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Where to Find Information About Data Plans for a Watch

  • 24 May 2023
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I’m thinking about getting a Samsung watch, and finding it impossible to get information about the data plans that T-Mobile offers. I see something about a $5 plan, then there’s a $10 plan, and apparently there’s a $15 plan.

Is there any place on T-Mobile’s website where I can go to see these three plans lined up against each other with a complete description of their features, similar to what T-Mobile has for its calling plans?

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Best answer by magenta2578218 25 May 2023, 00:05

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I recently just got a watch and have the $10 plan. I didn't have to go to Tmobile to activate it, you can do it while setting up the plan on your watch.

I just use my watch for notifications and calls if I don't have my phone.

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Here's what I've been able to piece together so far.

By way of introduction: Nobody needs a data plan to use a smartwatch. A smartwatch works on WiFi for free, and it can also be tethered to your phone.

You only need a data plan if you want your watch to use mobile data independently of your phone. For example, you're out for a run and you don't want to lug your monster of a phone with you.

You also need a data plan if you want to take advantage of T-Mobile's discounted pricing on watches - since that's the only way to get that discount.

First:

The data plan(s) for watches are called "Magenta for Wearables." There is a separate data plan or plans for tablets called "Magenta for Tablets."

Watches, with their much smaller screen and reduced feature set, don't require as much bandwidth as do tablets. So the essential difference between "Magenta for Wearables" and "Magenta for Tablets" is that the former is a data plan for low-bandwidth devices.

Second:

If your voice line is on T-Mobile, and you want to use the same phone number on your watch, you'll need to install the DIGITS app on your phone. The DIGITS app allows you to share your phone's number with other devices.

Why you need to install an app to share your number, I don't know. It seems to me that sharing your number with another device on your calling plan should be as simple as contacting T-Mobile and asking them to turn on that feature. But the DIGITS app does a lot more than simply sharing your phone number to other devices, so I'm guessing that in requiring an app, T-Mobile is trying to interest you in trying those other features.

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Still no progress in finding a place to read about the different "Magenta for Wearables" plans and how they compare. But I did discover that there's a fourth M-for-W plan, this one for $20.

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The digits app has a separate phone number for billing reasons.

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A helpful representative at my local T-Mobile store cleared up the mystery.

Again, nobody needs a data plan to use a watch. A watch works perfectly well on WiFi for free, or tethered to your phone via Bluetooth. A watch only needs a data plan if it will use mobile data on its own. For example: You may want to leave your phone at home while you are out for run.

You’ll also need a data plan if you want to take advantage of T-Mobile's discounted pricing on watches - since that's the only way to get the discount.

A watch without mobile data capability is a bit less expensive and doesn't incur a monthly charge for data. Of course, this is not what T-Mobile sells, because they want you to pay them every month for mobile data. If you want a watch without mobile data capability, you’ll have to buy it from the manufacturer or a reseller.

In all there are four Magenta for Wearables plans. To see the four M4W plans, so that you can compare them, you have to go through the exercise of choosing a phone. Once you have chosen a phone you will be shown the M4W plans. They break down like this:

There are two standalone plans and 2 linked plans. The standalone plans are for customers who do not have a regular phone with T-Mobile; and the linked plans are for customers who do have phones with T-Mobile. Which do you suppose is less expensive?

Within each pair of M4W plans there is a 5 GB plan and an unlimited plan.

And there you have it.

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