Smartwatches are incredibly useful gadgets, but there is always an ongoing debate surrounding LTE vs Bluetooth smartwatches.
Therefore, I thought it would be beneficial to provide an overview of this topic.
But first, let’s discuss what LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches actually are.
What Are LTE And Bluetooth Smartwatches?
LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution.
An LTE smartwatch is like a mini-computer that you wear on your wrist, just like a regular watch.
What makes it special is that it can connect to the internet using a technology called LTE.
It’s similar to the way your smartphone connects to the internet, but the smartwatch does it on its own.
With an LTE smartwatch, you don’t always need to have your smartphone nearby for it to work.
It can make phone calls, send text messages, and even use apps, all by itself.
It has its own SIM card, just like a phone, which lets it connect to a cellular network and access the internet.
This means you can stay connected even when you’re not carrying your phone with you.
On the other hand, Bluetooth is a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other wirelessly over short distances.
A Bluetooth smartwatch is another kind of smartwatch that can connect to your smartphone using this technology.
It’s like a companion to your phone, and it needs to be paired with your phone to work.
When you pair your Bluetooth smartwatch with your phone, it can do some cool things.
It can show you notifications from your phone, like text messages and app alerts, on its screen.
You can also use it to control music playing on your phone or even make phone calls using your watch.
It relies on your phone’s connection, so you need to have your phone nearby for it to work properly.
All in all, an LTE smartwatch can work on its own and connect to the internet using cellular networks.
Whereas, a Bluetooth smartwatch needs to be connected to a phone nearby to access the internet and perform various functions.
Key Features Comparison
Now that you understand what LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches are, it’s time to compare them based on their features.
1. Connectivity Options
LTE smartwatches can connect to the internet all by themselves, just like a smartphone.
They have their own SIM card that allows them to access the internet using cellular networks.
With an LTE smartwatch, you can make calls, send messages, and use apps, all without needing your phone nearby.
It’s like having a mini-phone on your wrist.
But then we have Bluetooth smartwatches.
These watches are a bit different.
They don’t have the SIM card feature like the LTE ones.
Instead, they need to connect to a smartphone using Bluetooth.
When the watch is connected to your phone, you can see notifications from your phone right on your wrist.
It’s like a little helper that shows you messages, lets you control music, and even make calls without taking your phone out of your pocket.
I also published an in-depth guide on whether smartwatches work without a phone, and it is definitely worth reading.
2. Battery Life
LTE smartwatches are super cool because they can connect to the internet all by themselves, just like your phone does.
But guess what?
Connecting to the internet uses a lot of battery power.
So, the battery in an LTE smartwatch may not last as long as the battery in a Bluetooth smartwatch.
That means you might need to charge it more often.
On the other hand, Bluetooth smartwatches are a bit different.
They don’t connect to the internet on their own. Instead, they use Bluetooth to connect to your phone.
Your phone already has internet access, right?
So, the Bluetooth smartwatch can use your phone’s internet connection to do things like show you notifications and track your fitness.
Because Bluetooth smartwatches don’t have to connect to the internet directly, they use less battery power.
That’s cool because it means the battery can last longer, and you don’t have to charge it as often.
Here are a few smartwatches with the best battery life if you’re interested.
3. Fitness and Health Tracking
Both LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches can help you keep track of your fitness and health.
These smartwatches have special sensors inside them that can measure things like your heart rate, how many steps you take, and even how well you sleep at night.
They can give you information about your body and how active or restful you are.
But here’s where they are a little different.
LTE smartwatches have better app support.
It means they can do even more things to help you stay healthy.
They have their own special app stores, just like the ones you use on your phone or tablet.
These app stores have lots of health and fitness apps that you can download and install directly on your LTE smartwatch.
These apps can help you do even more with your watch.
For example, you can find apps that give you fun exercises to do, remind you to drink water, or help you set goals for being healthy.
