Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular (Detailed Comparison of All Models)

In less than a decade, Apple has made sure to make their territory in the Smartwatch world, and rightly so, because they are best in business. Apple Watches are known to be unique, filled with innovative features, and plenty of options to choose from. Not only it comes in sizes, materials, colors, and bands, they also come in more than one style as well.

Mostly, Apple watches have two styles; GPS and GPS + Cellular. So, it would be valid for someone to ask “which is better?” or “which style I should go for”?

Well, if you’re looking for these answers, you landed on the right place, we will discuss GPS vs Cellular Apple watches, and will see separately in each series, which one is better for you.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Difference between Apple Watch GPS vs. Cellular

Apple Watch Series 6 GPS vs. Cellular

The latest watch from Apple Watch up till now is Series 6 which was released in late 2020, and it’s safe to say that it’s the best in the business. Apple Watch 6 whether it’s cellular + GPS or GPS only it comes in two sizes; 40mm and 44mm.

When we compare Apple Watch 6 GPS only with Cellular models, there’s no such difference in both styles. If an Apple Watch 6 is laying around somewhere, you cannot tell just by looking at it that whether it’s GPS only or the cellular + GPS one.

So, is there any difference at all? Well yes.

As the name “cellular” depicts, that it has something to do with your smartphone or being the smartphone itself, which is true. With the Cellular version, you will be able to make/receive calls, send text messages, listen to Apple podcasts and do anything you want, without your iPhone is in the range.

You will be using an Apple Watch 6 just like your mini-iPhone, allowing you to leave the phone behind. This is something that you cannot do with the Apple Watch 6 GPS only variant because it has to stay connected all the time with your iPhone or Wi-Fi to work.

Apple Watch 6 GPS vs. Cellular Battery life:

Both these variants come with the same battery type and life, and according to Apple, they can last for about 18 hours after getting fully charged. However, with the LTE technology in the cellular version, it is destined to drain the battery more quickly than the GPS one.

Apple Watch Series 6 GPS vs. Cellular Price:

Cellular watch costs considerably more than the GPS only, and it’s not just that. You will have to pay extra bucks for the carrier network in the cellular version each month. On the other hand, you don’t have to do this in the GPS version and will be your one-time investment.

Apple Watch 6 GPS Apple Watch 6 Cellular
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Blue, Red Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Blue, Red
Sizes 40mm & 44mm 40mm & 44mm
SIM No eSIM
Connectivity GPS only GPS + Cellular
Standalone Smartwatch No Yes
Weight 36.5g 36.5g
Water-resistant 50m 50m
Display Type Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak) Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak)
Display Size 1.78-inches 1.78-inches
Resolution 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density) 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density)
Protection type Ion-X strengthened glass Ion-X strengthened glass
OS Watch OS 7.0, upgradable to 7.6 Watch OS 7.0, upgradable to 7.6
Chipset Apple S6 Apple S6
WLAN/Bluetooth Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE
ECG certified Yes Yes
Sensors Heart rate (3rd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass Heart rate (3rd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass
Storage/RAM 32GB/1GB 32GB/1GB
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
Battery Li-Ion 303.8 mAh (1.17 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage Li-Ion 303.8 mAh (1.17 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage

 

Recommended Read: Garmin Venu 2 vs Apple Watch 6: The Battle Of Titans

 

Apple Watch SE (Aluminum) GPS vs Cellular

Alongside Series 6, Apple introduced this new SE watch as well, which is identical to series 6 in almost every feature, but it costs considerably less than that. It came in two sizes; 40 and 44mm, along with two styles; GPS and GPS + Cellular.

Make phone calls, send text messages, check weather updates, listen to Apple Podcasts, and do whatever you want with the cellular variant, which would make it a standalone smartwatch. On the other hand, you will have to stay connected to your iPhone to use its features.

Apple Watch SE (GPS vs. Cellular) Battery life:

If your main focus relies on the battery life, or you’re that sort of a person, who likes to travel and cannot afford to charge your watch often, the GPS version will be perfect for you, as it might last more than the cellular version.

Apple Watch SE (GPS vs. Cellular) Price:

This watch doesn’t belong to the main Watch series of Apple, and that’s exactly why it costs less than Series 6. Even its cellular version doesn’t cost much, which in the case of other series does. However, if you don’t want to burn a hole in your wallet, you should go with the GPS version, and if the price doesn’t really bother you, then the cellular variant can be a good option as well.

