Do you carry both your smartwatch and smartphone with you? You shouldn’t need to if you chose the right smartwatch for your lifestyle.
Next time leave your smartphone at home! A standalone smartwatch with SIM card support is all you need to start making phone calls from your wrist.
There is no chance a smartwatch can completely replace a high-performing smartphone, I mean look at the screen and camera on a leading phone these days. But sometimes less is more.
The mobility and size of smartwatches give them a certain invisibility when being used that a just phone can’t match.
Today, we look at the top smartwatches that use SIM cards. These devices can actually send and receive calls and SMS messages! Simply insert a SIM and become a whole lot more mobile and independent from your bulky phone.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Table of Contents
|1. Apple Watch Series 6
|2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier LTE
|3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
|4. Garmin Vívoactive 3 Music
|5. Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch
|6. Apple Watch Series 5
|7. LEMFO KW88
|8. TICWRIS Android Smart Watch
Best Sim Card Supported Standalone Smartwatches
These are the watches that we recommend over all others. If this is your first smartwatch then you might want to start with our buyer’s guide further down the page.
1. Apple Watch Series 6 *** OUR TOP PICK ***
- Heart rate and fitness tracker: The Series 6 Apple Watch tracks your daily activity from basic steps to cardiac trends. You’ll be able to track not only calories burned, but the details of when and why you burned them, including your heart rate. This also includes an elevation tracker to note inclines and declines on your routes.
- SpO2 sensor: The Series 6 now also includes a blood oxygen saturation sensor. This sensor calculates your blood oxygen level in real-time, including when you’re inactive. Wearers may use this feature to indicate how well their circulatory and respiratory systems are functioning – although it should never be used instead of professional medical advice.
- Updates: The new Apple watch’s software is 20% faster than the previous Series 5. It includes a brighter retina display for easier viewing outdoors and continues its swim-proof design to allow for use from land to sea.
- The Series 6 smart watch can measure Sp02 levels on demand.
- It contains faster software than the previous models.
- This series contains new colors and band options with a sleek style.
- It continuously allows you to reply to calls and texts from your wrist.
- It’s one of the more expensive smart watches, priced at around $319.
- The battery life is not competitive compared to other smart watches.
2. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier LTE *** An Excellent Alternative ***
Just the same as the Samsung Gear S2 (coming up later), it works with an eSIM. An eSIM actually allows you to choose which carrier you would like without being tied to the specific carrier associated with the SIM card. You’ll have to be careful to use the same carrier as your phone to ensure maximum compatibility.
The display is 1.3-inches and uses new screen technology for wearables called “Corning Gorilla Glass SR+”. This material is stronger than ever and prevents scratches forming on the display. This watch is seriously tough and Samsung state it has “military-grade durability”. It’s also water resistant up to 50 meters which makes it suitable for swimming.
The OS has been updated with an even more powerful chipset and increased RAM under the hood. This adds up to a better user experience but doesn’t drain the battery as you’d expect. Battery life for the 42mm (LTE) version is an impressive 2 days. What’s more, it can be charged wirelessly.
New to this version is the rotating bezel which simplifies the interface, even more, making it easier and faster to use than ever.
Samsung Gear watches work best with Samsung phones. So if you are a Samsung smartphone owner, this could be the one for you. It’s also pretty well priced when compared to the Apple Watch and comes in significantly cheaper (but still not exactly cheap). It’s one of the very best LTE smartwatches out there.
- Price: $$$
- 1.3-inches AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
- GSM (850/900/1800/1900), HSPDA (850/900/1900/2100)
- Dual Core 1.0GHz, 768MB Ram, Exynos 7270
- Powered by Samsung’s own Tizen OS 2.3.2
- 4GB internal storage
- Standalone: Yes, but only the carrier modified versions
- Supported OS: Android & iOS
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Bezel: The Watch Active 2 has reinstalled the digital bezel to add to its look.
- GPS tracking: You can track your runs, walks, or strolls on the smart watch’s GPS.
- Heart rate monitor: Its heart rate monitor includes an alert if it suddenly detects a low or a dangerous heart rate.
- Internet usage: You can not only call and text off this watch but also use it to surf the web.
- Sleep tracker: The Watch Active 2’s sleep tracker will offer users insight on how to better their night’s sleep.
- This Samsung Galaxy watch’s lithium-ion battery can run for up to two days on one full battery charge. A full charge will also be complete in about two hours or less.
- This model sports a very minimalist, modern look.
