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Smartwatches or fitness trackers are the favorite accessories for many. They are like a small computer on your wrist. Also, they no only track your fitness progress but also you can see your calls or text messages. However, as these smart devices get better and better our demands also increase. We would like our gadgets can deliver more than it delivers. So, like you, I asked myself the same question ‘Can a smart wristwatch make phone calls?
The answer is it depends on the type of smartwatch that you have. There are smart wearables with Bluetooth that need to be connected to a smartphone or a tablet. However, if you want to have a smart wristwatch that can make calls without using a smartphone you want to get a standalone smartwatch that comes with all the functions of a smartphone in it, including making phone calls and sending/receiving texts. In addition, they come with a SIM card slot. They are able to connect to LTE, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks. Some will offer you the option to pair it with a smartphone too.
Table of Contents
- 1 A brief story about smartwatches with cellular function
- 2 How do watch phones or standalone smartwatch work?
- 3 Smart Wristwatches that can make calls and their features
- 4 Can you use your cell phone SIM on your smartwatch?
- 5 Can I activate my standalone smartwatch without a cell phone?
- 6 The good, the bad and ugly about watch phones
- 7 Top considerations before you buy a smart wristwatch
- 8 Which one is the best standalone smartwatch for me
- 9 Conclusion
A brief story about smartwatches with cellular function
Nowadays smartwatches are one of the most favorite accessories for their convenience and functionality. If you add the cellular function you will get a complete smart wearable that will make your life easier. One of the very first standalone watch phones was the Advanced Health Watch by VEESAG formerly VESAG in 2010.
Recommended reading: Why is your smartwatch asking for a sim card?
It was a medical alert smartphone that, not only tracked location, using a GSM-based mobile network, and detected auto falls, but also could detect 17 health parameters that can be analyzed by the user or the doctor.
Then in September 2017, Apple released its first smartwatch Apple watch series 3 with LTE cellular function which allows you to send/receive text messages and texts without using a smartphone.
However, Apple watch series 4 was launched in September 2018 featuring new fall detection, 30% larger display, 50% louder speaker and ECG.
In September 2019 the Apple Watch 5 was successfully launched with new updates that we will discuss further.
How do watch phones or standalone smartwatch work?
You can activate phone watches with your same phone number but it also gives you the option to use it as a smartwatch. In this case, you can use the Bluetooth to connect it to your smartphone. Keep in mind that to activate the cellular function you will need a wireless service plan. They work with major cell phone companies. Although there is a fair variety of smart wristwatches that can make phone calls the signal is not as strong as the cell phone but it is good enough.
Smart Wristwatches that can make calls and their features
A fitness tracker with SIM card, like the Apple Watch Series 3, can have many features such as GPS, can be swim-proof, tracks heart rate, Wi-Fi capability, and even altimeter. Other standalone smartwatches are suitable for children and seniors just like the ANCwear Smartwatch, that it is an all-in-one smartwatch. Not only it is easy to use but also, can be used a remote camera, fitness tracker, sleep tracker. you can send/receive phone calls and texts. Other watch phones like Apple Series 4, which bring some improvements, have a bigger screen, swim-proof, upgraded heart rate monitor, fall detection, walkie-talkie, and heart rate notifications.
Can you use your cell phone SIM on your smartwatch?
Believe it or not, I have been asked this many times. The answer is it depends. The reason? A cell phone SIM is used for a cell only and depending on the carrier and how long you have the SIM card. Another consideration is that you will need a wireless network plan to add your smartwatch. In other words, you will still need to have a phone line in order to have a phone watch.
Can I activate my standalone smartwatch without a cell phone?
It depends on the smartwatch. For example, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier can be set up without using a smartphone while the Apple Series 4 requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 12 or later.
The good, the bad and ugly about watch phones
Using a standalone smartwatch has the convenience of not having to use your smartphone every time. However, can a smartwatch with SIM replace the smartphone? See the below pros and cons of smart wristwatches that can be used to make calls to help you get familiar:
- It will help you stay away from your phone
- Uninterrupted workout or any physical activities.
