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The best LTE smartwatches in 2023

These smartwatches don't need a phone to keep you connected.
September 12, 2023
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
MSRP: $299.99
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Bigger, brighter AMOLED display
Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience
Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
User-friendly quick-release strap
$100 less than Watch 6 Classic
Mostly minor improvements over Watch 5
Unreliable touch bezel
Inconsistent GPS and heart rate data
Some features only available to Samsung phone users
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi) (Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 41mm))
MSRP: $399.00
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Excellent Retina display
Premium design and build
Crash detection
Improved sleep tracking
Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades
Battery life still has not improved
No third-party watch faces
Google Pixel Watch
MSRP: $349.00
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Very smooth performance
Reliable heart rate sensor
Fairly accurate GPS
Disappointing battery life
Only available in one size
Missing key health tracking features
Apple Watch SE (2022)
MSRP: $249.00
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Great value
Speedy S8 processor
Handy Low Power Mode
A lot to like in watchOS 9
No always-on display
Limited screen real estate
No SpO2 sensor
No advanced health tracking features
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
MSRP: $279.99
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Classy, durable designs
Multiple size options
Wear OS 3 is all-around good
No solid software update commitments from Google
Some features for Samsung phone users only
Slow, slow charging
Garmin Forerunner 945
MSRP: $79.99
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An LTE or cellular connection on a smartwatch is a surprisingly helpful feature. It can stay connected to the world without a tethered phone and power music streaming, messaging and calls, and emergency features. Many of the best smartwatches boast LTE connectivity, but which are the best for your budget? We round up the best LTE smartwatches you can buy below.

Buying the right smartwatch with 4G LTE

The allure of an LTE smartwatch on your wrist is clear. The potential of (almost) limitless connectivity without a smartphone will intrigue most. But there are a few things to consider about LTE smartwatches before buying one.

Do you really need cellular connectivity?

If you constantly have your phone on your person and tethered to your smartwatch, you likely won’t require an LTE watch. However, you might occasionally leave your phone at home or require a secondary emergency device on your wrist. An LTE watch might suit you if you’re in the latter camp.

The tangible drawbacks

Despite their clear advantages, cellular-connected watches do have their flaws. They generally use a little more battery than their Bluetooth/Wi-Fi-only counterparts. Thanks to the added components, they may produce more heat and weigh slightly more. In addition, 4G LTE connectivity shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when buying a smartwatch. Smartphone compatibility, battery life, health and fitness tracking kit, and price are all worth considering.

Android or iOS?

Apple and Samsung dominate the LTE-enabled smartwatch market, offering practically every smart and health-tracking feature you could ever want. Both companies provide slightly cheaper variants of their devices, too. If you’re looking for an LTE smartwatch to pair with your Android phone or iPhone, picking a device from these two companies will serve you well.

The cost consideration

Finally, there’s something else you should consider above and beyond a smartwatch’s capabilities. LTE connectivity is usually a costly extra on smartwatches in terms of initial cost and connectivity costs each month, even though this shouldn’t be the case. When looking at your available options, consider any deals carriers offer. The best LTE smartwatches may not be the most economical option over time, especially if your plan is expensive.

The best 4G LTE smartwatches you can buy

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the best LTE watch for Android phone users. Samsung’s new Wear OS watch line retains its predecessors’ excellent health sensor suite and adds new hardware and a larger display. It’s the most complete LTE smartwatch package on the market.
  • The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best LTE watch for iPhone users. The Series 8 builds on its predecessor with minor nips and tucks for the same price.
  • The Google Pixel Watch is the best Fitbit LTE smartwatch, sort of. It also offers one of the smoothest Wear OS experiences to date with the bonus of Fitbit health tracking.
  • The Apple Watch SE 2 is the best Apple LTE smartwatch for those on a budget. It trades several health features for its lower price, but that’s worth it if smart features are more important to you.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is now its best affordable LTE smartwatch option for Android users. It might be two generations old, but it still feels surprisingly current, even in 2023.
  • The Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE is the best purpose-built running watch with LTE support. The Forerunner 945 LTE is also the only Garmin smartwatch with LTE connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: The best 4G LTE smartwatch for Android users

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display • Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience • Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
MSRP: $299.99
Bigger and better.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 brings the best of Wear OS 4 and Samsung's smartwatch features to the table. A large display and full Samsung Wallet app make the Watch 6 a powerful standalone device, while integration with Samsung phones makes the Watch 6 a valuable part of your Galaxy ecosystem.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 builds on the solid platform of its two Wear OS-powered predecessors. It might flaunt similar stylings to the Galaxy Watch 5 it replaces, but the wearable gains a larger screen, bigger battery, and new watch strap fastening mechanism that makes switching out bands a breeze.

Adding to these aesthetic tweaks, the Galaxy Watch 6 series also gets a more efficient hardware package, making LTE on the watch more performative and efficient. The Galaxy Watch 6 remains an adept fitness tracker, packing plenty of unique features you won’t find on other non-Samsung watches, like body composition and blood pressure monitors. Adding LTE to this only sweetens the deal, allowing users who leave their phone at home to stream music, message contacts, or place and receive calls from their wrists.

