Smartwatches are still fairly new to the wearables world and there is an ever increasing number of devices available in the market. There’s no surprise that consumers can be little confused when it comes to choosing their ideal smartwatch.

When it comes to deciding, you need a phone running iOS or Android and then you might also find yourself in two thoughts. Either way, there’s one simple question that can help: can a smartwatch work without a phone?

Can a Smartwatch Work Without a Phone?

This is exactly what this article tries to answer these questions and will help you to find out whether the new-born device can work independently or we should expect the appearance of a smartphone.

Smartwatches Rely on Bluetooth Connection

Smartwatches rely solely on a Bluetooth connection to an enabled smartphone and the companion Android or iPhone app to act as a remote.

They have no cellular connectivity of their own. This means you can’t receive calls, texts or other notifications from the watch unless your phone is nearby.

They’re not totally dependent on you carrying your phone around, but they’re not independent devices either.

Without that connection, all you have is a big, expensive watch. This means that if your smartwatch isn’t connected to your phone, someone can able to use it as a listening device.

Most smartwatches are designed to work with smartphones running the Android or iOS operating systems.

They will connect with some computers running Windows or Mac OS X through a USB connection, but it isn’t usually the best experience.

Smartwatches Are Not a Phone Replacement

Smartwatches are not a phone replacement. They are not supposed to be. Don’t expect them to be. It is not their purpose. But they can do things that your phone can’t do.

Let me compare smartwatches with smartphones. Smartphones have:

A large screen for reading and typing and app store full of apps for entertainment, productivity, etc.

They have an internet connection for surfing the web on their own or tethering to computers, tablets and other devices via mobile data or a mobile hotspot feature.

They have access to a wide range of sensors: GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometer, proximity sensor and more.

Smartphones use cellular or Wi-Fi networks for voice calls, messaging and accessing the internet over a wireless data connection (the LTE/4G networks). And they have a built in camera for photos and videos.

Smartwatches have:

A small screen that’s too small for reading long texts or emails comfortably or surf the web on their own. But works well for displaying notifications and quick replies to messages.

They have health monitoring features such as spo2 monitoring, sleep monitoring, sports mode, and collect data about your health & fitness & present the same in a user-friendly manner.

Smartwatches are like fitness trackers on steroids, they help you focus on your fitness goals and make sure that you get enough movement throughout the day.

Can a Smartwatch Work Without a Phone?

Smartwatches are hot topic this year. And for good reason: they offer a nice new way to access the Internet on the go, and can make it easier to stay connected with friends and family.

But what happens if you don’t have a smartphone? Does that mean you can’t use a smartwatch? Not at all. In fact, there are many great smartwatches for people who don’t own smartphones.

There are two versions of cellular smartwatches: standalone and connected watches. Standalone watches have a built-in SIM card and make calls directly using that account, while connected watches do not have a SIM card and cannot make calls without a phone nearby.

what can a smartwatch do without a phone

In short, you can still monitor your health, access music, maps, Siri & enjoy multiple sports mode without the need of your smartphone.

Not having a phone won’t mean you can’t use a smartwatch

Does smartwatch work without phone?  Smart watches work without your phone, but you’ll need your phone nearby to set up your smartwatch. That’s because the Bluetooth connection between the two devices is required for setup.

You’ll also need your phone to download apps, receive software updates and get notifications from apps that are being pushed directly to your watch.

Smartwatches are great, but they’re only as good as their connections. There’s no point owning a smartwatch if you don’t have a phone to make it work with.

It is so because without the phone you won’t be able to get notifications for calls or texts, and you’ll also find that the smartwatch functions are limited.

Telling the time on your smartwatch isn’t going to be much use if you can’t get any notifications from your apps.

Female hands with smartwatch and phone with email or sms on the screen.

What Can a Smartwatch Do Without Smartphone Access?

Smart watches vary by brand and model. But by definition, they all operate independently of a smart phone.

They do not require a cell phone to run, though you may need to download an app on your phone before you can use the watch.

