First Generation Apple Watch Specs and Hardware

The First-Generation Apple Watch
Apple Inc.

Introduced: Sept. 9, 2014
Available: April 24, 2015
Discontinued: n/a

The first-generation Apple Watch marks a major expansion of Apple's product line. While previous devices had largely extended Apple's core strength in computing—after all, the iPhone is essentially a pocket-sized computer, and the iPad is roughly a smaller, portable laptop—the Apple Watch represents the first time Apple has brought computing and the Internet to a non-digital, non-office-focused device.

Some of the major features of the Apple Watch includes its support for Healthkit, Apple's health-data platform that allows compatible apps to collect user data and share it with healthcare providers. The Apple Watch monitors health data at a level of detail previously unavailable in a single consumer device—including heart rate, fitness activity, and much more—thanks to a series of sensors built into the device.

Apple isn't the first company to introduce a smartwatch; earlier competitors had been released on the Android platform (such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear) and from startups like Pebble. This strategy is consistent with Apple's approach to the MP3 player and smartphone markets: don't introduce the first product; wait to learn what will make the product great and introduce the best option.

In order for the Apple Watch to work completely, it must be used with an iPhone. The watch uses the GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi features built into the iPhone to provide those services.

Some features of the Watch can work without a phone, but it's not completely clear what those are at this point.

The Watch requires iOS 8.2 and higher, which comes with an Apple Watch app used to configure the Watch and install apps.

Watch features

  • Accurate within +/- 50 milliseconds
  • Water resistant
  • Multiple watch face designs and features

    Health features

    • Detects heart rate
    • Measures calories burned
    • Suggestions of when to stand (sitting less is better for health) 

    Fitness features

    • Built in Activity app and Workout app (which syncs to Health and Workout apps on iPhone)
    • Tracks daily activity, suggests goals, and rewards milestones
    • Measure brisk exercise
    • Suggestions for workout goals customized to your exercise habits, patterns, and goals

    Communication Features

    • Digital Touch app launched with button on the side of the watch below the Digital Crown
    • Direct watch-to-watch communication, including sending drawings and heartbeats
    • Siri support 
    • Built-in common replies to communications customized to the message you're responding to; can also dictate responses or use emoji
    • Notification of alerts via vibration

    Other features

    • Glances: Widgets that can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen
    • Customizable home screen
    • Apple Pay support
    • Haptic feedback (vibrations) for notifications, turn-by-turn directions, and more
    • Support for third-party apps via new WatchKit SDK

    In the announcement, Apple CEO Tim Cook referenced many other features of the Watch, including control of in-home devices (perhaps via HomeKit), control of cars via apps, and much more.

    These features will depend on third-party app developers and hardware makers to release products that support them.

    User Interface

    • Touchscreen—The Apple Watch sports an iPhone-style touchscreen for interacting with some onscreen content.
    • Digital Crown—The side button on the phone is used to control aspects of the user interface such as zooming, scrolling through lists, and returning to the home screen. It is the major user interface control on the Watch.

    Built In Apps

    The Apple Watch comes with built in apps including:

    • Messages
    • Phone
    • Mail
    • Calendar
    • Passbook
    • Music
    • Remote
    • Stopwatch/Alarm
    • Stocks
    • Weather
    • Photos
    • Camera - not to take photos, but as a viewfinder for the camera on your iPhone
    • Sketch - an app for sending drawings to other Apple Watch users
    • Walkie Talkie - for direct messaging 
    • Tap - an app that sends a short notification, such as a color or heartbeat, to other users

    Screen Size

    1.5 inches
    1.65 inches
    Retina Display resolution on both models

    Models

    The Apple Watch comes in three styles: the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. The models are distinguished by the materials used to make them and the bands available for them.

    • Apple Watch Sport has a body made out of anodized aluminum in silver or space gray, Ion-X glass, and 5 colorful bands built for use during exercise.
    • Apple Watch offers a body made of stainless steel or space black stainless steel, a screen made of sapphire crystal, and can use up to 14 different bands.
    • Apple Watch Edition is the high-end luxury option. It comes in bodies made from 18-karat gold in yellow or rose, has a sapphire screen, and offers 6 stylish bands.

    Compatibility

    The Apple Watch is compatible with:

    Colors

    The body of the Apple Watch is available in:

    • Apple Watch Sport
      • Silver Aluminum
      • Space Gray Aluminum
    • Apple Watch
      • Stainless Steel
      • Space Black Stainless Steel
    • Apple Watch Edition
      • 18-Karat Yellow Gold
      • 18-Karat Rose Gold

    There are dozens of options for watch bands, though, which—when combined with the options for digital watch faces—leads to millions (according to Apple) of potential design combinations.

    Weight

    Not yet announced

    Size 

    1.49 inches tall
    1.65 inches tall

    Battery Life

    18 hours

    Price
    Apple Watch Sport

    • 38mm model: $349
    • 42mm model: $399

    Apple Watch

    • 38mm model: $549-$1049, depending on band
    • 42mm model: $599-$1099, depending on band

    Apple Watch Edition

    • Prices start at $10,000

    Availability

    Pre-orders and in-store demos begin April 10, 2015. The Watch goes on sale in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US on April 24, 2015.