Fitness Gear

The Apple Watch Series 3 With Cellular Is Not For International Travel

Written by Charlie

The new Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular has some impressive uses but it is not a good choice for international travel. Find out why you will not be able to take advantage of that connection with your travels.

I think the inclusion of cellular to the Apple Watch Series 3 was a logical next step for this very popular wearable. As I mentioned in a post last week, the Apple Watch Series 3 continues its push for runners as the Apple Watch has been since the beginning. So, having built-in cellular was a nice move for that.

But, paying extra for the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular is not a good move for someone who travels internationally and wants that type of connectivity for travel. Here’s why.

The Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular Is NOT For International Travel

Let me start by saying this – if you want the cellular function for use only with the networks and region that you bought it with (like Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or AT&T in the US), you will be just fine and it should be a nice fit.

But, one of the areas I really had wanted to see the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular shine was for travel. This would work for running in new places as well as giving you the option to cut the cord from your phone.

apple watch series 3 with cellular

Photo from Apple

I mean, imagine going out for a nice run and pulling up a route on your watch, calling an Uber if need be, receiving a phone call from your travel partner, even paying for something with Apple Pay – all while on your international travels. I realize that many people might say “that’s not me” but the truth is that more people are traveling internationally than before and cellular plans makes it increasingly attractive to use your devices while traveling.

Why the Apple Watch Series 3 with Cellular is Not for International Travel

apple watch series 3 garmin

Countries and carriers that will be compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 cellular

Here is why the Apple Watch Series with cellular will not be good for international travel. According to Apple, “Roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area.” I asked T-Mobile’s John Legere if this would work outside of the US since they are the only carrier to offer free global data on their domestic plans and did not get a response on this yet. But, going by Apple’s fine print on this and something similar from an Apple rep over on MacRumors, I think it is safe to say that T-Mobile will be the same as the other US carriers.

It will only work on the carriers (that are listed by Apple – see here) in the country you purchase it. Big bummer!

Having an Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular that would work for all your world travels would be awesome. It would be a great way to stay connected no matter where you are and whether or not you bring your phone out with you. But, without this ability, I feel that there will be many that will not pony up the extra $70 for the cellular model (unless you want the 16GB of built-in storage instead of 8GB in the regular Apple Watch Series 3).

apple watch series 3 with cellular

Photo from Apple

Hopefully, Apple will roll this out to more countries and carriers and, maybe, even release an update that will allow seamless global coverage with the Apple Watch – like we already have with the iPhone. I realize size is an issue, which is why Apple went with the eSIM, but it would be fantastic to use a Google Project Fi data-only SIM since you only pay for the data used!

Will you be buying the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular or getting a regular one (if you are

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

1 Comment

  • While I suspect you’re right, I’m hoping you’re wrong. Would love to have the sort of functionality you outline early in the article. Too bad…