Our comprehensive guide to everything Apple Watch

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The first generation Apple Watch, which was announced on September 9th, 2014, is finally available to buy. The watch, unlike other Apple products, will be sold exclusively online until Apple has time to catch up with the tremendous demand for the device. In this post, we walk you through everything Apple Watch.

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Features

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The Apple Watch is advertised as Apple’s most personal device yet. It comes with a plethora of new features, ways to communicate, customizations, ways to tell time, track your fitness and more. Right out of the box, the Apple Watch will be able to do so much without the thousands of apps available on the Apple Watch App Store.

For the timekeeping aspect of the Apple Watch, there are numerous ways to display the time with a chronograph, color, modular, utility, Mickey Mouse (we need to have Mickey Mouse), simple, motion, solar and astronomy clocks. In addition, each clock can be highly customizable to include a stopwatch, calendar, moon phases, the weather and more. Each clock can also be customized with different colors to make it very personal and specific to you.

The Apple Watch also has new innovative ways to communicate with friends and loved ones. The Digital Touch feature allows you to sketch a drawing, tap a rhythm and send your heartbeat to someone else with an Apple Watch. The watch works with your iPhone so any incoming notifications, like text messages, phone calls, mail and more can be accessed, managed and replied to on your wrist.

The watch is also designed to be a fitness and health companion. The Activity app made by Apple tracks your exercise, how many calories burned and tells you when to take a break from sitting. Their second app, Workout, shows real-time updates about your current activity, like calories burned, pace and distance. It also works with a variety of activities so the Apple Watch only uses the sensors it needs. If needed for your exercise, the Apple Watch will use the GPS sensor in the iPhone.

In addition, the Apple Watch comes with a number of built-in apps, like Stocks, Photos and Calendar, and has access to its own App Store with over a thousand apps already available. The Apple Watch also works with Apple Pay for those users that have the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c.

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Three Distinctive Collections

The Apple Watch is available in three collections: Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

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The Apple Watch Sport model has a silver or space gray anodized aluminum case with a composite back and Ion-X glass display. This watch comes with a choice of five vibrant colored bands: blue, white, pink, green and black. It is also available starting at $349 and comes in ten models. AppleCare+ can be purchased alongside the Apple Watch Sport for $49 and extends the hardware and technical support coverage for a total of two years. It also covers accidental damage to the watch for up to two incidents and has a $69 service charge for repair.

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The Apple Watch has a stainless steel watch case that is either its normal color or Space Black with a sapphire crystal display and a ceramic back. The watch comes with the choice of three different leather bands (classic buckle, modern buckle, and leather loop), two colors of the Sport bands (white and black), Milanese loop and link bracelet. It is available starting at $549 and comes in twenty models. For AppleCare+ on this Apple Watch, it costs $69 and extends warranty coverage for two years after the purchase date. It covers accidental damage to the watch for up to two incidents with a $79 service charge.

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The final collection, the Apple Watch Edition, features a watch case made of 18-karat yellow or rose gold with a sapphire glass display and ceramic back. The watch comes with the choice of two colors of the Sport bands (white and black) and two leather bands (classic buckle and modern buckle). It is available starting at $10,000 and comes in eight models. This watch has the option to purchase AppleCare+ alongside of it for $1,500 and it extends the warranty to three years from the original purchase date. Like the other models, it covers accidental damage for up to two incidents except the deductible is $1,000 per repair.

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Technical Specifications

iFixit Teardown

iFixit Teardown

Each of the Apple Watch collections feature the same specifications:

  • pressure-sensitive (Force Touch) and flexible touchscreen AMOLED Retina display
  • two vertical sizes of display: 38mm and 42mm
  • the 38mm model has a display with 272 x 340 pixels (290 ppi)
  • the 42mm model has a display with 312 x 390 pixels (302 ppi)
  • custom-designed Apple S1 SiP (system in package)
  • 8GB storage
  • Wireless: NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, ambient light
  • Microphone and speaker
  • Digital Crown
  • Watch OS (first generation)
  • 205 mAh battery
  • water resistant rating of IPX7 (up to 30 minutes of submersion in up to 1 meter of water)

The Apple Watch only works in conjunction with the iPhone and is not a standalone product. It works with the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 and 6 Plus.

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Trying on the Apple Watch

The mystery drawer with several Apple Watch models in it. This table had three drawers on this side and presumably three drawers on the other.

The mystery drawer with several Apple Watch models in it. This table had three drawers on this side and presumably three drawers on the other.

Since the Apple Watch is advertised as Apple’s most personal device, customers can try-on the Apple Watch in store before purchasing it online. These appointments can be scheduled through the Apple website, calling customer service or with the Apple Store app. At the appointment, the specialist will learn more about which watch you are interested, walk you through some of the basic features, answer any of your questions and help you buy one online. You also don’t need to purchase one; however, you can just try on the Apple Watch for the fun of it. All Apple Stores have the Apple Watch Sport and stainless-steel Apple Watch, but only select stores have the Apple Watch Edition available for try-on.

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How to Use Apple Watch

The Apple Watch operating system is a new experience for many people since it is quite different than iOS and OS X. There’s a special dedicated section on the Apple website that takes you through many of the watch’s functions, like using the Messages app, changing watch faces, communicating with Digital Touch, answering phone calls and more. The User Guide is also available as a free download on the iBooks app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. In addition, there are a few third-party books available on the iBooks app. At the Apple Retail Store, there are Apple Watch devices available to test out with iPads explaining many of the features.

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Buying the Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch is available for purchase exclusively online through the Apple Retail Store website. To purchase the Apple Watch you want, select the collection, the watch size and band color/material and add AppleCare+ if desired. For some bands, like the Modern Buckle, there’s three different sizes available. This sizing guide can be used to find the best size for you. Also, the Apple Watch Sport comes with the Sport band that can be configured to both S/M and M/L.

In addition, each box of Apple Watch is set up slightly different. For the Apple Watch Sport, the box is flat and elongated. The box comes with the Apple Watch, magnetic charging cable, USB adapter, Sport band and quick start guide. The stainless steel Apple Watch comes with a square box that also has the Apple Watch, magnetic charging cable, USB adapter, band of your choice and quick start guide. The Apple Watch Edition has a special box that doubles as a magnetic charging case and it comes with the Apple Watch, magnetic charging cable, Lightning to USB cable, USB adapter, band of your choice and quick start guide.

In another section of the Apple Store, you can purchase accessories like another magnetic charge cable or a USB power adapter. There currently aren’t any other accessories available for the watch, like a watch stand or a charging dock, but many third-parties are working on them. Additional bands can be purchased on the Bands section.

Due to the high demand for the Apple Watch, many shipping times are pushed back to May, June and July (depending on the model).