You’ve probably heard about the SIM card and its relationship to smartphones. You need one in order to make calls and texts. If you’re visiting another country, you may need to change the card if you want to make calls.
However, SIM cards are more than just for a smartphone. You can put them in smartwatches as well. In this post, we will look at what a SIM card is, how it applies to smartwatches, and much more.
What Is a SIM Card?
SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module. That explains what it is. When you put it in your phone, it’s your ID, which allows you to make calls through a mobile phone network. Unless it’s an emergency, you are not going to be able to call anyone if you don’t have a SIM card.
These cards have been around since 1992, and since then, they’ve been the standard way to identify the user. The SIM stores names and numbers as well, allowing people to access contacts or transfer them to another phone.
So that explains what a SIM card does, but why do you need it for a smartwatch? Let’s discuss.
Smartwatches Don’t Necessarily Need a SIM Card
Smartwatches tend to be companions to the smartphone. Using a Bluetooth or similar connection, they connect to the phone and make calls and receive texts just like a smartphone. Some smartwatches may come equipped with one, while others don’t. It all depends on which smartwatch you purchase.
This especially applies if you just want to use a smartwatch as a fitness tracker, and you don’t plan to make calls on it. However, if you want to do that, then read on.
What Does a SIM Card in a Smartwatch Do?
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss what a smartwatch with a SIM card can do.
It Allows You to Make Calls and Texts Without a Phone
This is the most obvious allure of putting a SIM card into your smartwatch. You can do it with a smartphone, but why have to carry both? Just have a smartwatch that can make calls and texts on its own.
This depends on the smartwatch, of course. Some are a little more limited. But some have all the advanced features you’d expect from a smartphone, only smaller.
It Lets Smartwatches Use GPS
If your smartwatch has GPS support, you will need a SIM card for that. There are several reasons for wanting GPS. Maybe you’re going hiking and you want to make sure you don’t get lost, and the smartphone is too much of a battery drain.
Perhaps you have children who are going out, and you want to monitor their location to make sure they are safe. This is another valid reason. Some parents don’t want to get phones for them yet, be it because of finances or because the child is too young for one.
Or perhaps you want to get from point A to point B without using a smartphone. No matter what the reason, having GPS in your smartwatch may be convenient for you.
Pros and Cons of Replacing Your Smartphone with a Smartwatch
If you want to get a smartwatch with a SIM card to replace your smartphone in its entirety, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this.
Smartwatches can be a little more waterproof, and because you’re wearing it around your wrist, you have less of a chance of losing it. Some smartwatches tend to have enough features that make them a worthy replacement. Finally, the battery life can be decent, and the overall cost can be cheaper than a phone.
There are disadvantages, of course. Smartwatches have advanced a lot in the years, but they aren’t completely caught up to what a smartphone can do. Some people may find having to put the smartwatch on and take it off every day to be a little bit of a hassle. Not to mention, if you’re so used to having a smartphone, it may be difficult for you to relearn everything.
Most people have both for different uses. Having both devices can have their ups and downs, especially if you like to travel a lot.
What Kind of SIM Card Do I Need?
With all this said, you may wonder what type of SIM card your smartwatch uses. They will typically use two types: Micro SIM or Nano SIM. You may have to look at your smartwatch and see what type it takes. So, what is the difference?
The difference is the size. Both are small SIM cards, as smartwatches are usually small as well. However, the Nano SIM is about 15 percent smaller than its previous Micro counterpart. Both cards have the same amount of power to them. That is pretty much the difference, with all that said.
How Much Does a SIM Card Cost?
Now, you may wonder about the cost. If you are trying to save money, you may be skeptical about getting a SIM card. Luckily, the card itself costs very little, if anything at all. It’s a tiny card that doesn’t have too much data storage, so of course it will be cheap.
The cost comes with the data plan. With a smartwatch, you can get a prepaid or a subscription-based plan. Let’s look at the difference so you can decide which one is right for your situation.
You can buy several prepaid plans on Amazon and other websites. It tells you how many months, how much data, and how many minutes of calls you can make with the SIM card. This is a good idea if you just want a SIM card in your smartwatch temporarily, and you don’t want any contracts or activation fees. These cards typically don’t have any roaming capabilities, though you may be able to buy cards for other countries that you’re visiting.
These have their disadvantages. If you look at the reviews for most of the prepaid plans, several people have had problems getting it to activate, or have difficulties with its speed. That’s why many people will go with the contractual data plans, as they tend to be a little more reliable.
With these, you pay month to month for a certain amount of months, and there may be other fees. However, the service you get tends to be much more reliable. This is good if you’re going to be using your smartwatch all the time.
With these plans, you typically need a certain amount of data, unless you end up with an unlimited data plan. How much data you need will depend on your usage.
For example, if you’re going to swap your smartphone with your smartwatch, you may need the same amount. Typically, people consume about 10-20 GB per month, but again, it depends.
These plans typically use an eSim, and they come with smartwatches that have them built-in. It’s much easier to activate a plan this way.
How Do I Put the SIM Card In?
Installation of a SIM card can be a little tricky. It’s not like putting an SD card into the slot of your laptop. How you have to insert it depends on what type of SIM card you have and what type of smartwatch you have.
Obviously, you should read the instructions if you want to get a better idea of how you’re supposed to install it. You may need to get a spudger, which is a screwdriver tool used to open up the back cover. It can require a bit of tinkering, and if you’re a little nervous about it, we don’t blame you. Watch a tutorial about how to do it on your specific smartwatch.
With that said, some smartwatches make it easier. Again, it all depends on which one you get. Some have a slot to make it easier. The watches that are usually more complicated are those that have one already built in, such as a Samsung. In some cases, you may want to take the smartwatch to a professional in order for them to install it for you. If you are inexperienced, you could end up damaging your smartwatch in the process of installing a card.
And that is all there is to know about SIM cards and smartwatches. As you’ve learned, you don’t need a SIM card in your smartwatch for it to work well. However, if you want to use your smartwatch as an independent device, you may want to look into it. It’s also good for tracking your children as well, or allowing your kids to have a smart device of their own without having to invest in a smartphone.
Look into getting a SIM card for your smartwatch and see if it’s for you. You may find that you enjoy your smartwatch so much that you’ll just get rid of your phone. Or you may just use it as a companion to the smartphone you already own. Good luck