Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS: What’s the Difference?

So you’ve decided to splurge on a new Apple Watch, perhaps the gorgeous Apple Watch Series 6 or the affordable Apple Watch SE? You’ve already chosen which color and which size you want, and you can’t wait to order yours. After choosing your model on Apple’s website, you make another decision. Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular?

The GPS + Cellular variant is the most expensive… but what are the differences? Do you really need an Apple Watch GPS + Cellular version or would you be better off with a GPS-only model? With a cellular connection on Apple Watch, you can make calls, reply to messages, receive notifications, and more even when you’re away from your iPhone.

GPS GPS + Cellular
Battery
(talk)
N/ 15 hours
Battery
(Audio)
10 hours 5 hours of streaming with 7 hours
of Apple Music
Battery
(workout)
10 hours indoor
GPS with 6 hours of outdoor
5 hours outdoors with GPS and LTE
Apple Music
support
no Yes
The least
requirements
iPhone 14s
Series 3 and newer with iOS 6
New iPhone 4s with iOS 14 for Series 6
Siri support Yes Yes
Family setup
support
no Yes
Storage size 3 GB for Series 8
and 4,5,6 GB for Series 32
4,5,6 GB for Series 32
Monthly cost $0 From $10 per month depending on the
carrier

Apple Watch GPS

Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular

The Apple Watch GPS (Wi-Fi only) model is the cheapest and lightest of all the models in the line. You get longer battery life, but a cellular chip. If you’re a music person, it stores music onboard.

Apple Watch GPS + Cellular.

The GPS + Cellular model allows streaming of the Apple Music and Podcasts app. It includes 32GB of storage and you can get it in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. The Series 6 supports international emergency calling even if you don’t have an active cellular plan. Also, works with family setup.

Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS: What’s the Difference?

So you’ve decided to splurge on a new Apple Watch, perhaps the gorgeous Apple Watch Series 6 or the affordable Apple Watch SE? You’ve already chosen which color and which size you want, and you can’t wait to order yours. After choosing your model on Apple’s website, you make another decision. Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular?

The GPS + Cellular variant is the most expensive… but what are the differences? Do you really need an Apple Watch GPS + Cellular version or would you be better off with a GPS-only model? With a cellular connection on Apple Watch, you can make calls, reply to messages, receive notifications, and more even when you’re away from your iPhone.

Apple Watches connectivity

One of the main differences between Apple Watch GPS and Cellular + GPS is in the connectivity department. The GPS + Cellular option lets you answer calls, send text messages, and stay connected to your Apple Watch without leaving your iPhone at home. If you go faster with your Apple Watch GPS + Cellular, you can leave the iPhone free.

On the other hand, the GPS-only model can only send texts and answer calls if your iPhone is nearby. If you don’t tend to leave your iPhone behind when you go out, at least for this, you’ll be better off with a GPS-only model. It supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as does the Apple Watch GPS + Cellular model.

Minimum iPhone requirements

Cellular and GPS versions of Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple Watch SE require at least an iPhone 14s running iOS 6. If you use Family Setup with GPS + Cellular Apple Watch, you only need the iPhone for the initial setup. After that, the person set up as a family member doesn’t need an iPhone either.

Apple Watch cellular carrier support

To connect your Apple Watch to a cellular network, you must have the same carrier as your iPhone. If your current carrier doesn’t support Apple Watch, you won’t be able to use cellular connectivity until it does. Currently, cellular connectivity for the Apple Watch is supported on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

Now what is the difference between Apple Watch GPS / Cellular?

Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular Battery Life

Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular

Its GPS and GPS + Cellular will have some differences in battery life. Apple Watch GPS uses Bluetooth to connect to your iPhone and uses GPS for navigation purposes even when you’re out and about. The cellular model connects to the Internet via LTE when you’re not at home, so it’s understandable that it will have shorter battery life.

Connecting via Bluetooth, both Apple Watches have the same result, which also applies to older models: up to 11 hours of indoor work out, up to 11 hours of music playback from Apple Watch storage. However, we do see some differences in battery life during outdoor workouts. We see that GPS + Cellular scored 1 hour less than the GPS only model. This indicates the difference in battery life  is  current. Overall, there is a difference in battery life, which may seem insignificant, but you should keep it in mind when deciding which variant you prefer.

Apple Music and Streaming

Here’s another difference between Apple Watch GPS only and Apple Watch GPS + Cellular. The latter’s built-in cellular lets you stream Apple Music and podcasts even without your iPhone.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch GPS model requires an iPhone to stream Apple Music and podcasts, so that’s something to consider before going for this option.

collection

When looking at Apple Watch Cellular vs. GPS, the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 6 all come with a 32GB capacity. The Series 4 only has a 16GB capacity, so it’s not what the current models offer. Be that as it may, Apple doesn’t currently sell the Series 4, although you can find it for less (and in refurbished condition) at various retailers.Amazon.

Band options

The Apple Watch has so many subtle departures from case material and band styles that you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. However, if you want an aluminum Apple Watch with a Milanese circle, for example, you will have to buy the band separately. Although Apple’s original groups, there are various outside choices.

Apple Watches Family setup

Apple Watch GPS or GPS + Cellular

Family Setup is a new feature, introduced with the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, that lets you set up Apple Watches for your kids or older relatives without needing an iPhone to pair the watch with. So, you can only use this feature if you have a GPS + cellular model.

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