Do Smartwatches need a SIM Card?

A smartwatch does not nececeraly need a SIM card for cellular connectivity. Modern smartwatches with cellular feature comes with an eSIM or virtual SIM for cellular connectivity.

does a smartwatch need a sim card

In this article, we will answer your question, “does a smartwatch need a sim card?” This article will also provide everything you want to know about a smartwatch with a SIM card, including how to activate it. 

A smartwatch with SIM card or cellular feature allows you to leave your phone behind at home and still allows to make phone calls or send SMS. Old generation smartwatch need SIM card to connect to a cellular network. On the other hand, modern smartwatches from Apple, Samsung,etc. comes with a virtual SIM card and it do not require a physical SIM.

Related Articles: Cheap Smartwatches under $50

How does it works?

A smartwatch usually works by connecting it to a smartphone through Bluetooth. It gets the data from the smartphone for its various functions that need an internet connection.

However, even with an internet connection, smartwatches(smartwatch without LTE) do not allow you to speak directly from the smartwatch. But with the introduction of smartwatches with a SIM card, it can connect directly to the cellular network like a smartphone.

Once it is connected to the cellular network, you can do everything you do with a smartwatch. For example, a smartwatch with a SIM card can make calls, send SMS or a WhatsApp message, or even allow you to use various apps with the smartwatch. 

People have many questions about the SIM card for the smartwatch. Let us clear it here. 

What is a SIM card for a smartwatch?

A SIM card(subscriber identity module) is an integrated circuit with an international mobile subscriber identity number that allows smartphone or smartwatch subscribers to connect to a cellular network.

A SIM card is used by smartwatches that come with LTE features. So if you want to use your smartwatch as a standalone smartwatch, you have to buy a smartwatch with LTE. 

Top smartwatch manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, and Garmin have LTE enable smartwatch models. Make sure you buy a smartwatch with the LTE feature if you want to use the LTE feature. 

I have already written an article on the best standalone smartwatches that you can buy in 2020. You can check the article for more details about smartwatches that make calls even without a smartphone. 

What is the Smartwatch with LTE and without LTE?

So let us see what the main difference between a smartwatch with LTE and without LTE is. As I said earlier, a smartwatch with LTE connects to a cellular network or cellular tower directly. In contrast, a smartwatch without LTE does not connect to a cellular network directly. Instead, it connects to the smartphone and gets the data from the smartphone for its data needs.

What is the Advantages and Disadvantages of Smartwatch with LTE?

Pros
  • Make calls and SMS directly from the smartwatch without a phone.
  • Allows you to the same number on smartwatch and smartphone.
  • No Physical SIM: Comes with an eSIM.
  • It comes with a speaker and Microphone.
  • Have internet connectivity so that you can use mobile apps that need the internet.
Cons
  • It costs more than a smartwatch without LTE.
  • Need cellular subscription that adds extra cost every month.
  • Battery drains faster.
  • Not every cellular offers a smartwatch plan.
  • Bulky.

How smartwatch with a SIM card works?

A smartwatch with a SIM card uses the same number as on your smartphone. In other words, a smartwatch with an LTE feature allows you to use the same number on your smartwatch and smartphone. 

So you can receive phone calls and SMS on your smartwatch as well, even when you are away from the smartphone. 

Where can I get a SIM card for Smartwatch?

Are you worried about where do I get a sim card for my smartwatch? 

No worries!

Like on a smartphone, you do not need to buy a SIM card for a smartwatch. Today smartwatch with LTE comes with a non-removable eSIM that has all the necessary SIM card information such as unique serial number (ICCID), international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) number, security authentication number, PIN, etc. 

So you do not need to go to a store to buy a separate SIM card for your smartwatch. 

How to activate the smartwatch with a SIM card?

You can activate the LTE feature by contacting your service provider. You can integrate the cellular connectivity to your smartwatch by visiting the service provider’s website or app.  

If you face any difficulties in activating LTE, you must contact customer care by phone with your smartwatch IMEI number. You can locate the IMEI number of a smartwatch in the settings.

Here is an informational article on how to activate LTE on Samsung smartwatches. If you are an Apple watch user, then you can check the instructions here.

Does it cost money to use LTE on a smartwatch?

LTE services are an additional service offered by cellular companies. It cost at least $10 per month. Depending on the service provider, the charges may vary. 

On top of that, an LTE version of a smartwatch costs more than a smartwatch without LTE services. 

Does it worth buying a smartwatch with LTE?

A smartwatch with LTE does not require for everyone. If you want to carry your smartphone and still want to make calls, SMS, etc., then you can make go for a smartwatch. 

For example, when going to a gym or running, it is not easy to carry a smartphone along with you. During these kinds of activities, your phone may fall off and even damage it.

If you have a smartwatch with LTE, you can leave your smartphone behind the home, and still, you can manage your calls, SMS, and other apps from the smartwatch. 

Most of the LTE smartwatches allow you to store or stream music even without a smartphone. The smartwatches I listed on best smartwatches that make calls without a phone come with features like built-in music storage and built-in GPS for navigation. 

Best Smartwatch with LTE for Android?

Even though a standalone smartwatch work without a smartphone. You should buy a smartwatch work with the phone that you currently own. 

So if you are an Android smartphone, then Samsung Galaxy Watch3, Galaxy Active2, etc. are best for you. It pairs and works seamlessly with Android smartphones. 

Best Standalone Smartwatch for Apple Phone?

If you are an Apple phone user, you must buy an Apple Watch itself rather than an Android watch because some features do not work if you pair an android smartwatch with an Apple phone and vice versa.

Smartwatches with LTE work well in terms of both connectivity and sound clarity. So the listener or the other side can hear you clearly without any problem.

Most of the LTE smartwatches come with a loudspeaker as well. So you can easily hear without any trouble. In addition to that, you can pair your smartwatch with compatible earbuds so you can listen to music or attend a call as you do it with a smartphone. 

So I hope that now you have answered your question; Does a Smartwatch need a SIM Card? I also hope that now you have a clear idea about how a smartwatch with SIM cards works.

As an additional note, a standalone smartwatch is not necessary for everyone. Having a smartwatch allows you to access cellular features right from your wrist. But it not necessary for most of us if you are always carrying a smartphone with you. 

If you have any further queries, please feel free to comment below. We will also appreciate it if you already own a smartwatch with LTE and your smartwatch experience with cellular connectivity.  

I’m Saneesh VS. I’m a Registered Nurse by Profession, but my passion lies in Gadgets like smartwatches, fitness trackers and fitness. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my knowledge to help people make informed decisions on what they need to buy or use in their everyday lives.

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