5 Best Standalone Smartwatch (Built-in Cellular LTE)

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If you think about it, smartwatches aren’t really that smart. They rely almost completely on your smartphone to do anything besides telling the time and really, they are more of an extension to your phone, rather than a smart device in their own right.

Standalone smartwatches are different though. These devices offer much more than an ordinary smartwatch as they are able to function without any dependency on a smartphone whatsoever. This independence has been made possible thanks to built-in cellular and LTE technology, which allows the watch to function the same way a smartphone does.

This means that with a standalone smartwatch there is no need for smartphone tethering, so the watch will work the same regardless of whether your phone is on or off. It also means that certain standalone smartwatches are able to function just like a smartwatch, allowing you to make and receive calls as well as browse the internet.

In this guide, we will take a look at the best standalone smartwatches that are currently available, but first, let’s discuss a few things to consider when buying a standalone smartwatch.

Budget
best-budget-standalone-smartwatch
KingWear KW88 Smartwatch
4.6/5.0
Casing: Aluminum
Battery life: 2-7 days
Low cost, excellent battery life, built-in camera.
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Best Value
best-value-standalone-smartwatch
Samsung S3 Frontier
4.6/5.0
Casing: Stainless steel
Battery life: 24 hours
This has great features and a solid build.
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Top Pick
top-value-standalone-smartwatch
Apple Watch Series 4
4.9/5.0
Casing: Aluminum, stainless steel
Battery life: 18 hours
Most feature-rich, has SOS and ECG functions.
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What to look for in a standalone smartwatch





Standalone Smartwatches Comparison Table

Make and ModelSize &
Construction
Smart FeaturesBattery LifePrice
Apple Watch
Series 4
Case size:
40mm, 44mm
Case
thickness:
10.7mm
Construction:
Aluminum,
stainless steel
Strap: Silicone,
leather, stainless
steel
Activity tracking,
GPS, cellular,
NFC, heart rate
monitoring, emergency
SOS, altimeter,
ambient light
sensor
18 hoursCheck Price
LG Watch SportCase size:
45mm
Case
thickness:
14.3mm
Construction:
Stainless steel
Strap: Rubber
Activity tracking,
GPS, cellular,
NFC, heart rate
monitoring,
ambient light
sensor
16 hoursCheck Price
Samsung S3
Frontier
Smartwatch –
LTE edition
Case size:
46mm
Case
thickness:
12.9mm
Construction:
Stainless steel
Strap: Silicone
Activity tracking,
sleep tracking,
GPS, cellular,
NFC, heart rate
monitoring,
ambient light
sensor
24 hoursCheck Price
Huawei Watch
2 Sport
Bluetooth +
4G/LTE
Case size:
45mm
Case
thickness:
12.6mm
Construction:
Plastic
Strap: Plastic
Activity tracking,
GPS, cellular,
NFC, heart rate
monitoring,
ambient light
sensor, compass
48 hoursCheck Price
KingWear
KW88
Smartwatch
Display size:
35mm
Construction:
Aluminum
Strap: Silicone
Activity tracking,
heart rate
monitoring, Anti-
theft, cellular,
GPS, 2.0-
megapixel
camera
2-7 daysCheck Price

1. Top Pick: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

When it comes to smartwatches, there’s really no better place to start than with the Apple Watch. This has been a major player in the smartwatch world from pretty much day one and with the Series 4, Apple has yet again raised the bar for what is possible with these devices.

Design

The Series 4 has much the same design as the watch’s previous generations. This means you still the famous square casing and display, as well as a range of sleek, minimalistic straps that provide both form and functionality.

There have been some slight changes to the design though, as the display is now larger and the edges of the casing are more rounded, giving the device a slightly more modern appearance.

The watch comes in two different sizes including a 40mm and a 44mm version. This means that the watch should fit comfortably on pretty much any wrist. Not all smartwatches come in different sizes so it is great to see that Apple has made an effort to create various models to suit all types of people.

