Apple Watch with Cellular VS Without | Comparative Analysis

Apple Watch comes in different versions, with their own styles, performance ranges, categories, and advancements. There are two popular and special categories for the different Apple Watch collections.

There are Apple Watches with and without cellular. In addition to some limitations, different functional states, features, and values ​​are included.

Apple Watch with cellular network enriches the portable and systematic network system through the carrier. On the other hand, the Apple Watch without cellular provides almost similar benefits to cellular-oriented features, but requires either Wi-Fi or an iPhone.

Each has specific disadvantages. The following analysis will help you choose the best of the two.

What is Apple Watch with Cellular?


Apple Watches with cellular is an advanced addition to the usual GPS. An iPhone operates through a cellular connection which is also a standard part of an Apple Watch with cellular. Therefore, this watch does not require your iPhone or Wi-Fi to establish a network connection.

So, even without carrying your iPhone, you can use your mobile number and enjoy several standard benefits available in an Apple handset.

By using a distinctive and individual network, you can make and take voice calls, exchange messages, play and enjoy music, install a family set-up option for your children, use a walkie-talkie, stream podcasts, manage notifications, and a lot more.


  • One of the biggest benefits is you are not required to carry your iPhone to enjoy the same facilities.
  • Only the Apple Watch with cellular provides the option of family set-up.
  • Apple Music streaming support is more frequent.
  • There are multiple structural material options like stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium.
  • There are various color options in this watch.


  • Costlier than the Apple watch without cellular.
  • You have to bear the load of a monthly fee.
  • Consumes battery power fast.

What is Apple Watch without Cellular?


Apple watch without cellular is one of the most popular editions of the Apple watch series. This is a GPS that does not have any individual automatic network connector.

It operates by connecting with the network of an iPhone via Bluetooth or using Wi-Fi. Therefore, you need to have this watch within the range of a Wi-Fi network or carry your iPhone with you.

Being connected to a network, you can enjoy all the standard features of an iPhone. Without connecting to any external networking system provided either by Wi-Fi or an iPhone, you cannot do things like messaging, making calls, receiving notifications, etc.

But you can still get the service using options like a timer, stopwatch, alarm, knowing the time, tracking your goals, etc.


  • Less expensive than the price of an Apple Watch with cellular.
  • This model comes with a lightweight comparatively less than all other versions.
  • There is no need to pay any monthly fee or installments.
  • The battery can carry the charge a bit longer.
  • Even without cellular, you can use emergency SOS through Wi-Fi or iPhone connectivity.
  • There are multiple colors.


  • Must be used within the range of Wi-Fi or iPhone.
  • Don’t have Apply music streaming option.
  • It does not have a family setup feature.
  • It has an aluminum structure only.Turn-on-the-cellular-network-on-Apple-Watch

Comparison Chart – Apple Watch with Cellular vs Without

ParameterApple Watch with CellularApple Watch Without Cellular
Total Battery LifeThe average lifespan ranges between 11-18 hours. Lifespan can be 8 hours while tuning Apple music.Around 11-18 hours of life expectancy
Battery TalkProvides around 1.5 hours of service.Not applicable to this version.
Audio PlaybackExpected to support 11 hours of playback from Apple Watch storage.
The streaming playlist with LTE lasts 8 hours.
Expected to have 11 hours of playback from Apple Watch storage.
Battery Life (Workout)For the indoor workout, the battery lasts 11 hours.
For outdoor workout: 6 hours
For the indoor workout, the battery lasts 11 hours.
For outdoor workout: 7 hours.
Battery Life (Family Setup)The lifespan can be around 14 hours.Not applicable for this edition.
Charging TimeFor series 7:- 45 minutes to reach 80% For series 7:-  75 minutes to 100% For SE edition:- 1.5 hours to reach 80%
For SE edition:- 2.5 hours to reach 80%
For series 7:- 45 minutes to reach 80% For series 7:-  75 minutes to 100% For SE edition:- 1.5 hours to reach 80%
For SE edition:- 2.5 hours to reach 80%
Cost (Monthly)Usually, a $10 monthly fee. This fee can be higher for a specific carrier.No requirement for a monthly cost.

Apple Watch with Cellular vs Without – Detail Discussion of the Comparison

Apple Watch with cellular has a functional structure and process which are not the same as an Apple watch without cellular.

The standard features of an iPhone are available in both watches but there are special attachments and distinctive issues. The following discussion focuses on those significant facts.

1. Phone Compatibility

The Apple watch series 7, 8, and SE with cellular alongside the Apple GPH version without cellular must be used with compatible iPhone editions. Especially the Apple watch series beyond version 4 need iPhone 6 or later editions with iOS 14.

After the discontinuation of series 3, there is no actual difference in phone compatibility between cellular and non-cellular watches. With iPhone having iOS 14 you can use all regular services.

2. Carrier Connection

Apple Watch with cellular comes with a standard carrier connection. The installment of a portable network system works with a specific monthly plan. It is included in the carrier module of such an Apple watch.

The GPS version with cellular has an LTE connection that is mainly designed to store and carry out the paid plan in the carrier.

The carrier connection usually belongs to the $10 monthly plan. The LTE connectivity will help you use and consume all those facilities like creating calls, sending and receiving messages, getting notifications, streaming music, etc without having your iPhone with you.

