Wear OS LTE smartwatches

An important smartwatch usability factor is whether the smartwatch has LTE. In early 2019, only one currently manufactured Wear OS watch had multi-carrier LTE in North America–the LG W280 Watch Sport. Watches that are locked to Verizon Wireless LTE bands are less interesting to many users because they may want to use a different prepaid LTE provider, and/or use the watch internationally.

Google Fi and Ting work with Wear OS smartwatches having LTE via the T-Mobile 2G / 3G / 4G cellular network. AT&T also works with Wear OS LTE smartwatches. The overlapping T-Mobile / AT&T LTE bands with Wear OS include bands 2, 4 and 5 depending on your watch.

Wear OS LTE smartwatch comparison

Model CPU LTE Bands Google Fi/Ting
LG Urbane 2nd Ed. LTE LG-W200A SD 400 2, 5 Yes
LG Urbane 2nd Ed. LTE LG-W200V SD 400 13 No (wrong bands)
LG Watch Sport LG-W280A SD 2100 MSM8909W 2,4,5,13 Yes
Verizon Wear24 SD 2100 13 No (wrong bands)
Huawei Watch 2 SD 2100 1,3,7,8,39,41 No (wrong bands)

Why are LTE bands important for smartwatches?

The LTE bands are important for knowing if the watch would work on a particular carrier. Sometimes a watch has LTE bands the carrier doesn’t and vice versa. As long as one or more LTE bands overlap, your watch might work–always double check before making a purchase! Carriers don’t use all their authorized LTE bands throughout their entire network. Some LTE bands are used only in urban areas.

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Written by Michael Hirsch, Ph.D. //

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