Battery life was one of the most disappointing things about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Despite Samsung touting bigger upgraded batteries for the Watch 5 series, the claims didn’t hold up in our initial testing. However, it looks like Samsung is adding a tool that lets you check your Watch 5’s battery health from your phone. It won’t entirely fix the issue, but it’ll at least help users better maintain their watches.
9to5Google first spotted support for the tool in the Watch 5 series’ most recent update. While the feature isn’t live yet, it’ll be called “connected device diagnostics” and works through the Samsung Members app. On top of battery health, the diagnostic tool will also let you run tests on the touchscreen and other features to make sure they’re working properly. The update also adds support for a forthcoming Camera Controller app feature for the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 series. The feature, which was announced last week, will let you control your phone’s zoom directly from the watch.
Details about the diagnostic tool were vague, and it’s not clear if it’ll be limited to Samsung smartphone owners. We’ll have to see how useful it actually is once it’s live. That said, keeping an eye on battery health in relation to your charging habits is always helpful if you want your device to last longer. In this case, accessing this information on a phone’s larger screen is good for folks with limited hand mobility or bad vision.
It’d be nice if Samsung nailed smartwatch battery life from the get-go, but any improvements to the Watch 5 series’ battery life — no matter how small — are welcome. For example, while the battery life of the Galaxy Watch 4 series was awful at launch, we’ve noticed an improvement after a few software updates. It’s not amazing, but my colleague Dan Seifert’s 42mm Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can now last the entire day instead of puttering out by 5PM. This diagnostic tool likely won’t be as major of an update by itself, but patching up Wear OS 3’s gaps is still progress in the right direction.