Have you ever seen a spy movie only to be surprised by how the protagonist was making a call right from his smartwatch? From being just a pipe-dream to now a reality, can smartwatches make calls?
Yes, smartwatches can make calls using their phone’s SIM connection. If you have a cellular smartwatch, you’ll be able to make a call without your phone being nearby, too.
In this article, we’ll be talking about which smartwatches can make calls, how you can go about doing so, and what certain types of smartwatches can make calls.
How To Make Calls Using A Smartwatch
A smartwatch can make calls using your smartphone’s cellular connection, given that it is connected to it. Currently, there are three ways a smartphone can connect to your smartwatch and vice versa. This is through:
- Cellular (LTE / 5G / 4G)
Now, with these particular connectivity methods, your watch is able to make and receive calls on your smartphone. The range of which is primarily dependent on what connectivity method you end up choosing.
Bluetooth requires your watch and smartphone to be 20-30 feet away from each other. Once connected, any smartwatch that supports calling, be it a Fitbit Versa 2, an Apple Watch, or a Galaxy Watch, will be able to let you place and receive calls using the microphone and speaker.
In essence, any smartwatch that operates on Wear OS, watchOS, or a proprietary OS that supports a speaker and microphone array will be able to place a call and receive it through Bluetooth with no qualms or lag.
If a watch supports WiFi Calling, you’ll be able to place a call if both devices are connected to a WiFi network. So, in the event that your phone loses connection with your device – you’ll be able to use WiFi instead. Currently, only Samsung and Apple support calls over WiFi with a few differences between them.
If your carrier allows you to make calls over WiFi, you can make calls on an Apple Watch even if your iPhone isn’t in range or has been turned off! All you need to do is be connected to a WiFi network that your iPhone has already connected to at any given moment.
Here’s how you can make a phone call on an Apple Watch using WiFi calling:
- Open the Settings application on your iPhone
- After doing so, head to Phone > WiFi Calling
- Now, turn on both these options:
- WiFi Calling on This iPhone
- Add WiFi Calling For Other Devices
- Now, that your iPhone is all set up, unlock and head to the Phone application on your Apple Watch
- After doing so, you’ll be able to make calls on your iPhone.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
For Samsung Galaxy Watch, only the following devices support WiFi calling:
- Galaxy Watch Active 2
- Galaxy Watch 3
- Galaxy Watch 4
- Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
But first, you’ll need to enable WiFi calling in the first place to take advantage of this feature. Here’s how:
- Head to your phone’s Settings application
- After doing so, search for Call & Text on other devices
- Now, turn this feature on by tapping on the switch
- After doing so, you’ll be able to make WiFi calls on your watch
Any watch that supports a cellular / LTE connection allows your smartphone to share your primary number with your smartwatch. Now, when it comes to cellular watches, there’s an important bifurcation to make.
Firstly, there are a few watches like the Apple Watch, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch do not require you to have a SIM from a particular cellular provider to operate. On the other hand, watches from Garmin and the Ticwatch currently only provide this functionality for Verizon SIMs.
Using the feature on any of these smartwatches is rather simple. As soon as your phone steps out of the range of your smartwatch, if a cellular connection is present on your smartwatch’s end and your phone has access to the internet – you’ll be able to place calls and receive notifications as normal.
Do I Need A Phone To Make Calls On Smartwatch?
No, contrary to popular belief, there are a few standalone smartwatches that can support their own SIM card. While these aren’t technically considered smartwatches because they are companion applications – they still are watches that one can operate on a wrist.
Generally, I wouldn’t recommend a standalone smartwatch as they really defeat the purpose of what a smartwatch is. But, if you want to make calls on your smartwatch without a smartphone, you can pick out any standalone smartwatch.
To be honest, there are not a lot of great options currently available in the market. But, we’ll be listing down one that we like if you really are in the mood for them.
The TICRIS MAX S is a fully-featured Android smartwatch that allows you to make calls using your smartwatch without the need for a phone to begin with. Moreover, the smartwatch has a microphone, camera, and speaker built-in. In essence, the TICWRIS MAX S acts as a complete smartphone.
And, that’s where the primary issue comes in. It isn’t great at syncing notifications and doesn’t work well as a great companion device for your phone.
Making calls on your smartwatch now is now possible on any mainstream device. However, the convenience that you get from doing so is dependent on the method of connectivity you end up choosing.