In this quick guide, we will discuss the availability of the hotspot feature on the Apple Watch Cellular and explore its potential use cases.
Some users might be looking for a compact alternative to carrying their iPhone in order to share their internet connection with other devices.
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of the Apple Watch Cellular’s connectivity will help potential users make informed decisions about the right smartwatch option for their needs.
Does Apple Watch or Apple Watch Cellular Support Hotspot?
The Apple Watch, including the cellular models, does not have the built-in capability to function as a personal hotspot. This feature allows one device to share its internet connection with other devices, and it is commonly found on smartphones and some tablets. However, Apple has not yet incorporated this functionality into its Apple Watch devices.
It’s worth noting that the Apple Watch can connect to your iPhone’s personal hotspot when it’s in range, allowing it to access data when it’s not connected to a known Wi-Fi network. This can be a useful workaround, but it’s not the same as the watch itself acting as a hotspot.
Although the Apple Watch can make and receive calls, send texts, and use data independently when the cellular function is activated, it does not have the capacity to share that data connection with other devices like a phone can.
This limitation is primarily attributed to several key factors:
1. Battery Life: One of the most significant concerns would be battery life. Using a device as a hotspot can rapidly drain the battery due to the high energy demands of transmitting data over cellular networks. Given that the Apple Watch has a smaller battery compared to smartphones, hotspot use could deplete the battery very quickly.
2. Heat Dissipation: Devices can heat up when used as a hotspot because data transmission and reception are resource-intensive activities. The small form factor of the Apple Watch may pose challenges in dissipating this heat effectively, which could impact device performance and lifespan.
3. Data Usage: The Apple Watch Cellular already uses data for its own functions. If it were to share its internet connection with other devices, data consumption could skyrocket, leading to potential overages on limited data plans.
4. Device Performance: Providing a hotspot service might affect the Apple Watch’s overall performance. For instance, it could slow down other processes or cause apps to lag.
5. Limited Range: Given its size and hardware, the Apple Watch may not have the same range as other devices when used as a hotspot. This could limit the distances at which connected devices can operate from the watch.
Can You Connect Apple Watch to Phone’s Hotspot?
Once paired, your Apple Watch can indirectly access the internet through your iPhone’s hotspot. Keep in mind that the Apple Watch itself cannot directly connect to a personal hotspot. However, when your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth, it can access the internet and use data, since the iPhone is connected to the cellular network via the hotspot. By maintaining a Bluetooth connection between the Apple Watch and iPhone, you’ll be able to use apps and features on your Apple Watch that require internet access.
While the Apple watch can connect to Wi-Fi, the watch’s Wi-Fi functionality primarily serves as a backup connection when the paired iPhone is out of Bluetooth range.
It’s worth noting that the Apple Watch supports only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks and not 5 GHz networks. The watch also can’t connect to public networks that require logins, subscriptions, or profiles.
Comparison: Apple Watch Cellular vs Other Smart Watches – Hotspot Capabilities
The hotspot feature is not commonly found in most smartwatches, including the Apple Watch Cellular. That said, the technology and capabilities of smartwatches continue to evolve.
Apple Watch Cellular:
As of now, the Apple Watch Cellular models do not support the personal hotspot feature. These models can connect to the internet independently via cellular data or through a paired iPhone, but they can’t share this connection with other devices. However, the Apple Watch can use the iPhone’s hotspot feature when the iPhone is in range.
Samsung Galaxy Watch:
Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch models, even those with 4G/LTE capabilities, do not currently support the hotspot feature. Like the Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch can connect to the internet on its own using cellular data, or through a paired smartphone, but it can’t share this connection.
Garmin Fenix Series:
The Garmin Fenix series, renowned for its advanced fitness tracking and outdoor navigation features, also lacks the personal hotspot feature. It provides connectivity features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and in some models, cellular data, but does not share its internet connection with other devices.
Fitbit Versa Series:
Fitbit’s Versa series of smartwatches is more focused on fitness tracking and does not currently include models with cellular connectivity, let alone a hotspot feature.