The TicWatch Pro 3 GPS / Ultra advertised up to 72-hour battery life, but we managed to stretch it to four days (96 hours) with a catch. Last year's TicWatch Pro 3 GPS update introduced automatic scheduling for essential mode. The same feature is available on the most recent TicWatch Pro 3 GPS out of the box. We scheduled the watch to automatically go to essential mode at 11.30 PM and stay there until 7.20 AM. Notifications at this time are distracting, and this alone was able to stretch the battery life from whole three days to whole four days.
The watch in essential mode will still tell the time, light the screen's backlight, take your pulse, count your steps or monitor your sleep. We were missing that the watch won't sound an alarm. If Google Pay is activated, google enforces you to enable pin or path security. Even after automatically going from essential to wear mode, the watch won't entirely turn Wear OS until one types a password. It may cause one to miss an alarm.
Battery life varies
Be advised that this depends on the amount of usage of the watch. We reached the fourth day with 12 percent battery life. One can compare this with a photo finish. We barely made it before the scheduled essential-only mode kicked in at 10 percent of battery charge.
I charged the watch yesterday at 8 PM, and today at 9 AM, I still have 93 percent of a charge. The watch has a 24-hour heart rate enabled, adjust the brightness to auto, 10 second screen time out. Lowering screen time to 5 seconds would probably further increase the battery life.
The general idea was to compare the last generation TicWatch Pro 3 GPS with the brand new TicWatch Pro 3 GPS Ultra and see what one might gain. From what we can tell, both watches bring a few important features that are very important to most end users and me. The support for Android Pay is there, with multiple-day battery life and an essential dual screen that will always tell the time on your watch and count your steps and heart for up to 45 days. Even at a 10 percent battery charge, the essential mode should run the watch for 3 to 4 additional days. And both watches will update to Wear 3.0 in 2022.
There are some subtle differences, more soon.