Apple Watch SE GPS Apple Watch SE Cellular
(44mm) GPS GPS + Cellular
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Sizes 40mm & 44mm 40mm & 44mm
SIM No eSIM
Connectivity GPS only GPS + Cellular
Standalone Smartwatch No Yes
Weight 36.4g 36.4g
Water-resistant 50m 50m
Display Type Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak) Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak)
Display Size 1.78-inches 1.78-inches
Resolution 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density) 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density)
Protection type Ion-X strengthened glass Ion-X strengthened glass
OS Watch OS 7.0, upgradable to 7.6 Watch OS 7.0, upgradable to 7.6
Chipset Apple S5 Apple S5
WLAN/Bluetooth Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE
ECG certified Yes Yes
Sensors Heart rate (2nd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass Heart rate (2nd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass
Storage/RAM 32GB/1GB 32GB/1GB
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
Battery Li-Ion, non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage Li-Ion, non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage

 

Apple Watch Series 5 GPS vs. Cellular

Apple Watch Series 5 came in two sizes; 40 and 44mm, with two styles; GPS & GPS + Cellular, and was released in Sept 2019. Like the Apple Watch Series 6, the cellular version of the Apple Watch 5 comes with an eSIM, which makes sure you can make calls, send text messages without staying connected to your iPhone at all. While the Apple Watch Series 5 GPS only version requires you to have your phone or Wi-Fi connectivity all the time to work properly.

Apple Watch 5 Battery life:

Just like its successor, the Apple Watch Series 5 cellular variant would drain the battery faster than the GPS-only version. So, if your usage requires you to have a somewhat long battery life, you should go with the GPS version.

Apple Watch 5 GPS vs. Cellular Price:

Apple Watch 5 Cellular variant costs almost double than the GPS only, along with the monthly charges you have to pay for carrier network.

Apple Watch 5 GPS Apple Watch 5 Cellular
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Sizes 40mm & 44mm 40mm & 44mm
SIM No eSIM
Connectivity GPS only GPS + Cellular
Standalone Smartwatch No Yes
Weight 36.7g 36.7g
Water-resistant 50m 50m
Display Type Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak) Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak)
Display Size 1.78-inches 1.78-inches
Resolution 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density) 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density)
Protection type Ion-X strengthened glass Ion-X strengthened glass
OS Watch OS 6.0, upgradable to 7.6 Watch OS 6.0, upgradable to 7.6
Chipset Apple S5 Apple S5
WLAN/Bluetooth Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band & 5.0, A2DP, LE
ECG certified Yes Yes
Sensors Heart rate (2nd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass Heart rate (3rd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass
Storage/RAM 32GB/1GB 32GB/1GB
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
Battery Li-Po 296 mAh (1.13 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage Li-Po 296 mAh (1.13 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage

 

Apple Watch Series 4 GPS vs. Cellular

Apple Watch Series 4 was released in 2018, and it came in two styles; GPS & GPS + Cellular, along with two sizes; 40 and 44mm. The GPS version makes phone calls, sends messages, receives notifications just fine when it’s connected to the iPhone, which makes it a distance-bound communication per se, but this can be eliminated in the cellular version. You can freely make calls, listen to Apple podcasts right from your wrist without needing your phone after getting paired.

Apple Watch 4 GPS vs. Cellular Battery life:

The GPS variant might go on longer than the cellular version, because of the LTE features, which drains the battery the most.

Apple Watch Series 4 GPS vs. Cellular Price:

GPS version costs less amount of money and is a one-time investment, which is not the case with cellular variant, as you need to pay extra bucks each month to the network providers as well.

Apple Watch 4 GPS Apple Watch 4 Cell + GPS
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Sizes 40mm & 44mm 40mm & 44mm
SIM No eSIM
Connectivity GPS only GPS + Cellular
Standalone Smartwatch No Yes
Weight 36.7g 36.7g
Water-resistant 50m 50m
Display Type Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak) Retina LTPO OLED, 1000 nits (peak)
Display Size 1.78-inches 1.78-inches
Resolution 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density) 448 x 368 pixels (~326 PPI density)
Protection type Ion-X strengthened glass Ion-X strengthened glass
OS Watch OS 5.0, upgradable to 7.6 Watch OS 5.0, upgradable to 7.6
Chipset Apple S4 Apple S4
WLAN/Bluetooth Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, & 5.0, A2DP, LE Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, & 5.0, A2DP, LE
ECG certified Yes Yes
Sensors Heart rate (2nd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass Heart rate (2nd gen), Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro, Compass
Storage/RAM 16GB/1GB 16GB/1GB
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
Battery Li-Ion 292 mAh (1.12 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage Li-Ion 292 mAh (1.12 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage

 

For more details read: Apple Watch Series 4 GPS vs Cellular, Which One is Better?