As for the construction, the casing can be either aluminum or steel, depending on which you pick. Both of these materials are lightweight and durable, however, if you want the watch to be as light as possible, aluminum is the way to go. Alternatively, if you are more concerned with durability, the steel option is the better choice.

There are also a number of different strap options available including silicone, leather, and stainless steel. This is great to see as it means you can really tailor the device to suit you and your needs.

For example, if you don’t plan on using the watch for fitness, then you probably don’t need the sportier silicone strap. On the other hand, if your main reason for buying the watch is fitness, then you will want to avoid the leather and stainless steel options as they are less comfortable.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters. This means it is fine to swim with the device and use it while showering. We wouldn’t recommend doing anything more than this though, as it is only water-resistant, not waterproof.

Features

The Apple Watch has potentially the most diverse range of features of any smartwatch. Its key features include activity tracking, GPS, cellular functionality, NFC, heart rate monitoring, an emergency SOS feature, and an altimeter.

Some of these features are pretty common to see on smartwatches, however, Apple has seriously pushed the boat out in certain areas to ensure this device offers the maximum level of functionality possible.

The heart rate monitor, for example, now has two different sensors. On top of the standard optical sensor used on the previous iterations of the device, there is also an electrical sensor as well. This new electrical sensor gives the watch ECG functionality and the information it gathers can be exported to a PDF to then give to your physician.

This is an incredible feature to see on a smartwatch and it is something that really puts the Apple watch in a class of its own when it comes to health monitoring.

The emergency SOS feature is another excellent piece of functionality that can call for help if something happens to you. This is another feature that is unique to the Apple Watch and it shows the direction Apple think the smartwatch should go in, meaning we can expect more health and safety features on their watches in the future.

Apple has also added digital haptic feedback to the crown as well which is simply fantastic. Its little touches like this that often give Apple products so much praise and its great to see that their attention to detail extends to all of their products.

Battery life

The battery life on this device is probably the one thing that lets it down. The watch will last for up to 18 hours between charges which isn’t terrible, but it does mean that sleep tracking isn’t really possible, which is why it isn’t available on this device.

As this watch is so feature-rich it is hard to complain too much about battery life, but this is a key area that Apple should look to improve going forward.

If it wasn’t for the disappointing battery life, this watch would receive a perfect score as in terms of features and design, nothing else really comes close.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions:
Case size: 40mm, 44mm
Case thickness: 10.7mm
Construction:
Casing: Aluminum, stainless steel
Strap: Silicone, leather, stainless steel
Features: Activity tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, heart rate monitoring, emergency SOS, altimeter, ambient light sensor
Battery life: 18 hours
The Pros
Multiple sizes
Should suit any wrist size
Slim casing
Multiple construction options
Stylish design
Multiple strap options
Excellent range of features
Includes two different heart sensors
Includes an SOS feature
Will last most of the day
The Cons
No sleep tracking
Poor battery life compared to other smartwatches

2. LG Watch Sport

LG Watch SportView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The LG Watch Sport was the flagship device of Google’s Android Wear 2 launch back in early 2017. Since then a lot has changed with a number of other quality smartwatches hitting the market. Android Wear 2.0 has also been rebranded Wear OS during this time and has also received a bit of an overhaul.

The LG Watch Sport, however, still remains one of the best standalone smartwatches you can buy thanks to its high-quality design and certain features that other manufacturers are only now starting to include on their devices.

Design

The watch has a rather chunky design and although in most cases this would make the watch too bulky for a lot of people, LG has managed to make it work. With a case size of 45mm and a thickness of 14.3mm, it is, of course, still going to be too large for some of you but it is surprising how good this device looks, even on smaller wrists.

The casing itself is made from stainless steel meaning it is highly durable and very resistant to water corrosion. This also gives it a very premium look which is another big selling point of this device now that it is a couple of years old.

The watch comes with a rubber strap and it has been designed in such a way that it should look good no matter what the occasion. This means that not only will it function extremely well when being used for fitness activities but it will also not look out of place when paired up with a nice suit.

