Apple Watch Ultra – Top 10 cellular related questions answered

The Apple Watch Ultra is a new flagship model inspired by explorers and athletes worldwide and designed for new and extreme athletes. The Apple Watch Ultra comprises features, including a built-in cellular platform.

It’s a great feeling to be phone free for a bit and enjoy a run/ride but still, have a lifeline to the rest of the world for emergencies. The cellular connection on the Apple Watch Ultra is convenient when needed.

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In this article, we look at ten common questions people have about the cellular capabilities of the Apple Watch Ultra.

1. Can I get an Apple Watch Ultra without cellular?      

      The Apple Watch Ultra comes with a built-in cellular connection capability. Apple does not have any Ultra models without cellular ability.

If you are looking for a new Apple Watch that does not have cellular, you can get the Apple Watch Series 8 GPS edition, which starts at $399.

All Apple Watch Ultra models come with GPS+Cellular. The GPS on the Ultra is a precision-oriented dual-frequency GPS, a unique feature of the Ultra. a

2. Will an Apple Watch Ultra brought into the US or Europe work in another country regarding cellular connectivity?

The Apple Watch is designed to serve the LTE and UMTS bands used worldwide. Apple produces two separate cellular models for the Apple Watch Ultra.

According to Apple, the watches have been optimized for use in the country of purchase,e and not all models will work in all countries or regions. You can check out Apple’s cellular coverage for watches by country or region and decide.

I have used the Apple Watch Series 7 bought in the US while traveling in India without any issues. ( Used Airtel to add connectivity to the Apple Watch).

The Apple Watch warranty worked out well for repair issues in India, even though I had bought the watch in the US.Apple Watch Ultra

3. Setting up Cellular on Apple Watch Ultra and seeing IMEI not valid?

If you are setting up the cellular connection on your Apple Watch Ultra using the eSIM and seeing an invalid IMEI message, it is an issue with your carrier.

Most carriers are setting up their processes to accommodate the new Apple Watch Ultra a; hence, the activation could take some time. Work with your page.

4. How easy is it to use the cellular Apple Watch if you have only used GPS versions before?

You should not have any issues working with the cellular version at all!

Once activated on a cellular plan, it will automatically switch to cellular when it is out of range of your iPhone.

There is nothing you have to do differently than with your GPS-only version of the Apple Watch.

5. Does the Apple Watch Ultra support international emergency calling services? Apple Watch lock screen options for Medical ID and SOS and Compass

According to Apple, the international emergency calling feature requires an Apple Watch Ultra (Cellular), Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular), Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS + Cellular), or Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) model.  

Check out the list of supported countries and regions.

6. Can I use a different carrier for my cellular coverage with Apple Watch Ultra?

No. With All Apple Watch cellular models, you are required to use the same carrier for both your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Furthermore, you will need to be in the carrier network range when setting up the cellular feature on your Apple Watch Ultra.

7. How do I set up the Cellular feature on my Apple Watch Ultra? choose eSIM cellular service for family member's apple watch with Apple Watch Family Setup

You can activate cellular connection anytime on your Apple Watch Ultra. To do this, start by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

From the My Watch tab, tap ‘cellular’ to get started and choose “Set up Cellular.”. You will then be guided as per your carrier’s instructions.

Once you have activated cellular on your Apple Watch ultra, you can use the Explorer watch face to check the cellular signal strength on your Apple Watch Ultra.Apple Watch Ultra display

8. I plan on using the Apple Watch Ultra as my primary cellular driver. What should I know?

You may want to invest in a few chargers if you regularly plan to be on cellular-only mode.

Given the superior battery capability on the Apple Watch Ultra, you may occasionally go a day or two without your iPhone nearby, so you may want to keep a charger at your desk at work, one in the car, and one at home to make this possible.

9. Is  Cellular Connectivity not working on Apple Watch Ultra?

If you just activated your Apple Watch Ultra cellular plan but cannot use the connection, your best bet is to check with your carrier.

That being said, here are a few tips that can help you with this problem. Please make sure you have the latest version of the watchOS 9 installed on your Apple Watch.

  1. Make sure you have cellular coverage. You can check for this using the control center on the watch or use the Explorer Watch face to check out the signal strength.
  2. Make sure the Airplane mode is not turned on accidentally on your watch. You can check this using the control center.
  3. Check to see if there are any carrier updates to the software. You can do this on your iPhone. 

10. Will the Apple Watch Ultra cellular feature work in Low Power Mode? options for low power mode on Apple Watch

According to Apple, the low power mode on the Apple Watch turns off incoming phone calls and notifications since the feature consumes a lot of battery.

When you’re in Low Power Mode, missed phone calls and notifications are retrieved periodically. New features are coming to Ultra, including the 60 hr battery expansion. It remains to be seen if Apple will add in cellular calling feature.

And yes, you can use dual SIM with your Apple Watch cellular versions. 

All iPhone models that support eSIM can have multiple eSIMs and use Dual SIM with two active SIMssimultaneouslye. 

According to Apple, If you set up multiple cellular plans using Dual SIM on your compatible iPhone, you can add both plans to your Apple Watch.

Then you can choose which one your watch uses when it connects to cellular networks. If you have an unlocked iPhone, the dual SIM provisioning can be from two different carriers.

Final thoughts

We hope that we were able to answer some of your basic questions regarding the cellular feature on the Apple Watch Ultra.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to share a tip or two.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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