Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE vs Bluetooth Comparison (Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Watch Active 2)

Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by Editorial Team

Want to know the difference between Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE vs Bluetooth (aka non-LTE) Variant? I will help you with that, but before we pit them against one another, do you mind a little history? if not, continue reading. Otherwise, just skip to the desired section. There is a table of content below.

After Apple, the Korean-based giant Samsung has the biggest share of the global smartwatch market. The Galaxy Watch Series is the company’s most successful lineup of wearable devices and the latest member is the Galaxy Watch 3.

The wearable under the Galaxy Watch banner strikes the right balance between smartwatch and fitness features. The features you are most likely to find on a Galaxy Watch includes:

Samsung’s In-house built Tizen OS

  • Voice assistant ‘Bixby’
  • Sufficient Storage for music playback (4-8 GB)
  • Durable design, classic built (Round casing, Military-grade protection, 5 ATM water resistance)
  • Third-party app support (Tizen Playstore)
  • Fitness and health features (including the most advanced ones like SpO2, ECG-only in the latest models)
  • Decent battery life (usually 2-3 days)

There is a reason Samsung Galaxy Watches are called the best smartwatches for Andriod. They offer almost everything you can find on the Apple Watch and yet saves you $50-100, and unlike the former, they are compatible with both IOS and Andriod.

I just love to write about Samsung Galaxy Watch Series as it is my favorite but let’s not digress from the matter in question: Why the hell there is an LTE and Bluetooth model (non-LTE) of Samsung Galaxy watches, and how do they differ?

For your convenience, I have broken down this into a series of frequently asked questions. You will know the answer by the time you have read all of them.

But if you are just here to find the bare bone differences between Galaxy watch LTE and Bluetooth variants, I have listed them below. I have compared LTE and Bluetooth variants of every Galaxy Watch that hit the market.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Bluetooth Vs LTE Model Comparison

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Bluetooth Vs LTE Model Comparison

Galaxy Watch Active 2: Bluetooth Vs LTE Model Comparison

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Bluetooth Vs LTE Model Comparison

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: LTE Vs Bluetooth Model Comparison

Features & Specs in common:

General:

  • Release Date: 11th Aug 2021 (Available For Preorder)
  • Compatibility:
    • Android: Android 6.0 or higher & RAM 1.5GB above
    • iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above
  • Operating System: Wear OS Powered by Samsung | One UI Watch 3
  • Colors: Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm: Black, Green, Silver | 40mm: Black, Pink Gold, Silver) Galaxy Watch4 Classic (46mm: Black, Silver | 42mm: Black, Silver)
  • In the box: Galaxy Watch 4/4 Classic, Wireless Charger, QSG (Quick Start Guide)
  • Speaker and Mic: Yes
  • Sensors: Samsung BioActive Sensor (Optical Heart Rate + Electrical Heart + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor

Design & Display:

  • Dimension & Weight:
  • Galaxy Watch 4: Aluminum case
    • 44mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm, 30.3g
    • 40mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm, 25.9g
  • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Stainless Steel Case
    • 46mm: 45.5 x 45.5 x 11.0mm, 52g
    • 42mm: 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm, 46.5g
  • Display:
    • Galaxy Watch 4: Aluminum case
      • 44mm: 1.36″ (34.6mm) 450×450 Super AMOLED, Full Color Always On Display, Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+
      • 40mm: 1.19″ (30.4mm) 396×396 Super AMOLED, Full Color Always On Display, Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+
    • Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Stainless Steel Case
      • 46mm: 1.36″ (34.6mm) 450×450 Super AMOLED, Full Color Always On Display, Corning® Gorilla® Glass with DX
      • 42mm: 1.19″ (30.4mm) 396×396 Super AMOLED, Full Color Always On Display, Corning® Gorilla® Glass with DX
  • Water Resistance : 5ATM + IP68
  • Military Grade Rated: Yes (MIL-STD-810G)
  • Compatible Strap: Standard 20 mm Strap for all models
  • Always on Display: Yes