It is a very plain looking strap though so if you are after something a little more stylish, you might want to consider buying an extra strap as well. It is important to note though that the antenna for the device extends into the strap as well so you will have to stick with LG straps rather than going for something from a third-party manufacturer.

The LG Watch Sport is also water-resistant up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. This means that it will be fine to use the watch while showering or washing dishes but swimming and other water activities should be avoided.

Features

The features on this device are pretty good for a smartwatch as old as this one. Its main features include activity tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, and heart rate monitoring which actually makes the watch more feature-rich than many of today’s smartwatches and is another example of why this watch has stayed relevant for so long.

Thanks to Wear 2.0, the digital crown on the device can also be used to navigate around the watch. There is also a button on each side of the crown and each of them can be programmed to open up an app of your choice.

By default, the top one will take you to the workout menu which you may decide to keep if you are using the watch predominately for fitness. One of the more popular uses for the bottom button is Android pay as it gives you easy access to the feature when you are in a rush.

Battery life

The battery life is a real letdown with the watch only lasting up to 16 hours between charges. This is even worse than the Apple Watch and it is, therefore, no surprise that there is no sleep tracking on this device.

With the Apple Watch it is a little more understandable as it is very feature-rich, but with this watch, there really isn’t much of an excuse. Only time will tell as to whether LG addresses this issue but until then we will have to make do with what we’ve got.

A capable smartwatch that is still able to hold its own in the current market, however, it is starting to show its age a little bit and the battery life isn’t great.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions:
Case size: 45mm
Case thickness: 14.3mm
Construction:
Casing: Stainless steel
Strap: Rubber
Features: Activity tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, heart rate monitoring, ambient light sensor
Battery life: 16 hours
The Pros
Nice large display
Stylish design
Durable
Decent range of features
Includes a heart monitor
Will last most of the day
The Cons
Might be too large for some people
Limited strap options
No sleep tracking
Poor battery life compared to other smartwatches

3. Best Value: Samsung S3 Frontier Smartwatch – LTE edition

Samsung S3 Frontier Smartwatch - LTE editionView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Samsung has been in the smartwatch game for years now and although their first model was received with mixed reviews, they have since made significant strides with their second and third generation models, and the S3 Frontier is an excellent example of how far they have come.

Design

The biggest criticism of the original model was that it essentially looked like a small phone slapped on someone’s wrist. Although this gave it a nice large display, it did look a bit ridiculous and Samsung has taken this feedback on board by producing something much more reminiscent of a traditional analog timepiece.

The S3 Frontier has a case size of 46mm making it still quite large for a watch, but far more compact than the first-generation model. This does mean, however, that it will still likely be too large for some people, especially those of you with smaller wrists.

The casing is made from stainless steel and it has been finished off in an almost gunmetal color giving it a very masculine appearance. There is also quite a large bezel around the watch face which looks great and gives the watch a more premium appearance, albeit at the expense of a larger display.

The strap is made from silicone which is a very durable material that allows a watch to fit snug against your wrist. This makes it great for fitness activities as the watch shouldn’t move around too much. Silicone also isn’t porous, meaning it won’t soak up sweat like leather does.

Leather and metal straps are also available if you would like something a little more formal but the Frontier comes with a silicone strap as standard.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 1.5 meters. This means that it can’t quite compete with the Apple Watch in this department, but it is still fine to use in the shower or the tub. We wouldn’t recommend using the device for swimming though, as it isn’t waterproof, just water-resistant.

Features

The S3 Frontier is also very functional offering activity tracking, sleep tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, and heart rate monitoring as its standout features. You can also pair the device with your smartphone to get notifications sent to the watch.

The sleep tracking functionality is one of the S3 Frontiers main selling points. This is something not offered on the Apple Watch as it doesn’t have the battery life for it but Samsung has managed include it, giving the S3 Frontier the edge over the Apple watch in this area.

Unlike on the Apple Watch though, there is no ECG feature on this device. This isn’t surprising as Apple changed the game when they revealed this feature and it will take some time for other manufacturers to catch up.

