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Smart Watch Battery replacement

The dirty little secret about smart watches. I bought an LG watch about 2 years ago and now the rechargeable battery has died. I managed to get a replacement part (from Texas) but I cannot get anyone to install. The manufacturers do not advertise that the general lifetime of Li-ion batteries is about 3 years. In the case of Apple, the replacement is about the same price as a new watch. The manufacturers are relying on the users replacing their watches every time a new model is released.

I will be switching back to a traditional watch which either does not require a battery or one that has easily replaceable batteries.

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Welcome to the Community @allant

Actually they do, in a way. This is from a battery shop, but many products state or allude to how long they should last if only in the finer print. About repairing? Not so much.

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You may be interested in these other topics

Also, from an LG Smart watch owners manual

G Watch’s battery can’t be removed. Don’t attempt to open the watch

but as you write, lots about managing the battery life on a charge but nothing about the rechargeable life of the battery.

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It is important with Li batteries in devices eg Smartphones and watches that they are recharged to no more than 80% if it can be avoided and they should not usually be discharged below 20% as this impairs their lifetime. LiFePO4 are a bit different to other Li ones though and can be discharged and charged without as drastic longevity issues but these are not found in personal smart devices.

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It is unlikely that you will get a business to install the battery, even if they have the ability to do so. This is for a number of reasons…

  • they won’t be able to determine if the battery is genuine OEM product (there are a lot of fakes/non-genuines on the market which will look and be labelled with manufacture details) or meets the operating specifications of the watch.
  • If the battery causes damage to the watch (from dot point 1) and the watch fails, it may be seen by the consumer that the business has caused the watch to fail or be damaged. This poses challenges under the Australian Consumer Law.

Have you tried to visit an independent electronic fix it type business, one that replaces screen or batteries in a range of smart devices (phones, tablets etc). It is possible they they may be able to change the battery, however, they possibly will refuse to use the battery you have purchased but their own (for the above reasons).

If you wish to use your own battery and the risks associated with using it, they may be videos or websites which show how it can be done. You may however need special tools to open the casing.

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If you feel brave, you can always try iFixit’s guides to repairing LG watches.

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It’s my go to on many brands of smart devices I replace batteries in. Often in older devices there is no OEM you can only get aftermarket batteries, knowing who to buy from then becomes important in selecting good aftermarket product.

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Thanks for the advice. I have found 1 business which have agreed to at least look at it. I think it is a lost cause and I will be reverting to a traditional watch.

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@allant have a look at @postulative‘s post just above. IFixit are often a great resource in regards to battery replacement. However see if the 1 business will undertake the repair/replacement for you. Otherwise find out who are authorised Repair facilities for LG in Australia as they have to undertake warranty repairs on faulty products so may be able even if out of warranty carry out the replacement (at your cost) and even if it is a send away job you may be able to get it done just with a bit more delay and a little more expense.

Another option to try is see if LG will respond to a formal request for replacement or if not willing then a substantial discount on the purchase of a new model. This may be a better way out of your dilemma.

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@allant, if you do that be prepared for a push back, but also be prepared to argue that based on the price and market position and whatever claims you can document, that the Australian Consumer Law applies and they should repair or replace it, or as a fallback a discount. Unfortunately many manufacturers that offer discounts as a ‘remedy’ require the replacement to be purchased direct, so say 30% off RRP, but the street prices might be lower.

I recommend you research your rights under the ACL (search the Community using the search tool) for links and the how to’s. Your battery problem may or may not fall under it but knowing your rights and how to pursue them may be invaluable now or in future.

Plz post back about how you go as it may help others.

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I am aware of at least one product line where warranty repair is impossible in a practical sense. Failed products are replaced with refurbished ones so an out of warranty walk-in with a failed product may in fact get denied a repair because the manufacturer has not approved one. The faulty product (value dependent) is returned to ‘a factory’ for assessment and refurbishment, often meaning replacing much of ‘the works’ except the case.

As you wrote, it is possible a speciality shop can repair it even when the warranty service centre declines.

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Let us know how you get on.

Batteries are a difficult one to claim under warranty (outside the manufacturer warranty) as they have a finite life and are known to suffer from poorer rechargeability over time (as indicated above). They are often considered a consumable item (have manufacturer warranties less than the rest of the product - a car is a good example). As they are consumables and known to often be the weakest part of devices, they should be replaceable.

