Adventures in Hypertiming or How One Weird Trick Changed My Battery Life

There’s a concept in automotive circles known as ‘hypermiling’. I heard about it in connection with the Toyota Prius’ (Priusii?). The basic idea was to drive in such a way as to maximize either your miles per gallon or miles per charge depending on the vehicle. Naturally, this is a thing with Tesla owners as well. They want to get the longest range between recharges.

As an owner of some dozen or more smartwatches, I’ve always been most interested in lengthy battery life and I sought ways to maximize my times between charging. With the Amazfit Bip I’ve pretty much smoked every other watch out there. I’m getting more than TWO MONTHS between charges now with it now and with barely any change in my normal usage.

The key to this has been the backlight. Or reducing the use of the backlight. Honestly, since the watch has a reflective screen, I found the backlight wasn’t really necessary except on rare occasions. Outside, inside during the day, or with normal house lighting at night, I can see the watchface just fine.

So I turned off the automatic backlight.

I did this one day when my battery was at 14%. I didn’t need to recharge my watch for another two weeks. Seriously, two weeks. That used to need a full 50% charge!

So after charging, I’ve been keeping track of my charges. It’s been almost two months now and I’m only now down to 15%. I’ve gone without charging for exactly 54 days as of today. Based on the battery usage – I’ve got another two weeks left now! (proof is in a series of screenshots below)

I haven’t done anything else really. I do use a custom watchface. I don’t use my watch to monitor exercise, heart rate, or anything else. I do perform upgrades whenever they come out. To me, it’s a watch that shows me my phone’s notifications. I’m not a power user, but I do get a dozen or so notifications per day. At night I press the crown to turn on the light to see the time or light the way to the bathroom. These habits didn’t change.

Unlike nearly all non-Amazfit watches the Bip has an always-on display and by simply not having the backlight turn on automatically I more than doubled my battery life. Wow.

This is what the future of watches feels like!


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