.

I’d do pretty much anything to increase the amount of battery I have left at the end of the day, including the following fairly extreme trick.

Testing this out, I fully charged my iPhone 6 Plus twice. The first time, I used it normally, including some down time as I slept through the night. I got 12 hours and 40 minutes of battery life.

The second time, I applied the settings that David Barnard on Twitter pointed out: I turned on Airplane mode, Do Not Disturb Mode, and Low Power mode.

I did use Wi-Fi at some points during this time, and even once turned off Airplane mode to send a text or two. I got 21 hours of battery life. If I ever need to keep my iPhone charged for a long period of time, I’m doing this again.

Here’s how to enable all three systems to get this kind of battery savings:

 

Airplane mode is but a swipe and a tap away.

Airplane mode – simply swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen to bring up the Command Center, then tap the little airplane icon to the left of the upper row of icons. All your iPhone’s connectivity will shut down, including the ability to make phone calls, send texts, use Wi-Fi, and all your Bluetooth devices will no longer be connected to your iPhone, including your Apple Watch.

Do not disturb is right here.

Do Not Disturb – you can find this in the Command Center also. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap on the little moon icon. This will silence any calls, alerts, or notifications that you might get while your iPhone is locked

Low Battery Mode has its own little indicator and toggle switch.

Low Power Mode – this is new to iOS 9, and can be found in Settings > Battery on your iPhone. Toggle Low Power Mode to ON. Your battery icon at the top of your iPhone screen will turn yellow to let you know it’s enabled. It will reduce or completely turn off email fetch, Hey Siri, background app refresh, automatic downloads, Wi-Fi associations, and some visual effects.

You’ll note that this is a fairly extreme way to save your battery. Airplane mode keeps you completely shut off from all communication on your iPhone. That could totally be worth it if you want to arrive somewhere with some battery left, or want to wake up with a usable iPhone, though, and you’re stuck without a charger.

Even just putting your iPhone into Low Power Mode and Do Not Disturb will show you some gains in your iPhone battery life, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

 

 

 

Apple iPhone 6s battery life test

Our Apple iPhone 6s unit arrived earlier this week and we spent some really quality time with the handset. It turned out its A9 chip is a beast, while its new camera is rather unimpressive. The 3D Touch on the other hand is yet to prove itself as a useful innovation.

Apple iPhone 6s

Anyway, the review is live now and it’s time we share the complete battery life breakdown. Are the new chip and new iOS making it up for the smaller battery? Let’s find out.

Our first test gauges the 3G talk time endurance and the iPhone 6s posted a rather mediocre result of 9 hours and 41 minutes.

Talk time

  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 33:20h
  • Meizu MX 4-core 10:00h
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley 10:00h
  • HTC One mini 20 9:58h
  • HTC One X 9:57h
  • Oppo R5 9:45h
  • Apple iPhone 6s 9:41h
  • BlackBerry Z10 8:20h
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380 6:52h

The web browsing performance on the updated Safari app turned out nothing short of impressive, scoring almost 12 and a half hours before the battery went dead.

Web browsing

  • Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G 16:41h
  • Nokia Lumia 1520 12:40h
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 12:37h
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows 12:31h
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim 12:30h
  • HTC One (M8) 12:29h
  • Apple iPhone 6s 12:27h
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra12:17h
  • Sony Xperia Z3 12:03h
  • Nokia XL 11:54h
  • Sony Xperia Z3+ 11:51h
  • HTC Desire 816 11:48h
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790 4:02h

The video playback endurance turned out very good, if not quite as impressive – the iPhone 6s is capable of playing movies for more than 10 and a half hours, before its battery reaches the critical 10%. The test was done at 50% brightness (which is higher than the real 50% mark) and on the default Video app.

Video playback

  • LG G Flex 19:57h
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows 11:15h
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus 11:15h
  • Meizu m1 note 11:09h
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 11:02h
  • Asus PadFone X 11:01h
  • Apple iPhone 6s 10:46h
  • BlackBerry Passport 10:46h
  • vivo X5Max 10:44h
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 10:41h
  • LG G Flex2 10:35h
  • HTC Desire Eye 10:35h
  • Lenovo Vibe X2 5:09h

The iPhone 6s posted very balanced score across all of our tests – it can do about 10 hours of 3G calls or video playback on a single charge, while you can browse on Wi-Fi for half a day. The standby endurance turned out rather average – the phone will last about 8 days on a single charge if left idle.

Apple iPhone 6s

So, the total endurance of the iPhone 6s is 62 hours – an hour better than the iPhone 6. This means 62 hours is how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the iPhone 6s for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily.

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

iPhone 6s Plus battery rated 2750 mAH, 5% smaller capacity than iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone-6s-battery

Like iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus will also have a smaller battery than its predecessor.  Chinese website Apple.Club.TW has obtained photos of the iPhone 6s Plus battery that clearly show a capacity of 2750 mAH (milliampere hour). This is compared to 2915 mAH battery in the iPhone 6 Plus, about a 5% reduction. This mirrors the already-known battery capacity reduction in the 4.7 inch iPhone 6s, which has a 1715 mAH battery. This is also 5% smaller than the 1810 mAH battery in the iPhone 6.

