Apple sells the world’s most popular smartwatch, but it’s not a standalone product. If you don’t have an iPhone, you may be wondering what you can do with an Apple Watch or if you can wear one.
You’ll need an iPhone to start using Apple Watch
It is not possible to set up an Apple Watch without using an iPhone. The watch must be paired with an iPhone to link an Apple ID. You cannot use an iPad to complete this procedure; must be an iPhone 6s or later with at least iOS 15.
You can’t use an Android device to set up an Apple Watch. The watch is designed to be a companion device to an iPhone for much of its functionality. This is particularly true of the Wi-Fi model, though Apple also sells an Apple Watch with cellular connectivity that works more like a standalone device.
Once you’ve set up your Apple Watch with Cellular, you can do many of the things you’d normally rely on an iPhone for, like receiving text messages, taking phone calls, and accessing internet-dependent features. Unfortunately, this is not recommended due to the power consumption of your watch when using mobile data.
You’re unlikely to get all-day battery life if you use your cellular Apple Watch away from your iPhone for extended periods. Wi-Fi models rely on your iPhone, so a lot of functionality is lost when your paired iPhone is out of range. The exception here is when you’re in the presence of a Wi-Fi network you’ve connected to before (when your iPhone was present).
Things you can do without an iPhone
Some features are not dependent on an iPhone, particularly those related to health and fitness. As you wear your Apple Watch, your active steps and calories will be counted, meaning you can work to fill your Move, Exercise and Stand rings with or without your iPhone.
Your watch will continue to track and record your heartbeat, and you can measure your heart rate with the Heart app or perform echocardiograms with the ECG app. You can use your watch’s alarm and timer, or play music stored on your watch (with paired headphones). If you sleep on your watch, your wearable device will continue to monitor your sleep quality.
You can also pay for items with Apple Pay or use cards stored in your Apple Wallet that are already available on your watch. Apps like Voice Memos, Photos, Calendar, and Noise will continue to work as expected.
If you have a cellular model, the potentially life-saving fall detection feature will work (assuming you have cellular reception and battery life), but Wi-Fi models won’t be able to contact emergency services without an iPhone nearby.
Don’t buy an Apple Watch unless you have an iPhone
If you don’t have an iPhone, the Apple Watch probably isn’t for you. Even if you use another household member’s iPhone to set up the device, this is still not ideal as the watch is designed to work with your own personal Apple ID and device. You’ll want to save your own health data to your own account, for example.
Instead, take a look at the alternative smartwatches available to you. If you have an Android device, other options will give you a better experience than a lonely Apple Watch.