Can You Use A Smartwatch Without A Phone?

In the last few years, there have been lots of features found in smartphones being integrated into smartwatches. This explains why many people today want the convenience of owning a Smartwatch instead of carrying a smartphone that may be heavy for them. However, most smartwatches need the connectivity of smartphones. The question is, can you use a Smartwatch without a phone?

There are some smartwatches that you can use without a smartphone. These types of Smartwatches are called standalone Smartwatches and they are a bit expensive. To have smooth operation, they need a micro-SIM and this indicates that the smartwatch will communicate through a cellular network itself without pairing to your mobile phone.

Smartwatch enthusiasts already know how versatile these compact little devices have become and their impacts. Even though it is possible to operate some smartwatches without needing your smartphone, you’ll still require a phone to set up and install some of the apps on your smartwatch. However, if you own a smartwatch that makes use of a micro-SIM, there are a lot of things you can do without your phone.

Smartwatch Functionality Without A Phone

can you use a smartwatch without a phone

Like we said above, there are many things you can do with your smartwatches without needing your phone. But you must have a standalone smartwatch. These smartwatches are normally more expensive than regular smartwatches because of the additional hardware to make it independent.

Standalone smartwatches are the type of device with many functionalities, and can function without the smartphone. They have the built-in capability of a smartphone. Some of their functions is the ability to connect to the 3G or 4G mobile networks using its own SIM card. After you have connected the SIM, it will deliver messages and many other functionalities without needing a smartphone.

Let’s look at some of the functions a smartwatch can perform without a phone:

1.       Ability to send and receive text messages

2.       You will be able to receive notifications from your social media accounts

3.       You will be able to browse the internet with its cellular network

4.       Ability to receive app notification

5.       You can listen to music on the go

6.       Ability to stream YouTube videos

7.       You can make, receive and reject calls

8.       Ability to send and receive email messages

9.       You can track your fitness activities

10.   You can check your heart rate

11.   Ability to update all smartwatch apps using it’s cellular network

Note that you can only get all these features and functionalities without a phone if you own a standalone smartwatch. However, there are some limitations of using these types of smartwatches without connecting them to a phone. 

So let’s see a few of the limitations…

Limitations in Screen size

Indeed, one of the limited functionalities you will find in smartwatches which is one of it’s disadvantages is in their screen size. There’s always a small screen with limited functionality, even though it has full features, it can be very complicated when viewing.

Not compatible for chat

Even though these standalone smartwatches come with lots of functionalities, they are not compatible for chatting. The reason for this is that the screen size won’t allow you to do this.

Not too Convenient for Calls

There’s a reason for the high demand of Bluetooth calling smartwatches, it is due to the inability of smartwatches to make and receive calls conveniently on its own. Without a headset or Bluetooth device, you won’t be able to make calls privately from a smartwatch since the speakers are the only option for talking, unlike a phone.

If you try to make calls especially when you are in a crowded place, you may get a terrible experience and you may not be comfortable.

Connecting to Wi-Fi

can you use a smartwatch without a phone

Connecting to a Wifi is one of the best ways to enjoy features and Apps on your smartwatch. WiFi connection is convenient, flexible, and can save you money especially if you connect via a public WiFi. However, there are several benefits of using wifi on your smartwatch. First, you can directly download apps to your smartwatch, especially to those who love music and videos.

You can also make use of wifi to sync your watch with your smartphone. When this is done, you will be able to use all the features in your smartwatch, even when your smartphone is not with you.

You can connect your smartwatch using WiFi or cellular data, but it won’t be able to connect to the Internet if the Wi-Fi settings aren’t properly configured. So connecting to WiFi, take these steps:

1.       First, make sure your smartwatch is turned on, or unlock the display.

2.       Check for the section, “Parameters / Settings”.

3.       Choose “Connection”, then Internet / Wi-Fi.

4.       While in the Wi-Fi section, choose the required wireless network.

5.       Now input the password and confirm your action.

Please note that Smartwatch models from different brands may have differences when it comes to their parameter settings. Though it is very possible for you to carry it out on your own. However, there are still limitations when it comes to using Wi-Fi on a smartwatch. Let’s check out the most important part…

Privacy problem

Privacy issue is one of the most popular vulnerabilities when connecting to WiFi. This is because hackers could easily read sensitive information on your smartwatch via the Wi-Fi traffic. Just recently, researchers found out that there are lots of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi setup, and this can allow hackers to inject malicious files and code into Wi-Fi traffic.

Standalone Cellular Connectivity

All standalone smartwatches come with a built-in cellular connectivity which allows you to directly connect to your carrier’s data plan and browse the internet, send and receive messages, make and receive calls, and receive email messages without connecting to a smartphone.

These standalone Smartwatches or Cellular-enabled Smartwatches as some may call them, are a bit expensive. This is due to the additional hardware capability that makes them independent of smartphones. Due to technological development, there’s another popular name for them now, “4G LTE smartwatches”.

Standalone watches with cellular connectivity require a SIM card to be functional. With standalone smartwatches, you won’t only be able to make calls without a smartphone but you can also do the following:

1.       Ability to send and receive Text messages

2.       You can send and receive Emails

3.       You can stream Music and Videos

4.       Ability to make Payment easily

5.       You can browse the Internet

Note that you can perform all these with the watch on your wrist without needing your smartphone. Though there are limitations of using cellular connectivity on a smartwatch.

Their small screen size happens to be one of their limitations. People with eye problems who can’t see little characters may experience difficulty seeing information on the small screen.

They can be distracting sometimes, especially for those whose work needs concentration. You may be distracted when your wrist keeps making sounds with every notification.

Poor battery life that needs regular smartwatch charging is another limitation.


We have been able to demonstrate to you that you can use your SmartWatch without needing to connect it to your phone. However, you need a standalone smartwatch that requires the use of a micro-SIM which will communicate via a cellular network itself without pairing to your mobile phone. But what would be the future of smartwatches and their potential to be used without a phone?

Smartwatches still have a long way from being perfect. There have been complaints from users of getting errors and their watch displaying inaccurate data. However, the world is moving towards a hands-free technology ecosystem. This simply means that standalone smartwatches are just a few steps towards being independent of smartphones.