What Does GPS Only Mean On Apple Watch?

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Are you planning to buy a new Apple Watch? Do you want to know what does GPS only mean on Apple Watch?

If you have noticed GPS Only in the name of an Apple Watch and are wondering what it means then you are reading the right article. I am going to share its meaning with you. Moreover, I will share the difference between GPS and the Cellular variant of the Apple Watch.

So let’s get started!

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What Does GPS Only Mean On Apple Watch?

What Does GPS Only Mean On Apple Watch

GPS Only on Apple Watch simply means that the variant of the watch does not come with cellular connectivity. These variants of Apple watches come with limited functionality as compared to Cellular variants.

Apple watches are basically offered in the following two variants by Apple:

  • GPS Only
  • GPS + Cellular

GPS Only variants are comparatively cheaper and offer less functionality when compared to GPS + Cellular variants. With Cellular variants, you get added functionality of connecting to a cellular network without the help of an iPhone. This means that with the Cellular variant, you can reply to text messages from the watch, and make & receive calls without connecting your smartwatch to a smartphone.

On the other hand, with GPS-only variants, you can do the same but with the help of a smartphone. In short, the Cellular variant of the Apple Watch is a standalone smartwatch.

Apple Watch Cellular Vs GPS: What’s The Difference?

Apple Watch Cellula VS GPS Whats The Difference

Now let me tell you in detail about all the differences between Cellular and GPS Only variants of Apple Watches.

1) Connectivity

The first and main difference between these variants is connectivity. Where GPS variants need the help of your cell phone to connect to a cellular network, Cellular variants can do so on their own.

If you want to receive calls and messages on your Apple Watch then you will have to connect a GPS-only variant to your iPhone. On the other hand, Cellular variants can do so without connecting to a smartphone. Therefore it is safe to say that Cellular variants of the Apple Watch can be used without an iPhone.

2) Price

Another major difference between the two variants is their price. Cellular models of Apple Watches are costlier than the GPS variants. For price sensitives customers, buying the GPS-only variant makes more sense.

3) Battery Life

Since the Cellular variants constantly send and receive signals to stay connected to cellular networks therefore they offer less battery life. GPS-only Apple smartwatches offer more battery life than the Cellular variants.

4) Red Dot/Ring On Crown

Apple Watch Red Dot On Crown

This is the physical differentiating factor between the two variants of Apple Watches. The Cellular variants of the Apple Watch have a red dot/ring on their crown to differentiate them from GPS-only variants.

5) Family Setup

Apple offers a Family Setup feature to its customers. Through this feature, you can connect the Apple Watch of your family members to your iPhone. As a result, if other members of your family don’t own an iPhone then also they will be able to use an Apple Watch. This feature is particularly useful for parents because it also lets you control Apple Watches connected to it.

Family Setup is only available for Cellular variants of Apple Watches. If members of your family own a GPS-only Apple Watch then you cannot use the Family Setup feature.

6) Case Material

There is also a difference in the case material used in the two variants. While the GPS-only Apple Watch is available only in aluminum cases, Cellular variants are available in stainless steel and titanium cases. Therefore the material used to make watches is also different for both variants.

Does Apple Watch GPS Only Work Without WiFi?

Apple Watch Celular

Yes, GPS Only Apple Watches work without connecting to WiFi.

Connecting to a WiFi network is only required when you want to access the Internet from the watch itself. For example, if you want to play Spotify from your watch then you will have to connect to the WiFi network on your GPS-only Apple Watch. Otherwise, you will not be able to play music.

For all the other things, you can just pair your watch to a smartphone and you will be good to go. Connecting to WiFi is not required for using most of the things on Apple Watch.

What Can GPS Only Apple Watch Do?

Other than connecting to a cellular network without an iPhone, GPS only Apple Watch can do almost everything. You just cannot reply to text messages and make calls without your iPhone on these variants. Other than this, you can:


Can You Text On An Apple Watch With Just GPS?

Yes, you can get and reply to text messages on an Apple Watch with just GPS after connecting it to an iPhone.

Can GPS Apple Watch Make Calls?

Yes, you can talk on calls using the GPS Apple Watch after connecting it to a smartphone.

Can I Use Apple Watch GPS Without iPhone?

Yes, you can use Apple Watch GPS without iPhone but with limited functionality.

Can I Use GPS Apple Watch If I Leave My Phone At Home?

Yes, you can use GPS Apple Watch even if you leave your iPhone at home.

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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