With the advent of wearable tech, more smartwatches have been entering the market every year. What was previously thought of as a gimmick now has serious markets in the space. Our phones, which were perhaps mandatory for us to bring everywhere, have seemingly given up their uses in favor of sleeker, more portable smartwatches that also have LTE functionality.

Therefore, if you are an avid traveler, don’t like bringing your phone everywhere, or are keen on using a cellular connection on your smartwatch, we’ve jotted down the best smartwatches that have LTE functionality for you right here.

Benefits of a Smartwatch with a Sim Card (LTE)

Let’s get one misconception out of the way from the get-go, you cannot use an LTE smartwatch as your sole cellular device. However, there are still a few distinct advantages you gain from opting for a smartwatch that has an LTE configuration.

  • Portability: Having the convenience of keeping your smartphone at home and still being able to listen to music or attend calls is quite useful!
  • Travel Partner: You might not always be able to whip out your phone when you are cycling or traveling. With your LTE-activated watch, you can still check for directions while not needing to reach for your pocket.
  • Better Cellular: If you have an older phone, chances are that your newer smartwatch might end up receiving better signals than your handset. In these cases, a watch can turn out to be extremely useful as you get that much-needed data.

The primary disadvantage of owning an LTE Smartwatch is excessive battery consumption which can lead to your device not being used for an entire day in most cases. Thankfully, you can turn cellular off and bring your battery life back!

Now that we’ve gone through the benefits of owning a Smartwatch with a Sim Card, we’ll now be noting down some of our best picks. Instead of opting for a traditional list, we’re going to be mentioning the best smartwatch for each particular category.

read more about the advantages and disadvantages of LTE smartwatch

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 – Best Overall LTE Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Size 40 and 44 mm variants
OSWear OS
ROM16 GB
Water ResistanceIP68
Additional FeaturesECG, Heart Rate Sensor, Sleep Tracking, BP, Body Fat Percentage
Battery Life48 hours
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC
CompatibilityAndroid

The smartwatch space is seemingly a constant joust between just two competitors, Apple and Samsung. For the top spot, this seems to be the case on more than one occasion. This time though, for Android, Samsung has definitely taken up the spot in 2022.

With numerous contenders coming in to take up the throne and marvelous contenders from the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Amazfit, Samsung still takes the cake when it comes to producing a device that just simply works. 

Their recent switch to Google’s Wear OS has further exasperated their lead. The introduction of more applications into the ecosystem alongside promises of a better update cycle has brought more users to Samsung’s side of the table. The watch is simply magnificent. Samsung once again (to no one’s surprise) produces a watch that is both elegant, sleek, and functional.

With the introduction of their BioActive sensor that can even measure your BP and body fat percentage, there’s a lot of tech baked into this tiny little package. Besides that, though, you can expect snappy performance, the choice of either going for the Classic 3, which also features a physical rotating bezel.

In terms of battery life, don’t expect much. While the cellular LTE variant does quite well, there’s only so much that the small battery kitted inside can do. However, you can expect the watch to last you through two full whole days without needing to charge. If you push it, though, the watch might just end up clocking out quicker. 

Full Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

Pros:

  • Uses Google’s Wear OS leading to a wide variety of applications being available right out of the box
  • Sleek aesthetic design with a minimalist look
  • Fast, snappy performance alongside decent onboard storage

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive as compared to other offerings
  • Wear OS remains untested in the greater Samsung ecosystem

2. Apple Watch Series 7 – Best Apple LTE Smartwatch

Size 41 and 45 mm variant
OSWatch OS
ROM32 GB
Water ResistanceIP6X
Additional FeaturesHeart Rate Sensor, GPS, Pedometer, ECG, Atrial Fibrillation, Emergency Fall Detection
Battery Life1 to 2 days
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE
CompatibilityiOS

When it comes to Apple, in most cases, the latest product in their lineup is almost always the best. And in this case, this certainly seems to be true. The newly released Apple Watch Series 7 does not make profound leaps as compared to its predecessor. Instead, it aims to refine what little faults the previous version had in order to create a more compelling release.

