Android Wear LTE smartwatch Project Fi

Related: Android Wear LTE Smartwatch on Ting

Note: If you’re planning to use an Android Wear watch independently (without carrying a phone all the time), I recommend using Ting instead for the watch.


FCCID Carrier Model Project Fi compatible?
ZNFW200V Verizon LG-W200V No
ZNFW200A AT&T LG-W200A Yes
ZNFW280 unlocked LG-W280A Yes
QIS-LEO-DLXX N/A Huawei Watch 2 No
  • Project Fi does not allow Hangouts to be installed on the phone. So if you use Project Fi for the watch AND want to use Hangouts from the watch, you’ll need to pair the watch with a non-Project Fi smartphone. This smartphone can just sit at home on WiFi on a charger.
  • SMS does not work from a data-only SIM.

Battery life

With light-moderate LTE smartwatch use, I get:

  • LTE off: 1.5 - 3 days
  • LTE on: 1 - 1.5 days

If using a data-only Project Fi SIM, you might consider shutting cellular “off” when not needed.

Cost

  • Note: As of this writing, no phone+data smartwatches are officially allowed by Project Fi. The phone functionality of the Project Fi smartwatch may stop working at any time.
  • The free data-only SIM instead of the phone/voice for smartwatch is an excellent value on Project Fi and is officially allowed, sharing Project Fi data bucket with the main phone.

Project Fi’s group pricing pools the Wear device data with other devices. There are two ways to use Project Fi on an LTE smartwatch:

  1. data only FREE adding a data-only SIM to your Project Fi plan. You can currently add up to 9 devices this way (tablets, watches, old smartphones, etc.). I believe this is in accord with Project Fi terms of service.
  2. voice/text/data $15/month additional using voice/text/data Project Fi SIM. Note that smartwatch voice use is against Project Fi terms of service. Project Fi/Google Voice will not number forward to other Fi devices.

For #2, your Project Fi cost with smartphone + smartwatch would be:

phone watch subtotal
$20 voice/text $15 voice/text $35
$10 1 GB data $10 1 GB data $20

That’s $55/month total for phone + LTE smartwatch on Project Fi for 2 GB of shared data. You get refunded for data you don’t use, so your total monthly cost would be $45 for 1GB of shared data used and so on.

Users that don’t like to carry their smartphone (e.g. while exercising) and need voice calls may want the extra $15/month voice/data SIM for their LTE smartwatch. Also this voice/data SIM in the LTE smartwatch is a convenient backup phone for those who need to have two phones for reliability (on-call, VIP, etc.).

Activate data-only

  • This use case is in accord with Project Fi terms of service, no tricks needed.
  • You must order a free data-only SIM to get the free shared data
  1. Type the code on the SIM card attachment into a web browser
  2. Power OFF the watch, and using the spanner tool that comes with the LTE watch, remove the AT&T or other SIM
  3. insert the Fi SIM into the LTE watch, then power on
  4. You will have data-only (no phone on watch, texts via phone) LTE Project Fi smartwatch.
Project Fi APN LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE with Project Fi network
APN: h2g2 for Project Fi, don't adjust Network settings

An Android Wear watch will function semi-independently AS LONG AS your smartphone is on and internet connected somewhere in the world using get LTE or WiFi for emails/phone texts/et al. E.g. you forgot your smartphone at home on the charger–you will get emails etc. on your Android Wear smartwatch over Wifi or LTE.

Project Fi says that devices compatible with T-Mobile will generally work with Project Fi. I notice that the device is on T-mobile normally and may roam to AT&T (not guaranteed to roam, per Project Fi terms of service).

Activate Phone/Text/Data

  • This use is against Project Fi terms of service and may stop working at any time (or not work in the first place)
  • Project Fi/Google Voice will NOT number forward to another Fi device. Maybe a third-party number forwarder would allow one phone number to ring watch and phone.
  • You must use a unique @gmail.com address for your phone and watch.
  • You must order a VOICE/TEXT SIM, not a data SIM for the watch (see next section if you don’t want phone on the watch)
  1. Send a Project Fi group invitation to your second @gmail.com address (perhaps created just for this purpose)
  2. Using a Project Fi compatible smartphone, insert your second voice/text/data SIM.
  3. Activate the Project Fi SIM on your second @gmail.com address
  4. Power OFF the watch, and using the spanner tool that comes with the LTE watch, remove the AT&T or other SIM
  5. insert the Fi SIM into the LTE watch, then power on
  6. You should be immediately able to make/receive phone calls on your T-mobile compatible LTE smartwatch on Project Fi.

Data Metering

The Project Fi app will break out the usage for each data-only SIM separately, so you can see what the LTE smartwatch vs. tablet vs. phone is using.

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