Digiswitch | Wearable Tech for the Quantified Self

Best Standalone Smartwatch To Replace Your Phone in 2019

image of black & white samsung gear S2 watches
image of LG G910 featuring a phone dial on its watch face
apple watch series 4 user interface
rich details in apple watch series 4 watch UI
product image of samsung galaxy watch in black and gold
man wearing a samsung galaxy watch in midnight black
image of samsung gear 3 watch with analog and digital interface
image of black & white samsung gear S2 watches
product image of LG watch urban 2nd edition on white background
product image of LG watch sport in grey
image of neptune pine smartwatch
photo of ZTE Quartz smartwatch with app icons on the watchcface
product image of LEMFO smartwatch on a white background
image of woman paying for coffee with smartwatch on POS machine
image of man checking smartwatch app next to paired smartwatch
image of various sizes of simcards

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Jim May 2, 2019 at 5:22 am

Thanks for all the information in the smartwatches. I’ve been looking at trying to replace my phone with a watch for a while now. I’m thinking that, for my purposes, the Samsung Galaxy watch would be my best bet.

That said, the big issue I’m running into is trying to find a carrier that will actually allow me to use a smartwatch as a phone replacement. All the info I’ve been able to find so far is stuff like this. Info on the watches, but nothing on finding a carrier to support said watch. Useful info, but not everything I need to replace my smartphone with a smartwatch. Any articles that could help me with that?

Digiswitch Editors
Digiswitch Editors May 2, 2019 at 11:20 am

Hi Jim, depends on which country you live in, the carriers that support LTE connectivity for your standalone watch might have different requirements/limitations. In the U.S. for example, all the major carriers – T Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint – supports the LTE version of Samsung Galaxy watch. On the Samsung official product page, there is fine print stating that “AT&T Customer will need to go to AT&T store or contact AT&T customer care to get the QR code card for activation”. Similar story for Sprint. You might need to talk to a customer rep of your current phone carrier or visit the store about what sort of data plan are they able to support for standalone watches. Hope this helps!

Jim May 4, 2019 at 7:51 pm

I haven’t talked to a rep in a store, but I have been researching this online. The major carriers I’ve researched here in the U.S. won’t support a Samsung Galaxy watch as a true standalone device. They all require you to also have a compatible Android phone through them as well. Verizon specifically requires you to use their number sharing feature.

Digiswitch Editors
Digiswitch Editors May 7, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Hi Jim, indeed Samsung Galaxy Watch uses eSim (briefly talked about in the post as well) similar to Apple Watch, which essentially means it doesn’t come with a simcard slot and will need to work alongside a smartphone (does not have to be Android phone, it works with iOS or later iPhones). See a full list of compatible mobile devices here https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-watch/device-compatibility/. If you get one of those “unlocked” Galaxy watches, there is no guarantee that you can get it to connect to a mobile network. In short, you will need to pay some extra fees to your local carrier to set up a secondary LTE device (the watch) that works in conjunction with your primary LTE device (your phone).

steve June 9, 2019 at 12:35 am

Nice to see they are working on it. I can’t wait to be able to use a watch as a smartphone replacement (with the same phone number for the watch and my primary smartphone). Perhaps 5G tech is going to speed this along?


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