Poll: Is LTE connectivity a must-have on your smartwatch?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 4 flat on table with screens off
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Smartwatches have become much more useful over the years thanks to faster chips, improved health/fitness tracking, and more capable apps. One nice feature you may find on some smartwatches is LTE connectivity, allowing you to use your smartwatch separately from your smartphone. Not every smartwatch is capable of an LTE connection, though, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Smartwatches from Google and Samsung are available with LTE, but many other Android smartwatches are only available in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi models. Is LTE connectivity something you must have on your smartwatch?

Perhaps the biggest argument for LTE on a smartwatch is that you can use it without being tethered to your smartphone. That means you can make calls, send texts, and even stream music from some apps without needing your phone nearby. It can come in handy if you're smartphone battery dies or you're out on a run or at the gym and leave your smartphone behind. This could also be helpful in certain emergency situations, especially with more smartwatches equipped with features like fall detection.

A recent update to Google Maps also makes navigating on Wear OS smartwatches possible without needing to piggyback on the connected smartphone.

On the other hand, plenty of people often don't find themselves without their smartphones for very long. They've become an integral part of many lives, to the point where we don't step out of the house without checking for our keys, wallet, and phone. This fact alone may not make it worth having an LTE-equipped smartwatch, especially since that connection usually comes at an extra monthly cost.

Additionally, plenty of apps are adapting to non-LTE smartwatches. Some of the best streaming services, like YouTube Music and Spotify, have dedicated Wear OS apps, and users are able to download tracks and playlists for offline listening. Samsung smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 5 can also save music files from your smartphone. Many fitness apps can also track your routes without an LTE connection, thanks to built-in GPS.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.