With a faster SoC baked in (not that you could ever complain that the Series 6 was slow), alongside a much larger screen with the same chassis, the Watch 7 looks as great as ever. With the same variety of finishes ranging from aluminum all the way up to stainless steel and titanium, you can deck the watch out to your heart’s content.

Besides that, Apple has introduced a flurry of health-related features alongside much-needed improvements to Watch OS, which has made their way to the Series 7 too. In terms of LTE connectivity, no one does it better than Apple. By keeping your phone at home, you’ll be able to send and receive calls, and text messages, get your notifications, reply to them, listen to music, and much more!

In essence, everything that you could do with an internet connection or a phone close by on your watch can also be done with a strong enough cellular connection without the need of a phone bogging you down. In terms of battery life, don’t expect anything stellar. In fact, Series 7 is reported to have a relatively worse battery life as compared to previous models.

However, as always, using the watch every day and then sitting it on your nightstand at the end of the day is probably the best way to go when it comes to keeping the watch juiced up. With software updates promised for a year, and great integration with your iPhones, the Series 7 is a worthy pickup for anyone who’s yet to enter the Apple ecosystem.

Full Apple Watch Series 7 Review

Pros:

  • Nearly bezel-less design
  • Extremely fast, snappy performance
  • Regular updates with promises for future support for at least a few years

Cons:

  • Even starter variants can be on the pricier end
  • Does not work with Android devices

3. Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE – Best Security Oriented LTE Smartwatch

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE

Size 44 mm variant
OSProprietary
ROM4 GB
Water ResistanceIP6X
Additional FeaturesHeart Rate Sensor, Pedometer
Battery Life35 hours
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, LTE
CompatibilityiOS, Android

Clunky but functional would be the best way to describe the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE. While not the most good-looking or the most powerful, the Forerunner 945 LTE never claimed to be either. With the lack of a touchscreen, conventional navigation methods are thrown right out of the window.

Instead, you’ll have to rely on the side buttons loitered around either end of the watch to navigate across each menu. As you might’ve already guessed, the lack of a touchscreen reduces the number of options the watch has when it comes to applications. The inclusion of proprietary software does indeed bring in applications like Spotify, but that is pretty much it.

In terms of security, though, this is where the Forerunner shines. You’ll be able to use Garmin’s LiveTrack, which allows your friends to see your location in real-time using their high-accuracy GPS sensor present within. 

Besides that, though, their most exciting feature is the inclusion of Assistance Plus. This not only sends your location to Emergency Services but also uses Garmin’s IECC network, the same one used by individuals who are caught in a pinch in extreme situations, be it stranded at sea or lost in a mountain. 

All in all, if you have a knack for keeping yourself secure or just can’t stay out of trouble, the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE is a no-brainer.

Pros:

  • Rugged design that can take a beating
  • Has an immense array of security features

Cons:

  • No touchscreen makes the watch hard to navigate 
  • LTE connectivity feels shoddy at times
  • Extremely pricey!

Do All Garmin smartwatches work with iPhones?

4. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 – Best Budget LTE Smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

Size 40 and 44 mm variants
OSTizen OS
ROM4 GB
Water ResistanceSwimproof (5 ATM)
Additional FeaturesECG, Heart Rate Sensor, Sleep Tracking
Battery Life24 to 77 hours
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.2, WiFi, GPS, NFC
CompatibilityiOS and Android 

If you are on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is the way to go. Featuring a battery life of about 2-3 days, the introduction of FDA improved ECG, and a sleek design that still looks timeless, you’ll be able to squeeze in a lot out of this tiny package.

Considered an honorable predecessor to the new and improved Galaxy Watch 3, the Active 2 still runs Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS. While you can’t expect the same plethora of applications to be greeting the Active 2 anytime soon, you still have access to the basics like Spotify, Pandora, and even a third-party application that lets you watch YouTube directly on the watch.