The Galaxy Watch 6 series isn’t perfect, though. We experienced sub-par battery life during our review of the returning Classic model. This doesn’t bode well for LTE models in the series. Once again, Samsung is restricting certain features to Samsung phones.

Notably, you can still gain a bigger battery and a more rugged LTE smartwatch with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for a little more cash.

A Galaxy Watch 6 Classic user checks their sleep tracking data.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority


  • Elegant design and build materials
  • Ships with Wear OS 4
  • Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
  • Robust, snappy software experience


  • Only minor upgrades over Watch 5
  • Imperfect heart rate data
  • Disappointing battery life
  • Some features only work with Samsung phones

Apple Watch Series 8: The best 4G LTE smartwatch for iPhone users

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi) (Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 41mm))Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi) (Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 41mm))
AA Editors Choice
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi) (Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 41mm))
Excellent Retina display • Premium design and build • Advanced health tracking sensors
MSRP: $399.00
A very powerful device for anyone inside Apple's walled garden
The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features advanced fitness and health tracking tools, including a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and better insights into women's cycles. The device also features a thick front crystal over its display for improved durability. Additional highlights include Crash Detection, Low Power Mode, and extensive third-party app support.
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Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 41mm)
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Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 45mm)

The Apple Watch Series 8 continues where the Series 7 left off. It doesn’t bring many new big-ticket features, but it does add further polish to an already stellar smartwatch. The Series 8 gets a welcome software boost from watchOS 9, while its skin temperature sensor is the most impactful health tracking inclusion. It informs more accurate fertility cycle and sleep tracking, which makes the Series 8 the best choice for those who menstruate, too.

Battery life gets a boost thanks to Apple’s new low-power mode, but the Series 8 require a charge before much of its competition. Adding LTE connectivity exacerbates this, making the device infinitely more useful. The LTE Series 8 can stream music and podcasts, use Apple’s Walkie-Talkie feature, and place/receive calls and messages. You’ll also get the benefit of Apple’s emergency features.

apple watch series 8 lunar face
Ryan Haines / Android Authority


  • Excellent Retina display
  • Premium design and build
  • Advanced health tracking sensors
  • Crash detection
  • Improved sleep tracking
  • Plenty of watchOS 9 upgrades


  • Battery life still hasn’t improved
  • No third-party watch faces

Google Pixel Watch: The best Fitbit LTE smartwatch

Google Pixel WatchGoogle Pixel Watch
Google Pixel Watch
Voice-to-text assistance • Play Store integrated • Wear OS
MSRP: $349.00
The Pixel Watch is the first wearable with the Big G.
The Google Pixel Watch is a Wear OS-powered wearable that's aiming to be the smartwatch for everyone. It has a robust app library, plenty of Fitbit-based health-tracking features, and a classy design.

It’s not strictly a Fitbit, but the Google Pixel Watch is likely the closest we’ll ever get to a Fitbit with LTE. The Pixel Watch is an excellent device in its own right. If you look past its first-generation issues, it’s a beautiful timepiece with a distinctive aesthetic. Although it uses an older chipset, it includes the smoothest Wear OS experience we’ve had thus far. As for its fitness tracking credentials, it leans heavily on Fitbit for tracking activity, monitoring sleep, and general wellness.

The Pixel Watch has plenty of cons as it’s Google’s first foray into the segment. For one, Battery life is below average, especially when lumping LTE into the mix. Speaking of LTE, we’ve heard several reports from users of setup issues with cellular. You might want to ensure your carrier is Pixel Watch-friendly before purchasing one. Finally, some features on the Pixel Watch, like messaging, require your phone to be on even if your watch is connected to an LTE network. It’s a quirk related to Google’s text messaging sync system.

Google Pixel Watch charging
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority


  • Sleek, modern design
  • Access to (most of) the Fitbit ecosystem
  • Clean, Google-centric Wear OS experience
  • Very smooth performance
  • Reliable heart rate sensor
  • Fairly accurate GPS


  • Disappointing battery life
  • Only available in one size
  • Missing key health tracking features
  • No automatic workout detection
  • Awkward to change bands

Apple Watch SE 2: The best affordable 4G LTE smartwatch for Apple users

Apple Watch SE (2022)Apple Watch SE (2022)
AA Recommended
Apple Watch SE (2022)
Great value • Handy Low Power Mode • Excellent processor and software
MSRP: $249.00
Apple's budget-friendly lineup packs all the tools the average user really needs
With unrivaled app support, detailed fitness tracking, and improved sleep monitoring, the SE 2022 is a great entry point into the Apple ecosystem. It trades a few advanced health sensor for a more affordable price tag, but still offers all the essential features most shoppers want.

While the Series 8 fails to be truly affordable, the Apple Watch SE 2 excels. For under $300, it’s the best LTE smartwatch you can buy, at least for those in the Apple ecosystem. Best of all, you lose none of the device’s smart abilities like the Walkie-Talkie, calls and messaging, and content streaming.

