With the latest update to Android Wear 5.1 comes support for direct WiFi connectivity from your watch, meaning that if your phone is powered off, out of range or otherwise unavailable, your watch can connect directly to the internet via WiFi to keep some of its features working.
Of course, some things probably won’t work over WiFi (hard to send an SMS if your phone isn’t available, for example) but depending on how Google has wired it up behind the scenes, even things like this could be functional if your phone is connected to WiFi as well, but not to your watch.
Regardless, to take advantage of any of these features, you’re going to need to have an Android Wear device that is actually capable of WiFi connectivity. Fortunately for us, most Android Wear devices are compatible, but there’s just a few out there that aren’t.
Here’s what we know at the moment. The following watches are known and confirmed compatible:
- Motorola 360
- Sony Smartwatch 3
The following are in doubt – support is possible, but unconfirmed:
- Samsung Gear Live
- LG Watch Urbane
The following are known (or strongly suspected) not to support WiFi:
- LG G Watch
- LG G Watch R
- ASUS Zenwatch
Ed: Updated with new information about compatibility. Sorry folks! Changing sources make accurate information difficult sometimes.