Since the launch of the Galaxy Watch Active 2, all Galaxy watches have come in at least two different models to satisfy the demands of the dedicated fan base. Both the LTE and Bluetooth-only variants are available. Below is a rundown of every LTE and Bluetooth model Samsung has released so far:
The names of the models clearly indicate which types of connectivity are supported, but for reasons we are aware of, many users remain confused. In this article, we’ll break down the main distinctions between the Galaxy Watch 5 LTE and Bluetooth so you can make an informed purchase.
Galaxy Watch 5/5 Pro: LTE vs Bluetooth
Here is a full list of pricing for all the Galaxy Watch 5 models:
Galaxy Watch 5
- 40mm Bluetooth+Wi-Fi: $280
- 40mm LTE: $330
- 44mm Bluetooth+Wi-Fi: $310
- 44mm LTE: $360
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
- 45mm Bluetooth: $450
- 45mm LTE: $500
No matter which size you pick, adding LTE connectivity to your Galaxy Watch 5 will cost you an additional $50. Plus, you will have to pay separately for the LTE data plan, which could be anything between $10 to $30 per month, depending on your carrier.
The LTE connectivity of the Galaxy Watch 5 makes it possible to use the watch independently of a smartphone. How? The embedded eSIM allows the wearable device to communicate with a mobile network, allowing the user to make and receive calls, access data services, and more. Here’s everything that an LTE device can do on its own, without needing to connect to an Android phone.
- Send Texts/Calls
- Summon Voice Assistant
- Browse the Web
- Stream music on Spotify or Amazon Music
- Download apps on Google Play Store
- Use Walkie-Talkie
- Use Safety/Emergency Features
Remember that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and its eSIM both need to be set up with a Samsung phone or another Android device. While the Galaxy Watch 5 and other Galaxy Watch LTE models can function independently, they are not meant to take the place of a smartphone.
Instead of using a traditional SIM card, you can save your operator information on an embedded chip with eSIM. Scanning the operator-provided QR code requires nothing more than a Samsung Galaxy Wearable app installed on an Android phone. This concludes the discussion. This data will be transmitted to the linked Galaxy Watch 5 to begin service activation.
While this is generally true, there are exceptions to keep in mind. The Galaxy Wearable app, first and foremost, needs to work with your non-Samsung Android phone. To use an eSIM, your network provider also needs to be compatible. If you’re on one of the three major US networks (AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon), you should be able to use an eSIM.
Many of you will likely point out that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Bluetooth model is capable of many of these tasks as well. In a word, yes. However, it is not without restrictions. In order to do these things, it needs to be linked to a smartphone by Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi network.
If you disable the LTE model’s cellular connectivity, its battery life is identical to that of the Bluetooth model. The $50 premium seems pointless in that case.
It’s possible that many of you who buy a cellular watch will use the functions that necessitate an LTE connection. And obviously that has an effect on battery life. Since battery life varies from user to user, we can’t give you an exact number, but on average, a day of moderate use with LTE enabled should be fine.
Galaxy Watch 5/5 Pro LTE vs Bluetooth: What should you pick?
The decision to buy either the Bluetooth or LTE model of the Galaxy Watch 5 depends on a few factors. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Galaxy Watch 5 with LTE:
- Ideal for people who are into fitness and adventurous activities as the watch can be used to make/receive calls, send texts, and use other data services.
- A cellular connection will come in handy in emergencies.
- Stream music on Spotify or Youtube Music without relying on a smartphone.
Cons of Galaxy Watch 5 with LTE
- The cellular watch is more expensive than the Bluetooth model
- The battery drains faster when used with an LTE connection
- You would have to pay additional charges to your carrier for the data services on your Galaxy Watch.
The decision between the Galaxy Watch 5 LTE and the Bluetooth model is, like that of a smartphone, a highly individual one. You should get an LTE connection if you want to use the features that require one.
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