Besides that though, the watch offers great fitness tracking, integrates well with Samsung Health, and works as a great companion. In terms of LTE usage, the watch is quite solid. You can perform everything from navigating throughout the city or listening to your favorite beats with your phone miles away. 

We’re big fans of the Galaxy Active 2’s overall design language. It comes in a variety of colors, and while it does not have the same variety of bands as, say, an Apple Watch, it does get the job done. 

One caveat that we’ve noticed with the LTE version of this smartphone is that the battery will drain considerably faster. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, you’ll need to vary in how much you use your device. Otherwise, it might not even last the entire day in some instances.

Pros

  • Stellar price
  • Not bound to Samsung phones (works on iOS too!)
  • Timeless design still looks modern

Cons

  • ECG features not available in all countries
  • Tizen OS is lackluster, does not support a lot of applications
  • Battery life

5. TicWatch Pro 4G LTE – Best Battery Life LTE Smartwatch

Size 44 mm
OSProprietary
ROM4 GB
Water ResistanceIP68
Additional FeaturesHeart Rate Sensor, GPS, Pedometer
Battery Life5 to 30 days
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 , NFC, LTE
CompatibilityiOS and Android

Alright, we get it. Not everyone’s in the mood to sacrifice battery life for a cellular connection. However, with this pick, you will still have to make sacrifices in terms of the overall quality and functionalities of the device.

The primary feature which makes the TicWatch Pro 4G / LTE so attractive is the introduction of a unique dual-layer display that helps save battery life allowing for the watch to last up to 30 days if used in a certain manner. However, from our observation, even regular LTE usage yielded us 5-6 days which is much better than all the other devices mentioned in the list.

However, as we mentioned earlier, there are still a few tradeoffs that you’ll have to make do with if you want to have such stellar battery life on your wrist with a cellular connection onboard. Firstly, the TicWatch Pro 4G / LTE might feel like a glorified pager in some cases.

Don’t get us wrong, it does have all your basic utilities from being able to track your health, counting your steps, and displaying your notifications. But, that’s pretty much where all the list stops. Don’t expect advanced sleep tracking, onboard applications, or anything that demands more processing power as the Snapdragon Wear 2100 present in the device is sluggish at best and unresponsive at the worst.

However, the TicWatch does make up for its downfalls in some other avenues. For example, you’ll be greeted with a great microphone and an integrated Google Assistant (take notes Samsung!) that let you make and receive calls with relative ease.

All in all, while not the best smartwatch out there, if your primary purpose is to have a smartwatch that has a great battery, is able to perform all the basic utilities most require from a smartwatch while still coming from a reputable brand with passable design, the TicWatch Pro 4G / LTE is a great pick. 

Pros:

  • Features integrated Google Assistant 
  • Extremely durable design
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Cellular variant not available in every region
  • Entire watch might feel bulky at times
  • Processor is relatively slow and unresponsive at times 

6. Apple Watch Series SE – Best Budget Apple LTE Smartwatch

Size 40 and 44 mm variant
OSWatch OS
ROM32 GB
Water ResistanceIP6X
Additional FeaturesHeart Rate Sensor, GPS, Pedometer, ECG, Emergency Fall Detection
Battery Life1 to 2 days
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE
CompatibilityiOS

If you’ve been an avid Apple fan, you’d know that the SE lineup was always reserved for something special. While features are generally cut around from an Apple device once it gets the SE tag, the Apple Watch, for this instance, was truly something different.

Honing the same design and chassis as the Series 6, the SE featured a slightly older processor (the S5 from the Watch Series 5) alongside limited color options and the same brushed aluminum finish. Besides that though, the watch operated and functioned exactly like a flagship. 

While the lack of an Always-On Display, especially on an AMOLED might be a drawback for some of you, it ends up saving you a ton of battery life. Speaking of, the cellular connection on this device is great, and the battery life does end up lasting through the entire day, even with moderate to heavy use. While you can’t expect anything more out of the watch in terms of battery, you can expect Apple to be providing a few years of software support.

