South Africans who want a smartwatch that does not require charging every day have a wide assortment of excellent models to choose from.
Smartwatches are increasingly being adopted due to their wealth of features, which go well beyond telling the time.
However, a conventional watch still offers one significant benefit over its smarter siblings — it does not have to be recharged.
The main reason for this is that a basic digital display or analogue clock demands very little in terms of power.
Capable smartwatches typically pack colourful touch displays and a plethora of sensors — including for location tracking, wireless communication, contactless payments, and monitoring various health metrics.
Two brands generally available in South Africa stand out when it comes to long-lasting batteries — Garmin and Huawei.
Sports and adventure-focused Garmin says its smartwatches should get a week of usage between charges, at minimum.
The only exceptions are the Lily, Vivomove, and first-generation Venu SQ watches, which still boast a respectable 5-day battery life.
Previously, the company achieved this by using low-resolution displays with only a few colours — often simple monochromatic displays.
However, many of its more recent models feature AMOLED screens with wide colour palette, while still boasting several weeks of battery life.
Garmin even has models with built-in solar panels for recharging while outdoors, a place where many of its biggest fans spend a lot of their time.
Huawei has also impressed with the long battery life of its smartwatches.
However, unless you have a Huawei smartphone, you might find that many of the features are quite limited.
For example, sending text messages via apps on your watch might be difficult or impossible when linking it to a Samsung or Apple smartphone.
In addition, none of Huawei’s smartwatches support tap payments, while all the other major brands do.
Smartwatch tap payments offer a convenient way of making purchases as an alternative to using your phone or NFC-enabled payment card.
How we chose our top 10
We’ve assembled a list of ten of the best smartwatches with long battery life that you can buy in South Africa.
The minimum requirements for inclusion on this list were 2-day battery life, built-in GPS, and heart rate monitoring.
The GPS capability disqualifies several smart bands that have excellent battery life.
If you don’t need the more advanced features of a fully-fledged smartwatch, those options might also be worth considering, as they can be substantially more affordable.
We also only included one variant from each model, so be aware that you might find variants with even better or worse batteries under each model.
Below are 10 of the best smartwatches with long battery life that you can buy in South Africa in February 2024.
Amazfit GTR 4 — From R4,999 (Bash)
- Regular usage — Up to 14 days
- Heavy usage — Up to 7 days
Fitbit Versa 4 — From R5,385 (GeeWiz)
- Light usage — Up to 6 days
- Regular usage — Up to 3 days
Garmin Forerunner 255s — From R6,499 (Takealot)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 12 days
Garmin Instinct Solar 2 — From R7,799 (NavWorld)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 40 days/unlimited with solar recharging
- Consistent GPS Mode — Up to 60 hours/145 hours with solar recharging
Garmin Venu 3 — From R9,499 (easyBike)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 14 days
Garmin Forerunner 965 — From R12,849 (easyBike)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 23 days
Garmin 7X Pro — From R18,999 (Takealot)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 28 days/37 days with solar recharging
- Consistent GPS Mode — Up to 89 hours
Garmin Epix Pro Gen 2 51mm — From R19,999 (Takealot)
- Smartwatch Mode — Up to 31 days
- Consistent GPS Mode — Up to 82 hours
Huawei Watch GT 4 — From R5,399 (Technomobi)
- Light usage — Up to 14 days
- Regular usage— Up to 8 days
Huawei Watch 4 — From R7,299 (Huawei Online Store)
- Light usage — Up to 12 days
- Regular usage— Up to 4.5 days