- The smart watch incorporates built-in pace coaching to help you reach and continue your fitness goals.
- There aren’t many new features compared to its predecessor to make up for the price jump.
- There are few third-party apps associated with or supported by the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.
4. Garmin Vívoactive 3 Music
- Safety features: The Vívoactive 3 Music includes incident detection software during select sports and activities. If an incident is noted, you will be able to send your real-time location to your emergency contacts without using your mobile phone.
- Music: Vívoactive 3 Music received its name for a reason. On it, you’re able to download up to 500 of your favorite hits off of your music service instantly. You can then pair your wireless Bluetooth headphones with the smartwatch for easy listening during your workouts.
- Emergency assistance is at your fingertips – or should we say, wrists – and the Garmin smart watch will note if an incident occurs during certain activities.
- The Vívoactive 3 Music includes over 15 preloaded sports apps to ensure you have all of the support you need to reach your health goals.
- You’ll also be able to buy on the go, as this smart watch includes contactless payment solutions for select cards.
- This smart watch is connected through the Verizon network, so a subscription is required. It is not compatible with Verizon business accounts.
- The battery life is only 4 hours when connected to Verizon and utilizing 4G LTE.
- This smart watch is not compatible with iMessage from an Apple smartphone.
5. Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS Smart Watch
The flagship design of the Ticwatch Pro 3 has an anti-fingerprint glass cover, a built-in speaker, and auto-adjustable brightness. It’s lighter than its 2018 design, but fuller of features.
- Increased battery life: The Ticwatch Pro 3 has increased its battery capacity by a whopping 40% compared to its previous model. This means you’ll have up to 3 days of battery in Smart Mode and up to 45 days in Essential Mode. That’s over a month of battery life.
- Workout assistance: This smartwatch includes a built-in GPS with 5 satellite system positioning. It also has a 24-hour heart rate monitoring sensor and system. Both of these systems work together to track you and your body during exercise routines.
- Additional features: New additions include sleep tracking, stress monitoring, and noise detection.
- The Ticwatch Pro 3’s increased battery life is one of the best on the market. You’ll be able to use your smart watch with its dominant features for three days on one charge and for over a month on Essential Mode, which still supports the pedometer, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracking.
- This smart watch helps you track stress and noise levels to promote self-awareness, health, and well-being.
- The Ticwatch Pro 3’s design is much more basic than others on the market.
- The smart watch’s features seem to be randomly distributed throughout the Mobvoi and WearOS interfaces which can sometimes make it difficult to find what you’re looking for.
6. Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 packs a series of features into an attractive and popular design. While one step behind its more recent Series 6 sister, the Series 5 includes all that an active user may need in a smartwatch.
From emergency services to electrical and optical sensors, the Apple Series 5 smartwatch is a great companion for the active individual.
- Style: Interchangeable bands come in various colors, styles, and materials. It’s easy to create your own look with the Series 5, no matter your personal style.
- Always-On mode: The new always-on retina display allows your time to be continuously visible, along with the watch face or most recent active app.
- Tracking: The Apple Series 5 smart watch includes GPS tracking as well as a compass for accurate location data no matter where you are.
- The always-on display is a huge plus for those who are constantly glancing down at their phones for the time or notifications. Now you have everything available with a quick glance at your wrist.
- It hosts a new ambient light sensor to save battery depending on where you’re using it.
- The new sleep tracker will allow you to limit distractions before bed and track your sleep duration and any disturbances.
- Battery life is limited at 18 hours and can be drained quickly with excessive use.
- The Series 5 is one of the most expensive smart watches, coming in at around $400.
7. LEMFO KW88
A quad-core processor, 512MB of RAM and capacitive touchscreen make it quite a powerful device.
It also has Google Play, which enables you to download apps directly to your watch.
With GPS, heart rate monitoring, a pedometer, and 2G/3G sim card slot, it is an ideal device to cheer-up your life.
This watch does a lot. It just doesn’t do any of the things as well as the big guns like Apple, Samsung, or LG. However, it does have a built-in camera which is very rare for a standalone smartwatch with SIM card.
- Price: $$
- 1.39-inches AMOLED touch screen
- GSM (850/900/1800/1900), WCDMA (850/2100)
- Quad Core processor with 512MB Ram
- Android OS 5.1
- Storage total 4GB (2GB usable)
- Supported OS: Android
8. TICWRIS Android Smart Watch
- Screen: A larger display appears with the TICWRIS 2.86” screen. Users will enjoy full-screen resolution matching the latest HD 8.0MP camera. From games to photos, you’ll enjoy it all right on your wrist.
