Do Smartwatches Need Data Plans?

Have you been planning to buy a smartwatch but worried about do smartwatches need data plans? No, they don’t need data plans. Leaving the standalone smartwatches, most normal smartwatches and watches that have GPS functions do not require data plans.

It is no wonder that smartwatches are becoming a part of those people’s lives who wish to bring order into their routine. With a watch that helps you keep healthy and fit and does all the work you need without depending on your phone, your life becomes easier. But before switching to a smartwatch most of us have a doubt in our minds that needs precise clarification.

Do smartwatches need data plans?

The simple and straight answer is; it depends. The need for data plans depends on the type of smartwatch that you are using. Normal smartwatches and GPS watches can function without a data plan. They use your phone’s data instead. On the other hand, standalone smartwatches have cellular connectivity and hence, require a data plan.

If standalone smartwatches that come with cellular connectivity and 4G LTE support are your preference, then you might have to think of data plans for using them. Or else, you can go with the normal smartwatches and rely on your phone to share its data for your watch.

Standalone vs Normal Smartwatches

Standalone smartwatches can be called self-sufficient watches because they have their own features to stand alone, as the name suggests. It accesses the internet with its own 4G LTE radio that is found in the watch itself. For doing this, it uses its own sim card, which is usually a nano-SIM or eSIM.

Normal smartwatches or watches with GPS connect to your smartphones through Bluetooth or WiFi. In this case, there will be an app installed in your smartphone, which does the work of using your phone’s data for your smartwatch. Therefore, they don’t necessarily require data plans. The mobile app synced with your smartwatch will use the phone’s data to upload or download any data or information to or from your smartwatch whenever needed.

Some standalone smartwatches which require data plans are the Apple Watch Series that uses an e-sim with your phone’s data plan, DZ09 smartwatches, Samsung Gear s & S3, Samsung Galaxy Watches, and more.

Standalone smartwatches have also the advantage of connecting them to your phone through Bluetooth. So that you can use this for calling, sending, or receiving text messages, including streaming your favourite music without using your smartphone.

What is eSIM? How is it different from other SIMs available?

Types of sim available
Types of SIMs Available

The term “eSIM” or “Electronic SIM” means an embedded SIM card that is not available as a physical entity. The embedded SIM, which is different from other SIM cards, is basically a small chip that is already built inside your eSIM ready device.

Here, the information is rewritable. Then through a QR code, a “SIM profile” is loaded on it, which is to be scanned by your device. The eSIM then acts like a physical SIM where you can load several profiles and manage them with the application included with your device.

This virtual and non-removable version of regular sim cards is usually installed on the circuit of newer smartphones and smartwatches that support the technology. It stores your Integrated Circuit Card Identifier (ICCID). ICCID is a unique number or identifier stored in your SIM card. This number is also printed on the SIM card during a personalization process.

The eSIMs on your smartwatch can be seen as an extension of your smartphone’s sim card, which uses the same number as your phone’s. If you have an eSim enabled on the watch, you can use it to receive/make calls, messages and even browse on your smartwatch without your smartphone. Depending upon your carrier, there are extra charges on your monthly plan for an eSIM. Some carriers charge more, while some cost less.

How much data does a smartwatch use?

The data usage on your smartwatch entirely depends on how you use them and for what purpose. But it sure doesn’t consume as much data compared to your phone.

The standalone smartwatches can access the internet without a smartphone. They often use the data plan of the smartwatch. With this data plan, you can use video and music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Youtube. More usage of these services means consuming more data.

Therefore, the amount of data usage will be dependent on the internet-based services that you use in your smartwatch; how many services you use, and to what scale? You can control your data usage by monitoring and managing the services that you use.


Smartwatches are always a lifesaver if you want to stick to a systematic and organized life. When you have plenty of options to choose from, don’t let the worries about data plans stop you from buying your favourite smartwatch. If monthly data plans don’t bother you, go for a standalone smartwatch with cellular connectivity, or you can choose from normal smartwatches that don’t require a special data plan, depending on your taste and convenience.

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SmartwatchAdviser Team
SmartwatchAdviser Team

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