Smart Watch offers a convenient companion for your smartphone. But what if you want to use your smartwatch all day without carrying your phone? Then you need a smartwatch phone.
While many smartwatches require a connection to your phone, you will find some standalone smartwatches that can operate independently thanks to cellular support. A watch phone cannot completely replace your phone, but it is perfect for those who are always on the move. They can also reduce the temptation to use your phone too often.
Here are the best cell phone watches that you can use yourself.
Before You Buy a Standalone Smartwatch
Buying a smartwatch phone sounds exciting, but before you make a purchase, you need to know how it works. Since they are connected to cellular data, just like your phone, your carrier must activate and informasi them to your account.
This depends on your carrier, but almost always results in additional costs. Most carriers charge a fee for initial activation, plus a monthly fee to have the device on your plan.
Be aware of this before you decide if a phone watch is right for you. If you don’t plan on using LTE functionality all the time, you might be better off sticking with the standard model to save costs.
One other note: we’re only sticking to phone watches that include cellular support. While some smartwatches do offer Wi-Fi connectivity independent of your phone, this is less useful because you’re unlikely to be in range of a single Wi-Fi network while traveling.
Apple Watch Series 4 (and 3)
The Apple Watch Series 4 is unsurprisingly the best phone watch for iPhone users. Both Series 4 and Series 3 models are available with cellular support. It lets you make calls, send and receive text messages, stream from Apple Music, get directions, receive notifications, and more all without your phone.
Of course, you also get all the features of the Apple Watch. This includes a list of compatible apps, customizable watch faces, Apple Pay, and more. If you don’t need the latest and greatest, you can save money by buying an Apple Watch Series 3.
While this is a great choice for Apple’s faithful, Android users should of course look elsewhere.
This watch includes eSIM technology, which copies SIM information from your phone. You’ll need an iPhone or later to set it up, which you can do with Apple’s help page on Watch cellular settings.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
The Galaxy Watch is Samsung’s newest smartphone watch at the time of writing. This option is probably the best Android watch phone because the Apple Watch is a no-go on the Google platform.
With Galaxy Watch, you get standard smartwatch features like sleep tracking, guided meditation, and exercise information. Samsung claims the battery on the smaller model will last up to three or four days. It’s also built to last, thanks to Gorilla Glass DX+ and IP68 water resistance.
You’ll find a feature set of cell phones comparable to that of the Apple Watch. You can call and text, stream music, and get notifications on your watch wherever you are. If you’re shopping somewhere that requires Samsung Pay, you can even pay with your watch on LTE.
Note that this watch runs Tizen OS instead of Google Wear OS.
Samsung Gear S3
Samsung is still selling the Gear S3, which was the predecessor to the Galaxy Watch. It’s similar to the newer models, making it a decent way to get a watch phone without spending a fortune.
Older devices carry similar features to their successors, although they have weaker processors, less RAM, and fewer workout options. The Gear S3 also suffers on the waterproofing front. While the Galaxy Watch is made for swimming, the Gear S3 is only built to survive a drop of water.
Both have rotating bezels and offer LTE support for calls, texts, notifications, and Samsung Pay purchases. As a result, paying more for the newer model gets you better battery life and a few extra bells and whistles, but the S3 is still a respectable device.
If you choose this, make sure you buy a model compatible with your carrier. Samsung sells several different versions for different companies.
LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition
The Watch Urbane 2nd Edition is a few years old, but it’s still available as one of LG’s two standalone smartwatch offerings.
The device has a classy design with three physical buttons and a full circle P-OLED display. It is IP67 resistant, meaning it will survive dunks in water but is not meant for swimming.
It has the usual smartwatch phone features we mentioned in the models above, including calling, texting, and music streaming thanks to LTE. You can also store music on your watch for local listening. The device also supports health tracking, as well as “OK Google” for help with your voice.
Unlike Samsung’s offerings, LG’s smartwatches include standard Wear OS. You can pick up the LG Watch Urbane in models for Verizon and AT&T, so check to make sure you pick the right one.
LG Watch Sport
LG’s Watch Sport is another older device, but the company is still selling it. It is important to be one of the first smartwatches with Android Wear 2.0 and LTE connectivity.
It has a sharp screen optimized for bright light outside, and features the power of Wear OS. This includes Google Assistant and Google Pay support for easy purchases.
Unfortunately, this watch is on the bulkier side and cellular service is only available at AT&T. But if they don’t bother you, it’s a solid all-in-one standalone smartwatch despite its age.
Can a Smart Watch Replace Your Phone
We’ve looked at five smartphone watches to choose from. Unfortunately, this market is not as attractive as it could be. Only the Apple Watch S4 and Galaxy Watch are the newest devices; many major manufacturers have not yet come out with standalone smartwatches.
This is because mobile smartwatches are not ready for prime time yet. Apart from the cost of the device, you will also have to pay your wireless carrier’s fee to have it in your account. It’s expensive and feels like a penalty just for using a new device.
In addition, battery life when using mobile data is quite poor. The Apple Watch only lasted about an hour to call LTE before the battery died.
However, if you don’t mind the cost and often need to stay in touch without a cell phone nearby, it might be worth dealing with these drawbacks. Hopefully smartwatch technology improves in the near future so we can enjoy a better standalone smartwatch experience.