Apple Watch Series 4 GPS vs Cellular – Which One is Better?

Last Updated on June 13, 2021 by Wristly

Apple Watch Series 4 was released in late 2018 but it’s still in the market and helps you to stay on top of your fitness and wellness goals. It monitors heart rate in real-time, fall detection alerts, ECG readouts- all while adding convenience features like Siri voice control through Wifi and an optional LTE cellular plan so you don’t have to carry around your iPhone for everything.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is a major upgrade, with a larger screen and a more powerful processor than previous models. There are two versions of the Apple Watch 4 – one with GPS only and another with cellular capability.

But which one is better for you? Apple Watch Series 4 GPS or Cellular?

If you want to leave your phone behind without sacrificing notifications or fitness tracking capabilities, go for the Apple Watch 4 cellular model. Otherwise, save money by opting for the GPS-only version of this great device!

 

Key Differences Between Apple Watch 4 GPS and Cellular

What is the difference between Apple Watch 4 GPS and cellular?

This article will break down all of the differences between these two models so that you can make an informed decision.

 

Connectivity:

The Apple Watch 4 GPS only model has a built-in GPS, but it requires you to stay connected with your iPhone at all times to use any internet functions such as sending/receiving emails, text messages, or making phone calls.

The Apple Watch 4 Cellular model on the other hand comes with both an eSIM and its own built-in GPS which lets you operate independently of your iPhone–even when there is no Wi-Fi connection available. In other words, Cellular model is basically a standalone smartwatch that doesn’t require Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for call and text feature.

 

Activation:

An eSIM is a small chip that allows you to connect your mobile device to the network without the hassle of inserting or removing your sim.

Apple Watch 4 has an activated, embedded SIM card so it can operate independently without the need for iPhone. However, if the current carrier does not support this feature and/or doesn’t offer activation for watches in their stores, cellular functionality won’t work until they provide service.

Furthermore, your phone should have the same carrier network as your smartwatch otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the features of the cellular version.

On the other hand, the GPS version of the Apple Watch 4 has an easy-peasy activation technique. All you’ve to do is place your smartwatch close to your phone for activation.

For activation, you can check the details on the official site of Apple: Set up cellular on Apple Watch – Apple Support

 

Battery life:

One of the considerations before choosing between Apple Watch Series GPS vs Cellular is battery life.

The Apple Watch Series GPS version has 18-hour battery life, while the cellular model offers an even more extended lifespan with a talk time of 24 hours on average and an average of 72 hours in power reserve mode.

You can also extend your Apple watch series’ battery life by switching off some of the features from your smartwatch.

The battery life of a GPS-only model is longer as opposed to the Cellular variant. Since it doesn’t require connecting with an LTE when outdoors and uses Bluetooth, it’s able to offer long-lasting power!

 

Related Article: Extremelty Long Battery Life Smartwatches

 

Compatibility:

In terms of compatibility, you should take into account which type of phone do you have before purchasing either one of these models because not all Apple Watches are compatible with all types of smartphones.

If you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch Series GPS is compatible with all models including iPhone XS Max and more.

For cellular connections, it’s necessary to have a supported iOS or macOS device which can be found on Apple’s website for your Apple watch series to connect wirelessly through cellular networks.

With the new Apple Watch Series 4, you can choose between two models – GPS or Cellular. Both require iOS 12 for use and are compatible with iPhone 6 or later (Non-LTE), or earlier versions of iPhones 5s (iPhones).

 

Price:

The price of the Apple Watch Series 4 Cellular variant is higher than the GPS model. Not only do you get extra features in the cellular version but you’ll be required to pay for the cellular plan you’ve opted for.

 

Music and Streaming:

With the Cellular variant, you can stream Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and many other features without your iPhone in range.

When you’re exercising, it’s hard to listen to music without a phone. With Spotify or Apple Music (or both), your arm can be the DJ for any workout!

