How to find out what is draining your Pebble’s Battery

I recently got a Pebble Time, I didn’t expect it to last as long as my Pebble Classic even though they say that they should have about the same battery life time even with the colored display – I’ve noticed that the time software has more animations – or at least so it seems – maybe they’re just fancier but still have the same amount of pixel updates as the old swipe/slide animations.

I was getting what seemed like 3-5 days out of my Pebble Time vs my Pebble classic at 5-7 days – it’s nice to have a schedule where you charge your Pebble once a week while at work, although I couldn’t seem to make it a week it wasn’t too bad.

A little while after they released the Pebble Health update¬†and the time software to the classic my watch couldn’t even last a day! This was very upsetting as I would spend half of my work day charging my watch and then be back at 60% by the time I got back home – I felt like I wasn’t even getting to use my watch throughout the day at that point.

Here’s the steps I took to troubleshoot my battery drain:

For each step if you continue to have bad battery drain charge your Pebble back up and try the next step until you find the culprit. You should be able to do these in any order and it’s most likely that #2 will be the most recent change if this problem pops up out of nowhere.

  1. After charging back up to 100% I turned my Pebble Time to airplane mode.
    • To accomplish this goto:
      1. Settings
      2. Bluetooth
      3. Select the “Connection” item, it should be the first item, it should then say “Airplane Mode” and display an airplane icon instead of the bluetooth logo
    • Why: This removes any doubt that there might be an issue with the bluetooth connection between your phone and watch.
    • If this fixes your problem: then your phone or watch may have issues keeping a bluetooth connection up – this often results in the same effect as keep your cell phone on with no coverage – it will continue to keep looking to get a connection back which will cause extra battery drain.
  2. Change your watch face to something simplistic – Pebble’s “Simplicity” watchface will do just fine or any of their watch faces should be fine
    • Why: Some watch faces require a lot of screen updates or may have other background tasks that will drain your Pebble’s battery
    • If this fixes your problem: try out other watch faces, if you have been using the same watchface and it started acting up it may have been an update from the developer, if you’re attached to the watch face enough try reaching out the developer – they’ll want to know of the issue and keep their user base active and happy.
  3. Disable activity tracker(s) (I never got to this step but it was the next step of my plan)
    • To accomplish this goto:
      1. Settings
      2. Activity
      3. Select “None”
    • Why: I’m not certain how activity trackers work on Pebble devices and what information they can collect exactly, but I assume they could cause the same issues as a watch face.
    • If this fixes your problem: either keep the activity tracker off or try out a new one

I ended up finding out that my Pebble Time’s battery was draining due to the watch face I was using – I’ve been using it for a long time, but some update or setting configuration must have caused it to drink my battery down :’-( I never tried out the 3rd option/step but that’s what I was going to try next.
Disclaimer: I’m not certain how activity trackers work on Pebble devices and what information they can collect exactly, but I assume they could cause the same issues as a watch face. It’s possible too that it could have been the Pebble Health – this is doubtful and would hopefully be quickly fixed if this did happen; I think you would have to turn it off via your phone, or maybe it’s not possible to turn it off?

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2 Comments

  1. Cody Swartz Miki
    Posted June 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Maybe worth of mention what happened to me. It began with screen issues. There is well known fix. Simply, screen connector is loose, so you have to put a bit of paper towel or foam to push on that connector and close the watch’s lid. However then it began. Screen was fixed, however severe battery discharge appeared. Watch couldn’t survive half-day… It seems the problem was I put too much paper towel inside the watch, however I cant explain how that would affect battery… Buttons were not affected, screen was not highlighted… but the important thing is, it helped to put reasonable amount of paper towel (this time I just put a bit of electrical tape 4-5 layers just in section of connector itself).

    • Cody Swartz Cody Swartz
      Posted July 3, 2016 at 1:34 am | Permalink

      That’s quite interesting Miki. My classic pebble did the screen tearing and I was still under warranty so I got a new one, but I did try one technique I heard which was to put it in hot water to get the adhesives going and then transition it over to cold and hope that the connection was better. Unfortunately, I think that made problems worse for me honestly when I tried that technique.

      It’s possible that the paper wasn’t allowing it to breath properly, as heat can degrade a battery’s life.

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