On the other hand, Bluetooth smartwatches also have some health features, but they might not have as many apps as the LTE ones.
Bluetooth smartwatches usually need to be connected to your phone to use health apps and see notifications from your phone.
They can still help you keep track of your fitness, but they rely more on your phone for extra features.
So, if you want a smartwatch that can do a lot of health-related things and has many apps directly on the watch, an LTE smartwatch is a good choice.
But if you’re okay with using your phone for most things and want a simpler watch, a Bluetooth smartwatch can still help you track your fitness and health.
Remember, both LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches are cool and can make staying healthy even more fun.
But you should also read my in-depth guide on whether smartwatches are safe for your health?
4. App Support
LTE smartwatches have their own app stores, just like smartphones.
This means you can download and install a variety of apps directly on the watch itself.
These apps can provide additional features and functionalities tailored to the smartwatch’s capabilities.
For instance, you can find fitness apps that track your workouts, monitor your heart rate, or provide guided exercises.
There are also productivity apps that help you manage your schedule, set reminders, or even reply to messages directly from the watch.
With LTE connectivity, these smartwatches can access the internet independently, allowing you to stream music, browse the web, or even use social media apps directly from your wrist.
The presence of an app store on the watch expands its versatility, enabling you to personalize your smartwatch experience according to your preferences and needs.
On the other hand, Bluetooth smartwatches may have limited app support compared to LTE smartwatches.
While they can still display notifications from apps on your smartphone, they often rely on the phone’s app ecosystem for additional functionality.
For example, a Bluetooth smartwatch might show incoming messages, calls, or calendar reminders from your phone but may not offer the same breadth of standalone apps as an LTE smartwatch.
It’s important to consider your desired level of app support when choosing between LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches.
If having a wide range of apps directly on your wrist is important to you, an LTE smartwatch may be the better choice.
However, if you primarily rely on your smartphone for app usage and prefer a simpler watch with basic notification capabilities, a Bluetooth smartwatch could be sufficient.
5. Call Function
LTE smartwatches are like mini-phones on your wrist.
They have a speaker and a microphone built right into them, so you can talk to your friends and family directly from your watch.
You don’t need to have your phone nearby to make a call.
These watches can connect to the internet all by themselves using cellular connectivity.
That’s how they can work independently and be like a little phone on your wrist.
It’s really handy when you’re on the go and need to make a call quickly.
Now, let’s talk about Bluetooth smartwatches.
These watches are also pretty amazing.
They can make and receive calls too, just like the LTE ones.
They have a built-in microphone and speaker, so you can have conversations right from your wrist.
But here’s the thing: Bluetooth smartwatches need to be connected to your smartphone to use this feature.
So, whenever you want to make or receive a call on a Bluetooth smartwatch, you need to have your phone close by and connected to the watch.
And here are a few popular Bluetooth calling smartwatches if you’re interested.
LTE smartwatches offer extensive connectivity options through cellular networks, enabling them to remain connected as long as there is cellular coverage.
They provide independence from smartphones and Wi-Fi networks, allowing you to access a wide range of features.
In contrast, Bluetooth smartwatches have a limited range as they rely on Bluetooth connectivity to establish a connection with a paired phone.
They act as companions to smartphones, providing quick access to notifications and certain functionalities while maintaining a closer proximity to the phone for a stable connection.
7. Price and Cost
LTE smartwatches tend to be pricier than Bluetooth smartwatches due to the extra features they offer and their ability to function independently.
Additionally, because LTE smartwatches can connect directly to cellular networks, they often require a separate data plan, similar to what you would have for a smartphone.
This added expense contributes to the higher cost of LTE smartwatches.
On the other hand, Bluetooth smartwatches are generally more affordable in comparison.
These watches depend on the connectivity of a paired smartphone to access the internet and other online services.
Since they piggyback off your phone’s data plan, there are no additional costs for a separate data plan specific to the watch.
