Ask Engadget: Is LTE worth it on a smartwatch?

Or can you make do by just keeping your phone nearby?

The support shared between readers in the comments section is one of the things we love most about the Engadget community. Over the years, we've known you to offer sage advice on everything from Chromecasts and cameras to drones and smartphones. In fact, our community's knowledge and insights are a reason why many of you participate in the comments.

We truly value the time and detail you all spend in responding to questions from your fellow tech-obsessed commenters, which is why we've decided to bring back the much-missed "Ask Engadget" column. This week's question is a quick one about smartwatches enabled with LTE. Weigh in with your advice in the comments -- and feel free to send your own questions along to!

Are LTE-enabled smartwatches really worth the extra cost?

Cherlynn Low

Cherlynn Low
Reviews Editor

LTE-enabled watches generally aren't worth it right now. Most people won't mind bringing along their smartphones for connectivity. Not only that -- how often are you going to be out and about without a phone, and find yourself needing to call or text someone? LTE also tends to drain a watch's battery, reducing the probably-short battery life even further. Until 5G launches and future iterations of the technology allow for sleeker designs with longer battery life, it doesn't make sense to splurge just to stay connected on the rare occasions when you're without a phone.

That said, there is a small subset of people who will benefit from LTE-enabled watches. These are folks with ample disposable income who frequently, say, go on long runs and prefer to carry as little as possible. For these people, the benefit of remaining connected could be worth the cost, if only because they're so rich that the price difference is effectively negligible.