Children and teens in the 21st century have never truly known a time without smart technology. Even though this is a true statement and sign of the times, using a phone constantly is not healthy either mentally, developmentally, or physically.
Since physical fitness is important, and also since most fitness trackers and smartwatches require the use of a phone, there are some options out there for your teen to consider that do not require the need for a phone constantly.
The best smartwatch for a teen that doesn’t require a phone should prioritize advanced fitness tracker capabilities with all the features that make the best fitness smartwatch convenient for keeping in touch with parents as well.
Are you currently trying to promote more physical fitness for your teen and less time attached to their phone screen? Perhaps you are wondering if there are any fitness smartwatch models even worth considering? Either way, this article is for you, since we will be taking a deep dive into smartwatches aimed at teens that limit the need for a phone.
We will take a look at some of the best fitness smartwatch models to consider and answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.
Is there a smartwatch that doesn’t require a phone?
A standalone smartwatch and fitness tracker is not always immediately in demand, but there are certainly some models that do not require a phone.
We’ve done the research more thoroughly in this post about whether or not smartwatches or fitness trackers need a phone to function: Does A Smartwatch Or Fitness Tracker Work Without A Phone? .
This is welcome news if you want to try and limit your teen’s phone usage and promote physical fitness at the same time.
Let’s take a look at some of the best smartwatches to consider that either require no phone or drastically reduce the need for one.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
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Garmin Fenix 6X pro
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Apple Watch SE
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Back when it was released in 2017, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 bolstered a long battery life, advanced fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and more all inside of a compact and comfortable frame and band.
What makes this a perfect smartwatch for teenager use is its built in GPS and sports apps, that cover a wide range of activities through performance tracking.
The always on display allows you to see the screen even in low light, which is great when teens are out and about after dark.
For fitness enthusiasts, the fitness tracking runs the gamut across a wide range of categories including treadmill, running, strength training, cardio, elliptical, stair stepping, and even row indoor.
The heart rate monitor tracks seamlessly across the various exercise modes and advanced features across multiple running and walking dynamics.
What also makes this a great smartwatch for teens, in addition to the elongated battery life, is an alarm clock, sleep tracker and advanced sleep monitor capabilities, as well as the exclusion for a connected cellphone which is not needed.
- Excellent battery life
- Displays text messages and smart notifications making this a good smartwatch for teenagers
- Has the ability to turn notifications on and off
- Touchscreen controls allows users to control the entire interface by scrolling through categories
- Receive and respond to notifications and text messages for Android users
- Bluetooth connectivity can be spotty at best when in rural areas depending on distance from Android smartphones
The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro will appeal as a teen smartwatch in terms of athletics and advanced built in GPS features if your teen loves the outdoors.
The 21 days of continuous battery life is truly the best one can expect if you are looking for the longest battery life in between charges.
This smart watch has a large screen and large screen resolution, which is one of the features that made it a best selling fitness watch.
There is also a barometer, compass, the ability to measure blood oxygen levels in addition to a standard heart rate monitor.
What makes this a good smartwatch for teens, is its innovative design, screen luminosity, and the wide range of smart notifications that can be accessed via Bluetooth through Android phones.
- Great battery life
- Water resistant and dust proof
- Pace Pro feature and performance tracking metrics across a wide range of categories makes it perfect for a teen fitness freak
- The weight of the watch at around 93 grams is substantial and may not appeal as a teen smartwatch due to the bulkiness of the smart watch
- Quite expensive
- There can be some syncing issues with certain apps, particularly Spotify
The Apple Watch SE is not big on thrills and loaded tech wizardry, but in terms of durability, comfort, fitness insights, and just enough smart notifications for adequate communication, this device can be a perfect smartwatch for teenagers.
With this watch, you can receive calls, text, stream music, and more all through the watch itself without a need for carrying around an iPhone.
The fitness features are plentiful for something not advertised in the realm of teen tech smartwatches. Apple makes both weatherproof and waterproof smartwatches, and this GPS smartwatch is no exception. This means it is perfect for swimming or rainy days.
There is also a convenient family setup feature for cross-referencing each and every family member for easier and more accurate and convenient communication through the watch itself.
Read more about Apple watch series models here.
- Receive phone calls, text messages, and more while out and about
- Water resistance and even weather resistance is durable and firmly resistant
- Sleep monitor feature tracks sleep stages
- Good smartwatch for teenagers due to adequate smart technology but not to a distracting extent
- Large display and thin bezels make for a sleek and fashionable design
- Not as advanced as other Apple smartwatch models, but certainly efficient
- Not great as a GPS tracker
- As a fitness watch, the Apple SE pales in comparison to some other brands
Among the best smartwatches out there, Suunto 7 was designed to appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, and as a unisex watch with a user friendly mobile app that reflect detailed performance statistics, this is a superb smartwatch for teens.
Although perhaps not a positive for all teens, certainly not for those with smaller wrists, the Suunto 7 features a large design that is built with stainless steel to ensure durability of the large screen with its crystal clear resolution.
