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Apple Watch Cellular Vs GPS: Which Is Better For You [2022]?

Apple Watch Cellular Vs GPS: Which Is Better For You [2022]?

There are a few different types of Apple Watches, but the two most popular are the Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS models. Both have unique features and benefits, so it can be challenging to decide which one to buy.

Here is a comparison of the two types of watches to help you decide.

Pros And Cons

Tethered Apple Watch GPS

The Apple Watch GPS (Wi-Fi only) model is the cheapest and lightest lineup. Because it doesn’t contain a cellular chip, it has longer battery life.


  • Cost-effective
  • All models have the lightest weight.
  • A somewhat longer battery life is available and a variety of color options.


  • For some jobs, you’ll need to have your iPhone close by.
  • Only available in aluminum.
  • Family Setup is not supported.

Apple Watch GPS + Cellular – Free bird

The GPS + Cellular variant lets you stream Apple Music and the Podcasts app no matter where you are. The Series 7 and SE both have it.

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  • Apple Music streaming variants are aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.
  • Leave your iPhone at home if you want to use the Family Setup feature.


  • The more expensive model
  • A monthly fee is charged.

What is Apple GPS + Cellular capable of?

What is Apple GPS + Cellular capable of

  • Look at the weather forecast.
  • Keep an eye on your stock.
  • Take command of your residence.
  • Making and receiving phone calls
  • To get directions, send messages, and connect to Siri.
  • Text messages can be written, sent, and received.
  • Pay attention to the radio.
  • Podcasts should be listened to.
  • Make a list of reminders.
  • Locate your companions.
  • Make use of a walkie-talkie.
  • Listen to music online.
  • Use maps to your advantage.

A Quick Comparison

At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the Apple Watch Cellular and GPS. On the outside, the Cellular variant has a red ring around the Digital Crown, but otherwise, they’re similar. What matters most is what’s on the inside.

The information below is mainly based on the Series 7’s characteristics.

Series 3 is the third generation of the Apple Watch.

apple watch gps vs cellular

Apple will stop selling the GPS + Cellular version of the Series 3 in September 2020. As a result, its characteristics are no longer included in this comparison reference.

The Apple Watch Series 3 was released in September 2017, and while it is compatible with watchOS 8 and later, we do not recommend it as a new purchase. The SE is a better option if money is an issue.

Band Options

It is available in a variety of case materials and band designs. If you want an aluminum watch with a Milanese loop, you’ll have to buy the band separately from the Apple Watch.

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Aside from Apple’s official bands, we think a few third-party options are some of the best Apple bands – these could help you obtain the style you desire while saving money.

Carrier Restrictions

The GPS + Cellular Apple Watch models include LTE connectivity, allowing you to use your existing carrier plan (for an extra monthly price of roughly $10) to access internet and phone connectivity even when your iPhone is far away. Check out the top cell plans for Apple Watch to make sure you receive a good bargain.

With LTE coverage on your device, you can do anything on your iPhone when you’re not connected to the internet. This includes making and receiving calls, using Siri, navigating the Maps app, utilizing third-party apps, and everything else.

You can’t get a different cellular plan for your watch from your iPhone. If you have an AT&T phone, your device must be. It will have its phone number, but it will not be your primary phone number. The account assignment number is all there is to it.

Note: If you buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card for overseas travel, leave it at home because using it while abroad will result in international costs (it has no SIM card).

Streaming Apple Music and Podcasts

Even if you’re not near your iPhone, you can listen to Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and audiobooks if you’re connected to Wi-Fi or Cellular.

Your iPhone can also sync music, podcasts, and audiobooks to your Watch. The information can then be seen on your Watch without the need for an iPhone, even if your Watch is not connected to Wi-Fi or Cellular.

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Family Setup

You don’t have to buy both a watch and an iPhone if you want to give one to a family member who doesn’t already have one. Instead, you may use Family Setup to set up device and then let them use it without being tethered.

The Cellular + GPS is the only Apple Watch model that allows Family Setup, an important consideration when buying a watch. Even if you don’t need Cellular right now, you might want to give your old device to a friend or family member in the future.

Family Setup is compatible with the following Apple Watch models:

  • Series 7 Apple Watch GPS + Cellular
  • Apple Watch SE with Cellular and GPS

apple watch gps vs cellular Family Setup

Case And Screen Material

Aluminum is exclusively available in the GPS-only Apple Watch Series 7, SE, and 3. On the Series 7, the Cellular version is available in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, whereas the Apple Watch SE is only available in aluminum.