If the battery can’t be replaced, this fits into the “Right to Repair” which is discussed elsewhere on this forum. One should also expect a $300 watch to last longer than the life of a battery (2 years), and as such as indicated by some of the above posts, could be a claim under consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

Depending on the watch, it appears that the battery is replaceable. Model LM-W315 manual states:

Embedded battery
Warning Notice for Battery replacement

  • For your safety, do not remove the battery incorporated in the product. If you need to replace the battery, take it to the nearest authorised LG electronics service point or dealer for assistance.
  • Li-Ion Battery is a hazardous component which can cause injury.
  • Battery replacement by non-qualified professional can cause damage to your device.

So it does appear that the battery is replaceable in some LG smart watches (don’t know your watch model, but is likely it can be replaced). Hopefully the business you have found is able to replace the battery so that you enjoy further use of the watch.

Having a device that needs regular recharging often means that it won’t last as long battery wise as a traditional device where a battery may last many years between replacement. Smart devices do push battery life, along with apps and other things (GPS, Bluetooth, WIFI) which run in the background.

I have friends that have smart watches that they replace regularly (which I get the feeling is to keep up with the Joneses), but I am happy to stick with my 15 year old Seiko where the battery lasts around 5 years (and $30 for s straight battery change - more for a seal as well) be changes

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I have a Citizen Eco-Drive which recharges by solar or strong enough lighting, it uses a capacitor to hold the charge. After 20 years last year I had to get a new capacitor at a cost of $90 incl labour. I think it is a great watch but now the sands of time are defacing the crystal face and they don’t make them for my model anymore so if replaced it will no longer be a 200m water resistant one but it holds a special place as it was from my father who has now passed away so sentimentality comes to the fore. There are new Eco-Drives on the market and this one may be retired and a new one added to my wrist instead…remains to be seen however :slightly_smiling_face:

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This watch will not be covered by warranty as it was not purchased in Australia. I was aware of this when I bought it but this model was not available in Australia. I will see how I get on. Thank you for your helpful comments.

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Many crystals are standard sizes. Try a local watch repair. In Melbourne I could recommend one that does repairs for many jewellers, at least if he is surviving lockdown. You should be able to find a similar watchmaker, and many have connections in HK for parts that don’t exist here.

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Before Apple Watch (I bought the second release, aka Series 1 - battery was still good when I sold it - and kept that until I bought a Series 5 - still getting 2 days before needing recharge but I dont usually leave it more than a day.) I actually wanted a Withings Activite Pop. It would track sleep and thats really all I wanted it for because I was over Fitbit. Sadly they sold out to someone else (I forget who) and the Pop was no longer produced. Battery life was a year with that model. I think the current models do more but battery life is now down to weeks instead, IIRC. I’d still consider one, though. It would also free me from the Apple Ecosystem, phonewise.

OTOH I love Apple Pay.

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That makes it even more challenging. Buying overseas (either online in Australia or when one could travel overseas), makes warranty claims extremely difficult.

LG also on their website also indicate they don’t have an international warranties for smart devices (one that extends over country borders), but warranties which are only valid within the country of purchase.

Good luck with getting the battery changed and let us know how you get on.

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I had a similar issue with a TomTom Sports watch. I contacted them and they said hard luck, it’s out of warranty. I went back to them and told them that for the money I’d paid it wasn’t acceptable for a watch to be useless after two years and laid out a consumer’s rights to merchantable quality, I think I also mentioned being a member of Choice. They then came back and sent me a new watch as a one-off goodwill measure.

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My second hand Garmin Fenix 3 GPS sports watch is still going fine after 6 yrs. I put it on the charger once a week. So some brands have an acceptable life.

Ifixit has a repair guide for battery replacement saying 5min and easy job, battery are readily available for it.

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Hi, I have an Eco-Drive that is nearly as old and it still holds a reasonable charge. The crystal got quite scratched and I improved this considerably by buying tubes of polishing paste that contains diamond in various grades, it isn’t like new as a few of the scratches are deep. Also found that the little magnifying lens over the date is only glued on.

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