It’s hacky as all hell and your battery life will be terrible. But it works.
While testing the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular last night, I floated a crazy idea past iMore editor-at-large Rene Ritchie: What happens if you set up the Apple Watch on an iPhone, then swap that iPhone’s SIM card over into an Android phone? Would the watch recognize that its paired iPhone SIM was no longer in an iPhone and stop working? Would it still work over a carrier’s LTE connection? And more importantly: If it worked, what could it do?
Well, because we embrace insanity here at iMore, we tried it. And, barring a bit of hacky behavior, it works.
I’m going to preface this write-up by saying that I personally think this is a terrible way to use the Apple Watch. Your battery life will most certainly be nonexistent, because the watch solely relies on a LTE connection. You won’t be able to get any fitness data on your Android smartphone. And you likely won’t be able to access certain features like calling internationally or sending and receive SMS messages from your watch.
How we did it
I used my iPhone 8 Plus on AT&T and the new LTE Apple Watch Series 3, along with a loaner Galaxy S8 Active from Michael Fisher (of Mr Mobile fame), who also shot a video which we’ll be posting soon.
After setting the Apple Watch up, we swapped my iPhone 8 Plus’s SIM card into the Galaxy S8 Active, and isolated the iPhone 8 Plus in Airplane mode so that there was no possible way for the Apple Watch to connect to the iPhone or remembered Wi-Fi networks.
It took the Android device a few minutes to reboot and connect to AT&T. During that time, my watch showed a depressed “Disconnected,” though