It appears that Apple has had to dedicate room in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch sensors and Taptic Engine, leaving less room for battery. However, Apple continues to quote the same battery life stats as with the iPhone 6 Plus. This means users should not notice any degradation in how long they can use their new phones compared to previous year’s generation, when the new iPhone lands in customers’ hands on Friday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 18.29.11

Apple can achieve the same battery without making the battery bigger. It is likely a combination of more efficient internal components (such as a more power-efficient processor) and software improvements made in iOS 9, that can extend iPhone battery life by up to an hour. iOS 9 also includes Low Power Mode to prolong battery life further in critical situations.

Full image of the iPhone 6s Plus battery:

6splus02

Portable batteries for Apple Watch have already arrived.

Keep your Apple Watch alive for longer with Nomad Pod. Photo: Nomad

It seemed like it took accessory makers forever to make battery pack cases for the iPhone, but companies are wasting no time with Apple Watch accessories, and the first portable battery for Apple’s wearable is already here.

Nomad introduced it’s answer for the Apple Watch’s battery woes with the Pod, a small portable power station for your Apple Watch that will keep it ticking well past the 18 hour battery life Tim Cook promised.

apple-nomad-pod

The Nomad Pod houses a high density 1800mAH lithium polymer rechargeable battery that can completely recharge your Apple Watch from dead to 100% four times.

It’s smaller than a hockey puck, weighs a mere 80 grams, and also packs a cable manager for the Apple Watch. There are also three color options to match your style. Pricing starts at $59 with the first 5000 units expected to ship in June. Not soon enough to recharge your Apple Watch on launch day, but just in time to give your first wearable extra power for the summer.

The Apple Watch Battery Is Replaceable.

The Apple Watch got its grand unveiling yesterday. But as tech watchers chewed over the price-tag for the latest luxury gizmo to be born in Cupertino talk turned to obsolescence.

The Apple Watch starts at $349 for the sports watch and rises to a cool $17,000 for top-of-the-luxury-line 18-karat gold Edition. But who wants to shell out thousands for an add-on electronic device that’s likely going to be obsolete in two years?

Well, when it comes to the battery at least, owners of Apple Watch will be able to extend its lifespan. An Apple spokesman confirmed to TechCrunch the “battery is replaceable”. Albeit, it’s not clear how much it will cost to send in your wearable to Apple to get it returned with a new cell in place. Update: We understand the lifecycle of the battery is around three years.

The other potential obsolescence issue relates to the processor. It’s not clear whether Apple will offer any kind of CPU and/or RAM upgrade to existing owners. At the time of writing Apple had not responded to our request for clarification. We’ll update this post with any additional details. (Given the varying price-points, it’s possible Apple might offer certain types of internal upgrades to owners of only the more premium Apple Watches — who’ve shelled out the most in the first place.)

Even so, battery longevity is arguably more of a pressing issue, given that the power demands for such a lightweight wearable are constrained by usage limitations. The use-cases Apple is sketching are mostly about allowing the owner to reduce their exposure to digital noise via curated notifications and selective communications.

How much more processing clout you need to power that is up for debate, especially given that the Watch requires its wearers also own an iPhone pocket computer — which they likely will continue to upgrade, per carrier cycles.

 The fitness angle for Apple’s wearable is probably going to be the most power thirsty use-case, based on utilizing more sensor tech, so it’s likely no accident the sports watch version is the cheapest — and thus the least painful to upgrade entirely. Buyers of the $17,000 watch clearly aren’t going to be interested in sweating all over their luxury tech.

One thing is amply clear: the daily battery life of the Watch will be a pain-point. Apple is claiming it will be good for “all-day mixed usage” — albeit that boils down to just “90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours”.

If you’re using the Watch for a workout with the heart rate sensor turned on usage drops to up to seven hours. Music playback squeezes its battery life to up to 6.5 hours. And taking phone calls will limit usage to up to three hours.

If you’re happy just using your expensive smartwatch as a timepiece the battery can apparently last up to two days — which still sounds laughably brief to anyone who wears a non-smartwatch. And if you’re used to owning automatic mechanical timepieces stamped with a luxury brand you are absolutely not used to having to charge your high class wrist-wear every other day.

Apple extends its iPhone 5 battery replacement program until 2016.

Is this a familiar sight for your iPhone 5?

Battery life is one of the most discussed aspects of the iPhone, but some handsets have it worse than others.

If you bought an iPhone 5 in the six month window between September 2012 and January 2013, you could be eligible for a free replacement due to a battery fault.

Apple first launched its iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program back in August 2014, and has now extended it past its original deadline of March 1, 2015 to January next year. That means that if you’re one of the affected customers, and you’ve not yet done anything about it, you’ve still got a bit longer to do so.

“Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently,” Apple notes. “The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.”

To find out, you can visit Apple’s website and enter your iPhone’s serial number; discoverable by going to Settings > General > About on your iPhone handset. Apple will then run a check to see whether you bought one of the affected batch of devices. If so, simply take your iPhone 5 to any Apple store, online tech support, or authorized reseller, and they’ll swap out the battery for you free of charge.

Although initially available only in select countries, the program is now available worldwide.