Are smartwatches really smart, if they can’t do anything without the help of your phone? From the time smartwatches came into existence, they are seen as a mere extension for smartphones mostly used for viewing incoming phone notifications on the wrist!
But that isn’t the case anymore, with LTE, GPS, and NFC support smartwatches today are making their way as a standalone device. However, not all smartwatches support these features yet, but the day is not too far when every smartwatch will work independently from the phone.
But currently, we have only a few good options of smartwatches that come with a voice calling facility and another important feature for which we are totally dependent on our phones like location tracking, bill payments, listening to music, etc.
In this article, we bring you 5 such smartwatches that can help you leave your phone at home and don’t even miss it! So the question is, are you ready to ditch your smartphone?
Quick links to read the specific section of the article:
- Best Standalone Smartwatch With SIM Card Comparison Table
- The Best Standalone Cellular Smartwatches
- Buying Guide For Standalone Smartwatches
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Standalone Smartwatch With SIM Card Comparison Table
VIEW ON AMAZON
Apple Watch Series 5
Best For Android Users
Samsung Galaxy Watch
For Verizon Users
The Best Standalone Cellular Smartwatches
1. Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 allows you to leave your phone at home and use your smartwatch as your primary device for making calls and texts right from your wrist. It has a Cellular+ GPS connection of its own so it doesn’t depend on your phone for making calls or tracking your locations.
For cellular connections, it uses eSIM technology, which means that it does not have a regular SIM card slot but an integrated chip that works with all network carriers that support eSIM. However, the eSIM works on number sharing i.e. you will have to share your phone number with the watch. You can’t use a separate number on the watch.
But you can still use the watch to make calls while you leave your phone at home. The quality of audio calls you get on this smartwatch is also loud and crystal clear and as per the review of a customer on Amazon.
“The speaker on this smartwatch sound just like the iPhone 11 Pro speaker”.
Besides calls, you can also send and reply to text messages from this smartwatch over the cellular network.
It also has an integrated GPS chip that can track your location and give you detailed insights into your fitness activities like running, cycling, hiking, etc. Even if you listen to music while workouts you still don’t need to take your phone with you because you can stream music right on this smartwatch using your wireless earphones.
Apart from your phone, you can also leave your wallet at home because with this watch you can also pay for your purchases using the Apple Pay feature. Which overall makes this smartwatch a truly standalone device.
The other features that make this smartwatch a must-have are its large always-on retina display that makes every detail look amazing on the screen. Besides that this watch is also super useful for health tracking especially heart rate monitoring as it comes with a dedicated ECG app, which is great for people with heart problems.
Apple Watch Series 5 is a great standalone smartwatch that can give good competition to any smartphone out there.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch is the best standalone smartwatch for Android users. Because Apple Watch doesn’t work with Android phones so the only option you have is to go with this smartwatch if you want a cellular smartwatch from a premium brand. It has all the standalone features you get on the Apple Watch 5 that we have discussed earlier.
You get an eSIM support on this watch that allows you to make calls and send texts even when your phone is not in your possession. Like Apple Watch 5 you also don’t get a SIM slot on this smartwatch, which means that you cannot have a different number on this watch other than the one you are using on your phone.
With LTE connectivity on your wrist, you can do a lot of stuff like making calls, sending and receiving texts, streaming music, etc. without reaching out for your phone.
Also, you have GPS on this smartwatch that works independently so you don’t need to carry your phone everywhere in order to track your positions. Having GPS+LTE connectivity really makes this watch a standalone device to look out for if you want to be phone-free most of the time.
What else makes this watch a standalone device is the fact that it comes enabled with the Samsung Pay feature that allows you to make payments on the go without carrying your phone or cards.
Besides all this, the smartwatch also supports wireless charging, so you can charge your smartwatch without getting tangled in wires. The durability of this smartwatch is also worth mentioning because it is built with military-grade standards.
Android users who were looking for an alternative for the Apple Watch can go for this smartwatch.
3. XPLORA X5 Play
If you are not willing to give your teenager a phone yet but still want to be in contact with them and want to track their location when they are out of the house. Then you can go with this cool kids standalone smartwatch.
It comes with a 4G SIM slot where you can insert a nano-SIM card. The SIM can be used for making voice calls over the cellular network. However, the voice calls can only be made to pre-saved numbers which is a good thing considering the child’s safety.
The watch is also capable of sending/receiving text and voice messages, so the kids can still be in touch with you if they are not willing to talk over the call.
You also get WiFi connectivity on this watch that allows you to save cellular data and minutes by using the WiFi calling feature.
There’s also an SOS button on this watch that kids can use in a state of panic to send their current location to the emergency contacts using the cellular connection. The accurate location of the child is tracked using the integrated GPS on this watch.
Also, it’s available in 2 color options, black and pink respectively. So both boys and girls can wear these watches. There’s also a selfie camera on this smartwatch that allows the kids to have fun with it by capturing their cool pictures and videos.
