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The most affordable and lightweight Apple Watch is the GPS (Wi-Fi only) variant. The GPS-only watch now has an 18-hour Bluetooth connection to an iPhone with the latest Series 7 model. Also, it doesn't have a cellular chip, increasing the battery life.

The Apple GPS-only wristwatch is less expensive when compared to the Apple Cellular wristwatch. However, in this article, we want to find out if the Apple GPS-only watch can indeed answer calls and provide info on other functionalities of the GPS-only watch.

Can you answer calls with the GPS-only watch?

Yes, some Apple Watches, like the Series 3 Apple Watch (GPS), can make calls when the connected iPhone is nearby. However, the Series 3 (GPS+Cellular) can make calls even when the paired iPhone is not close by. Also, when your Apple Watch (GPS only) has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone, you can send and receive text messages and get notifications.

The built-in GPS operates independently of your iPhone for mapping distance, pace, and routes during workouts. To make and receive calls and texts, it is advisable to sync the watch with your phone, regardless of carrier.

Do Apple Watches Come with a charger?
No, the Apple Watch does not come with a complete charger but with a magnetic charging cable that terminates with a USB port. The Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable is not just any regular USB cable

Differences between Cellular and GPS

From a single glance, it would be difficult to differentiate between the Apple Watch Cellular and GPS. The main external difference between the Cellular and Non-Cellular models is a red ring around the Digital Crown. The difference is entirely due to what is on the inside.

Simply put, when compared to the GPS model, a cellular Apple Watch offers more connectivity choices. The former can do tasks and make phone calls utilizing the cellular data provided by your carrier without requiring your iPhone to be present. The GPS version, on the other hand, gets all of its data demands met by your connected iPhone alone.

Apple Watch cellular identified by the red ring around the digital crown

What can a GPS-only watch do?

A GPS-only Apple Watch can still be quite helpful to you, even without your iPhone. It can:

  • Track physical activity.
  • Monitor heart rate.
  • Utilize the Breathe app.
  • Tell time (including alarms, timers, and the stopwatch).
  • Play music from a synced playlist.
  • Show photographs from synced albums.
  • Use Apple Pay to make purchases.
  • Listen to podcasts that are stored on the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch can still connect to well-known Wi-Fi networks and perform several additional functions even if the iPhone is off or out of range.

Other essential features of the GPS-only Apple Watch without connection to iPhone

Reminders can help you never forget again

You should be able to use Siri to set reminders when connected to the iPhone for tasks that you would otherwise forget when disconnected from the iPhone but still connected to Wi-Fi. If you have Wi-Fi, even if you don't always have your iPhone with you, it will help you recall those little things once the time arrives.

Talk to friends using a walkie-talkie

In watch OS 5, Apple added a Walkie-Talkie function that allows you to transmit voice recordings to others with the same feature remotely. Simply press the button to start speaking while connected to Wi-Fi on your Apple Watch, then let go to hear their response.

Use independent apps through Wi-Fi

Some Apple Watch apps can be used without an iPhone on the watch. If they need an Internet connection to function, they shouldn't have any problems as long as the Wi-Fi connection is available when the watch is not connected to your iPhone.

Smart kit accessories controls

If you use the HomeKit ecosystem and have some HomeKit-enabled gadgets in your home, you can operate them all directly from your Apple Watch without an iPhone as long as you're connected to Wi-Fi. Simply open the Home app on your GPS-only Apple Watch and toggle the appropriate settings.

Can the Apple Watch do everything an iPhone does?
No, an Apple Watch cannot do everything an iPhone does. Although amazing features appear on every new release of an Apple watch, it cannot be as powerful as an iPhone or iPad.

Frequently Asked Questions about answering calls with a GPS only watch

Can I use the Apple GPS cellular without Wi-Fi for calls?

Cellular connectivity is available on Apple Watch (GPS + Cellular) variants. When you don't have your iPhone or Wi-Fi, you can still make calls, access data, and use apps with a cellular connection. It needs to be connected to your iPhone or connected to a Wi-Fi network for the GPS only.

Why can't I use my Apple Watch to answer calls?

Your iPhone's Wi-Fi calling feature may be the cause of this issue. Your Apple Watch won't take calls while Wi-Fi calling is activated on my iPhone, but it will when it is disabled.

Can you use the Apple watch alone as a phone?

The Apple Watch can perform several functions a phone can perform, it is not a replacement and cannot be used as a phone.

Can all Apple watches make calls?

Provided you have an iPhone nearby that is turned on and associated with your Apple Watch, you can make and receive phone calls on all models. If your cellular provider supports Wi-Fi calling for your iPhone, you can still make calls while not near an iPhone using the GPS version of the Apple Watch.


The GPS-only Apple Watch doesn't always require your iPhone to function because it can still accomplish many tasks without it. The Apple Watch can connect to Wi-Fi, but this only works if your iPhone is previously connected to the network. However, since a Cellular Apple Watch has its own data connection, it can essentially do everything without your iPhone.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.

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