Is an Apple Watch without a cellular function or do you need the optional LTE connection in everyday life? In this article, we reveal where the differences are between the two models and for whom which model is suitable.
Anyone who wants to buy an Apple Watch is faced with a series of questions: which color, size, and housing material? However, the question is even more fundamental whether the Apple Watch should be with or without cellular. While the GPS variant is probably sufficient for most of you, there are some users for whom an Apple Watch with Cellular makes sense.
Apple Watch with or without cellular: What does that mean?
Regardless of whether you order an Apple Watch Series 7 (here with a contract) or an older model like the Series 6: Apple offers the watches from the Series 3 in two variants. While other brands such as Samsung speak of Bluetooth and LTE models, Apple distinguishes its smartwatches based on the names “GPS” and “GPS + Cellular”. Sometimes you also meet “WiFi versions”.
What is meant is: that an Apple Watch without a cellular connects either via WLAN or via Bluetooth with your iPhone to establish an internet connection. It is best to activate both to always be connected. The Apple Watch with cellular, on the other hand, has its own SIM card and an LTE modem.
With the smartwatch, you can go online regardless of the smartphone. However, you need a separate mobile phone tariff (here from O2 & Blau) for the Apple Watch.
Important: The tariff has to support ESIMs – more on that later.
Apple Watch without cellular: differences to the cellular model, advantages, and disadvantages
The most important thing in advance: You don’t have to do without features if you choose a model without an LTE connection. Apart from the LTE modem, Apple is equally equipping the clocks. So you do not have to fear that, for example, the blood oxygen sensor is missing or that you have to make do with a stripped-down screen just because you have chosen the cheaper model.
Price & basic requirements
In terms of price, there is a difference between an Apple Watch with cellular and an Apple Watch without a cellular. If you buy the watch directly from a dealer, depending on the model, you have to pay between 50 and 100 euros for the LTE modem. If you want to keep the additional costs within limits, the cheaper Apple Watch SE Cellular is a good choice. This is also a good option because you need a second SIM card to use the LTE connection-which is usually also associated with costs.
The LTE-capable watches use a digital ESIM for the Internet connection because a physical map does not fit into the clock. Here you have an advantage if your mobile phone tariff allows a free second SIM. Often you have to pay a monthly surcharge or book a separate mobile phone tariff.
Apps and features
With an Apple Watch Cellular, you can also use some practical features compared to the pure GPS version if the iPhone (here with a contract) is not nearby. For example, you can call up apps at any time that require a network connection (e.g. weather, messenger, maps).
You can also accept and make calls (including emergency calls), send messages, use Siri, control smart home devices, and stream music without having to download the songs beforehand.
Another plus point of the cellular models: The administration via the family configuration only works with LTE models.
A disadvantage of the permanent LTE connection is the higher power consumption. If you use the watch very intensely regardless of your smartphone, the LTE modem consumes significantly more energy than smartphone coupling. How quickly the battery is running out depends on the connection quality – and on what you use the watch for. If you switch off the mobile phone connection, the battery lasts as long as that of the cheaper GPS model.
Read Also: Facebook Apple IWatch Concept Design
For whom does the Apple Watch Cellular make sense?
In everyday life, you probably rarely come into a situation in which you really need the additional features of the Apple Watch with cellular. And: Most people always have their smartphone with them anyway. So the question arises whether the purchase of an Apple Watch with cellular is worth it for you or whether you do not use the feature in the end.
The Apple Watch with LTE model is suitable for you if you are on the move a lot outside and active in sports. Because every time you run your smartphone when your running goes, it can be quite annoying. Some extreme athletes also like to do without extra loads like a smartphone – even so that it doesn’t break. In this case, the “GPS + Cellular” variant of the Apple Watch is worthwhile.
The route tracking (for example during jogging) also creates the Apple Watch without a cellular, but with a cellular model, you can also be reached without a cell phone. This is also important in the event of a UN and emergencies: if you accidentally unscrews when running, the creation of the fall and can make an emergency call thanks to the LTE modem.
You can also spontaneously change music with the Apple Watch Cellular, because you can access your playlists directly at streaming providers, for example. You don’t have to make it available offline beforehand.
In the end, you have to ask yourself whether the flexibility of the cellular models is worth the surcharge. In many cases, the monthly fees for the necessary ESIM are added to the higher acquisition costs. Many providers demand around 5 euros per month for such a contract option. Some also offer a parallel ESIM for free.