For many, myself included, it will all come down to battery life when choosing to buy a smartwatch. I’ve held off until the Apple Watch comes out because I want to see what smartwatches can truly offer, not just the Apple Watch, but the smartwatches that will try to outshine it as well. Since Apple was forced to compromise on battery life with its own offering, it will be giving users the option of a “Power Reserve” feature that will preserve battery life by only showing you the time.
In the days leading up to Apple’s big event next week, which is rumored to be focused on the Apple Watch, a new detail about the company’s first wearable has been leaked. Along with all other features mentioned during Tim Cook’s unveiling of the smartwatch in September, the device will also come with a feature called Power Reserve, according to The New York Times. The report, which cites an anonymous Apple employee, claims that the unannounced feature will allow the watch operate in a mode that only shows the current time on its display, presumably to preserve battery power for other functions. A standby mode for a wearable isn’t particularly innovative, but given the questions surrounding the battery life of the Apple Watch (about a day, according to Apple), a Power Reserve feature dedicated to preserving battery life could be the device’s saving grace. Another surprising detail revealed in the report is that during field testing of the Apple Watch, engineers disguised the device with a fake casing to make it look like a Samsung smartwatch. So if you’ve seen Apple employees walking around with what looks like a Samsung Gear and wondered why, you now have an answer to the mystery.