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How To Activate Sim Card In Smartwatch? (Samsung Galaxy, Apple & Garmin Watch)

Standalone smartwatches are in trend these days. Started first as an extension of smartphones for notification alerts, smartwatch has taken on a life of its own. Many of them can function as a separate device with enough firepower for users to ditch their smartphones at times. (Running, Exercising, listening to music etc) 

‘Watch Phones’, ‘Phone watches’ and ‘standalone watches’ entered the lingo when brand leaders like Apple, Garmin and Samsung unveiled the LTE version of many of their watches. 

As the names suggest, these watches can make calls and payments, send texts, stream music, and in general will give you the freedom to leave your phone and wallet at home whenever you don’t want to carry them with you. 

Today we will discuss frequently asked questions related to Sim Card Activation for a Smartwatch. We will also illustrate the activation process in a step by step guide. Also, we will explain the process for the top of the line brands for you including Samsung Galaxy Watch, Apple watches, and Garmin Series. 

The following Table of content will help you to navigate through the article.

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Sim Card Activation On Smartwatch:

What Is A Sim Card For A Smartwatch?

The sim card for a smartwatch performs the same function as that of a smartphone which is to identify and authenticate subscribers and store key information. (Why? To tell the carriers that you are the guy who purchased their plan. Without it, the carriers won’t allow you to use their cell towers. )

However, there is only difference. Sim cards for smartwatches are always in nano size to save space.

What Is The Difference Between eSIM And Physical Sim Card?

In ESIM enabled smartwatches, you don’t have to install a physical sim card in the watch. If we break down the abbreviation, eSIM is an electronic or embedded sim card, built into the phones or smartwatches. In the latter (smartwatches), it allows you to use the data from your smartphone plan. 

Generally speaking, ESIM is a revolutionary step in wireless communication which will make the entire process of switching carriers an effortless routine, but most importantly, it will replace physical sim cards and therefore the need of the metal jacket/slot on many wearables. 

Why Does My Smartwatch Keep Asking For A Sim Card? 

It is because your smartwatch supports LTE and is essentially a standalone smartwatch. However, you can use the watch without a sim card and to stop these notifications, you must disable the option for LTE services on it. 

What Are The Best Smartwatches With eSIM Support?

Of all the pioneers, Apple seems the most committed to the ESIM platform, and rightly so. 

  • Apple Watch Series 4, 5 and 6
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE, Active 2 
  • Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music

What Can A Smartwatch Do Without A Smartphone?

A premium standalone smartwatch can perform following Functions:

  1. Stream Music
  2. Notification Alert 
  3. Text and Watch call
  4. Fitness Tracking 
  5. Activity Tracking
  6. Respond to Emails
  7. Make Contactless Payments

Can A Smartwatch Replace Your Phone?

It depends on the usage. With an LTE watch, you might get almost similar features as that of a phone. But unfortunately, smartwatch batteries have not yet developed enough to last all day long. You would have to make a serious compromise on battery life. 

Apart from battery life, you might find your smartphone more convenient to respond to emails or make a video call. 

For practical purposes, smartwatches have not yet developed enough to completely replace the smartphone, no matter what type of user you are. 

Is Lte On Smartwatch Worth It?

If the LTE on the Smartwatch can get you music directly downloaded on your watch, allows you to make phone calls, send texts and respond to mails, and to make contactless payment, it is absolutely worth it to have it. However, there is one major drawback. It takes a heavy toll on the smartwatch battery life. 

How To Unlock A Smartwatch? (Carrier Lock On Smartwatch)

If you buy a watch at a discounted price( or by pay nothing) from any carrier as an incentive deal, you would definitely get a carrier locked smartwatch. In such watches, you won’t get the option to choose any other carrier until you commit to using their platform for the specified period. Therefore, cheap watches you buy from T Mobile and AT&T won’t work with other carriers. 

On the other hand, some smartwatches only support the carriers of a specific region. In that case, you will be bound to use the watch only in a specific geography.

To unblock a smartwatch, the most effective way is to contact your carrier provider and ask them for the ‘unlock code’. Or you can get the assistance from third party services (buy the code.)

Activate Sim Card For A Smartwatch:

The key difference between activation of a physical sim card and eSIM for a smartwatch is the ease involved in the latter. eSIM doesn’t require installation of a physical sim card. 

Activating eSIM In A Standalone Smartwatch:

While many eSIM enabled smartwatches use the details of the sim card carrier on your smartphone (also use the same data plan) its activation process is quite easy. All you have to do is to connect the watch to the phone via Bluetooth or WIFI, and then on the proprietary app you would configure the eSIM. The whole process would take a few minutes.

Activating Physical Sim Card In A Standalone Smartwatch:

The  tricky part with a physical sim card is its insertion in the dedicated slots. If the slot is located on the side panel, just insert the sim card with the golden part facing upward. When rightly inserted, the smartwatch will display the network connectivity. 

And, If the slot is located at the back panel, you would need a screwdriver to open it. Here, keep in mind that the golden chip is facing downwards when you insert the sim card into the provided slot.

Now let’s move on to the activation process. 

Here like the eSIM, you will have to request your network provider to activate the sim card. In some watches, you can directly contact the network provider bypassing the phone. But for most, the use of a phone is essential. 

The network provider will send you a link which you can follow to fill SIM Card Details. The sim will be activated if you fill in the right OTP code. This would possibly be the last part of the process.

Pro Tip: Keep your smartwatch and phone fully charged before you initiate the activation process to avoid any mishap. Though it is not necessary for all watches, you must restart it after sim card insertion and activation.