As mentioned, there is quite a large bezel on this device. This is actually used for navigation along with the buttons by twisting clockwise or counter-clockwise to scroll through menus and select apps. Weirdly though, you still have to tap the screen to confirm when you want to open an app. This is strange considering how much the navigation relies on the bezel and buttons.

Given that the display is pretty small though, this is a nice setup and easier to use in this case than having to use the touchscreen for everything, so we can’t really complain.

Battery life

The watch will last around 24 hours on a single charge which is the reason it is able to provide sleep tracking on top of its other features. There is still a problem with this, however, as you will have to somewhat prioritize whether you want to use the device for activity tracking or sleep tracking.

You might be able to get around this by charging the device every evening if you don’t do much activity during this time, but it is still a pretty annoying downside to this device that will likely put a lot of people off.

Overall, this is a pretty solid smartwatch. It has a great range of features and a very stylish design but it falls short in certain areas, thanks to its relatively small display and annoying battery life.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions:
Case size: 46mm
Case thickness: 12.9mm
Construction:
Casing: Stainless steel
Strap: Silicone
Features: Activity tracking, sleep tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, heart rate monitoring, ambient light sensor
Battery life: 24 hours
The Pros
Should fit well on most wrists
Stylish design
Durable
Decent range of features
Includes a heart monitor
Includes sleep tracking
Will last all day
The Cons
Might be too large for some people
The display is relatively small
Limited strap options
Limited battery life for sleep tracking

4. Huawei Watch 2 Sport Bluetooth + 4G/LTE

Huawei Watch 2 Sport Bluetooth + 4G/LTEView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Huawei Watch 2 Sport is arguably the best Android smartwatch available. It is packed with features and has a very smart design that highlights the best aspects of its construction and overall appearance.

Design

Huawei has gone with a rugged, bulky design for the Watch 2 Sport and it works really well, giving the watch an appearance that suggests it is ready for any fitness or sports activity. The size of the case is around 45mm though, so how comfortable it is to use for fitness will largely depend on your wrist size.

One of the more surprising things about the design of this watch is that the thick bezel around the watch face doesn’t rotate. This might seem like a non-issue but the Android Wear interface has been specifically designed with this type of hardware in mind. There is no crown either and instead, Huawei has opted to include two push buttons on the right side of the casing. These buttons work fine but a crown for navigation would have also been nice.

The construction of the device is probably where Huawei has really gone against the grain as they have decided to use plastic for both the casing and the strap. Although this makes the watch very lightweight, it is important to note that plastic is generally less durable than stainless steel and aluminum. For this reason, we aren’t really sure why Huawei would choose to use this material, as this model is the Sport version and, therefore, more likely to get damaged.

The bezel, however, is ceramic. This means that unless you are right up close to the watch you are unlikely to notice it is plastic, giving it a very premium look.

The device is also water-resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. This isn’t the greatest level of water-resistance you will find on a smartwatch, but it does at least mean you can use the watch while showering.

Features

The watch has a great range of features including activity tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, heart rate monitoring, and a compass. This means the watch is very versatile and capable of performing most of the tasks you will require from a smartwatch.

The standout feature of this smartwatch is, of course, it’s cellular functionality as it will allow the device to work independently, without a smartphone. The heart rate monitor is also really good and has often been praised for its accuracy.

The one big feature missing from this device, however, is sleep tracking. Usually, this is missing from smartwatches because they don’t have a big enough battery life to make sleep tracking viable. With this device, however, that isn’t the case and this really calls into question why Huawei would decide to leave it out.

Another disappointing aspect of the devices features is that the stock watch faces leave a lot to be desired. You can, of course, download various watch faces to solve this issue, but it doesn’t change the fact that out of the box, the watch faces do very little to suggest this is a quality device.

Battery life

One of the best things about this watch is its battery life. Unlike most full-screen smartwatches it can last up to 48 hours, giving it twice as much power as the S3 Frontier and blowing the Apple Watch out of the water.

This is why the decision to leave out sleep tracking is so annoying as the device clearly has enough juice to compensate for it.