- Daily features: This Android smart watch includes the daily features you would otherwise need your phone for, like the weather app, alarm, sound recorder, or calendar search.
- Search assistance: Use voice search to look up any information you may need while on the go.
- A large selection of apps is compatible with the TICWRIS Android smart watch, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, SnapChat, and more.
- The bigger screen allows for a phone-like experience on the smart watch. You’ll be able to browse through a full Android layout from your wrist.
- Enjoy 4G while traveling without needing to carry your phone.
- The TICWRIS incorporates facial recognition to unlock your phone with a glance.
- This smart watch is only compatible with Android devices. Currently, it is not able to connect to iOS devices.
- For now, its style is limited. It is only available in one design, in black. While the big screen is a pro for browsing, it is not one aesthetically.
So which watch is right for you? Well, I’m afraid we can’t really help you there but we can tell you which watches we prefer.
In our opinion, the very best smartwatch with a SIM card is the Apple Watch Series 4. Yes, it’s expensive and prohibitively so for a lot of people, but it’s an excellent piece of design. It’s got the best interface and is packed with awesome features. It’s truly “standalone” too with the only caveat being that you need an iPhone with the same cellular plan.
Coming in a close second to the Apple Watch is the Samsung Gear S3. It too is an excellent piece of design. It’s also significantly cheaper and has a better battery life than the expensive Apple device.
In this section, we take a look at the key features you should be looking at when deciding which watch is right for you.
We’ll also look at some of the reasons why a watch like this may or may not be right for you.
What to Look Out For
New to the world of SIM smartwatches? Check out these key points to consider before you buy.
1. Is it truly standalone?
Now, not all these watches work truly independently from your phone. There are those that form their own LTE/3G/4G connection using a SIM card or eSIM card and those that are simply an extension of your cell phone. Using a Bluetooth connection they are able to connect to your phone and make calls in this way. This means they must always be in Bluetooth range of your phone to work.
Does it connect to the world only using WiFi? Does it need a Bluetooth connection to your phone? Or is it a truly independent smartwatch with LTE?
2. How’s the battery life?
These devices aren’t known for their long lasting battery life. Communicating wirelessly is a big drain on power and you can expect to need to charge your device every night if you are using it to communicate a lot. Furthermore, if you choose a model that has lots of sensors for fitness tracking you can expect these to drain the battery faster too. Energy saving modes are common which manage these sensors in energy efficient ways.
3. How’s the user interface?
The smaller we make these gadgets the more important clever interface design is. There’s no point making technology small if it becomes a pain to use and interact with. Thankfully, these devices have some of the smartest interface design around. The Apple and Samsung watches are the best example of this. The better the interface the smoother every interaction you will have with the device. If the interface is poor it’s just going to leave you frustrated.
Furthermore, will the software be supported with updates and fixes in the long term? These are important as they can improve energy efficiency and therefore battery life, and also system performance.
4. Is it built to last?
Make sure to check the waterproof rating. Can it be fully submerged and used while swimming or will it only survive a splash?
Also, is the screen scratch resistant? Remember that tiny screen is what you use to interact with the device. It’s the buttons and also the display.
Do I really need a SIM card smartwatch?
These devices are still very “niche” and they haven’t become quite as popular as the regular smartwatches that don’t allow LTE wireless communication.
The main reason for this is the current limitations of small batteries. LTE and 4G wireless communication can be a bit of a drain on the battery and this means the battery life of some of these devices is far from ideal. The very first 2015 Apple Watch was notoriously bad for this, but thankfully things are improving all the time.
One of these watches could never completely replace a smartphone and they’re not designed to do so. They’re for those moments when a phone is too awkward to carry, like when exercising. Primarily designed around fitness and exercise, these watches provide a way for you to communicate with the outside world when you’d otherwise be “off-grid”.
They’re designed to work in tandem with your phone. Simply, replacing it for small moments when carrying a phone is just an annoyance. Like an extension of your phone, allowing you to be connected to the world at times that were impossible before. They give you more freedom in your movement and actions by allowing you to never miss a thing.
Don’t fancy taking a bulky phone out to dinner but need to check in with the babysitter? Well, this could be the answer.
That’s a wrap for our latest guide. Make sure to join our mailing list to read all the latest news and developments about smart technology. Just enter your e-mail address in the box on the right of the page.