Smartwatch Features:

  • Companion App: Samsung Gear app, Samsung Health Monitor App
  • Processor: Exynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHz (5nm Processor)
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • RAM: 1.5 GB
  • Wifi: Yes (802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz)
  • GPS: Yes, A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
  • NFC for contactless payments: Yes
  • LTE: Yes (but only in LTE models)
  • Bluetooth 5.0

Fitness & Health Features:

  • ECG Tracking: Yes (FDA Approved)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Both continuous and on-demand
  • Stress, sleep monitoring: Yes
  • Blood Oxygen Tracking: Yes
  • Body composition Yes ( Samsung BioActive Sensor measures Body Fat Percentage+Skeletal Muscle+Body water)
  • Blood Pressure: Yes
  • Sports mode: Many
  • Fall Detection: Yes

Battery Life and charging:

  • Battery Size: 44/46mm (361mAh) | 40/42mm (247mAh)
  • Charging: WPC based Wireless Charging
  • Performance: 2-3 Days

Features and Specs that differs:

Except for the price and obviously connectivity, there is no difference between the LTE and Bluetooth models of Galaxy Watch4 & Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Keep in mind, the classic version is already expensive than the standard Watch 4 as it has a large battery size and a rotating bezel. The price also differs for different sizes.

As a rule of thumb, the LTE models are $50 expensive than the Bluetooth ones. For instance, the 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 costs about $280 if you go with the Bluetooth model and about $330 for the LTE model.

The following list would give you a better idea.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Aluminium 44mm (LTE Vs Bluetooth)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4: Aluminium 40mm (LTE Vs Bluetooth)


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Stainless Steel 46mm (LTE Vs Bluetooth)


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: Stainless Steel 42mm (LTE Vs Bluetooth)

 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 LTE vs Bluetooth Compared:

Features & Specs in common:

General:

  • Release Date: 6th Aug 2020
  • Compatibility:
    • Android: Android 5.0 or higher & RAM 1.5GB above
    • iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above
  • Operating System: Tizen OS 5.5
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Silver, Bronze
  • In the box: Galaxy Watch3, Wireless Charger, QSG (Quick Start Guide)
  • Speaker and Mic: Yes
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Electrical Heart Sensor(ECG), Optical Heart Rate Sensor(HRM), Light Sensor

Design & Display:

  • Dimensions: 46.2 x 45 x 11.1 mm & 41 x 42.5 x 11.3mm
  • Weight(without strap): 45mm 53.8g (stainless steel), 43g (titanium) | 41mm (49.2g) (stainless steel)
  • Display Size: 45mm (1.4-inch) | 41mm 1.2 inch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM (Swim proof)
  • Military Grade Rated: Yes
  • Compatible Strap: Standard 20/22mm
  • Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels
  • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
  • Always on Display: Yes
  • Rotating Bezel: Yes (physical)

Smartwatch Features:

  • Companion App: Samsung Gear app, Samsung Health App
  • Processor: Exynos 9110 (10 nm)
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Wifi: Yes (802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz)
  • GPS: Yes, A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
  • NFC for contactless payments: Yes

Fitness & Health Features:

  • ECG Tracking: Yes (FDA Approved)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Both continuous and on-demand
  • Stress, sleep monitoring: Yes
  • Blood Oxygen Tracking: Yes
  • Sports mode: Many
  • Fall Detection: Yes

Battery Life and charging:

  • Battery Size: 45mm (340mAh) | 41mm (247mAh)
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Performance: 2-3 Days

Features and Specs that differs:

The most obvious difference between Galaxy Watch 3 (45mm) Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and LTE is the presence of antennas and modems on the latter that can connect directly to cellular networks.

 Keep in mind that the LTE version also has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and the Galaxy Watch 3 BT/Wi-Fi has both speaker and microphone. If you turn off the LTE connectivity permanently on the former, it will turn into a BT Galaxy watch. Whereas, the Bluetooth variant can connect to your smartphone to

The standalone capability in the Galaxy Watch 3 LTE comes with a slightly expensive price tag, it costs about $50 more than the Bluetooth version.

