Apple Watch With Cellular Or Not?

When buying an Apple watch, you’ll need to decide whether you want the GPS + Cellular or just the plain GPS version. So, what do these options mean? And why is it important to know?

Choosing between Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular can be overwhelming. Price will be a deciding factor, with the GPS + Cellular model being more expensive. But, ultimately, it all depends on your interests and personal needs. With GPS + Cellular, you don’t need to have your phone with you to enjoy the full functionality of your Apple Watch. However, with the plain GPS version, your phone needs to be with you at all times.

Several factors should be considered, which we’ll run through in this article. After reading the following information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

About Apple Watch

First, let’s go over what the Apple Watch is and what it can do. 

The Apple Watch is a device that is worn on the wrist. It is an electronic wearable that has a display that shows the time and notifications from your phone. 

Paired with your iPhone, your Apple Watch allows you to answer calls and texts and use various apps. You can also use Apple Pay on the Apple Watch to make purchases from participating retailers.

The Apple Watch comes in two models, Apple Watch GPS and Apple Watch GPS + Cellular. It comes in many different configurations, but the main difference between the models is the connectivity. 

Apple Watch GPS Vs. Apple Watch GPS + Cellular

To decide between the two types of Apple Watch, you need to have all the relevant information about both. Therefore, let’s begin by comparing the key variances between these two models.


The main difference between a cellular Apple Watch and a non-cellular Apple Watch is its connection to the network. The Apple Watch GPS needs to be paired with your phone. It relies on your phone’s cellular connectivity to receive and make calls, send text messages, etc.

However, the Apple Watch GPS + Cellular model doesn’t required your phone to be near you at all times.. In other words, if you leave your phone at home, you can go out with your Apple Watch on and connect to a cellular network. This means you can enjoy full functionality on your Watch without your phone on hand.


Another difference between the two models is the level of customization that the watch faces offer. The non-cellular Apple Watch has a much more limited selection of faces compared to the cellular model.

Battery Life

First, we examined the use of the devices when connected to GPS. And the difference between these two product options is not noticeable Both have a potential battery life of 18 hours.

However, when using the cellular network, the GPS + Cellular version of the Apple Watch has a maximum battery life of 16 hours. This means the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch may need recharging more often.


The GPS only Apple Watch Series 7 is priced from about $399 for one with a 41mm aluminum case. But the price of the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch Series 7 with the same case starts at $499. 

Therefore, the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch is more expensive. But, perhaps you want cellular service, more storage, family setup support, and access to Apple Music. In that case, the GPS + Cellular version might be worth it to you.

Streaming Support

Suppose you are using Apple Watch GPS + Cellular. In that case, you’ll be able to stream Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and audiobooks on your Apple Watch, no matter where your iPhone is. It’s also possible to sync music from your phone onto the watch. 

This allows users to play these items even when their watch isn’t connected. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch GPS only version doesn’t allow users to access these services without their iPhones.

Family Setup

Apple Watch GPS + Cellular enables users to opt for a family cellular plan for their Apple Watches. This will enable the entire family to communicate on the move without their iPhones with them. 

However, this feature applies only to those who bought an Apple Watch in 2018 or later. Obviously, the GPS-only version doesn’t have this feature.

Apple Watch With Cellular Or Not?

As you can see, there are several factors you’ll need to evaluate before deciding between the two. But the most critical deciding factor would be your personal needs and preferences. Ask yourself whether the Apple Watch GPS + Cellular features mentioned above will benefit you. And if it’s worth the added cost.  

If you live in a remote location with spotty cellular connectivity or just don’t need a cellular option, GPS + Cellular might not be for you. 

But perhaps you want to be able to use your Apple Watch as intended and not have to carry your iPhone with you everywhere. In that case, the Apple Watch GPS + Cellular model will benefit you.


Apple Watch with cellular or not? Overall, there is no direct answer to this question. It will all come down to preference in the end. But we can help you make a decision by asking some questions that should guide you along your path. They are:

  1. Does your cellular carrier support Apple Watch Cellular? 
  2. Perhaps you go out often and forget or purposefully leave your phone but want to remain connected? 
  3. Would you prefer not to have to carry your phone around with you, but still enjoy the option of listening to podcasts or music, etc.? 

Should your answer be questions be yes to one or more of the above questions. Then an Apple Watch GPS + Cellular is worth considering.

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