Verizon Wear24 challenges iWatch and doesn't need a smartphone

Photo (c) Verizon Wireless

You can leave your smartphone at home. Wear24 will get your texts and emails without it

A watch used to be considered pretty smart if it kept fairly accurate time. Now it has to be smart enough to connect with your iPhone or other smartphone so it can display messages, email, and so forth.

Or does it?

The latest entrant in the smartwatch derby is the Wear24 from Verizon, and unlike its competitors, it doesn't need a smartphone to function.

Verizon says the watch operates automatically using your existing phone number for sending texts and making calls. It contains a SIM card similar to those used in smartphones, except that the card is embedded, meaning it can't be removed. Verizon can address the card directly and turn your service on or off and make other adjustments. 

Of course, Wear24 does more than just tell time, which is no longer considered very smart. According to Verizon, it will also: 

  • Stream all the music you want, phone-less, from Wear24 to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Perfect for outdoor fitness activities and leaving your smartphone behind. 
  • Ask Google as many questions as you want. Ask Wear24 to "set a timer," "play rock music," and more. 
  • Browse and download Google Play apps directly on the watch without having to install them onto your phone.

Verizon says the smartwatch will be available in stores and online from Verizon starting May 11 for $349.99. Customers also have the option of purchasing the smartwatch for $299.99 with new 2-year activation. You can add the smartwatch to an existing Verizon Plan for $5 monthly access, plus taxes & fees.

“This is a promising step forward in securing IoT for the masses,” Mark Bartolomeo, vice president of IoT at Verizon, said. “The GSMA’s adoption of security certification through Verizon’s Security Credentialing Service will ensure standards for operators and manufacturers across the board, creating a more secure and consistent approach to IoT security moving forward.”

Similar 4G-connected smartwatches are set to hit the market soon, including LG’s Watch Sport on AT&T’s network.

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