The Ion-X glass display is only available on the aluminum cases, while the Sapphire Crystal display is only available on the stainless steel and titanium models. Ion-X glass is softer than Sapphire Crystal and can sustain more impact, although it is more susceptible to scratches. On the other hand, Sapphire Crystal is less vulnerable to scratching, but it is more likely to break if the Watch is dropped.

Battery Life

Is the battery life of the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch worse than the GPS-only Apple Watch?

Yes, but only when combined with GPS and cellular. According to Apple’s battery tests, all current Apple Watches last 18 hours between charges.

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While Apple does not specify which Watch configuration was utilized in these testing, the Cellular Watch is rated to last 18 hours with 4 hours of LTE and 14 hours of iPhone connectivity, which is about what the average user would use in a day.

Battery Life gps vs cellular apple watch

Specific battery tests, on the other hand, are stricter. The Series 7 performed admirably in Apple’s single-task tests:

  • 1.5-hour conversation with Cellular
  • Audio: Up to 11 hours of playing from Apple Watch storage and 8 hours of streaming playlist over LTE.
  • Workout time: 11 hours indoors, 7 hours outdoors with GPS, and 6 hours outdoors with GPS and LTE

Despite its modest price, the Apple Watch SE offers an impressive battery life. That’s most likely due to the Apple Watch SE omitting the ECG monitor from the Series 5.

  • 1.5 hours on the phone with a cell phone
  • Audio: 10 hours from onboard storage, 7 hours from an LTE-enabled playlist
  • Workout time: 10 hours indoors, 6 hours outdoors with GPS, and 5 hours outdoors with GPS and LTE

The GPS-only Apple Watch has a more excellent battery life than the GPS + Cellular model when utilizing LTE, although neither is suitable for long-distance runners.

This is compared article between Apple Watches, see this guide: Apple Watch SE Vs 6 Vs 3 Vs 7


The pricing is the final criterion that distinguishes these two devices: The GPS-only Apple Watch SE, with a 40mm metal body, costs $279, while the GPS + Cellular SE costs $329.

The GPS-only Apple Watch Series, 7 with a 41mm aluminum case costs $399, while the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch Series 7 with the exact case costs $499. That price might be worth it if you want cellular service, a more excellent case, more extensive storage, Family Setup support, and Apple Music.

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Is It Worth Getting An Apple Watch With GPS And Cellular?

Of course, in the end, it will come down to personal preference. However, there are several questions you should ask yourself to assist you in making your decision.

Consider the following factors before purchasing the Apple Watch with GPS and Cellular:

  • Does your carrier support Apple Watch cellular?
  • Do you frequently leave your iPhone at home but still want to be able to access the internet, text, and make phone calls?
  • Do you want to listen to Apple Music and Podcasts without bringing your iPhone with you?
  • Do you wish to use Family Setup (Apple Watch 6 and SE) for your children or elderly relatives?
  • Do you want your watch to have a stainless steel or titanium case?

If you answered “Yes” to a few or all of these questions, the Apple Watch GPS + Cellular is for you. If you’re on a tight budget and won’t be leaving your iPhone at home, the less-priced GPS variant is a good option.


Is there a fee for using cellular on the Apple Watch?

It used to be challenging to discover pricing information for an Apple Watch cellular plan on AT&T’s website, but now it’s simple: it’s $10/month to add to any unlimited plan. It would cost the same as a phone line if you didn’t already have one. Prepaid plans do not support Apple Watches.

What’s the difference between a cellular Apple Watch and one that doesn’t?

The main difference is that the cellular version can be used without the iPhone for calls, messages, and data. The GPS device will perform the same duties as the cellular variant, but it will require presence and connection.

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FAQs apple watch gps and cellular

Is it possible to make phone calls with the Apple Watch GPS?

All responses were received. Yes. The Series 3 Apple Watch GPS can make calls; however, the Series 3 GPS+Cellular can make calls even when the paired iPhone is not nearby.

Why would I require cellular connectivity on my Apple Watch?

You can make calls, respond to messages, use Walkie-Talkie, stream music and podcasts, receive notifications, and more with Apple Watch with Cellular and a cellular connection to the same carrier as your iPhone, even when you don’t have your iPhone or a Wi-Fi connection.



There are some benefits to using the cellular Apple Watch, and it isn’t easy to decide whether the advantage outweighs the advantage of using the GPS model.

If you are looking for a watch that tracks your activities, the GPS model might be the best choice. If you want an Apple Watch with many fitness tracking and tracking capabilities, then the cellular version would be a better choice. HereOfamily hopes you find this guide useful.

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