By TECHBOOK | June 08, 2022 at 8:10 p.m
The Apple Watch and the iPhone simply belong together – or not? TECHBOOK explains whether the purchase of the smartwatch is also worthwhile for users who have an Android smartphone instead of an iPhone.
The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market. Hardly any other smart watch is bought as often as that of the iPhone manufacturer. With it, Apple has created the ideal companion for athletes and business people. Because the Apple Watch not only offers classic functions such as telephony via the watch, retrieving appointments and messages, it also has numerous sensors and functions that help with training and health monitoring. This arouses the interest not only of iPhone users, but also of Android device owners. But is that even possible – operating an Apple Watch together with an Android smartphone? TECHBOOK explains whether buying Apple's flagship watch is worthwhile even without a matching Apple smartphone.
Can the Apple Watch be used with Android?
There is a large selection of different smartwatches for Android smartphones. But if it should be the Apple Watch, the question arises as to whether the Apple Watch can be paired with an Android phone at all and thus receive the notifications on the wrist. The short answer is: no! It already fails when setting up the Apple Watch via an Android smartphone. Because users without an iPhone have no access to the Apple Watch app required for the connection.
In addition, both devices have Bluetooth and should therefore be able to communicate with each other. However, the Apple Watch was programmed by Apple in such a way that it only works with iPhones and not with Android. Even rudimentary functions such as notifications or calls are not possible without an iPhone and Apple Watch app – even if users use the more independent version with eSIM.
Apple Watch completely without a smartphone?
WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth – there is almost a complete smartphone in an Apple Watch. Athletes can leave their iPhone at home and only use their Apple Watch for the duration of the workout. Do you still need a paired cell phone for the Apple Watch or is it possible to do without it?
Although the Apple Watch is more autonomous from the iPhone than ever before – it doesn't work completely without a cell phone. The watch relies mostly on the iPhone for notifications and offloading of data and computing.
If the iPhone is switched off or users do not have it with them, the Apple Watch can still record exercise performance during sports, play music previously synced via the iPhone and take over functions of a classic watch – such as stopping the time or setting a timer.
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Which Apple Watch supports eSIM?
Since the Apple Watch Series 3, the smartwatch has also been available as an eSIM variant. It is even more independent than the pure WLAN models. The clock transmits independently via UMTS or LTE via the electronic SIM card. This allows Apple Watch owners to use the mobile Internet and telephony even when there is no connection between the Smartwatch and the iPhone. However, the following also applies to these models: If users want to use the full range of functions of the watch, then a connection to the iPhone is essential. The built-in mobile phone module is only intended to bridge short periods without the iPhone. If you were to constantly send the watch online via the built-in radio module, the battery would be empty after just a few hours.
And the Apple Watch remains closely intertwined with iPhone apps such as "Health" and forwards health data to these apps. So even if you might initially think that a built-in eSIM means independence from the iPhone, it actually only allows the wearer to leave the iPhone behind for short periods of time and still be able to use functions such as Apple Music – for example during sports.
Also read: Apple Watch can only be used with selected eSIMs after the update
No, an Apple Watch without an iPhone is out of the question. So if you're toying with the idea of buying one and don't yet have an iPhone, then it's better to put the Apple smartphone directly on your shopping list. Tinkerers have already managed to get an Apple Watch running with an Android smartphone. However, their range of functions is then severely limited.
Owners of an Android smartphone should therefore rather look around at the compatible alternatives to the Apple Watch. Samsung, Huawei, but also Fossil, Garmin and Fitbit have quite recommendable and very different models on offer.