This makes Bluetooth smartwatches a budget-friendly option for users who want basic smartwatch functionality without the need for independent connectivity.
You can check out these budget range.
Pros and Cons
As we all know, every type of smartwatch has its own set of features as well as some shortcomings.
Let’s shed some light on the pros and cons of these wearable gadgets.
Pros of LTE Smartwatches
- Independence: LTE smartwatches can operate independently without the need for a paired smartphone.
- Extended Range: They offer a wider range of connectivity compared to Bluetooth smartwatches, making them suitable for users who want to stay connected wherever they go.
- Flexibility: LTE smartwatches provide the freedom to leave your smartphone behind and still have access to essential features.
Cons of LTE Smartwatches
- Higher Cost: LTE smartwatches are generally more expensive than Bluetooth smartwatches.
- Battery Drain: LTE connectivity consumes more power compared to Bluetooth connectivity. This can result in faster battery drain, requiring more frequent charging of the smartwatch.
Pros of Bluetooth Smartwatches
- Affordability: Bluetooth smartwatches are generally more affordable compared to LTE smartwatches.
- Seamless Integration: Bluetooth smartwatches seamlessly integrate with your smartphone, extending its capabilities to your wrist. They allow you to receive notifications, control music playback, and monitor fitness activities conveniently.
- Longer Battery Life: Since Bluetooth connectivity consumes less power compared to LTE, Bluetooth smartwatches often have longer battery life, requiring less frequent charging.
Cons of Bluetooth Smartwatches
- Limited Range: Bluetooth smartwatches have a restricted range of connectivity. Typically, they maintain a stable connection within a radius of about 30 feet (10 meters) from the paired smartphone.
- Smartphone Dependency: Bluetooth smartwatches heavily rely on a connected smartphone for access and certain functionalities. They may not be able to operate independently if the paired smartphone is out of range or turned off.
The Bottom Line
That concludes our discussion on LTE versus Bluetooth smartwatches.
I have utilized my knowledge and experience to provide the best possible explanation in this guide.
One last point to consider: If budget is not a constraint for you, I recommend opting for LTE smartwatches.
However, if budget limitations are a concern, Bluetooth smartwatches are a perfect choice.
I hope this information has helped you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.
Here are a few guides you can also give a read.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between LTE and Bluetooth smartwatches?
LTE smartwatches have the ability to connect to cellular networks, providing independent connectivity and allowing users to make calls, send messages, and access online services without relying on a paired smartphone. Bluetooth smartwatches, on the other hand, rely on Bluetooth connectivity to establish a connection with a smartphone for internet access and other features.
Which is better: an LTE or Bluetooth smartwatch?
The answer depends on your specific needs and preferences. LTE smartwatches offer more advanced features and independent connectivity, making them suitable for users who value standalone functionality. Bluetooth smartwatches are generally more affordable and provide convenient integration with smartphones, making them a good option for users who primarily want basic smartwatch functionalities.
Do I need LTE on my smartwatch?
Whether you need LTE on your smartwatch depends on your usage and requirements. If you prefer the ability to use your smartwatch independently without relying on a paired smartphone or Wi-Fi networks, then LTE capability may be beneficial for you. However, if you are comfortable with using your smartwatch in conjunction with a smartphone and don’t require standalone connectivity, a Bluetooth smartwatch may suffice.
What is the point of having an LTE smartwatch?
The point of having an LTE smartwatch is to have a wearable device that can operate independently without needing a paired smartphone. LTE smartwatches provide the convenience of making calls, sending messages, receiving notifications, and accessing online services directly from your wrist, even when your smartphone is not nearby.
Can I use an LTE smartwatch with just Bluetooth?
While LTE smartwatches have LTE connectivity, they are typically designed to also support Bluetooth connectivity. You can use an LTE smartwatch with just Bluetooth if you prefer to connect it to your smartphone for certain features and functionalities.