XPLORA X5 Play is an ideal smartwatch for kids and teenagers who aren’t old enough to own a smartphone.
4. Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music (Verizon Connected)
This is the first and till now the only smartwatch from Garmin that comes with cellular compatibility. It is a cellular Verizon of the Vivoactive 3 Music which is known for its music playing capabilities.
You also get the option to play music on this smartwatch which you can download over the cellular network. However, the downside is that you cannot stream music directly on it.
Also, this smartwatch only works with the Verizon network carrier i.e. you can only use the smartwatch for cellular activity if you happen to be a Verizon user/customer.
Moreover, you can only use the cellular connection to send text messages and distress signals because it does not support voice calling over the cellular network. It may be a huge letdown for many but it is what it is.
Apart from that, this watch also supports a built-in GPS chip, which is helpful in tracking locations without using your smartphone. Also, the price is quite reasonable for this watch, it’s among one of the cheapest smartwatches from Garmin and also a good cheap standalone smartwatch if you ignore the voice calling feature.
You can also pay directly from this smartwatch itself because it supports contactless payments. Overall, for the price, this Garmin smartwatch is a good option if you prefer text over calls.
If you are looking for a budget standalone smartwatch from a good brand then you can go for this smartwatch.
5. TicWatch Pro 4G LTE Cellular Smartwatch
The next watch on our list is TicWatch Pro, which is a cellular smartwatch with 4G capability. It works on the number sharing technology where you can use your phone number on the smartwatch for making calls and sending text over the cellular network.
Put simply, there is no physical SIM slot on this smartwatch but it supports eSIM that you can activate by syncing your smartwatch with your phone. Once the smartwatch is synced with the phone you can use it to make calls even when your phone is not around.
Besides calling when you are on a cellular connection you can also send text, stream music, control smart home devices, and send SOS messages using this watch.
It also has an integrated GPS tracker that makes it a good standalone running watch that can track your running dynamics without the use of your phone.
The watch also provides you a good battery backup which allows you to use the watch with cellular activity for up to 1 day and in regular usage you can use it for at least 2 days.
Also, the smartwatch is built with military-grade durability with gorilla glass protection on the screen which really makes this watch a tough product. Moreover, it is IP68 rated and is swim-ready, which means that it can be taken in the pool for swimming.
Overall, TicWatch Pro is one of the best waterproof standalone smartwatches that can help you make calls, send texts, play music without the help of a smartphone. However, the watch is currently working only with Verizon and no other carriers. So, if you use any other carrier than Verizon you may not be able to use this watch for calling or texting.
For people who are looking for a standalone smartwatch that can work well with their Verizon network carrier, they can opt for this smartwatch.
Buying Guide For Standalone Smartwatches: A Guide To Go Phone-Free
SIM Card Support
The first thing you must look for in a standalone smartwatch is whether it supports a SIM card or not. Because without a SIM card cellular connectivity is not possible and you will always have to be tethered to your phone. Smartwatches come with two types of SIM support either one will do the work for you:
1. Physical SIM Support: Smartwatches that support a physical SIM, have a SIM port where you can install a SIM card. Mainly a nano-SIM card goes into a smartwatch. But not most smartwatches feature a physical SIM because having a SIM port makes the smartwatch bigger and bulkier.
2. eSIM: A smartwatch with eSIM is in trend these days because with the eSIM you don’t have to remove and change the SIM every now and then. Also, it does not need a physical port which makes the watch lightweight and slimmer. However, not all carriers support eSIM as of now so that’s a downside of it.
To use your smartwatch as a standalone device it must have an integrated GPS chip otherwise you may have to be dependent on your smartphone’s GPS to track your activities and locations. Also having a GPS + Cellular connection on a smartwatch is great for sending SOS messages in distress.
Other than making calls and tracking locations, the other thing for which we use the phone most is for making payments. So if you want to go with a standalone watch that can help you go phone-free then it must have a feature to make payments as well.
If you are a music lover then having a music playback feature in your smartwatch is a must. Or you may not use it as a standalone device because you will still need your phone to listen to your favorite tracks. So try to find a smartwatch that comes with music playback functions.
Since you are going to use your smartphone as a standalone device it must have enough battery backup to last a full day. Because using cellular and GPS services eat up the battery very quickly.
How Much Does Monthly Plan Cost For Cellular Smartwatches?
It depends on the carrier you are using. Most of the time you will have to pay nothing because you are sharing your number with your smartphone.
Can Smartwatch Work Without A Smartphone?
All the smartwatches we have reviewed in this article can easily work without a smartphone. However, a smartwatch may work without a phone but it cannot replace it completely.
LTE Vs Bluetooth Smartwatch: Which is Better?
Both the smartwatches have their pros and cons. While LTE smartwatches work without a phone but can't have long battery life. Similarly, Bluetooth phones have good battery life but don't work without the phone.