Besides that, though, there’s not much to complain about the Apple Watch Series SE. It is functional, durable, works with your iPhone, and gets the job done, be it seeing notifications, replying to texts, making calls, or calling an Uber. All in all, the Series SE is an excellent choice if you aren’t in the mood for spending a pretty buck on getting the latest and greatest and can make do with the great price-to-performance ratio that the Series SE provides. 

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Features a relatively newer design, doesn’t look dated

Cons:

  • No Always-On Display

7. Fossil Gen 5 LTE – Best Aesthetic LTE Smartwatch

Size 44 mm variant
OSProprietary
ROM8 GB
Water Resistance3 ATM 
Additional FeaturesHeart Rate Sensor, Pedometer
Battery Life24 hours
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE
CompatibilityiOS, Android

Fossil has been making great watches for a long while now, and their headway into the smartwatch space has them taking their design language and combining it with tech. While their earlier iterations felt like a hit-or-miss, the Gen 5 LTE is truly an all-rounder.

Don’t get us wrong, the Gen 6 improves on this watch in almost every single way. However, it still does not have an LTE version. However, with that said, the watch runs Google’s Watch OS and therefore has access to hundreds of different applications that work great.

What we’re more impressed with, though, is the seamless LTE connectivity and the Stainless Steel case enveloping the AMOLED display. With a passable Snapdragon Wear 3100 inside, you’ll be able to chug through most tasks with relative ease. 

Fossil offers tons of amazing straps right on their website allowing you to mix and match, having you create the look you desire. While the straps are on the pricier end, we assume that’s what you pay for investing in the Fossil brand! 

Pros:

  • Great compatibility with almost all applications
  • Aesthetically pleasing design

Cons:

  • Future updates are not guaranteed
  • Can feel sluggish sometimes 

Conclusion: Which LTE watch should I buy?

To be honest, it all comes down to preference. Most of these watches have the same amazing functions, give or take, but Smartwatches are accessories. You have to pick the one you really like. I’m talking visually.

Samsung Galaxy Watch, Apple Watch, Fossil, Garmin, TicWatch – doesn’t matter. As long as it has a cellular connection(LTE) you will be able to:

  • Make calls without a phone
  • Go for a run without a phone and listen to Spotify
  • Receive text messages when your phone is left at home

You get the point. For me, it’s simple – I like to count my daily steps. I like to go for a run, but I don’t like taking my phone with me. Especially in summer when it’s crazy hot. I wear a t-shirt, shorts and running shoes, there’s no room for a phone, but I’ve no problem wearing a watch and AirPods, it just makes running more enjoyable. Honestly, that’s the only reason why I even considered the LTE smartwatch.

Since I run this blog, people often ask me to explain what’s the difference between LTE and a normal smartwatch, and this is what I say:

LTE smartwatch is like a proxy. It works as an intermediary between you and your phone.

FAQ

Do I Need To Pay For My Smartwatch’s LTE ConnectIon?

In most cases, you will need to pay for your smartwatch’s LTE connection. However, cell providers, especially in the U.S. offer special discounts and deals if you already have a phone on contract with them. But, if you don’t have that ease, the watch will operate just like a regular phone in terms of data consumption.

Does an LTE Smartwatch Have Worse Battery Life?

While an LTE smartwatch does not inherently have a component that passively saps away battery life, it does lead your battery to die faster if you have LTE on constantly. Therefore, we recommend selectively turning the option off and not keeping it turned on constantly. 

Can I Make Calls On My LTE Smartwatch?

Yes, you can make calls on your LTE Smartwatch and even receive texts. However, your phone number remains the same as your actual smartphone. You cannot have a dedicated number just for your smartwatch. In fact, your smartwatch will always act as an extension to your smartwatch.

Is LTE Smartwatch Supported In Roaming?

Depending on your phone’s carrier and what sim you have installed, your smartwatch should also be able to work just fine when you are traveling abroad. However, your mileage may vary depending on the local provider and what their regulations and policies are.

Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

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.