Suunto makes some of the best smartwatches in terms of durability, and this makes the Suunto 7 a perfect gift for your teen, especially if they are physically active in terms of outdoor activities.
Additionally, the Suunto 7 features many of the standard smart notifications that are customary for any device today. The buttons can be used to scroll through the numerous features available.
Perhaps not the absolute best teen smartwatch, but the Suunto 7 has a fantastic display and design and can be used effectively without the need for a phone.
Read more about Suunto watches here.
- Decent battery life
- A wide array of fitness features are available across numerous fitness categories
- The performance of this watch runs smoothly and freezing and irregular syncing are not that much of a problem
- Water resistant and made with stainless steel and glass fiber
- Very large and imposing watch face that may not appeal to many users
- Wear OS smart technology takes some getting used to, and may be annoying for many
- The large array of buttons could also prove to be distracting for many
- Not great for non-fitness fans
Why choose a smartwatch without a phone?
Choosing a smartwatch that does not need to be continuously connected to a phone can be a great decision for a variety of different reasons.
Also, it is not always necessary to have a phone in tandem with a smartwatch. A smartwatch has varying different levels of fitness tracking if this is what you are primarily going to use the smartwatch for.
A smartwatch can navigate music control without a phone depending on the brand and model.
Voice commands, the ability to send and respond to texts, as well as the ability to make calls can also be found on some smartwatches, especially across the Apple series of smartwatches.
Things to consider when choosing a smartwatch for teenagers
First and foremost, do not always opt for the best affordable smartwatch in lieu of an expensive smartwatch. Often, the additional features that come with smartphones that distract teens require a bit more tinkering in the lab to produce, so be prepared for that.
Additionally, teens who are not predominantly physically active may not find much appeal in using a smartwatch that does not go hand-in-hand with a smartphone, so it will take some convincing to ensure that disconnecting from the phone does not have to be boring.
For this, you will need to promote outdoor and physical activities that can be better bolstered by using a smartwatch that does not require a phone.
But if you are seeking a cheap smartwatch for your teen, there are many that at least have a heart rate monitor and GPS tracking in addition to various levels of music control.
How does a smartwatch work without phone?
A smartwatch works without a phone primarily through the use of a SIM card or cordless, cellular technology that allows a phone to be left behind when out and about.
There is typically not anything that needs to be known beyond using the features that appear on the screen of the smartwatch exclusively. All of the watches that allow you to limit the use of a phone rely on particular smart technology or Bluetooth connectivity for certain distances.
Some smartwatches solely rely on SIM cards to run independent of a smartphone completely. But the features are severely limited in these sorts of watches.
What is the best smartwatch for 13 year old?
Something like the Garmin Vivoactive 3 would be a good smartwatch to consider for a 13-year old. The design of this watch is not too imposing but also not too small.
This watch also comes with a wide array of features in terms of physical fitness including swimming thanks to its water resistance.
Additionally, the Apple SE is also a good model to consider as it limits some of the more addictive features of a phone and only prioritizes communication.
What is the best smartwatch for a 12 year old boy?
A 12-year old boy would likely find something like the Apple Watch SE to be a fun and useful smartwatch. As mentioned, this watch limits a lot of the more time-absorbing features of a traditional smartphone and instead diverts attention elsewhere through a range of activities.
The Vivoactive 3 also has a very alluring, tech-heavy design pattern that would likely appeal to a 12-year old.
Can you call or text from a smartwatch without connecting to a phone?
Usually this will not be possible. If you want to make calls or receive and make texts, your smartwatch will have to be paired with an applicable smartphone.
It is through the use of Bluetooth technology that smartwatches are able to be taken far away from a phone and used independently of it to a certain extent. The watch must be paired in order to communicate across these means.
Can you use an Apple watch without a phone?
You will need to still have access to your cellular signal or at the very least wi-fi in order to use your watch effectively in terms of its various smart features.
In terms of using or buying an Apple smartwatch without an applicable iPhone, this is not something that can be done since both devices work in tandem with one another.
Does a smartwatch without a phone use more battery life as a fitness tracker or for sleep tracking?
Both activity tracking features will use a great deal of battery when activated. There is no clear distinction between aspects of battery life irrespective of the use of a smartphone or not.
It is true that activating and using something like GPS will drain a great deal of a smartwatch’s battery, but so will the use of heart rate monitoring and certainly something like sleep tracking. But in terms of sleep tracking, your device will likely be charging anyway since this must be done while you are asleep.
Using Bluetooth, headphones, and multiple features that use a lot of power will also drain the battery more quickly the longer you run the watch.
In summary, finding the best smartwatch for teens could potentially be a lot harder than initially suspected. Much of this has to do with the ability of the smartwatch to offer a range of smart notifications, but in all honesty, easing your teen off of reliance solely on smartphones is a healthy thing, because it reduces the need for your teen to feel pressured to engage with every little thing.
Any of the above smartwatches are great options to consider for your teen and work spectacularly without a phone.
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