Apple Watch Cellular vs. GPS

It’s easy to get confused between GPS and cellular when you first use Apple Watch and want to know how Apple Watch Cellular vs. GPS compare. Essentially, these are two data systems available to you when using your Apple Watch. But how does GPS differ from cellular?

Apple watches with GPS and cellular differ primarily based on their connectivity categories. Apple watches with GPS only let you make and receive calls and texts when you have your phone nearby. Cellular watches, however, enable wearers to leave their phones behind but still be able to access calls and messages.

Apple Watch Cellular vs. GPS Comparison

The following is an in-depth comparison between Apple Watch cellular and GPS that will let you know more about them.


Although cell phones are everywhere and many people have them at their disposal all the time, you might have to be without one sometimes. 

Maybe you left it at home, or you wanted to do something that would make it more difficult, like running. If you leave your phone behind or forget to take it with you, the Apple Watch Cellular option will work. 

It is possible to accomplish most of your phone’s tasks without holding them with cellular connections. It allows you to make calls, listen to music via Apple Music on Bluetooth headphones, use Siri, and do other stuff without pulling out your phone.


According to Apple, a Bluetooth-connected GPS device can run up to 18 hours, but the Apple Watch cellular can run for 14 hours. 

Comparisons with audio playback are much less encouraging, as GPS models offer an impressive 10 hours of playback while cellular models only offer 7 hours.

However, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that these numbers will stick. The total battery life will differ depending on the user, their usage habits, and other factors.


A significant change came with the Series 3 Apple Watch. There was a change to the storage options as well. In the case of GPS-only models, there is an internal storage capacity of 8 gigabytes. 

Cellular-enabled models, however, include twice that amount of storage. In later models, there is no difference, so a Series 4 or later has the same amount of storage capacity.


You have to think about the frequency of times you will be without your iPhone when choosing between the GPS-only and the cellular data-enabled Apple Watch models.

When your iPhone is within range of the Apple Watch, both versions have the same functionality. The reason is that they connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 

Leaving your iPhone at home or doing so accidentally often is what makes the cellular model practical. If you intend to keep your iPhone with you all the time, you should consider getting a more basic model of the Apple Watch

However, you may want to consider the cellular version if you want to leave your phone behind but still access directions and do everything that you can do with your iPhone.

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