Android Wear smartwatches with LTE are reasonably autonomous–they function without the smartphone present. For nearly full functionality, leave the associated phone on and internet connected somewhere in the world. The Wear watch connects to the phone over the internet if the phone is out of BLE range.
Totally independent apps
After initial Android Wear pairing to phone, you can turn the phone off and use these apps, as long as the watch is on Wifi or LTE.
- Google Assistant voice commands. That is, internet searches, setting reminders, etc. via voice
- installing smartwatch apps on Google Play
- Google Maps (including downloading new map areas)
Partially independent apps
In this category, you must have the associated smartphone connected to the Internet somewhere in the world. The watch can be far away out of Bluetooth range (even in another country) from the associated Internet-connected phone. Android Wear devices require associated Internet-connected phone for full functionality.
- email notifications (Blackberry Hub)
- setting new calendar events. The watch only gets new events via internet connected phone over the watch’s internet connection (WiFi or LTE watch). The watch will alert for alarms previously synced when the phone was on, even after the phone is off.
- Google Maps Navigation – surprisingly accurate even without GPS
- Google Hangouts
- Google Keep
- Microsoft OneNote
Apps requiring BLE
These apps do NOT work when not directly connected to phone via BLE.
- Google Authenticator (good that it requires local BLE connection)
Android Wear smartwatches can connect to these types of Wifi networks:
- WPA/WPA2 PSK (single password for all users, most home wifi networks use this)
WPA2-EAP only works if using a third party app.