After the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, its manufacturer, Apple Inc., kept on making progress in the wearable gadget. However, you might not identify the difference in the Apple Watch models because of the subtle tweaks on the outside.

There are seven iterations of the Apple Watch as of December 2021. Although each version of the Apple Watch is unique from the other, there are also functionality gaps in some of the models.

Therefore, today we will discuss in detail the Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS only model. So hold on tight because things might go a bit technical.

What is the Difference Between Cellular and GPS Apple Watch?

Before answering this question, we know you must be thinking, why only these two models?

If you are willing to equip yourself with the world’s most renowned wearable gadget, you have to make a sound decision on factors like band color, size, Digital Crown ring, weight, and cost. However, that’s not the end of the list.

After assimilating all the differences from the outside, you now have to decide whether to go for the Apple Watch Cellular + GPS or the GPS-only model. That’s one factor that dominates all the differences and ultimately affects the cost of an Apple Watch.

Besides, the Cellular + GPS model is the most expensive Apple Watch available today.

Thus, the factor of Cellular vs. GPS only version makes it clear why it’s essential to know the difference between the two Apple Watch models.

Now, let’s know the differences between the Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular.

Apple Watch GPS Only Model

Starting with the GPS-only model, its name suggests that it doesn’t have cellular operations. However, you can only get those features working if your iPhone is nearby.

This means if you want to leave your house for a good morning walk and don’t want to carry your iPhone, you won’t be able to receive phone calls and text messages on your Apple Watch.

Besides, your iPhone must be in the range of standard Bluetooth proximity, which is 33 feet/10 meters, to keep the Apple Watch connected to your phone. Once you go beyond the limit, i.e., 50 feet away from your iPhone connectivity, your Apple Watch will notify you that you’ve left your iPhone behind.

GPS Only Model Connectivity

Moreover, the Apple Watch GPS only model uses Bluetooth to connect with your iPhone. When you are out of your abode, the GPS feature helps you to navigate. Therefore, the Apple Watch GPS model doesn’t devour your iPhone’s battery life that much.

Battery Life

No doubt, the battery life varies in both the models, i.e., the Cellular + GPS model and the GPS only Apple Watch.

As you already know that the GPS models only use Bluetooth and navigation; their battery life is better than the Cellular + GPS Apple Watches.

Case Materials

Unfortunately, you have only a limited option available in the GPS only Apple Watch, and that’s the aluminum case. No doubt, the aluminum case is lightweight and has a matte finish. But users demand a more durable option with a glossy finish.

However, you can still go for the Apple Watch GPS if you are not choosy about the outlook of the gadget.

Streaming Apple Music & Podcasts

Since you must have your iPhone nearby to your Apple Watch GPS only version, you can’t stream Apple Music and Podcasts once you go out of range. Therefore, this difference can be a deal-breaker as well.

Family Setup

The Family Setup feature was introduced in the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. This feature allows you to set up the Apple Watch for kids and elders without needing any iPhone. In addition, this feature serves you with the security feature for your family members.

The GPS, only Apple Watch, doesn’t support the Family Setup feature. Do you know why?

This version of the Apple Watch doesn’t have cellular functionality installed. Therefore, if you want to get the Family Setup feature, this Apple Watch model is not recommended.


  • Longer Battery Life
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Navigation Feature
  • Affordable


  • No Cellular Functionality
  • Can’t Stream Apple Podcasts & Music

Apple Watch Cellular Model

Now, the cellular version of the Apple Watch gives you the feasibility of leaving your iPhone at home and strolling outside. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the connectivity range. You will have the cellular network, and other Apple Watch features available no matter how far you go without your iPhone.

Since this version of the Apple Watch has both GPS + Cellular networks, you can attend phone calls, receive text messages, and use all other watch functions. So it’s like you have your iPhone on your wrist while your actual phone is physically not with you.

Cellular Carrier Support

This feature is unique and helpful in making your Cellular Apple Watch work like an iPhone. You can’t find any cellular carrier in Apple Watch GPS.

Moreover, you have to ensure that both your iPhone and the Cellular Apple Watch use the same carrier. If that’s not the case, you might not use the cellular network on your Apple Watch.

The major carriers that support Apple Watch are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint (part of T-Mobile now.)

Cellular + GPS Model Connectivity

You already know that cellular connectivity works on Wi-Fi and carrier. While this model supports Bluetooth, the Cellular Apple Watch also uses an LTE connection when you are not at home.

Battery Life

Since the battery life varies in both the Cellular + GPS and the GPS only versions, the main factor on which the battery life relies is the connectivity. Therefore, it’s understandable that you will get less battery life in the Apple Watch Series that uses GPS + Cellular.

Case Materials

You are an advantage here because the Apple Watch Series having GPS + Cellular feature gives you two case selections: stainless steel case or a titanium one.

Streaming Apple Music & Podcasts

Since you have cellular connectivity, you can stream Apple Music and podcasts without any worry. Therefore, now you don’t have to carry your iPhone to listen to music or podcasts because the Apple Watch Series has a Cellular and GPS network that gives you everything you need while outside.

Family Setup

You can use the Family Setup feature in your Cellular Apple Watch Series, as discussed earlier. Your kids and elders don’t need to have an iPhone to connect with you. Just the Apple Watch Cellular will do all the work.

Therefore, these watches support Family Setup without any additional requirements. You can keep yourself connected with a particular family member using the Cellular connectivity of your Apple Watch.


  • Cellular Carriers Support Apple Watch
  • Can Stream Apple Music & Podcasts
  • Two Case Material Options Available
  • Supports Family Setup


  • Less Battery Life
  • Expensive

Is it Worth Getting Apple Watch Cellular?

The cellular version makes this option a pretty expensive Apple Watch if you don’t know. However, the number of excellent features you get in this model of the Apple Watch Series can justify its high pricing.

Besides, the Cellular model is worth trying if you are a gadget freak and loves a high-end standalone device.

Additionally, it would help if you remembered about the carrier plan as you will use your Apple Watch for calls and messages without your iPhone.

GPS or Cellular Watch: Which Is Better?

If you observe the features in both models, the battery life is the most significant factor for the majority of the customers. Therefore, if you are looking for longer battery life, go for the GPS model.

But remember that you will have to make a trade-off between the excellent battery performance and the unique features available in the cellular model.

On top of that, the price tag on the Cellular model is quite expensive. But when you check out the price of the GPS model, you will feel more confident about your buying decision.

So, you can spend some more bucks and get yourself a brand new Apple Watch that supports GPS + Cellular features from the set of cellular functionalities.

Can You Use Apple Watch Cellular Without Plan?

Of course, you can use the Cellular model without having cellular data. However, if you have run out of data or, in other words, if you haven’t subscribed to a cellular plan, you can still use your Apple Watch Cellular like the GPS only version.

Functions like the internet, attending to phone calls, and sending text messages will not work without having any cellular data or plan.

Besides, your Apple Watch Cellular will have an extended battery when connected to any service except Bluetooth and GPS.


As you have read the core differences between the Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS, it’s clear what option is appropriate for you.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly gadget, go for the Apple Watch GPS. But if you like to have a more luxurious standalone device, the expensive Apple Watch Cellular model is also available for you.