Should you buy a mobile Apple Watch and is the service worth the cost?

On the current line of Apple Watches, you can buy a GPS + Cellular model on the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE. We’re also only months away from the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Having a cellular plan on your Apple Watch can be great for those on the go or an unnecessary cost for others. But is it worth buying one? Let’s dive in…

According to Apple:

Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE mobile models with an active service plan let you make calls, text and more, all without your iPhone. You can make a call to emergency services when traveling abroad by simply pressing and holding the side button. And now, with Family Setup, your family members who don’t have an iPhone can use Apple Watch.

Mobile costs

To buy a mobile Apple Watch SE from Apple, you’ll pay an additional $50. To buy a mobile Apple Watch Series 7, you’ll pay an additional $100. Most plans will cost you around $10 per month, which is still much cheaper than many iPhone plans. You might be able to get a deal on a cellular plan if you buy a watch directly from a carrier like Verizon or AT&T.

It’s also important to keep in mind that if you buy a standard Apple Watch with GPS, you cannot add a mobile plan later. You must purchase an Apple Watch GPS + Cellular to access a plan now or in the future.

No need to keep your iPhone handy

Since the Apple Watch was designed to take users away from their iPhones, having a cellular plan makes sense. Especially for those who run or walk – with a mobile model, you don’t need to keep a bulky iPhone with you to access calls, texts, music, etc. Personally, I love this feature for running quick errands. If I forget my iPhone, no worries, I still have contact with the world via my wrist. Paired with AirPods, I don’t have to be constantly on my iPhone.

However, if you always have your iPhone with you, the mobile might not be worth it. When making the decision, consider your current iPhone usage to see if a mobile Apple Watch might be warranted.

Family Setup

Family Setup is popular with parents who want to be able to contact their child without having an iPhone. Using this feature, the parent can set up a mobile Apple Watch for their child on their personal iPhone. The child can then use their Apple Watch to call, text, or use any other feature available with their own phone number and Apple ID. With Family Setup, the parents’ iPhone doesn’t need to be nearby.

Some reasons for choosing this option include the fact that it is more cost effective. Not only is the device cheaper than most iPhones, but it’s also cheaper to add a data plan and insure with Apple Care+. Also, since Apple Watches are worn on the wrist, they tend to be a little harder to lose.

Finally, opting for an Apple Watch instead of an iPhone allows your child to stay behind a screen less, which is something many parents aim to do. There are parental controls to make the Apple Watch work for you. For example, there is a Schooltime feature that disables access to apps and notifications when the child is in school.

General thoughts

Ultimately, whether or not a mobile Apple Watch is worth the cost depends on the individual. It’s handy to have, and I feel like it helps me get the most out of my Apple Watch. The next time you’re on the hunt for an Apple Watch, keep these tips in mind when making your decision.

Also note that Apple offers a list of all supported models and carriers for mobile Apple Watches.

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