Aside from a few design quirks and the lack of sleep tracking, this is a pretty solid all-around smartwatch. It has plenty of good features and a lightweight build that accounts for the bulkiness of the device rather well.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions:
Case size: 45mm
Case thickness: 12.6mm
Construction:
Casing: Plastic
Bezel: Ceramic
Strap: Plastic
Features: Activity tracking, GPS, cellular, NFC, heart rate monitoring, ambient light sensor, compass
Battery life: 48 hours
The Pros
Should fit well on most wrists
Very lightweight
Looks premium
Decent range of features
Includes a heart monitor
Includes a compass feature
Great battery life
Better than most full-screen smartwatches
The Cons
Might be too large for some people
The display is relatively small
Plastic is less durable than metal
Feels cheap
Limited strap options
No sleep tracking

5. Best Budget: KingWear KW88 Smartwatch

KingWear KW88 SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

KingWear has really made a name for itself in the smartwatch scene over the last few years, releasing a number of different standalone smartwatches. While most of these have been a bit hit and miss, the ones that hit are usually excellent and the KW88 is a perfect example of what KingWear can produce when they are at their best.

Design

The first thing you will notice about this device is how premium it looks. It has a beautiful design with simple styling that really showcases the best aspects of the watch, making it clear that KingWear’s design department really know what they are doing.

The watch face has a diameter of 35mm meaning the display itself is very easy to interact with and you shouldn’t encounter many misclicks. Around the watch face, there is a thin bezel which looks very modern and helps keep the device from being too bulky. Having said that, you might still have issues with the fit of this watch if you have small wrists.

The watch comes in a number of different colors including black, white, red, and rose gold. The casing is made from aluminum, meaning it is both very lightweight and durable. It has also been electroplated to prevent it from discoloring.

The strap is made from silicone and it has holes all over it to make it very breathable and, therefore, more comfortable when being used during a workout. It is also very easy to remove from the watch, meaning that it is easily changeable if you decide you don’t like it.

One of the most annoying things about this smartwatch is that it doesn’t offer any water-resistance. This is a very important aspect of a smartwatch as it will likely get coated in water from time to time and you will want to be sure it can handle it. The KW88 shouldn’t give you any problems in the rain but you should definitely avoid showering or washing dishes with it.

Features

The watch comes with a decent range of features including a couple of interesting things not seen on the other smartwatches in this guide. Its main features include activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, cellular functionality, GPS, anti-theft, and a 2.0-megapixel camera.

The camera is housed on the right of the device next to the button and for publicity purposes, it works really well. We can’t see it being very useful as a regular camera though as it is in an awkward position and the quality is nowhere near that of a modern smartphone.

The watch is also running Android 7.0 and has access to all of the stock Google Apps as well as many others through the Play Store. The operating system has been fully optimized for use on a smartwatch and it works really well with intuitive touch controls and navigation.

The one big feature missing from this device is sleep tracking. As always, there is an argument to say that battery life is the reason for its exclusion, however, that shouldn’t be the case with this watch, as even the S3 Frontier has sleep tracking and that has significantly less battery life.

Battery life

The battery life on this device is surprisingly good with the watch lasting anywhere between 2-7 days on a single charge. This will vary depending on how you use the device, of course, but considering it offers 2 days of battery life at a minimum, this is still a lot better than the other devices on this list.

Considering its price point, this is an excellent device with a stylish design and a decent set of features. The one real downside, however, is the lack of water-resistance which could leave the device vulnerable to water damage depending on how you use it. It would have also been nice to see sleep tracking on this watch, given its superior battery life.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions:
Display size: 35mm
Construction:
Casing: Aluminum
Strap: Silicone
Features: Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, Anti-theft, cellular, GPS, 2.0-megapixel camera
Battery life: 2-7 days
The Pros
Should fit well on most wrists
Lightweight
Durable
Stylish design
Decent range of features
Includes a heart monitor
Includes an anti-theft feature
Has a camera
Great battery life
Better than most full-screen smartwatches
The Cons
Limited dimensions specs available
Less durable than steel watches
Limited strap options
No sleep tracking
4/52 ratings