Why 3 years is a good guideline for a new purchase

As Schiller once said:

As Schiller once said: “The day will come that will solve everything” – so does the smartwatch on our arm.

We wear them on our wrists all day, some take them to bed with us: the smartwatch is an everyday companion that you won’t want to be without again anytime soon.

We bring light into the darkness and answer the question of how you can tell that the smartwatch belongs in its well-deserved retirement. And which new model you should rely on afterwards.

How long do smartwatches last on average?

The Apple Watch Series 7 on the arm of GameStar Tech editor Maxe Schwind.

The Apple Watch Series 7 on the arm of GameStar Tech editor Maxe Schwind.

The most important indicator of the lifespan of a smartwatch is the battery. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery can typically hold a full charge for about 300 to 500 charge cycles.

In theory this means: The battery will remain in pristine condition for two to three years.

The practice looks different: Smartwatches only have small batteries and usually have to be charged daily. In short, this means: more charging cycles. Therefore, you can expect your smartwatch battery to last less than the estimated two to three years before it begins to weaken and drain more quickly.

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Can I also use my smartwatch for five or six years? Of course, but the battery will be able to hold less and less energy over time. This means that you have to plug your chronometer into electricity more often – even during the day. However, there will be no full security support from the manufacturers through updates over this long period of time.

A good indicator is therefore three years or when you notice that the battery level is getting lower noticeably faster.

How do I know it’s time for a new smartwatch?

Three years is a guide, but there’s also solid evidence of when you might want to replace your time iron.

  • Your smartwatch battery will drain faster.
  • There are no more updates available for your model.
  • You will notice noticeable performance losses such as lags or freezes.
  • Some apps are no longer available for your version.
  • Your watch has suffered physical damage that is costly to repair.

The last point in particular raises the question of effort and costs. You can replace the smartwatch battery or a scratched screen, but it costs money. Depending on the age of the watch, a direct upgrade may therefore be worthwhile.

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Here Maxe describes his very own journey to and with the Apple Watch:

Which Apple Watch should I update to?

It is important to know for the change: Apple Watch 3 and its previous versions no longer receive updates.

Of course, it tends to be worthwhile to use the current model. However, the difference between Apple Watch Series 7 and 8 is marginal. If you want to save money, you can use the 2021 version.

Which Wear OS smartwatch should I update to?

Not everyone lives in the Apple cosmos, but an upgrade to a smartwatch compatible with Android is of course still worthwhile.

In our test, we diagnosed small weaknesses in the Pixel Watch. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s a strong smartwatch. The second iteration will follow soon. Both will currently be provided with updates for years to come.

Another big player is Samsung. There’s a lot of rumor going around here about the latest version 6, but a Galaxy Watch 4 is a good grab. As the manufacturer announced at an event at the time, Samsung’s watches will receive security updates for four years. In the case of the fourth iteration of the Galaxy Watch, that would be by mid-2025.

Smartwatches are loyal companions and are no longer just timepieces. Health and fitness features have become just as important as notifications, weather data or sleep tracking. How often do you change your smartwatch? Are you a smartwatch wearer at all? Feel free to write it in the comments.

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