Do Smartwatches Need A SIM Card To Function?

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Are you wondering whether smartwatches need a SIM card or not?

If yes then this article is going to be very helpful to you. In this article, I will tell what smartwatches need a SIM, why they need one, and if it is possible to use a smartwatch as a phone or not.

So let’s get started!

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Do Smartwatches Need A SIM Card To Function?

Do Smartwatches Need A SIM Card

The capabilities of smartwatches are increasing day by day. You can do a lot of things using your smartwatch that were not possible to do a few years back.

One such capability is to call someone. Nowadays, you can answer and talk on a call using the smartwatch you wear on your wrist. So if you are planning to buy a new smartwatch then you must be wondering about the following questions:

  • Do smartwatches need a SIM card to function?
  • Do all smartwatches need a SIM card?
  • Why do smartwatches need SIM cards?

Let me tell you the answer to these questions one by one.

No, smartwatches do not need a SIM card to function, it does not matter whether they have LTE connectivity or not. If a smartwatch has LTE connectivity then it will need a SIM card to connect to a service provider and make calls. However, it can still be used for other things without inserting a SIM card. On the other hand, if a smartwatch does not have LTE connectivity then it does not even a need SIM card in the first place.

To understand this better answer this question. What will happen if you do not use a SIM card with your smartphone? Will you be able to use your smartphone?

Yes, right? You will be able to use your smartphone, you can click pictures, play music, take videos, connect it to a WiFi network, and so on. But you will not be able to make calls or talk to someone using it if it does not have a SIM card.

Similarly, if your smartwatch does not have a SIM card then also you will be able to use it to track your workout sessions, heart rate, SpO2 levels, etc. However, without a SIM card, you will not be able to make calls with it.

What SIM Do I Need For A Smartwatch?

As discussed, only smartwatches that come with LTE connectivity need a SIM card, that too only for making calls. So if you are planning to buy a smartwatch with LTE connectivity, then you must be wondering: What SIM do you need for a smartwatch? Do smartwatches need a special SIM card?

Well, there are basically two types of smartwatches available in the market. Ones that use the same SIM card as a smartphone. Then there are some smartwatches that use an e-SIM, these do not require inserting a physical SIM into them.

So depending on the smartwatch that you are buying, you will have to either use a SIM card similar to what you use in your smartphone or you will have to use an e-SIM.

Can You Use A Smartwatch As A Phone?

Now that smartwatches are capable of making and receiving calls, like smartphones, so the question that you must be wondering is: Can you use a smartwatch as a phone?

Yes, you can use your smartwatch as a phone. You can make calls and you can even answer calls with it. Smartwatches also allow you to connect Bluetooth headphones, which you can use to talk to people on calls.

Having said that, smartwatches are not powerful enough to replace smartphones yet. So if you are thinking of not using a smartphone at all and using only a smartwatch then you will be needing a smartphone sooner than you think.

If I have to share my experience then the small screen of smartwatches does not make it a very fun thing to use, even for the little task of making a note.

Does A Smartwatch Need A Data Plan?

Yes, if you are planning to buy a standalone smartwatch, then you will need a data plan for your smartwatch. I am sure, you must want to receive and reply to text messages through your watch on different social platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, etc., right? In order to do that you must be connected to the Internet, and to connect to the Internet, you will need a data plan.

Which Is The Best Standalone Smartwatch?

Now that you know why smartwatches need a SIM card, let me tell you which are the two best standalone smartwatches available in the market. If you want to have more options then check my best standalone smartwatches list.

1) Apple Watch Series 8

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple Watch Series 8 is the latest and most feature-rich smartwatch from Apple yet. It comes with cellular and without cellular connectivity options. You can buy its cellular variant if you want to use it as a standalone smartwatch.

Unlike other smartwatches, this smartwatch uses an e-SIM. Therefore you will not be able to use the physical SIM that you are using on your smartphone. You can purchase an e-SIM from your network service provider.

The inbuilt microphone and speaker of the Apple Watch Series 8 are of good quality and you will be able to talk on calls without facing any issues. Other than this, Apple Watch Series 8 can measure your following health parameters:

  • Heart rate
  • SpO2
  • ECG
  • Sleep
  • Stress, and much more.

It also comes with a crash detection feature, that was not available on any Apple smartwatches yet. If you meet with an accident then this watch will detect it and will call for help immediately.

Moreover, you can also measure your fitness with this watch. It comes with an activity tracker that can measure some of your activities automatically. This smartwatch comes with a 50M water-resistant rating, therefore you can wear this apple watch to shower and to your swimming sessions as well. Apple Watch Series 8 has built-in GPS, as a result, you will be able to measure your cycling sessions accurately.

The drawbacks of this smartwatch are that it is only compatible with iPhones and its battery does not last more than a day.

The Good
  • Crash detection
  • Inbuilt GPS
  • ECG, heart rate, and sleep monitoring
  • NFC payment support
  • Fast charging
The Bad
  • Only compatible with iOS devices
  • Battery life is pathetic

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2) Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the best standalone smartwatch for all Android users out there. Like Apple Watch Series 8, this is also the latest and feature-rich smartwatch from Samsung yet.

Galaxy Watch 5 comes with an LTE option and uses an eSIM like the Apple Watch Series 8. When it comes to health monitoring then it boasts even more features than Apple watches, which include:

Galaxy Watch 5 can also track more sports modes compared to Apple Watch Series 8, the exercise list of the Samsung watch consists of more than 90 workout modes. And its inbuilt GPS helps in tracking cycling and outdoor running sessions accurately.

Since we are talking about outdoor activities, then let me tell you this is one of the few smartwatches that has a sapphire crystal. This makes its glass strong and scratch-proof, so you do not have to worry about breaking or scratching it.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has similar drawbacks to Apple Watch Series 8. It is not compatible with iOS devices and its battery does not last more than one and a half days.

The Good
  • Fall detection
  • Built-in GPS
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • ECG monitoring
  • 90+ workout modes
The Bad
  • Only compatible with Android devices
  • Battery life should have been better

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Does My Smartwatch Need A Sim Card?

No, if your watch does not have LTE connectivity then it does not need a SIM card.

Do All Smartwatches Need A SIM Card?

No, not all smartwatches need a SIM card.

Does LTE Smartwatches Need SIM Card?

Yes, LTE smartwatches need a SIM card, but only if you want to use it as a standalone smartwatch.

Which Smartwatch Can I Use Without A Phone?

Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 are two watches that you can use without a phone.

Do All Smartwatches Come With Cellular Connectivity?

No, there are very few smartwatches available in the market that come with cellular connectivity.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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