Do Smartwatches Need SIM Cards in 2022?

Do Smartwatches Need SIM Cards

A smartwatch is a watch with built-in technology so that it can perform many tasks. It is just like having a smartphone or computer, except you wear it on your wrist. However, the latest smartwatches do not have SIM cards. But don’t worry, you can still use smartwatches to make calls and send messages.

Do smartwatches need data connectivity?

Yes, a smartwatch must have a data connection for its operations. Generally, smartwatches use the data from the paired smartphone for their needs via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0.

However, your smartwatch must have its own data connection if you want to use it as a standalone device. This means that, even with Wi-Fi or mobile data turned off on your phone, apps such as maps or anything that requires the internet won’t work unless the watch has its data connection.

There are two types of smartwatches available on the market- one with cellular features or LTE and another without standalone features. Apple, Samsung, Garmin, etc., makes both varying models based on these two concepts. Apple Watch Series 6, Garmin Forerunner 945, etc., have a cellular version in addition to one without LTE.

However, a smartwatch with a sim card costs you more than its counterpart, as well as additional monthly charges for cellular connection. The cost of cellular charges depends on your cellular provider. In the USA, cellular connectivity will at least add $10 per month to your cellphone bill.

In addition to that, the battery life of a smartwatch with a SIM card is not as good as that of smartwatches without LTE. Now you may wonder how to insert a SIM card into such a small device. Now let us check that.

What is a Smartwatch with a SIM Card or LTE feature?

A smartwatch with SIM card or LTE can connect to the wireless network, receive notifications, make phone calls, send text messages, or stream music even if you are away from your smartphone.

The Apple Watch Series 3 and above include a cellular connection. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more cost-effective but still just as fast, the Apple Watch SE model might be perfect for you.

If you are looking for a smartwatch with a SIM card, you can check our latest article on the smartwatches that make phone calls without needing a smartphone.

Do Smartwatches Need SIM Cards?

A smartwatch does not need a SIM card(precisely a physical SIM); instead, it has an eSIM connected to the cellular network. The eSIM is a virtual SIM that can be activated on your smartwatch by contacting your cellular provider online or offline.

But remember to make sure that your current cellular provider supports cellular connectivity on smartwatches. Many countries and cellular providers do not offer data connectivity to smartwatches.

Here are important links to check the countries and services that provide the cellular feature for Apple and Samsung.

What is a SIM Card, and How does it work?

A SIM card or Subscriber Identity/Identification Module is one of the main components of GSM-based mobile phones or smartwatches.

It works as a removable account and authentication tool. It stores your network information, phone number, contact list, and other important details related to your cellular service provider.

What is eSIM?

eSIM or embedded SIM, in short, is a new SIM technology used for IoT devices such as smartwatches and smartphones. The size of a physical SIM card can be very restrictive for wearable devices because they have small space inside. Because of this reason, the latest smartwatches come with eSIMs.

How can I find out if my watch uses a SIM card or eSIM?

To find out if your watch uses eSIM, you can go to Settings on the smartwatch and check whether you see an option named “Cellular Network” or anything similar. If there is such an option available in your settings, your watch has an embedded SIM card.

Alternatively, you can check the smartwatch manual. This manual will contain information about the connection type of your smartwatch, including whether it has a physical SIM or eSIM.

You can also contact your cellular provider to find out if your watch has a cell service option or not.

Which cellular service providers support smartwatches?

As mentioned above, many telecom companies are not supporting the data connectivity for smartwatches because they are new technology and relatively less popular than smartphones.

What are the advantages of buying smartwatches with sim cards?

One of the main advantages of buying smartwatches with sim cards is that you can use them as a normal phone without requiring your smartphone. But sim card smartwatches costs more than the other models.

Do GPS watches require an internet connection?

GPS watches use the satellite network to track your position, so they don’t need internet connectivity. Built-in GPS smartwatches from Garmin, Apple, etc., serve as a signal receiver from satellites.


A smartwatch with SIM card or LTE feature can connect to a wireless network and receive notifications, make phone calls, send text messages, stream music, etc., without needing your smartphone nearby. The problem is that this will cost you an additional $10 per month(at least) on top of what you already pay for the smartwatch.

Smartwatches do not need SIM cards – instead, they have eSIMs(virtual SIM) that can be activated by contacting cellular providers online or offline.

I hope this article answered the question “Do smartwatches need sim cards?” for you. If you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to comment below. 

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