The Best Standalone Smartwatch Options To Shed Your Phone: Updated August, 2016

This list has been updated for 2016, complete with new standalone smartwatch models.

Latest Update: August, 2016

One of the leading features of smartwatches is they pair with your phone to deliver notifications, alerts and messages on your wrist. So, if you’re wearing a smartwatch, you can keep your phone in your pocket, on a counter, or where you decide to.

But, with that setup you still need to have a smartphone and if your devices are no longer in proximity you lose functionality on your watch. That’s no fun and it ruins the point of having “smart” devices.

There is a solution. You can buy a standalone smartwatch and bypass the smartphone requirement.


What is a standalone smartwatch?

A standalone smartwatch includes all the functionality of a smartphone built-in.

Generally, they can connect to 3G or 4G mobile networks and take a SIM card.

Standalone devices will connect to a network and update messages, alerts and notifications on their own. In this way, you are not forced to use a smartphone with them if you do not want to. Many of them can make and receive calls, just like a phone. They can also be used to browse the web, though the small display is not convenient for such a thing – but it’s still possible.

Standalone smartwatch models often provide the best of both worlds, and will work with a paired phone too.

The Best Standalone Smartwatch Options Available

So, what are some standalone smartwatch models on the market? What are your options, and which devices allow you to take advantage of this functionality?

Below is a list of the best standalone smartwatch models currently available.

Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G/4G Standalone Smartwatch

Samsung Gear S2 Classic standalone smartwatchSamsung swapped their design to a round display with their newest models, and it looks fantastic. The Samsung Gear S2 Classic is the premier model, and it comes in 3G and 4G flavors.
Obviously, the 3G and 4G models have everything you need to tap into a mobile network without a phone.

Note: Depending on your wireless provider, you may – or may not – have to set up the device initially with a smartphone. After that, you’re free to use the watch on its own.

Samsung’s devices are powered by Tizen, a proprietary OS developed by the company. This is worth noting, because you won’t be getting Android Wear. In the past, this was an issue because it meant Samsung’s watches were only compatible with Samsung brand phones. Now this is not so much the case. And if you’re planning to use the watch as a standalone device, that doesn’t matter anyway.

The Gear S2 Classic is equipped with 4GB of RAM (as opposed to the 1-2GB standard), a GPS sensor, and a microphone and speaker for voice calls. You can also text using the watch, although we wouldn’t recommend it because the screen is pretty small and inconvenient for such a thing.

If you’re interested, the Gear S2 Classic is $349.99 and the models with 3G/4G support can be ordered from most wireless carriers.

The certified refurbished model from Amazon is at least $100 cheaper.

Samsung Gear S Standalone Smartwatch

standalone smartwatch the Samsung Gear SThe Samsung Gear S was the company’s first foray in the standalone market, and it mirrors their other smartwatches in the Gear lineup. The biggest difference is the 2G and 3G mobile network support thanks to an integrated SIM card slot. It also includes GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity. As for the system software, the Gear S is running Tizen Samsung’s proprietary wearable OS.

Those features are great, but they don’t give you a complete picture of the device in question. The Samsung Gear S is powered by a dual core 1.0 GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and includes 4GB of internal storage. The display is a 2.0″ curved Super AMOLED running at a resolution of 360 x 480. Needless to say the display alone is attractive and vivid, it does come from Samsung after all.

You can take calls, send texts and emails, and even browse the web all from your wrist. This is a full-featured smartphone crammed into a wearable device. It also offers a whole slew of fitness tracking features, which is honestly something you can expect from most smartwatches.

If you decide you want the Gear S take a look at the options below from Amazon.

UPDATE: As several have pointed out you need a smartphone to pair the Gear S with initially. Once that’s done – and you have installed the apps you want – you don’t need a smartphone any longer which is why it’s on the “standalone” list. It is possible to have your carrier activate the device the first time if you want to use it solely as a smartphone.

QOne Standalone Smartwatch

QOne standalone smartwatchThe QOne is a standalone cellular-ready watch primarily designed with the business professional in mind. Although, admittedly the initial designs are a little flashy for most business-minded folk thanks to the neon colors.

