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What you need to know about Apple Watch, Apple's attempt to remake wearables

TechHive Staff | Sept. 11, 2014
Tim Cook finally got a chance to roll out a brand-new product--heck, a brand-new product category--for Apple on Tuesday, unveiling the company's new Apple Watch lineup at a highly anticipated press event in Cupertino. Apple demonstrated many juicy features of the watch, but left a lot to the imagination, including exactly when we can buy one. Here's a breakdown of what we know and what we still can't wait to find out.

Tim Cook finally got a chance to roll out a brand-new product — heck, a brand-new product category — for Apple on Tuesday, unveiling the company's new Apple Watch lineup at a highly anticipated press event in Cupertino. Apple demonstrated many juicy features of the watch, but left a lot to the imagination, including exactly when we can buy one. Here's a breakdown of what we know and what we still can't wait to find out.

So, Apple is finally making a smartwatch, huh?Yes it is — several, actually. The Apple Watch will have three editions, varying in materials and luxury: The Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition.

What are the differences between those three?Apple Watch is made of stainless steel, in a shiny chrome or a black finish. Its touchscreen is covered by a sapphire crystal, which should make it more scratch-resistant than the Gorilla Glass Apple has used on its iPhones. Apple Watch Sport has an anodized aluminum case (which is lighter than stainless steel) in silver or gray, and the face is Ion-X glass, which also designed to be hard and rugged (as well as a little bit lighter) than the sapphire. It's definitely the lightest of the three Apple Watch editions, making it an ideal exercise companion.

As for the Apple Watch Edition, it ramps up the luxury factor with an 18-karat gold casing in yellow or rose. As you might expect, it's heavy. Gold, y'know. The Apple Watch Edition also comes in a fancy leather box that doubles as a charging cradle!

Are there multiple models because one size doesn't actually fit all?Yes, each edition comes in two sizes, which is something we haven't seen with any Android Wear watches so far. You'll be able to get the Apple Watches in heights of 38 and 42 millimeters — about 1.5 and 1.65 inches, respectively, if you've had it up to here with the metric system. The promotional videos Apple showed during the event featured a lot of women wearing the watch, which was especially nice to see, since other smartwatch makers seem to be ignoring the slender-wristed sex more than they should.

Can you swap out the watch band?Absolutely. Apple announced six bands, and it seems like it'll be easy to mix and match any band with any watch, swapping them out as your heart desires without the aid of any tools. Apple said it's come up with its own proprietary system to make that easy — but that also means you probably won't be able to swap in just any band.

For working out, the sweat resistant elastomer Sport Band comes in black, white, pink, blue, and lime green. The Sport Band comes as the default on the Apple Watch Sport, naturally.

 

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