How to Use Smartwatch Without Phone


Phones are independent accessories. They do not rely so much on peripheral devices to achieve their objectives. But the functionalities of a smartwatch can be limited. We have standalone smartwatches and those that cannot work without a phone. Initial pairing of the smartwatch to the phone may still be necessary even on standalone smartwatches.

To call or text from a smartwatch without a phone, the watch must access a cellular network. To communicate over the network, it must support a SIM card. Having headphones with microphones is an added advantage. Don’t worry if yours is not a cellular smartwatch; some features may still work even without the phone.

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about using a smartwatch without a phone is that you can make calls or text from it. But you don’t have to carry two different devices when going about your day. Since the smartwatches can connect to the cloud via cellular and wi-fi, you can install apps on them.This article will teach you how to use a smartwatch without a phone and the best smartwatches for making a call in 2022.

Can a smartwatch work without a phone?

Unlike the smartwatches that need initial pairing to your phone to work, standalone smartwatches are entirely autonomous. In other words, all features will be available whether your smartphone is around or not. That’s because your smartwatch and smartphone can remain connected through the cloud. 

While most smartwatches need pairing to a phone, there is no need to tether a standalone smartwatch to a phone. Therefore, if you want to use your smartwatch without a phone, there are things to look at before purchasing. The most important thing to look at is if the smartwatch is operating on a SIM card or not.

You don’t have to carry two different devices when going about your day. Standalone smartwatches can perform nearly all the functions of a smartphone even if you leave the phone at home. My experience with the Apple Watch Series 6 was particularly encouraging in that respect. However, standalone smartwatches can be pretty expensive.

Read more: How Does A Smartwatch Work?

Using a smartwatch without a phone

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about using a smartwatch without a phone is that you can make calls or text from it. Of course, some smartwatches can do that. But even those with in-built cellular radios are not entirely self-sufficient. They may occasionally require a phone when you need to set up the smartwatch or install apps.

Therefore, a smartwatch that makes calls and texts without a smartphone must have a SIM card. The sim card can be removable, or it can be an in-built e-sim. It allows the smartwatch to perform (independently) essentials like calling, texting, voice commands, music streaming/playing, and health and fitness tracking. 

However, receiving calls on your wrist might feel weird sometimes. I recommend purchasing Airpods or other wireless headphones. They bring significant clarity and convenience in communication, voice commands, and listening to music.

LTE expands what you can achieve with a smartwatch. With LTE, your smartwatch is not limited only to fitness and wellness, but it can also act as a phone. For example, the smartwatch can be your digital wallet. It allows you to make electronic transactions and stores all the transaction details on an online database. 

Large companies like Amazon, Google, and Paypal created their digital wallets. An example of a digital wallet you can install and use in the Apple Watch is Apple pay. If you have a smartwatch like the Galaxy Gear S, you can make online transactions through Samsung Pay. Remember that only standalone smartwatches can do all these without a phone.

When both devices are connected through the internet, you can access everything regardless of the distance between the phone and the smartwatch. In standalone smartwatches, this is made possible by smart number technology. This can be seen in apps like Whatsapp, which allows you to use one number across multiple devices.

The best smartwatch for making phone calls without a phone also lets you browse the internet. Therefore, cloud applications will stay active in the background. That is important because every notification that arrives on your phone can be seen on your smartwatch. This transforms the smartwatch into a tiny computer on your wrist.

Related article: Smartwatch functionality

Best smartwatches to use without a phone

If it’s not a cellular smartwatch, voice functions may not be available. However, some features may continue working even without the phone. For instance, some smartwatches support Wi-fi. Find out if yours does by checking if it has Wi-fi settings.

As long as your smartwatch and smartphone are online, they will stay connected regardless of the distance between them. LTE/4G is the primary cellular signal for online engagement. Network providers activate it during a call or when a device is online.

Here are the best smartwatches for making calls in 2022 even if you leave your phone behind:

Smartwatch/modelHow it works without a phone
Apple Watch SEWith LTE
Apple Watch Series 3In-built e-sim
Apple Watch Series 5In-built e-sim
Apple Watch Series 6In-built e-sim
Apple Watch Series 7With LTE
Galaxy Gear SRadios for Wi-Fi, as well as 2G and 3G cellular connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Cellular connectivity
Samsung Galaxy Active2LTE
Samsung Galaxy Watch3In-built e-sim
Samsung Galaxy Watch4Virtual SIM card and LTE
TicWatch Pro LTELTE with Verizon only.

Since the smartwatches can connect to the cloud via cellular and wi-fi, you can install apps on them.

We know there are two kinds of applications: cloud applications and standalone applications. Cloud applications cannot work without an internet connection. Installing standalone apps on your smartwatch can increase its functionalities significantly. 

Recommended: The best smartwatch for android 2021

Things you can do on a smartwatch without a smartphone

Advances in wearable technology make smartwatches more self-sufficient. Although standalone smartwatches are here with us, they can be costly. But still, you can connect your smartwatch to the phone via Bluetooth or cellular data. Bluetooth allows for calls and texts with your watch when the phone is in range.

The primary function of phones is to keep us connected to our colleagues and loved ones regardless of the distance separating us.

On the other hand, a smartwatch tracks your health and fitness. A smartwatch that misses the communication aspect can be very dull. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do other things with it, though.

Here are some standard features that will continue to work on a smartwatch even without the phone:

  • Date and time
  • Alarm, timer, and stopwatch
  • Today calendar
  • Step count
  • Change your watch face
  • Music player
  • Airplane mode

Final thoughts

Autonomous smartwatches are convenient and more fun. If yours can only work with the phone around, there are still several things you can do with it without the smartphone.

Jaspreet Singh

I'm the co-owner of Wearable Hacks. I love to write about smartwatches. On this website, I share everything That 'I learned. For more information Go to About Page

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