All smartwatches can do these things without a phone:

  • Track steps, distance, and calories burned.
  • Control music and accept calls from their paired phone.
  • Set alarms and timers
  • Display maps and directions (on some models).
  • Enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.
  • Can take pictures and videos (if available).
  • Count your steps and monitor your heart rate.
  • They can remind you about important events and calls.
  • Smartwatch can also serve as an alarm clock.
  • They can keep you connected to the world, because there are hundreds of apps available for them.
  • Smartwatches have many other uses as well.

Without a cell phone, some smartwatches can still do fitness tracking activities

Some smartwatches can be used without a cell phone and can still do fitness tracking activities. The Apple Watch, for example, taps into the GPS chip inside the watch to keep track of your steps and location.

A few other smartwatches also have GPS capabilities. If you’re in the market for a smartwatch that doesn’t need a cell phone to track your steps, look for one with GPS capabilities.

track location with smartwatch GPS

While these watches may not be as advanced as some of their counterparts, they can still keep you on track with your fitness goals.

Many smartwatches have fitness tracking activity capabilities. Some don’t need a cell phone to track your steps, heart rate and other health-related information.

This is because they have the capability to connect to a specialized heart-rate monitor or another compatible device, such as a chest strap.

You can then sync the data with a heart-rate app on your smartphone or other device. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still use your smartwatch to track your exercise activities without being connected to a phone.

It’s important to note that some smartwatches will only work when paired with a phone, especially if they are running third-party apps through Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

This means that if you are not able to pair the smartwatch with your phone, it will be impossible to use many of the watch’s features, including fitness tracking capabilities.

Conclusion | What Can a Smartwatch Do Without a Phone?

Well the short answer is …it depends on what you mean by “work”. Only few of the current smartwatches have cellular connectivity in them like a phone does, so yes you will need to have your phones nearby when using most of features.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch just as a fashion accessory and something that can tell you some basic notifications then there shouldn’t be any problems.

Remember that smartwatches can be useful when used to enhance your mobile experience, not replace it.

In other words, though you may no longer need your phone for every part of your day, there will most likely still be many occasions where you need to use it. So do yourself a favor, and treat your watch as a complementary tool—not a replacement for it.

So, can a smartwatch work without a phone? We hope this article has provided you with some helpful information about the issue.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below—we’ll do our best to answer them!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a smartwatch need Wi-Fi?

Many people assume that a smartwatch would pair with a smartphone over Wi-Fi and use the same cellular network to receive notifications and messages from the phone. However, this is not the case. Smartwatches are not an extension of a smartphone because they do not connect directly to a cellular network or Wi-Fi network like smartphones do.

Will a smartwatch work without a SIM card?

You can still get some of the features from your smartwatch even if you don’t have a SIM card. Few models with built-in GPS, so you can track your runs without having your phone with you. You can also listen to music stored on the watch itself or stream tunes via Bluetooth headphones.

The only way to use a smartwatch without a SIM card would be if it connected solely through Bluetooth. But since tethering through Bluetooth drains your phone’s battery very quickly, it’s not practical for everyday usage.

Do smartwatches need Internet?

No, it doesn’t. A smartwatch is essentially a smartphone that’s been shrunk down to a wrist-watch size. So, like a smartphone, it can still function without an Internet connection. And in fact, a smartwatch only becomes more useful when it’s not connected to the Internet. It fulfils the real wearable purpose- health tracking.

Can Samsung smartwatch work without phone?

If you have a Samsung smartwatch, can it still work without your phone? The answer is yes, the watch can still work when you don’t have your phone.

Normally, when you want to use the smartwatch to make calls, send messages or do other things, you will need to connect it with your phone.

But if you want to use your watch independently and track health related functions or do any other things without connecting with your phone, you can.

You can listen to music stored on your Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch if you are within Bluetooth range of a compatible Galaxy smartphone or tablet. You can also transfer MP3 files from your computer to the storage of your watch for offline listening.

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