Apple Watch Price, features, specs and release date: Retail availability on day one likely to be constrained

Everything you need to know about Apple's swanky wearable

Apple has officially announced that its long-awaited Apple Watch is releasing in the UK on 24 April, with pre-orders being taken from 10 April.

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Apple Watch: Release Date

During Apple's Spring Forward event on 9 March, CEO Tim Cook came to the stage to announce that the Apple Watch would be releasing on 24 April.

Apple Watch Release Date and Price - Release List

This isn't a worldwide launch, but it is rolling out simultaneously across Apple's key regions. So, come 24 April Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and the UK will see queues outside Apple Stores full of eager Apple Watch shoppers. More territories will be added "soon", said Cook.

Pre-orders will be taken for the Apple Watch, both online and in store, from 10 April. However, if you're looking to buy at retail, you probably want to make sure that you reserve your watch beforehand. According to 9to5Mac, " availability for random walk-in purchases on day one will be noticeably tight."

Ahead of launch, Apple will be opening pop-up stores and kitting out its Apple Stores with Apple Watches for users to try. Interestingly, when it comes to selling the watches themselves, the 24-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will only be sold at select retailers, including Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Isetan in Tokyo. However, it appears these locations will only hold Edition watches for a limited time.

Apple watch: Price

The Apple Watch comes in three varieties, the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Each version of the Apple Watch comes in two sizes, 38mm and a larger 42mm, and of course you'll pay extra for that increased space.

The aluminium-bodied Apple Watch Sport starts at £299 for the 38mm, or you can spend £40 more and pick up the 42mm model for £339.

If you'd rather go for the swanky stainless-steel Apple Watch, the 38mm starts at £479 and the 42 at £519. However, Tim Cook did state that prices can range up to £949 depending on what Watch strap you opt to pick up alongside your new watch.

For those who wish to go all out and pick up one of the luxurious 24-karat solid gold Apple Watch Editions, prices start at a staggering £8,000 for the 38mm, and £9,500 for the 42mm. Again, depending on the strap you opt for, you could be spending up to £13,500 on an Edition watch.

Apple Watch: Battery

Apple claims the Apple Watch has an "all-day battery", which supposedly translates to around 18 hours before it needs recharging through it's magnetic induction charger.

However, looking at how Apple details the Apple Watch battery on its information page, an "all-day battery" actually translates to "90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours."


Apple Watch Release Date and Price - Watch Stainless Steel Back

Translated into other uses, the Apple Watch can give you three hours of talk time, six and a half hours of audio playback, or six and a half hours of workout time.

If you just use it as a watch and nothing else, the battery will last for 48 hours allowing for 5 time checks every hour. In Power Reserve mode, which turns on automatically when the Apple Watch battery gets low, your Apple Watch will last for 72 hours.

While battery life will certainly fluctuate depending on what you're using the Apple Watch for, it does charge rather quickly, making life a lot easier if you need to boost it part way through your day. In just one and a half hours the battery can be up to 80% charged, and in two and a half hours it'll be back to 100%.

Apple has also confirmed to TechCrunch that the Apple Watch battery is replaceable and should last up to three years before it needs replacing. However, we don't know if this is something that can be done at select jewellers, or if it needs to be sent off to Apple to be done. We also have no price on how much a battery replacement will cost.

Apple Watch: Apps

Apps for the Apple Watch have been shrouded in mystery for a while now, with only a glimpse at what we can expect to arrive when the Apple Watch turns up on 24 April.

However, during Apple's Spring Forward event we did see some apps in action and had a demonstration of what we can expect from Apple Pay.

Best Apple Watch apps: The Apple Watch apps we’d love to see

To use your Apple Watch and install apps onto it you need to pair it with your iPhone using the new Watch app bundled in with iOS 8.2. From there you can access the Apple Watch App Store and start downloading the apps you want.

As expected, you can use iTunes, Siri, Apple Pay, Mail, Facebook and Twitter from the Apple Watch. It also recieves all notifications your iPhone does, although you can tailor those in the Watch app.

During the Spring Forward event we did see some interesting NFC-based interactions that expanded beyond Apple Pay transactions. Using the W Hotel app, the Apple Watch actually doubles as your room key, meaning no need to check in at a desk, nor fumble around and remember your room key when going out. Let's just hope that your Watch has enough battery to open the door when you get back in.

There's numerous apps available for the Apple Watch, and we've put together a list of the best Apple Watch apps for you to take a look at.