So, carrier connection works more like your mobile data in an iPhone. To establish a carrier connection, the combination of the monthly plan and the carrier must be authentic.

The carrier of your iPhone and Apple watch cannot be different. The software should be updated. For the establishment of a carrier connection, you will be provided with a unique number.

The normal GPS versions of the Apple watch without cellular work directly under the networking system of a Wi-Fi or iPhone. So, there is no requirement for any carrier connection or monthly plan.

3. Audio Playback

Apple music streaming, podcast, audio-book or audio playback everything is available with an Apple Music subscription in an Apple watch with cellular. You can download music and enjoy music online wherever you are. There is no need to have any additional support from Wi-Fi or your iPhone.

For online music streaming, instant download, and audio playback in an Apple watch without cellular you need to have your watch either connected to a Wi-Fi network or remain close to your iPhone.

But you can still enjoy music offline in such a watch by syncing the music or audio records from the iPhone.

4. Workout Mode

Apple watches with or without cellular work collaborating with a workout app. For activating the mode, you will need to open the app and register the basic information of your height, weight, sex, and age.

Therefore, the workout mode will set a goal and measurement of improving your health conditions.

While you walk, run, or cycle the workout mode will continue to sense every activity and show the signals according to the requirements.

The information gets recorded in the app to carry on future activities rightly. The Apple Watch with cellular uses the data plan of its carrier to start workout mode.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch without cellular uses the GPH of the iPhone or collaborates with Wi-Fi to operate workout mode.

If there is recorded information in the app, the workout mode can provide some basic services offline.

5. Family Setup

Family setup is a unique feature of the Apple Watch with cellular. This is the technological advancement that helps enjoy different benefits and services of the iPhone without even owning an iPhone set.

This watch deals with a specific network system and it is supported by a carrier. So, the family setup allows setting the specific features you want your children or family members to use this watch without being tethered.

The Apple Watch without cellular does not have the family setup option.

Hence, you have to ensure the connection of Wi-Fi or invest in buying an iPhone if you want someone to enjoy options like making calls or texting messages. The family setup option is limited to only the specific Apple series except for the GPS edition.

6. Case & Screen Materials

The case and structural materials of the Apple watch series with cellular are aluminum, stainless, and titanium.

On the other hand, the normal GPS version without cellular comes with an aluminum structure only. The screens of these Apple watches are usually made of Ion-X glass.

This particular glass is softer and impact resistant. Some of the versions also come with sapphire crystal glass that is comparatively fragile.

Apple Watch with cellular Vs without – Which one to Choose? 

If you are seeking comfort, ease, and extensive advancement, the Apple Watch with cellular is a great option.

Though comes at a higher rate and an additional monthly fee, this watch can be your ideal hassle-free partner in several workouts, especially in outdoor activities.

Apple watch without cellular is a great option for you if you are comfortable carrying your iPhone and deal with Wi-Fi.

The best thing about this is the low cost without any sort of monthly payment. So, calling, messaging, or receiving notifications are available without the extra charge you have to pay for another version.

There is a load of extra charge in an Apple watch with cellular but there are extra features and greater comforts. So, I recommend it as the best choice for you.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Apple watches with cellular worth it?

Apple Watch with cellular may require an extra cost but it provides an attractive opportunity to connect to the network even without carrying an iPhone.

There are facilities like giving and receiving calls, messaging, getting notifications, listening to music, and a lot more. So many options in a light device make the Apple watch with cellular worth it.

Are Apple watches without cellular worth it?

The GPS version of the Apple Watch without cellular may not have a distinctive network connection system but within the range of a Wi-Fi and iPhone, you can enjoy all the features of your phone.

Moreover, it comes at a less cost than the edition with cellular. Therefore, the Apple watch without cellular is also worth it.

What things can Apple watch with cellular do?

Through an Apple Watch with cellular, you can easily connect to a network without having your iPhone or Wi-Fi.

This Apple watch edition will give you the scope to make and receive calls, send messages, play music, install family setup, etc. So, you enjoy iPhone facilities in a watch while you are on a walk or journey.

What things can Apple watch without cellular do?

The normal GPS edition of the Apple watch is without cellular and it can facilitate all the common features you find in the Apple Watch with cellular. You just need to carry and connect it to your iPhone or use the network from Wi-Fi.

Hence, the options for calling, messaging, notifications, etc will be available except for the family setup feature.

Can you text without cellular with Apple Watch?

Yes, you can text without cellular with an Apple watch. For this function, you just have to connect your Apple Watch with Wi-Fi or mobile data. Therefore, you will need to keep the watch within the reach of the Wi-Fi or your iPhone.

Final Words

While selecting any particular version from a classic brand like the Apple watch, you need to consider all the similarities and differences with the highest importance.

Therefore, this article “Apple watch with cellular Vs without: ‘An in-depth comparative analysis” has analyzed and evaluated all the important particulars of the Apple Watch with and without cellular.

The main points of discussion of these two types of Apple Watch are expenditure and expectancy. The Apple Watch with cellular has a specific market value for consumers with an extra preference towards luxury.

On the contrary, the Apple watch without cellular is meant for those consumers who value manual use rather the automatic.

Read more articles:

If you have more ideas to discuss with us, welcome to join our Apple Fans Club on Facebook.