The newest addition of Siri being able to help call up playlists will make workouts even more enjoyable than before.

Apple WatchOS 5 provides a more seamless way to listen and control your favorite tunes. The first thing you see when playing music on the phone or watch is the Now Playing screen, which gives easy access to tune settings.

Podcasts are also supported! As they take less space, listeners can download as many podcasts from their list without worrying about filling up precious memory space. You can make use of these features in the cellular version.

The GPS-only model does not have these features but is designed for those who don’t want to spend money on an expensive phone plan when their need are few.

 

Storage:

The Series 4 is the first Apple Watch with 16GB of storage capacity across all models. This means that you will have enough space for apps and a playlist or two, without having to worry about running out of memory!

 

Finishing:

Apple Watch has so many different variations on case material and band styles that you’ll almost definitely find what you’re looking for.

If you’re choosing the GPS variant, you’re only limited to aluminum casing. Some would prefer having a lightweight and matte case finishing, but if you want a titanium or steel case, you’ve to go for the GPS + cellular model of the apple watch.

 

Features:

WatchOS 5 has a new and improved design. The sleek interface will be compatible with all Apple Watches, from the original Series 0 to Series 4! If you have an older model of the watch, however, there are still many improvements that Watch OS 5 can bring for your device. It includes automatic workout detection, as well as yoga and hiking tracking abilities. A great thing about this update is it lets users challenge their friends in closing activity rings!

The latest version of WatchOS includes updated features such as more advanced workouts on series 4 watches. Additionally, hiking mode was added which allows walkers/hikers to track distance traveled so far, and they can even see how many calories they’ve burned on the hike so far.

There’s also a new mode called “Yoga” that tracks your heart rate while you’re exercising as well as the duration of the workout.

 

We have published a comparison article which might be of your interest: Apple Watch 6 vs Garmin Venu 2

 

Similarities between Apple Watch 4 GPS vs Cellular

 

Display:

The Apple Watch Series 4 changes the game with a larger display. The newest model has more screen space, which means that there is now an even wider variety of things to do on this watch!

The 40mm and 44mm models come in at 35% and 32% bigger than previous generations, respectively; they are also equipped with OLED screens for viewing content no matter what size your wrist is.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is a more capable device than its predecessors. The new interface takes full advantage of the extra-large display to provide detailed icons and messages that are easily readable, even while they’re out running errands or enjoying some time outdoors.

 

Design:

Apple is pushing the limits of what a wearable can be with their new watch faces. These dynamic watches explode onto your wrist, showing off stunning effects like fire and water on one side while fog rolls in over San Francisco Bay Bridge on another.

The Apple Watch Series 4 has an improved design with a slimmer and lighter profile. The new Series 4-exclusive Infographic watch face is perfect for those who want to get the information they need at a glance.

With this, you can have as many complications apart from telling time and checking your calendar entry. This display has four Complications in each corner of it. There is an additional four right inside its dial, giving people plenty of options when customizing their infographics faces because everyone’s needs vary!

 

Size:

Apple changed the Series 4 Watches to be a little taller and wider, which you’ll likely notice from your wrist. Here are how each size evolved:

The smaller 38mm model measured 40 by 34 mm at 10.5-11.8mm thick; it has now become an even smaller version of itself measuring in at just under 40 millimeters with dimensions that measure up to 35 x 33 mm thick (10×9 inches).

The larger 42mm model used to measure 44 x 36 mm but is now 41 – 43 millimeter wide with measurements close to 39 by 37 cm (15×14 inch) or 11″3/4 long “X7″”1/2 tall”.

The Digital Crown also has haptic clicks when you turn it, which are different than traditional circular watches by using Taptic Engine technology.

 

Features:

The Apple Watch Series 4 has a new ECG app that allows you to take an electrocardiogram on the go. The atrial fibrillation feature is available for any watch running iOS 5 or later and it alerts you when irregular heart rhythms occur.

