Android Wear LTE smartwatch Ting

3 minute read

Related: Android Wear Smartwatch on Project Fi


FCCID Carrier Model Ting 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

In some areas, 4G service may not be available, and you may need to manually set the smartwatch to 3G. This is indicated by a “strikethrough cloud” icon on the main/idle watch screen. Manually choose 3G under Settings → Connectivity →Advanced → Preferred Network Type. “Find My Device” does NOT work when the watch is on 3G–it can “play sound” and check battery level, but not locate the watch.

ZenDesk chat with Ting support
Ting claims maybe T-Mobile reconfigured their network to LTE bands my LG-W280A smartwatch doesn’t have.

Battery life

With light-moderate smartwatch use, I get:

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

Cost

If after reviewing the Ting service you feel it’s a fit for your needs, signing up via my Ting referral link gives you and me a $25 Ting account credit. There are numerous prepaid cellular services, be sure to shop around before making a buy decision.

Ting GSM is currently the most economical cellular service for phone + data to smartwatches with cellular capability. Ting GSM uses T-Mobile, which is what Project Fi defaults to in non-Fi supported devices. With Ting you do not select a plan. You are billed according to the lowest bucket you fall into for each month. The current Ting billing rate cost for a smartwatch is:

$6 (base) + $3 (< 100 minutes phone) + $0 (SMS, assuming you’ll use phone-connected SMS) + $3 (< 100 MB data) = $12/month Ting smartwatch

Ting smartwatch cost examples:

  • If you don’t make any calls that month (usage is 0 minutes) then subtract $12-$3 = $9 for that month.
  • If you used 400 MB of data that month (maybe watching YouTube on the smartwatch) then you’d fall into the 500 MB bucket – adding $12+$7 = $19 for that month.

If you use the phone and/or data features sparingly, you might save $3 - $6 per month with Ting vs. Project Fi. I would bet most people use less than 100 minutes/month of smartwatch phone calls, so $12/month for average Ting smartwatch user may be reasonable.

Ting does not care what device you put on Ting, so unlike Project Fi, your phone + data cellular smartwatch usage is totally legit on Ting.

An Android Wear watch will function semi-independently AS LONG AS your smartphone is on and internet connected somewhere in the world using cellular 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 cellular.

Activate smartwatch on Ting (T-Mobile GSM)

  • Ting works with Google Voice.
  • suggest disabling voicemail for smartwatches via Ting Device Settings → “Minutes” → disable “can use voicemail”.
  1. Request a GSM Ting SIM card. Ting’s SIM card snaps out to fit mini-SIM, micro-SIM, and nano-SIM. Smartwatches use nano-SIM.
    • slow, maybe free: If you create a Ting account and wait a business day or two, they might email you offering a free SIM.
    • fast: order a Ting SIM through Amazon
  2. Once you receive the Ting SIM card, have your smartwatch with you and go to the Ting activation page
  3. Get smartwatch IMEI number: Settings → Connectivity → Cellular → SIM Status → IMEI.
    • must have Cellular turned “on” to view the IMEI.
    • watch on wrist will help keep it from constantly screen locking
    • Ting web browser shows Wear device is compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G LTE (unless you have the wrong model Wear watch or Ting doesn’t know about your Wear model yet).
    • You can skip this step.
  4. enter your SIM ICCID (next to the barcode) from the Ting plastic card
  5. Select “new number” (don’t use your smartphone number!).
  6. Poweroff your Wear watch, and using the little plastic triangle tool that came with your Wear watch, remove the old nano SIM and put in the Ting SIM.
    • Don’t try to use any other tool or you will mess up your watch.
    • If you don’t have the tool now, just click “other device” and Ting webpage will tell you your new watch phone number.

Ting T-mobile APN

I recommend leaving the default settings alone. APNs for Ting SIM in the LG Watch Sport W280:

  • T-mobile IMS: ims
  • T-mobile GPRS: fast.t-mobile.com ← factory default
  • T-mobile MMS: TMUS

Ting smartwatch coverage

Ting GSM coverage maps are intended for standard smartphones. In general Ting smartwatch coverage area is a bit less than smartphones due to the smaller volume to cram everything including antennas into.

Data Metering

The Ting app (used on a smartphone) breaks out the usage for each category:

  • voice
  • text
  • data

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