[Update: watchOS 6.1 beta] Apple Watch Series 5 battery life struggling to last all day for some users

[Update 10/7: Disabling always-on display and other features saw minimal battery life gain. Reluctantly, I installed watchOS 6.1 beta over the weekend as a last resort troubleshooting step before exchanging the hardware. We don’t yet know when this watchOS update will be released or if it intentionally targets a battery life bug.

However, after three days of testing, watchOS 6.1 beta on Apple Watch Series 5 with always-on display enabled has turned 12 hour battery life into 17.5 hours. We’ll have our full review after watchOS 6.1 is officially released. Original coverage of the battery life situation without watchOS 6.1 beta below.]

I’ve been eager to review the new Apple Watch for the fifth consecutive year, but there’s just one problem: I can’t get through a full day without it dying. Apple Watch Series 5 introduces an always-on display so you can read the time at a glance, and Apple says battery life is unchanged from Series 4 models.

My routine hasn’t changed either, but my battery life experience has. Battery life problems are not affecting everyone, but Apple Watch Series 5 battery problems are definitely affecting more customers than just me.

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