The ECG app on your shiny new Apple Watch is the perfect way to measure heart rate. The Series 4 models are compatible with the health-tracking apps because they rely on electrodes running through the Digital Crown that takes an accurate reading.

Series 4’s heart sensors are the best way to detect high, low, and irregular heartbeat. Instead of waiting for tragedy to strike, these smartwatches will alert you before it even happens!

Moreover, The Apple Watch Series 4 can sense and react to the unusual collection of unnatural motions involved when someone tumbles to the ground, but it’s not always reliable. If a fall is sensed, Series 4 will automatically call emergency services after 15 seconds pass without a response from your wrist-based alarm.

 

Sound quality:

Series 4 have made a few improvements that make it easier to use. Speaker volume has increased, and the microphone is now on the right side of your watch rather than the left-hand one.  This change was designed specifically for better quality voice input!

The Apple Watch Series 4 brings a whole new level of convenience to your wrist. Without even saying “Hey Siri” the voice recognition software is activated and ready for you! With this being said, as far as we could tell there were some issues with it not opening up every time after speaking commands.

The Walkie-Talkie feature is a fun way to feel like you’re in the future. Invite your friends who have Apple Watches running watchOS 5 and press and hold one of their buttons to send them a voice message.

 

Fitness Apps:

The Apple Watch Series 4 has a built-in heart rate sensor and accelerometer for measuring your movement, but the most exciting part of this is that it can also be used to track all sorts of activities – from running or cycling to strength training.

Moreover, the watch automatically detects when you’re working out and lets you forget about logging your workout sessions. When it senses that a session has started, the watch will show up onscreen to notify you of this fact with an option for whether or not to log it as one.

The Apple Watch can now track cadence data, which is useful for runners. Whether you’re a marathoner or enjoy going on walks around your neighborhood, knowing the number of steps that one takes can help them better understand how far they’ve come and where their fitness level currently stands. Data can be found in the Apple Watch Series’ Activity app or by manually viewing your Apple Watch’s Workout App.

 

Performance:

The Apple Watch Series 4 has the first 64-bit CPU in an Apple watch, which promises up to twice the speed of last year’s S3. This is not only a big change for users but developers as well because early apple watches were slow and unresponsive due to their lack of power.

The newest update from Series 4 offers increased speeds with its inclusion of an S4 processor while also offering more efficient battery life throughout – thanks to Face ID sensors being used instead on Touch ID technology.

The fastest processor in the world, Siri is now faster than ever. With a 10x speed increase from its previous model, this process has also been made quick and efficient (faster than your iPhone)

 

Specifications Apple Watch Series 4 GPS Apple Watch Series 4 Cellular
Battery Up to 18 hour Up to 18 hours
Music and podcast streaming No Yes
Storage 16 GB 16 GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS Cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS
Compatibility iOS 12 and above IOS 12 and above
Processor S4 dual core processor S4 dual core processor


PROS:
  • Larger display
  • Increase in performance
  • Motion sensors to detect fall
  • Comes with watchOS 5

CONS:
  • Improvements required in battery life
  • Expensive

Apple Watch Series 4 GPS vs Cellular – Which One is Better?

Apple Watch Series 4 is arguably one of the best smartwatches that are worth it. The design of this new device feels more premium than previous models with a larger display that rivals some smartphones while retaining its lightweight feel from earlier models like the Series 3.

Apple has also gone all in on health-tracking features as opposed to just fitness tracking which can be found across other devices such as Fitbit or Garmin but without sacrificing anything else.

Overall, it’s a great device for communicating with people from any distance. You can raise your watch to your mouth and ask it something, like “Hey Siri, turn on the lights” or you could use fitness apps that will monitor your well-being.

Although the cellular model is priced at a premium rate, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to carry a smartphone with you all the time, you can go for the cellular model that allows you to call and text while you’re on the go. Otherwise, choose the affordable option i.e GPS model.

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