Do Smartwatches Need a Data Plan? A Quick Guide

Do smartwatches need a data plan? If they do, then how much? These are the common questions asked by many. Today in this article, I will explain everything about the smartwatches and their data requirement. 

Do Smartwatches Need a Data Plan

Smartwatches need data to operate, and it uses the data from the smartphone for its functions. So you need to connect your smartwatch with a smartphone to use apps on your smartwatch that require data. 

Uber, Deezer, Spotify, etc. are a few examples of smartphone apps that do not work without a smartphone nearby. 

Do Smartwatches Need a Data Plan?

Wearable technology has evolved, and still, it is evolving. As technology advances, smartwatches also become much smarter than before. 

Smartwatches with SIM cards and cellular connectivity are the latest trends in the world of smartwatches. It is also called standalone smartwatches with LTE, as it can independently work as a smartphone to make or answer calls, send SMS, etc. 

Apple Watch Series 5 LTE and Apple watch 6 LTE are a few examples of the best standalone smartwatches with sim cards. If you are an android smartphone user, then you can go for Samsung Galaxy Watch3 LTE or Galaxy Active2 LTE.

I have already written an article on the best standalone smartwatch SIM card, and I hope that it will help you choose the right smartwatch with a SIM card of your choice. 

These smartwatches do not have a physical SIM card like in your smartphone. Instead of using a physical SIM card, these devices use an eSIM or virtual SIM for cellular connectivity.

Once the cellular function is activated on the smartwatch, you can make and receive calls, SMS, stream music, and use smartwatch apps that require data. 

Think about booking a Uber or ordering a Pizza right from your wrist even without a smartphone or WiFi connectivity. In short, a standalone smartwatch works like a smartphone and perform most of the functions of a smartphone.

Do you need a separate data plan for your smartphone?

Yes, you need a separate data plan if you are using a smartwatch with LTE/4G. Remember, it will add additional costs to your cellular bill every month. 

However, many carriers offer smartwatch and smartphone bundle plans. Comparing smartphone cellular plans of different companies may help you save some bucks on your monthly telephone bill. 

The cellular carriers usually charge $10-15 every month for wearable LTE services. In addition to that, you may also charged a one-time activation fee. 

Do you need to carry a Physical SIM for a smartwatch?

Today smartwatches come with eSIM for cellular connectivity. An eSIM allows you to use the same number on your smartphone and smartwatch. 

So you do not miss a phone call, SMS, or other important notifications even when you are away from your smartphone. 

The T-mobile, Verizon, etc. have attractive cellular and data plans for your smartwatch. 

However, smartphone data plans are not available in every country. Also, every cellular company is not offering smartwatch cellular/4G plans to their customers.  

If you are an Apple watch user, you can check these details here before buying an Apple Smartwatch.

If LTE support is available in your country, then you can follow this guide to activate LTE in an Apple Watch

If you are a Samsung Galaxy watch owner, you can check the LTE offered carrier details and LTE set up guide on Samsung smartwatch

How Much Data Does a Smartwatch use?

A smartwatch does not use data as much as a smartphone use. However, data usage totally depends on how you use your smartwatch. 

It does not use much data when you book a taxi or even book a Pizza. However, if continuously stream music on Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Prime, etc. then, the data will drain faster.

If you finish your data before the month ends, you will struggle with the rest of the month. To avoid such a scenario, you should pick an unlimited data plan for your smartwatch as well. 

But I recommend you go for an unlimited data plan even if it costs you a little more bucks. Because if you are on a postpaid plan and overuse data, it will create a huge hole in your pocket. 

Does using LTE affect battery?

The LTE services put an extra burden on the smartwatch battery. When you use LTE services, it drains the battery faster than when you do not use it. 

Smartwatch manufacturers offer a more powerful battery to LTE smartwatches, but it can still not go for more than 12 to 16 hours.

Smartwatch Data Usage FAQ

Now let us have a look into a few frequently asked questions about smartwatch data and cellular connectivity

  1. Does a smartwatch need a sim card?

    As I said earlier, every smartwatch does not require a physical SIM card for LTE. Instead, they use a virtual SIM or eSIM card for LTE connectivity. 

  2. Can I leave my phone at home and use my Samsung watch?

    Yes. But to do this, you need to buy a Galaxy watch with LTE/4G, and you must activate LTE/4G service with the service provider.

  3. Can you text from a smartwatch?

    Yes. Smartwatches allow you to send text messages. But you have to check the product description as some smartwatches allow you to send some pre-saved messages only.
    On the other hand, if you are using an advanced smartwatch with cellular connectivity, then you can send text messages directly from your watch even when you are away from smartphones. 

  4. Is LTE on a smartwatch worth it?

    Unless it is absolutely necessary, I do not recommend an LTE smartwatch because it will add extra cost to your monthly cellular bill. I also do not think that we leave our phone at home only because of having a smartwatch with LTE. 

  5. Does galaxy watch Active2 have LTE?

    Samsung Galaxy watch comes in two versions; one with LTE and another one without LTE. Make sure you choose Samsung Galaxy Active2 with LTE/4G.

Final Words

So the purpose of this article was to educate you about the cellular data usage of a smartwatch. Now I hope that I can answer your question on Do Smartwatches Need a Data Plan? 

If you are in serious need of a smartwatch with LTE/4G, then you can look into my handpicked list of best smartwatches with LTE. 

If you still have queries, please feel free to comment below or contact us directly.

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