It’s a GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) friendly phone that allows you to plug-in a SIM and connect directly to a mobile network. Similar to the Samsung Gear S you can receive texts, emails, phone calls and more on the device. It’s a wearable smartphone.

It includes a 1.54″ LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 240×240. You can purchase the device with either 8, 16 or 32GB of storage which is offered through an external microSD card. The device itself only has minimal storage space for the system software.

Keep in mind this is using a proprietary OS, so it doesn’t come with Android Wear or anything advanced out of the box.

The QOne standalone smartwatch is available for $149, which as you can see is significantly cheaper than some of the other offerings on this list.

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition

The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition released since we published this article. It’s designed to offer tether-free – without a smartphone – access to mobile networks.

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition - standalone smartwatchThe Urbane LTE uses AT&T’s NumberSync technology to redirect phone calls and texts from your existing phone number to the watch.

Because it is a sister model to the original Urbane, it includes the same basic features and specifications – albeit with a few upgrades for the 2nd Edition.

Those include:

  • Display: 1.38” P-OLED, 480×480, at 348ppi
  • Battery: 570mAh
  • 768MB RAM
  • 4GB storage for music, photos and more
  • Optical heart-rate monitor

The rest is pretty much the same, including the experience – because it’s powered by Google’s Android Wear.

You can pick it up from wireless carriers for $349.99 to $399.99. If you’d rather buy an unlocked model you can find one for $400-$575 on Amazon.

Neptune Pine Standalone Smartwatch

Neptune Pine standalone smartwatchUnlike Android Wear devices, the Neptune Pine is running a full, unhindered version of the Android OS version 4.1 Jelly Bean. It features a 2.4″ TFT capacitive landscape oriented display operating at a resolution of 320×240 QVGA.

In case you have no idea what that means, it’s a massive display for any wearable – it’s like wearing a mini tablet on your wrist. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass so it’s scratch and shatter resistant.

It works with GSM, HSPA and WCDMA networks on several bands which is 3G for those less tech-inclined folk. It also includes integrated Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth like the Gear S. However, the Neptune Pine is considerably more powerful thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor at 1.2GHz and 512MB of RAM.

It was a Kickstarter funded project and the backers have already received their devices. The first models shipped to backers in November, 2014.

The Neptune Pine starts at $349. It can be more expensive depending on which features and options you select at checkout.

The Neptune Pine standalone smartwatch is available through the official site. Click here to look at the 32GB version and the 16GB version.)

inWatch Z Standalone Smartwatch

The developers crammed everything they could into the InWatch Z including a 5MP camera that can capture high-quality stills and 720p HD video. It might be a little awkward trying to capture photos and videos from your wrist, but at least the option is there if you want it.

InWatch Z standalone smartwatchBut what you’re really looking for is the multi-network support. It comes unlocked and takes SIM cards so that it can tap into any mobile 3G network. There’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS too.

A dedicated 2D and 3D processor (MALI-400MP) allows the watch to handle games, videos, and more – something that most smartwatches would have trouble doing.

It’s even equipped with a “hydrophobic nanocoating” which means it’s splash-proof. Now, you don’t want to take it swimming – or in the shower – but it can certainly handle rain and sweat without any hiccups.

You can head over to the inWatch site for more info. You can pick one of these up from Amazon for $299.

Omate TrueSmart Standalone Smartwatch

Omate Truesmart standalone smartwatchThe Omate TrueSmart isn’t one of the best looking options on the market, but it is one of the most functional. It’s a shame, that it’s going to be difficult to find. You might have to buy a used model, because it doesn’t look like Omate is offering new units on their webstore.

It also happens to be more affordable than the other options on the list – it originally retailed for about $249 – $299. By now, you can get your hands on one for much cheaper.

Omate has since moved on to release their latest device the X smartwatch, which actually takes a step backwards and works as a companion device. Therefore, if you’re looking for 3G support you’ll need to get the TrueSmart. It works with WCDMA, GSM, EDGE and HSPA networks and includes Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth, as well.