Although both variants have the same battery size, the LTE version drains power faster and thus falls short of several hours of battery performance (almost a day).

Apart from these differences, the Bluetooth and LTE Galaxy Watch 3 are more of the same.

Price Comparison:

The following pricing result may differ due to deals on both BT and LTE models.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 LTE vs Bluetooth Compared:

Features that are the same:

General:

  • Release Date: 23rd  Sep 2019
  • Compatibility:
    • Samsung Phones
    • Android: Android 5.0 or higher & RAM 1.5GB above
    • iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above
  • Operating System: Tizen OS 4.0
  • Colors:
    • Stainless Steel: Black, Silver, Gold
    • Aluminum: Rose Gold, Aqua Black, Cloud Silver, Pink Gold
  • In the box: Galaxy Watch Active 2, Wireless Charger, QSG (Quick Start Guide)
  • Speaker and Mic: Yes
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Electrical Heart Sensor(ECG), Optical Heart Rate Sensor(HRM), Light Sensor

Design & Display:

  • Dimensions: 44 x 44 x 10.9 mm & 40 mm x 40 mm x 10.9 mm
  • Weight(without strap):
    • Aluminum: 44mm (30g)  | 40mm (26g)
    • Stainless Steel: 44mm (42g)  | 40mm (37g)
  • Display Size: 44mm (1.4-inch) | 40mm (1.2 inch)
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM (Swim proof)
  • Military Grade Rated: Yes
  • Compatible Strap: Standard 20mm
  • Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels
  • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
  • Always on Display: Yes
  • Rotating Bezel: Yes (Digital)

Smartwatch Features:

  • Companion App: Samsung Gear app, Samsung Health App
  • Processor: Exynos 9110 (10 nm) | Dual Core 1.15 GHz
  • Storage & RAM:
    • Stainless Steel: 4 GB, 1 GB
    • Aluminum: 4 GB & 0.75 GB
  • Wi-Fi: Yes (802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz)
  • GPS: Yes, A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou
  • NFC for contactless payments: Yes
  • Popular Apps: Messages, Phone Contacts, Bixby, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Weather, Galaxy Store, Settings, Alarm, Calendar, Reminder, Email, Music, Gallery, Find My Phone, Spotify, World Clock, Timer, Stopwatch

Fitness & Health Features:

  • ECG Tracking: Yes (FDA Approved)
  • Heart Rate Tracking: Both continuous and on-demand
  • Stress, sleep monitoring: Yes
  • Blood Oxygen Tracking: Yes
  • Sports mode: Many
  • Fall Detection: Yes

Battery Life and charging:

  • Battery Size: 45mm (340mAh) | 41mm (247mAh)
  • Charging method: Wireless Charging
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Performance: 2-3 Days depending on size

Features and Specs that differs:

First thing first, the Galaxy Active 2 is only available in stainless steel whereas with Active 2 BT you have the choice to pick between the aluminum casing and stainless steel casing.

The Bluetooth version is $80-100 cheaper, but apart from missing the cellular connectivity, there is another important feature missing: RAM. The 44mm Samsung Galaxy Active 2 comes with 0.75 GB RAM, whereas the LTE version in the same sizing offers 1.5 GB RAM.

However, you won’t find any considerable difference in performance, and for those who have their Galaxy Watch almost always connected to the Smartphone, the internet connectivity wouldn’t be a problem. You can always rely on the phone’s Wi-Fi, which is available in both models.

