Apple Watch Buying Guide: Everything you need to know
Do you go Sport or the standard Watch? We answer the key Apple Watch questions in our handy buying guide
Apple Watch pre-orders go live on the 10th of April and while they’ll be available to buy from 24th of April, you won’t be able to just stroll into an Apple Store and buy one unless you’ve reserved it first.
It won’t be like buying an iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2 – you’ll need to make a reservation if you want to walk out of the shop with your very own Apple-flavoured smartwatch.
With 38 models to choose from, there’s a lot to think about. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about getting your hands on the Apple Watch.
When can I buy the Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch is available for pre-order from 8.01am tomorrow (April 10th). That means you can pre-order your chosen watch online or make an in-store appointment to pick the watch you want and pre-order it for collection on launch day.
It’ll be available to buy on 24th of April, though as we’ve already mentioned, unless you’ve pre-ordered one in-store or online, you’re unlikely to get one on that day.
Where can I buy the Apple Watch?
The best place to buy an Apple Watch will be from an Apple store or the online Apple store. Additionally, from tomorrow, you’ll be able to try on the Apple Watch by appointment at a handful of major retailers including Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Isetan in Tokyo. Retailers like John Lewis may well sell it in the future, but not at launch.
If you’ve really got money to spend, Goldgenie has already opened pre-orders for its Apple Watch Spectrum line. Just be prepared to spend at least £2,000 to get one though.
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What are the different types of Apple Watch?
There are three main model types: the stainless steel-cased Apple Watch, the aluminium Apple Watch Sport and the 18-Carat gold Apple Watch Edition.
The Apple Watch comes in the default stainless steel option along with a ‘space black’ version, while the Apple Watch Sport comes in silver or ‘space grey’ finishes. The premium Edition model is available in either yellow or rose gold. For the Apple Watch and Watch Edition, prices vary depending on which watch strap you choose.
What size Apple Watch do I need?
There are two watch face options – one measuring 42mm, plus a slightly smaller option at 38mm across. Obviously the idea is that the smaller option will cater mostly for the ladies and minted youngsters, unlike the usually misguided one-size-fits-all approach taken by the likes of the Moto 360, which is absolutely massive on those with more dainty wrists.
The Apple Store iPhone app has a handy feature that shows you the actual size of the two watch faces so that you can see how big they look against your wrist.
SEE ALSO: Best Apple Watch apps
What is the cheapest Apple Watch?
It’s no surprise that Apple’s techie timepiece is more expensive than rivals like the Pebble Time Steel and Moto 360, but if you stick to the basics, you can get one at a reasonable(ish) price.
The cheapest model available is the 38mm Watch Sport, which starts off at £299 and features the rubber Sport Band.
Apple employees get a 50% on their chosen watch, though this doesn’t apply if they want to buy the super-pricey Apple Watch Edition…
What is the most expensive Apple Watch?
If you’ve got a spare £13,500 lying around, that’ll get you the top-of-the range 18-Carat gold Apple Watch Edition with a Modern Buckle strap. Opting for a rubber Sport Band on your gold watch will bring the price to a (slightly) less eye-watering £8,000.
How do I book an Apple Watch appointment?
You can book an appointment to view the Apple Watch in store by going to the Apple Store website and tapping in your Apple ID.
Apple Watch appointments are reportedly 15 minutes in length, or longer if you’re booked in to look at the premium Edition version.
You could try your luck and pop into an Apple Store during a quiet time, but you may have a long wait and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be seen at all.
According to leaked training documents, the in-store watches will be kept in RFID protected drawers that only Apple Store employees can open so you won’t be able to just walk in and pick one up as you would with an iPhone.
Supposedly, buyers of the Apple Watch Edition will go straight to the front of the queue without having to wait around and will be taken a VIP try-on area. A 24/7 video link to an Apple Watch will be available after purchase to help buyers of the priciest models get set up.
Is there any other way I can try out the Apple Watch?
Not really. However, the Apple Watch iPhone app which is part of the iOS 8.2 update features some introductory videos to talk you through the features. It’s also where you’ll go to pair your watch and download apps once you’ve made your purchase.
If you have any burning questions that you need answered about the Watch, you can chat to an Apple specialist via the Apple Store website or call 0800 048 0408 to actually speak directly to a human.
Which devices does the Apple Watch work with?
If you want Cupertino’s latest gadget to function once its on your wrist then you’ll need to be in possession of an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or later. The latest version of Apple’s software also includes the new Apple Watch app.
SEE ALSO: Apple Watch alternatives to look out for in 2015
What is AppleCare+ and do I need it?
This is essentially Apple-branded insurance for your device and you’ll be offered it when making a purchase.
It includes telephone technical support from an Apple expert, up to two years of additional excess coverage including “up to two incidents of accidental damage, each subject to an excess fee”.
The price will be quoted when you’ve chosen which Watch you’d like to buy but you’re under no obligation to take AppleCare+ protection as well. If you feel like you’ll need regular support from an expert or that you’re likely to damage your watch then by all means go for it. If your gadgets are covered by contents insurance and you reckon you can muddle along with any tech issues on your own, then it’s just another expense on top of what is already a very pricey timepiece.
Can I buy any accessories for the Apple Watch?
The key accessory for the Apple Watch is the selection of straps. Available in a variety of colours and finishes, it’s the large selection of wristbands (among other things) that sets the Apple Watch apart from its competitors and moves it firmly into the realms of fashion.
The Sports band comes in two different sizes (four, technically) S/M and M/L – which differ slightly depending on whether you’ve gone for the 42 or 38mm watch face. Both straps are provided.
The Link Bracelet, Classic Buckle, Classic Loop and Milanese Loop come in one size for all (though, again there are two different versions for each of the watch face options). The Modern Buckle comes in just S, M or L.
Apart from alternative watch straps, the only other dedicated Apple watch accessories currently announced are the magnetic charging cables. While it appears that all watches are supplied with a charger, you can pick up a spare charger for £25. If the 1m cable isn’t long enough for you, a 2m charger costs £29.
Do you have more questions about the Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments section below