It’s powered by a Cortex A7 dual-core processor, and 1GB of RAM. It include 8GB of storage space too.

The display is a 1.54″ capacitive LCD touchscreen operating at a resolution of 240×240. As for the software it’s running on a custom skinned version of Android 4.2.2 which the developers have dubbed OUI (version 2.1).

This was another crowdsourced device, funded through Kickstarter.

ZGPAX S8 Standalone Smartwatch

The ZGPAX S8 is a generic smartwatch manufactured in China. The design looks remarkably similar to the original Samsung Gear models.

ZGPAX S8 standalone smartwatch from ChinaIt includes a 2MP camera, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and support for a microSD card up to 32GB – so you can add more storage space for photos, videos and media.

The display is a 1.54” “multi-point” touchscreen manufactured by LG.

What you really care about is the mobile support. It’s compatible with GSM and WCDMA 3G networks, and obviously takes a SIM card. It does include a mic and speaker so you can make – and take – calls from the watch. It can also send and receive SMS and MMS messages, as well.

The ZGPAX S8 is $115 on Amazon, and comes in three different styles.

Burg 12 Standalone Smartwatch

Burg 12 standalone smartwatch with SIM supportThe Burg 12 allows you to send texts and make phone calls without pairing to a smartphone. This smartwatch has a 1.5 inch screen with a 240 x 240 resolution that produces 226 pixels per inch. The Burg 12 also comes with 4GB storage and a MicroSD reader, so you can add up to 16GB to your storage.

The watch runs on its own propriety software — so not exactly a great sign. You can pick it up from the official Burg site for $249.

Neptune Hub

Neptune Duo including the Neptune Hub SmartwatchThen there’s the Neptune Hub, which is a different device altogether, but it can be used as a standalone watch.

There are two separate components to the Hub, including a wristwatch and a phone-like device you keep in your pocket.

If you’d like to read more check out our write-up.

Conclusion: Some of the Best Standalone Smartwatches

Have you had a personal experience – good or bad – with any of the standalone smartwatch models listed? Please share, especially if it benefits the community.


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About The Author

Briley Kenney

Briley Kenney is a young tech enthusiast who enjoys all things electronic and gadget related. Currently, Briley writes for a plethora of professional websites including Vulgamer, SmartWatches, and a prominent SEO company. Recently, he served as a valuable member of the Little Killerz dev team writing in-game content and generating a web portal for the indie gem Tales of Illyria and it's two sequels Beyond the Iron Wall, and Destinies. The team is currently working on additional content for the third title.

  • bladerunner6978

    throughout your article, you mention only that these can all “recieve calls”
    Ok, but what about “Making calls” directly from these wrist-smartphones ?

    That’s the “real” question, because without the “calling” ability, to dial-out, just like a normal cellphone, then you obviously you can NOT call these truly “standalone” devices.
    Soooo, which is it dude.?

    Next time, Please be moe technically accurate in your descriptoin and specs

    • Briley Kenney

      Thanks for the comment dude, I’ll edit the article!

      However, considering it is dedicated to “standalone” smartwatches and you don’t need a phone, I figured this applied to all of the devices listed here. I’ll make it more clear.

    • Lazy Ghost

      I have a Samsung Gear S. It is a standalone device. It has its own cell phone number so I do not need to rely on being paired with my Note 4. I can have calls , messages and emails forwarded from my Note 4 cell number to my Gear S while leaving my Note 4 at home. It’s well worth it especially with the S Health app. Only set back is it runs Tizen, so google play store is not accessible. PAG Polaris can port some Google apps over quite easily. Enjoy!

      • Ángel Alfonso Colón Sáez

        Don’t try to confuse anyone… None of these are really standalone… You, yourself need the Gear S paired with the Note 4 in order for it to work as a phone. It would really be standalone if you go to the shop, put the sim card in, and use it like you did when you bought your Note 4 without having to pay the Note 4 contract and also the smartwatch contract aswell. Even though it says it’s an “Standalone” it only a companion or an really expensive accesory for the Samsung Galaxy 4 and later celphones… don’t get me wrong, it’s a great companion, but even though it haves his own sim card, for me it still only a companion…
        I would be very thankful if you could correct me if I’m wrong. Since I don’t really know if it works as “standalone” in the way that you only need to pay it’s single contract without the need of any smartphone.