Samsung Galaxy Watch (46mm) LTE vs Bluetooth Compared:

Features that are the same:

General:

  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Compatibility:
    • Samsung Phones
    • Android: Android 5.0 or higher & RAM 1.5GB above
    • iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above
  • Operating System: Tizen OS 4.0
  • Colors: Black Silver
  • In the box: Galaxy Watch, Additional Strap (Small size), Wireless Charging Dock, Travel Adaptor, Quick Start Guide
  • Speaker and Mic: Yes
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor,  Heart Rate Sensor, Light Sensor

Design & Display:

  • Dimensions: 46 x 49 x 13 mm
  • Weight(without strap): 63g
  • Display Size: 1.3-inch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM (Swim proof)
  • Military Grade Rated: Yes
  • Compatible Strap: Leather & Sillionce | 22mm
  • Resolution: 360 x 360 pixels
  • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass DX
  • Always on Display: Yes
  • Rotating Bezel: Yes

Smartwatch Features:

  • Companion App: Samsung Gear app, Samsung Health App
  • Processor: Exynos 9110 (10 nm) | Dual Core 1.15 GHz
  • Storage & RAM:
    • LTE model: 4 GB, 1 GB
    • Bluetooth or GPS model: 4 GB & 0.75 GB
  • Wi-Fi: Yes (802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz)
  • GPS: Yes, A-GPS/GLONASS/Beidou
  • NFC for contactless payments: Yes (Samsung Pay)
  • Popular Apps: Messages, Phone Contacts, Bixby, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Weather, Galaxy Store, Settings, Alarm, Calendar, Reminder, Email, Music, Gallery, Find My Phone, Spotify, World Clock, Timer, Stopwatch

Fitness & Health Features:

  • Heart Rate Tracking: Both continuous and on-demand
  • Stress, sleep monitoring: Yes
  • Sports mode: Many
  • Fall Detection: Yes

Battery Life and charging:

  • Battery Size: 472mAh)
  • Charging method: Wireless Charging
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Performance: 3-4 Days

Features and Specs that differs:

There are two sizes available for the original Samsung Galaxy Watch, 42mm and 46mm, however only the latter is under discussion here.

The Galaxy Watch LTE comes in 46mm size, has 1.5 GB RAM, and is distinguished by its eSIM technology. In comparison, the Bluetooth-only model is cheaper and offers better battery performance. Apart from these differences, both models are ditto copies of each other.

Galaxy watch LTE vs Bluetooth: FAQs

What is the difference between galaxy watch LTE (Cellular) and Bluetooth?

The LTE variant of the Galaxy Watch lineup can be used on its own as a standalone device. It has a cellular service built into it so you don’t need to connect your smartphone to use this device.

You can make calls, send texts, stream music, make contactless payments, and lastly, play with the voice assistant without your phone present. The LTE variant offers you the smartphone experience right from your wrist.

With the Bluetooth variant, you’ll have to connect the watch to your smartphone to make calls and send texts. This variant usually makes several trade-offs for a cheaper price tag and longer battery life. (RAM, Cellular Connectivity).

Which US wireless network carrier supports the Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE lineup?

Here is the list:

  • Sprint
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile
  • US Cellular
  • Verizon.

Do you need a data plan for Samsung LTE watches?

Samsung Galaxy LTE watches use eSIM technology, which is essentially an embedded variant that can’t be moved from the hood.

An eSIM is a form of programmable SIM card that is embedded into the watch design. You can switch carriers without having to install a physical SIM card.

‘The benefit of this tech over regular SIM cards is the smaller size – companies are already trying to reduce the size, so this is a natural step – and the efficiency of sharing your number between phone and watch through software.’

Source: Wareable

Now to answer the question Do you need a data plan for Samsung LTE watches, it depends mainly on the network provider. In most cases, it comes bundled with a smartphone plan so you won’t have to buy a separate one.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE drain battery faster?

Does Samsung Galaxy watch LTE drain the battery faster?

Yes, it certainly does. Cellular connectivity is a power-hungry feature, and given the small battery size of smartwatches, there is a significant drop in battery performance in 4G/LTE variants of the Galaxy Watch Series.

Is there any difference between galaxy watch 3 (4G LTE) 41mm and 45mm?

The difference is obviously in casing and battery size. The 45mm version offers almost 30% more battery life than the 41mm. Other features are identical, and yes, 4G LTE connectivity is the same in both.