Battery life is always a concern with smartwatches. Most get you through the day but it all depends on how you’re using them and if they’re connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network. Samsung has rolled out a new update for the Gear S3 today. It’s called a Value Pack update and it brings a handful of new features for the smartwatch. One of the features enables the smartwatch’s battery to last for 40 days.
The Value Pack update is a major firmware update for the Gear S3. Samsung has updated its smartwatch to Tizen 3.0. That’s the latest version of its own OS that ships with the Gear Sport.
So how does the new update extend the smartwatch’s battery life to 40 days? It has a new feature called “Watch only” mode. As the name suggests, this mode will disable all of the smart functionality of the Gear S3 and make it function as any other watch. In this mode, the Gear S3 will only be good for keeping an eye on the time and nothing else.
The implementation of this feature leaves a lot to be desired, though. The Gear S3 doesn’t show the time constantly even when this mode is enabled. Users have to press the power button to check the time after which the display goes blank once again.
If the idea was to turn the smartwatch into a regular watch with this feature, at least Samsung could have thought that having users press the power button again and again to check the time isn’t conducive to a good user experience.
The Watch only mode can be enabled on the Gear S3 by launching the settings menu and going into the Battery management section.