Do SmartWatches Need Data Plans? How Much Data Do They Use?




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Smartwatches are one of the most demanding accessories of the present time. And their demand in the market is genuinely justified. Given that, they provide fitness tracking and intelligent AI-based notifications, and basically, it is a smartphone (with lesser features than a real smartphone) strapped on your wrist!

Along with some standalone features of smartwatches, the basic feature that everyone requires today is internet browsing and connectivity with the internet.

Here is a related article that might interest you on Unable to Configure Data Plan Apple Watch? Here’s What to Do!

And as we know smartwatches depending on their manufacturer have diverse features and ways to connect to the internet, some connect over wifi and others go solo with their sim cards.

In this article, we will be discussing how much data plans are used by smartphones that use their own sim and connect over 4G LTE connections. Without any further delay, let’s dive in!

Do Smartwatches Need Data Plans?

This burning question’s answer depends on the factor that determines whether a smartwatch is a standalone or normal smartwatch. Standalone watches are self-reliant as the name suggests. It comes with its own variety of features that allow it to function almost like a smartphone.

They also work like the typical smartwatches do, fulfilling the activities like Bluetooth connectivity, receiving texts, notifications, fitness tracking, etc. Also, if one intends, they can use their phone data to operate the standalone smartwatches

Standalone Watch Vs Normal Smartwatch:

Standalone means that the smartwatch is capable of using its own sim, specifically e-SIM (we will discuss briefly e-SIM). Because having the capability of using a sim allows a smartwatch to use the internet much as we do in a smartphone.

On the other hand, Normal smartwatches (also known as GPS watches) only have the basic functionality of fitness tracking,  notifications, and a few other features. Their functionality depends on their connectivity with a smartphone. That is, they use the data from their smartphones.

In some cases, smartwatches come with the ability to connect to a WIFI network. So, if they have wifi connectivity, their need for mobile data plans often becomes irrelevant or one can say it reduces quite a bit.

Still, one may need data plans on the go. And what better than internet connectivity available at one’s wrist, right?

The Necessity Of E-sim In A Smartwatch:

Before elaborating, one thing you need to know is, if you want to use cellular data plans in your smartwatches, an e-Sim is a must. Because without a sim card, you cannot buy data plans. And smartwatches, based on their size and shape, only e-Sim is the logical sim card they can use.

E-Sim is basically the smallest version of sim available in the smallest size. Like a sim, they also provide cellular network and data coverage according to the operator of the sim. They can do all the work a normal sim can, from sending or receiving texts to making a phone call.

Apple first introduced the e-Sim in the year 2017 for their Apple watch series smartwatches. Since then, many other smartwatches have adapted this technology from their smartwatches.

So, without an e-Sim, there will be no internet data plans to use but if it supports wifi connectivity, then the need for mobile data plan reduces.

Smartwatches that support e-Sim/ standalone watches:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Watch
  2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
  3. Fitbit Versa 3
  4. Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro
  5. Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3
  6. Samsung Gear S3
  7. Garmin Vivoactive 2
  8. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
  9. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
  10. Amazfit GT 
  11. Amazfit Bip U
  12. Apple watch SE

And much more are also available. The list above is the best and most prominent standalone watch at present.

How Much Data Do Smartwatches Use?

The answer is multifaceted given there are lots of brands of smartwatches with lots of different features. The utilization of data of smartwatches solely depends on the purpose of their usage.

The standalone watches that support sim cards utilize by browsing the internet. And this may include watching videos and streaming different kinds of music on different apps present such as youtube, Spotify, Deezer, TikTok, etc.

It also depends on the service provided by the sim card operator, consumption rate of the smartwatch, and network bandwidth also.

But in plain sight, the amount of data needed surmounts how you use the smartwatch. The normal smartwatches whose basic functionality is fitness tracking, and sending or receiving text use much less data.

Then again, normal watches also support wifi connectivity that allows them not to use any data plans at all.

Now, compared to smartphones, smartwatches obviously use less data, and their screen size, and data consumption rate is less than any smartphone. 

Because the apps designed for smartwatches differ from smartphone apps in every aspect. And thus, leads to lesser functionality than smartphones. 

How Much Data Does A Samsung / Apple / Garmin Watch Use?

Smartwatches have different brands and the prominent ones among them are Samsung, Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, etc. They have a different interface and different functionality resulting in different usage of data plans.

1. Samsung Watches:

The standalone watches from Samsung are one of the prominent smartwatches that use the Android OS for operation. 

Given that they can download apps from the google play store, their data plan usage may be high based on how much you use the apps that require internet data

It supports 4G LTE connectivity on its e-Sim card slot and the usage of data on the go is also supported. So, using data to call and using other streaming apps may use quite a bit of data than expected.

2. Garmin Watches:

The Garmin watches are an exceptional type of smartwatches. Unlike most other standalone watches, Garmin may or may not require cellular data, depending on the model. 

In many Garmin watches, the watch connects with your phone Via Bluetooth and uses the phone data over wifi connectivity. And since it is an aGPS watch, once loaded, the watch doesn’t need any cellular data to view or navigate on maps.

3. Apple Watches:

Apple is the first company to use a mobile data plan on a smartwatch. Also, they introduced e-Sim to be used in smartwatches. So they use quite a significant amount of data as they have built-in heavy-weight apps, voice control, etc.

Another post that will interest you is about Can A Smartwatch Have Its Own Number? Can I Duplicate My Phone’s Number?

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

For your further inquiry, you may check out this section of the article. Here, we will answer the most common questions regarding Do Smartwatches Need Data Plans?

Is There A Monthly Fee For Smartwatches?

Ans: Smartwatches that required data plans may require a monthly fee grossing between $8- $10.

Does Samsung Watch Use Data?

Ans: Samsung watches support 4g LTE connectivity, thus allowing it to use data.

Do Smartwatches Use Your Phone Data?

Ans: Yes, they use the phone data over the wifi connectivity. Some uses along with Bluetooth connectivity.

Do Bluetooth Watches Use Data?

Ans: Depending on their manufacturer, many Bluetooth watches use data for internet connectivity.


Smartwatches are must-have accessories in our day-to-day life for an organized and systematic lifestyle. Hence, the data usage of smartwatches isn’t that of an issue if you follow the basic functionality of the smartwatches. 

Then again there are some smartwatches with lots of features that give multiple options to choose from.

Hope our article was helpful for you. Thank you!

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