 

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS vs. Cellular

Apple Watch Series 3 can be termed as a pioneer in Apple Watches because it really changed the whole perspective of a smartwatch for iPhones. iWatch 3 was released in 2017, in two sizes; 40 and 44mm, and two styles; Apple Watch 3 GPS and GPS + Cellular.

Although it’s an old watch, and there’s no point in spending money on its cellular version, which is becoming rare as well. But if you have queries about both styles, let’s see the difference.

The main difference in both these styles is the same as its successor, as you can make and receive phone calls, send text messages, listen to podcasts and use it freely without the constant need of staying connected to your iPhone. However, in the case of GPS only, you can still do all these features, but you’ll need to stay connected to your iPhone or Wi-Fi network.

Apple Watch 3 GPS vs. Cellular Battery life:

If you’re using the cellular variant, it will drain out more quickly because of the LTE features. On the other hand, the GPS version might stand more, with mixed usage.

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS vs. Cellular Price:

From the price perspective, the cellular version would cost more than the GPS variant. So, if you’re low on budget, you might want to consider the GPS version, because it costs considerably less.

Apple Watch 3 GPS Apple Watch 3 Cellular
Colors Silver, Gold, Space Gray Silver, Gold, Space Gray
Sizes 38mm & 42mm 38mm & 42mm
SIM No eSIM
Connectivity GPS only GPS + Cellular
Standalone Smartwatch No Yes
Weight 32.3g 34.9g
Water-resistant 50m 50m
Display Type Retina OLED, 1000 nits (peak) Retina OLED, 1000 nits (peak)
Display Size 1.65-inches 1.65-inches
Resolution 390 x 312 pixels (~303 PPI density) 390 x 312 pixels (~303 PPI density)
Protection type Ion-X strengthened glass Ion-X strengthened glass
OS Watch OS 4.0, upgradable to 7.6 Watch OS 4.0, upgradable to 7.6
Chipset Apple S3 Apple S3
WLAN/Bluetooth Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, & 4.2, A2DP, LE Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, & 4.2, A2DP, LE
ECG certified No No
Sensors Heart rate, Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro Heart rate, Barometer, Accelerometer, Gyro
Storage/RAM 16GB/768MB 16GB/768MB
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
Battery Li-Ion 341 mAh battery (1.34 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage Li-Ion 341 mAh battery (1.34 Wh), non-removable, Wireless charging & 18 hours of usage

 

Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular: Which one is better for you?

As you have seen the comparison between all the styles of Apple Watches available till now, and one thing is for sure that both the styles have their own pros and cons. You cannot vaguely decide which one is better, but what you can do is ask yourself “What do I need?”

The ultimate difference relies on the word “cellular”, where you can freely make phone calls, send text messages, listen to podcasts, check whether, and whatnot. You won’t have to stay connected to your iPhone or Wi-Fi network at all. While the GPS model doesn’t have this feature, although you can do all these things while staying connected makes it a distance-bound communication.

Now if your usage doesn’t require you this standalone feature, there’s no point in spending money and compromising battery life over something you won’t or barely use. But, if do want to use the watch as a mini-smartphone, you should go for it.

The GPS version might give last for a little longer than the Cellular one, as the LTE features drain the battery the most. This eventually goes down to your preference again, that if you want your watch to have a considerably good battery life, you should go with the GPS variant, and if it’s not the case, and you’re happy with getting it changed often, you should go with the latter.

Before we get to the price range, there’s one more thing that can be deciding factor for some people, especially for parents.

Apple introduced this feature in Watch OS 7 and iOS 14, where if your family member doesn’t have an iPhone, he/she can still be able to use the Apple watch through Family setup. As we all know, Apple Watch is an accessory of the iPhone and is designed specifically for that, which means there’s no way you can set up a watch, and use it without having an iPhone first.

Now, for example, if you want to gift an Apple watch to your kid or someone who doesn’t have an iPhone, they can use it without having to stay connected with an iPhone. You can also monitor their locations, and activities through it as well. However, this feature only comes in the cellular version.

And finally, the GPS version costs way less than the cellular variant, and it’s a one-time investment, unlike the latter. You will have to pay extra bucks each month for the carrier network in the cellular version, which is something that can be avoided in the GPS version.

 

Related Articles:

Apple Watch: Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel (All Models Explained)

How to Unpair an Apple Watch; All Methods Revealed

 

 

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