Affordable products are all about compromise, and Apple has stripped the Watch SE 2 of several health features to bring its price under control. The device lacks an SpO2 sensor, ECG, and skin temperature sensor. With this device, you won’t get any blood oxygen data, heart health information, or more accurate fertility tracking.

If you can look past these issues and can afford the $50 premium over the base model’s price, the Apple Watch SE 2 is a great gateway LTE smartwatch that packs all the essentials.

An Apple Watch SE 2 rests on a tan surface displaying the quick panel menu.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority


  • Great value, priced lower than original model
  • Speedy S8 processor
  • Handy Low Power Mode
  • Color-matched back panel
  • A lot to like in watchOS 9
  • Much improved sleep tracking


  • Still no always-on display
  • Limited screen real estate
  • No SpO2 sensor
  • No advanced health tracking features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: The best affordable 4G LTE smartwatch for Android users

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Classy, durable designs • Multiple size options • Wear OS 3 is all-around good
MSRP: $279.99
Even if you aren't a huge Samsung fan, you'll find a lot to like.
Samsung and Google combined forces to improve the software situation with smartwatches on Android. The result is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, running a co-developed Wear OS. The standard Galaxy Watch 4 is for the sportier crowd, while the Watch 4 Classic is for those who'd like a watch they can wear to the office.

The Galaxy Watch 4 might be 2021’s flavor, but it’s still a reliable smartwatch. You won’t find too many missing features versus its newer siblings, at least in raw processing power, smart capabilities, and software support. Yes, it lacks the skin temperature sensor and larger battery of the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 6, but those are really the only notable omissions. In reality, these omissions aren’t deal breakers, either.

While the Galaxy Watch 4 LTE launched for $299, you can regularly find it discounted on popular retailers’ sites. If you can find the Galaxy Watch 4 at the right price and opt for the larger model, it’s an excellent budget cellular-capable smartwatch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Modern Minimalist Face
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4


  • Classy, durable designs
  • Multiple size options
  • Wear OS 3 is all-around good
  • Large models have decent battery life
  • Improved heart rate sensor
  • Useful body composition metrics


  • Slow, slow charging
  • Poor GPS performance
  • Sleep tracking needs tweaking
  • Small models have short battery life

Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE: The best smartwatch with LTE for runners

Garmin Forerunner 945Garmin Forerunner 945
Garmin Forerunner 945
Reliable GPS • Extensive training and recovery features • 36-hour battery life in GPS mode
MSRP: $79.99
A feature-packed triathlon watch from a trusted brand
Garmin's Forerunner series devices are among the top watches available for runners. The Forerunner 945 LTE offers all the best of Garmin's feature set, plus real-time location tracking and incident detection, without your phone on hand. Gear up for races and runs with an accurate GPS, stored music, built-in maps, and more, all right on your wrist.

Finally, here’s an option for those who love the open road. The Forerunner 945 LTE isn’t Garmin’s latest multisport watch, but it curiously remains the only Forerunner model with cellular connectivity. Despite its age, the 945 LTE remains a competent running and triathlon companion.

Its strength is Garmin’s health tracking and training features, from Body Battery energy management to its Training Readiness algorithm. Training Status and Garmin Coach also help users improve their training regimens, while Training Effect and Recovery Time provide post-workout recommendations. The 945 LTE also packs plenty of features for race day, including built-in mapping and onboard music support.

However, it’s important to mention that this is not an LTE smartwatch in the true sense of the term. You cannot use its cellular smarts to place calls or send messages, or stream music while on the run. Instead, the cellular feature powers Garmin’s live race tracking and reporting system, emergency features, and spectator messaging. It’s a training watch with LTE enhancements.

The Garmin Forerunner 945 is the represents the best multisport option from Garmin.

Honorable mentions

That’s it for our list of the best LTE smartwatches, but there are plenty of others out there. Find additional recommendations below.

  • Apple Watch Ultra ($799 at Amazon): The Apple Watch Ultra happens when a manufacturer kits out an already capable smartwatch with a tougher shell, larger screen, bigger battery, and outdoor features. It’s the best rugged smartwatch you can buy, and all models feature LTE connectivity.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 ($264 at Amazon): Samsung’s older Tizen flagship may still be an attractive alternative for those with iPhones seeking a device with better battery life and a round face.
  • HUAWEI Watch 3 Pro ($80 at Amazon): The HUAWEI Watch 3 Pro is another older watch, but it’s an intriguing alternative for those in Europe who value battery life and aesthetics over fitness tracking and app support.


LTE smartwatches, or smartwatches with cellular and data capabilities, are wearables that can connect to the internet without a tethered phone. They’re often pricier than their Wi-Fi-only counterparts but are more useful when not tethered to its companion phone.

LTE on smartwatches is helpful for those who are often without their smartphone and who require data connectivity for emergency features, communication, or content streaming.

Usually, LTE smartwatches are more expensive, and you’ll likely have to pay an additional monthly connection fee to your carrier.