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Apple Watch buyers guide

If you’re looking to get an Apple Watch but you’re not sure which one to get, here’s everything you need to know!

The Apple Watch is a brand-new product, but it has long established roots both in time-keeping and technology. That makes choosing which one you’re going to get — 38mm or 42mm; aluminum Sport, stainless steel, or gold Edition; and which band, buckle, or loop you’re going to get with it — both simple and complicated.

Enter iMore’s 2015 Apple Watch buyers guide: If you need help deciding what to buy, we’ve got your back. And if you’ve already decided, you can always bookmark, email, Facebook, or Tweet this guide so that we can help your friends and family and you can get on with enjoying your new Apple Watch!

Apple Watch buyers guide podcast

If you’d rather listen than read, Serenity Caldwell, Peter Cohen, Georgia Dow, Ally Kazmucha, and Rene Ritchie spent an hour talking through all the decisions involved, and which way they’re all leaning when it comes to buying an Apple Watch.

  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio
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  • Download directly: Audio

Should you get an Apple Watch?

If you have an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus, you can use the Apple Watch. But should you get one? As we come closer to the Apple Watch’s sale date, that’s the big-ticket question. Most people need a phone. Many people need a computer. Like an iPad, however, the Watch feels like an extra accessory, and that can make it harder to figure out if you need it or not. So, let’s break down the decision process and make it a little bit easier.

  • Read our guide on deciding if you should get an Apple Watch

Should you buy an Apple Watch now or wait for the next generation?

Once you decide you want an Apple Watch you need to decide if you want it now. Buying a first generation product, be it the Apple Watch today, an original iPhone or iPad back when they launched, or a newly redesigned Mac any time, is something that used to be considered the domain of tech aficionados and early adopters. For most people, conventional wisdom was to hold off, to avoid brand new products and let the early adopters serve as the early testers. Yet as technology becomes more mainstream, products are becoming more mature, even in their original iterations. So, if you’re interested in an Apple Watch, is it okay to jump into the first generation, or should you wait for the next?

  • Read our guide on deciding if you should buy an Apple Watch now or wait for the next generation

Should you get the 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch?

Apple has provided two sizing options for the Apple Watch — 38mm and 42mm. That’s consistent across across collections, from aluminum Apple Watch Sport to stainless steel Apple Watch to gold Apple Watch Edition. Some might consider the choice obvious, based solely on wrist size, gender, or some other factor. If you’re not finding it quite so obvious, here are some things to consider when picking the perfect Apple Watch size for you!

  • Read our guide to choosing between 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch sizes

Should you get an Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, or Apple Watch Edition?

Apple has divided the Apple Watch into three collections — aluminum, stainless steel, and gold. Those three collections come at three very different price points: That alone might make it seem easy to choose between the less expensive Apple Watch Sport, the premium Apple Watch, and the high-end Apple Watch Edition, but there are also a few other factors to consider. Here’s everything you need to know to pick the perfect Apple Watch collection for you.

  • Read our guide on choosing between Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, or Apple Watch Edition

Which Apple Watch Sport band color should you get?

White, blue, green, pink, or black — the Apple Watch Sport collection offers five pairs of vibrant fluoroelastomer sport bands for you to choose from. Molded out of high-performance, fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubber, the Apple Watch Sport bands are meant for exactly what the name implies — active lifestyles. That means they’re tough enough to survive runs in the sun, workouts in the gym, and hikes in the woods. Form-fitting and skin-friendly with a pin-and-tuck-closure, the Apple Watch Sport band is what ships with every case in the Apple Watch Sport collection. There are several bright, fun colors to choose from, however, and that can make the choice more difficult. If you’re having trouble deciding, here’s some help!

  • Read our guide on choosing between white, blue, green, pink, and black Apple Watch Sport bands

Which Apple Watch band you should you get?

Bands, loops, classic and modern buckles, or link bracelets — the Apple Watch collection offers a wide range of straps for you to choose from. That gives you a lot of options, but it also means you might have a harder time making that decision. There are bands for active lifestyles, for casual comfort, and for elegant occasions. There are bands with pins, with magnetic fasteners, and with traditional buckles. There are bands with earth tones and made of metal. There are… a lot of bands! If you’re having trouble deciding, here’s some help!

  • Read our guide on choosing between bands, loops, buckles, and link bracelets

Which Apple Watch Edition should you get?

Golds in rose and yellow, bands white and black, buckles pink and red and blue — even the Apple Watch Edition offers a few choices for potential buyers. You may not have access to the range of band styles enjoyed by the Apple Watch or colors available in the Apple Sport collection, but the Apple Watch Edition does have unique bands carefully paired in distinct — and distinctly elegant — combinations. There are bands with pins for those who are active and athletic, and there are buckles both modern and classic for those who want take their Watch out on the town. Colors range, including traditional black, deep blue, soft pink, and bright red, allowing for both understatement and making a statement. If you’re having trouble deciding, here’s some help!

  • Read our guide on choosing between sport bands, modern buckles, classic buckles, and rose and yellow gold Apple Watch Editions

Should you get AppleCare+ for your Apple Watch?

Every Apple Watch comes with standard AppleCare but also provides the option to upgrade to AppleCare+. The free level of AppleCare includes a one-year limited warranty on hardware repairs, and 90 days of free technical support. AppleCare+ extends that hardware warranty and technical support to two years and adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage — though there’s an additional service fee for those. So, is it worth it?

  • Read our guide on choosing between AppleCare and AppleCare+

Need more help?

If you still have questions about your Apple Watch purchase, check out our comprehensive Apple Watch FAQ or dive into our Apple Watch Forums and ask away!

Apple Watch

  • Apple Watch buyers guide
  • Apple Watch specs
  • Apple Watch FAQ
  • Apple Watch news hub
  • Apple Watch discussion
  • WatchKit FAQ
  • WatchKit best practices

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