Picture this – You’ve just gone out for a run. You plug in your AirPods and open Spotify on your Apple Watch only to find out that it cannot connect to the Internet because you left your iPhone at home. Well, this is where a watch with a SIM Card or a cellular connection, to be more appropriate, comes in.
While a Smartwatch with a SIM Card might feel like a gimmick to some, it does carry some unique advantages that help increase the utility of a smartwatch and take it to the next level allowing you to become truly phone-less.
Why Do I Need A Smartwatch With A SIM Card?
Alright, so you’ve just gone down to the Apple Store or are just about to purchase a smartwatch. You are met with a certain conundrum. Do I shell out the extra $100 or so to purchase a smartwatch with a Cellular / SIM connection, or do I stick with the basics and opt for a non-SIM card version?
Well, in most cases, having an added feature is always better, but, it isn’t so easy with a smartwatch as even having a cellular connection carries some distinct disadvantages. So, weighing out the pros and cons, even if not a lot, can be of pivotal importance.
Advantages Of Having A Smartwatch With A SIM Card
As mentioned earlier, if you truly want an increase in utility from your smartwatch, going for one that allows for a SIM card is the way to go, here’s how:
- Listen To Music: Don’t have your phone along with you? No worries. Just open up Spotify the same way you would on your smartphone and play the song you desire. What’s more, is that you can also connect your wireless Bluetooth earbuds as well!
- Attend Calls and Respond To Messages: We get it, doesn’t every smartwatch have this feature? Well, yes and no. You can indeed listen to calls and respond to messages with a smartwatch that does not have a cellular connection. However, the distinct advantage that a one with a SIM card slot provides is the ability to do so while keeping your phone at home.
- Emergency Response: Say you’ve just gotten into an accident and you can’t locate your phone. In most cases, your smartwatch is an extension of your phone and would, therefore, be useless too. However, that isn’t the case here, you’ll be able to use the cellular connection on your smartwatch to even locate your phone in some cases and also contact emergency services.
- Use Internet Applications: Besides just listening to music, you’ll be able to use all the applications that require the internet on your smartwatch. This includes having the ability to call an Uber, navigate to a certain restaurant, listen to an audiobook or even turn your home’s AC on before you get there yourself!
Disadvantages Of Having A Smartwatch With A SIM Card
Not everything’s all sunshine and roses when it comes to the world of cellular smartwatches. There are a few distinct disadvantages that you will also have to take note of when you go for one that has a SIM card slot.
- Expensive: A smartwatch that has a SIM card slot / LTE connection will always be costlier than one that doesn’t. While this cost may be justified for some, it truly doesn’t make sense if you always plan to have your phone with you.
- Battery Drain: Just like the cellular connection on your phone, LTE / 4G / 3G takes up a lot of battery. Your smartwatch’s battery is much smaller than your phone’s. Therefore, expect a significant loss in battery life if you end up opting for a cellular model.
- Data Plan: While data plans are getting cheaper everywhere, you will still have to opt for a specific one that ensures the fact that you are able to get a cellular connection on your smartwatch. So, the cost can add up to be quite a lot depending on where you live.
- Lack Of Options: While popular options from Apple and Samsung include cellular options, not every brand does. Therefore, you might just be stuck with opting for a watch that you didn’t really want to buy just because it has a cellular connection.
Can I Answer Calls And Respond To Messages On My Smartwatch With SIM?
Yes, you can answer calls and respond to messages if you have a smartwatch that has a SIM card slot. However, a few clarifications need to be made. Firstly, your smartwatch does not act as an independent device. It has the same number as your phone and merely routes calls from your phone to your smartwatch instead.
Therefore, you can’t operate two separate numbers for your smartwatch and mobile phone. Moreover, a WiFi-only smartwatch can also route calls from your phone to itself given that your watch is connected to your phone via Bluetooth and is in close proximity.
So, the only advantage you get by opting for a watch with a cellular connection in terms of calling and responding to messages is the ability to do so while keeping your phone at home.
I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.