- You have everything in one gadget
- Because they are easy to use senior and children can use them
- Can send/receive texts or phone calls
- In addition, you can make emergency calls immediately without using your phone
- You can download and use as many apps as you want without using your smartphone
- In some cases, you will need your phone to pair it once
- You need to have a wireless service plan and a monthly fee, in addition to your phone bill, for the service which is at least $10.00USD without including taxes and fees.
- Texting is not as convenient as using the cell phone
- Phone signal is not that strong
- Battery life – To use all the features you may need to charge it every day or every two days depending on the smartwatch
- You may need your smartphone to access other apps
- Roaming is not available depending on your phone company
Top considerations before you buy a smart wristwatch
Just like anything we want to buy, If you wish to buy a standalone smartwatch you need a couple of things to consider to help you decide whether you need one. It is important to know that for many people having a phone watch can male their lives easier while others might keep their smartphone. Here are what you need to consider before you buy a smartphone with a SIM card:
- First of all, you will need to make sure your cell network company can add the type of phone watch. Some companies have their own restrictions.
- Many cell phone companies will treat your smartphone like a tablet that uses more gigabytes. However, although watch phones won’t use many gigabytes the monthly plan will be quite costly.
- Many of the smartphones with SIM cards will need to pair with your smartphone although just one time. That would depend on your phone carrier.
- Ask yourself if you really need a phone watch. Having one means your phone and your smartwatch phone bill.
- You can do any sports or activities you like without carrying your smartphone.
- Also, you can do many things on the smartwatch from calling to texting to using other applications.
- Depending on the smartwatch phone, you may need a smartphone to download smartwatch phone apps.
Which one is the best standalone smartwatch for me
- Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch (Find out more about this smartwatch with built-in GPS and cellular functionality on Amazon) was released on 9/20/2019 with some great updates such as the Always-on Retina display which means that the screen will stay on. Also, unlike the Apple 4, it has more storage (32 GB), features a compass, and the cellular version allows you to make emergency calls in other countries.
- ANCwear Smartwatch
For a budget price, you can get the ANCwear smartwatch with a SIM card. This phone watch can make and receive calls, send and receive messages, and runs social networks apps. Also, you can use the ANCwear as a watch only via Bluetooth. This watch tracks sleep quality, steps, and more alert. It takes half an hour of charging and it can be up to 5 to 7 days with full power.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Smartwatch
This smartwatch (See this Amazon bestseller to find out), which has an E-sim card, works with all carriers such as At&t, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, it will not work as a standalone voice device on Sprint. To At&t customers, you will need to contact AT&T to activate the sim card. You need to make sure that your carrier is E-sim compatible. It has a 4 GB storage, 1.5GB RAM. It will work with a Samsung Phone S7 and up to set up LTE.
Smartphones with SIM cards or smart wristwatches that can make phone calls are a great convenience if you don’t like to depend on your phone. In my particular case, having a standalone smartphone will be interesting and something new because I am so used to my phone.
However, there are a few things that will have to improve before I can invest in one. First, as of right now, smartphone watches will still require a phone which means if you want to enable the cell phone function you will have a wireless service plan. Another feature I would like to improve is sending texts. Many watch phone screens are smaller and you will have to type with one finger.
I know that watch phones will get better and better. New functionalities and improved features will be part of a new generation of smartwatches.
Brenda is a webmaster, content creator, and blogger who loves fitness watches and working out.
After many attempts to stick to a fitness plan, she found inspiration in fitness wearables which has helped her remain active and lead a healthy lifestyle. She is committed to encouraging individuals who need help with their motivation.
When she isn’t researching fitness technology market trends and writing, you might find Brenda cooking delicious meals, connecting with nature, growing veggies, and reading about technology.
Check out her other blog Breathe Out Panic Attack.