        • Lazy Ghost

          Get a fucking clue jack ass. Ot has a SIM card, irs own phine number and I can go out and not take my cellphone. If you’re going to try and troll at least have some fucking idea of what you’re talking about ya goof. Man are yiu ever stupid lmaooo

          • Ángel Alfonso Colón Sáez

            sure but you still need your cellphone, what I meant is that could it be bought and used as a Cellphone without having to get a smartphone?…

          • Briley Kenney

            If it takes a SIM card and has mobile connectivity support then it can work without a smartphone connected.

            All of the devices on this list are truly “standalone” in that you don’t need a phone to use them. You do have the option if you want it, but it’s not required.

          • Kuba K. (bloody)

            Why are you guys so stubborn? You say black is white. Gear S is partially dependent on another Smartphone (first startup, add contact, use some apps). It means it is expected from a user to possess another smartphone to accomplish these tasks. What is stupid idea to BUY and EXPLOIT two different devices especially that it has a SIM slot itself, so like the conclusion from one of overviews says:
            (…)
            “But as it stands Samsung has hobbled the Gear S’s independence. Beyond phone calls, texts and browsing the web, everything else more or less needs a smartphone to act as a relay, which defeats the point of having a phone on your wrist.
            The Gear S is an average smartwatch when paired with a Samsung phone and a missed opportunity for something much more. This is not the smartwatch to replace the smartphone.”
            What a pity It does not have to be connected to a vacuum-cleaner to get fully operative.

          • Santana Gonsalves

            I have a Neptune pine. It is actually a phone. No pairing . Its my only phone.it is an actual phone. Make calls text email etc
            design needs twee king but it is the first of its kind. I like it

          • Zachary Bobo

            yes

          • He just told you, YOU DO NOT NEED A PHONE. He simply chooses to have his phone FORWARD to the Gear S, you can FORWARD emails, texts, and calls to ANY device… idiot.

          • smartwatches

            Approve.


            Thanks,
            Chris
            SmartWatches.org

  • Sarita Otálora Velez

    Samsung Gear S in NOT STANDALONE as it means. You have to pair it with the last Samsung Smartphone for it to start. Once paired it is “standalone” but for most of functions, even basic functions such as adding a new contact, using some apps, etc you need the smartphone. As I understand Standalone means independent. And Samsung is not.

  • Alex

    What happend to the zgpax s8 SmartWatch? Full Android 4.4 $95. Just ordered the silver one from gear best. “Smart Watch ticks” on youtube, has some good reviews on the S8.

  • Michelle

    Does anyone know if there is a Smartwatch that I can purchase that will work without cell service meaning that I could use all of it’s features via Wifi with the exception of being able to make phone calls? I would love to get a Smartwatch for my 10 year old, without buying him cell service. It would also be neat if he could have an app (like one on his ipad) that sends text messages via Wifi. He would love to take videos, pictures, use a calendar, calculator, tell time, watch youtube videos, and I’d like him to be able to send/receive text messages with Wifi. I saw a watch xeero.com that looked like it would be perfect, but was never released. I would get him the Vtech Smartwatch DX, but it seems young for him (ages are 4-8). Any ideas?

    I

    • BB

      I need to know too!! My daughter would like to get one, but we don’t have an active smartphone to pair up with…Please help!!! Thanks!!

    • Sarah Millar

      get a vtech smartwatch

  • Orlando La Santa

    I purchased a true standalone with 1gb of RAM for under $200. Comes with Google Play Store and you can even install Nova or GNL, Titanium Back Up (after rooting with Kingo one click root method) and different watch face apps. It’s the inWatch Z 3G. Order it on a Monday, received it on Thursday.

    • aclay777

      what watch is this, you didn’t say what the name of it is?

      • Orlando La Santa

        InWatch Z 3G. Inwatchusa.com

        • aclay777

          TY

  • CassiRoutley

    Is there a standalone watch besides samsung that will work on Verizon???

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