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Apple iPhone 6 Plus
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The best price of Apple iPhone 6 Plus is 2,460.00 SAR at saudi.souq.com Store.

  • This Mobile runs on iOS 8, upgradable to iOS 8.2 powered with Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based).
  • This Mobile has 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality and has 1.2 MP, 720p@30fps, face detection, HDR, FaceTime over Wi-Fi or Cellular Secondary camera
  • This Mobile has 5.5 inches (~67.8% screen-to-body ratio) inches display LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This Mobile has 16 GB, 1 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This Mobile has Non-removable Li-Po 2915 mAh battery (11.1 Wh)
  • This Mobile has Nano-SIM - Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) - Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified) sim
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2019

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Review: Vodafone Smart Ultra 6

Introduction and design

As recently as one year ago, there wasn't a great deal to say about the budget smartphone market. Aside from hero devices such as the original Moto G, consumers who bought into lower-end handsets would find often find themselves frustrated by mediocre screens and battery life. Manufacturers operated under a maxim of frugality, and even the most bone-scraping of cuts would be made.

Fast-forward to the present, and things have changed considerably. China has awoken, and with it a highly competitive domestic smartphone market. Devices manufactured by the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and OnePlus are now positioned to flood Western markets, and the established players are beginning to catch on.

Enter the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6, designed by Vodafone and manufactured by telecoms giant ZTE. With a 5.5-inch Full HD screen, 3000mAh battery, Snapdragon 615 processor and 13MP rear-facing camera, the device has formidable specifications. For £125 on Pay As You Go (locked to Vodafone), it presents itself as something of a game-changer, certainly to a British public only just getting used to the idea of a 720p screen at less than £150.

So can the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 really live up to the hype?

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Design

The first thing that's apparent when picking up the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is its impeccable balance. When creating a device that is intended to be both thin and long, while still remaining usable with one hand, balance becomes a considerable priority.

Its weight helps here too. Coming in at a mere 159g, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is light without being insubstantial. It feels as though it could take a knock with some confidence, without being so brick-like as to feel clunky.

As for design however, that is another story altogether. Upon first viewing, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 doesn't make a great impression. As the rear of the device attests, it was manufactured by Chinese giant ZTE and designed by Vodafone. And yet, it leaves the distinct impression that design was not a priority, beyond weight and balance.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

It's a nondescript grey slab with the look of having been designed by committee. However, it is pleasingly svelte, measuring in at 8.35mm – making it thinner than the portly Nokia Lumia 930.

It isn't as though the phone is exactly ugly, rather that it's eminently forgettable. Made from a grey matte plastic, the device has no features to distinguish it, save for a small chrome-effect Vodafone logo positioned carefully on the rear.

One odd feature that further suggests design-by-committee is the simulated rear back-plate. That is to say, around the device runs a raised line that very much resembles a seam, and yet it's impossible to remove the back. Many phones at this price point have a removable backplate, so the decision to fake it here is surprising. On the top of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

The left side of the Vodafone Smart Ultra Six is free from any buttons, instead offering a removable tray for a MicroSD card to supplement the generous 16GB of internal flash memory.

Moving to the right side, you'll find the power button at the bottom, and the volume controls above this. The buttons are sensibly placed given the size of the device, which is something that could easily have gone wrong. The bottom of the phone holds only a micro-USB slot, for charging and connecting to a PC.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

On the back is the 13MP rear-facing camera, along with a single bulb LED flash and a small microphone port. Moving down, there is the Vodafone logo picked out in chrome-effect plastic. At the bottom sits the single rear-firing speaker, an inconspicuous 4G logo, and device information to the bottom left.

Lastly, on the front of the device there is the call speaker, a 5MP selfie camera and, the main attraction, the 5.5 inch Full HD screen, covered with "toughened glass" (no Gorilla Glass here).

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Around the rim there is a small strip of yet more chrome-effect plastic, which looks as though it will be the first part of the phone to suffer wear and tear. At the bottom are three capacitive keys, laid out in the same manner as on Android Lollipop.

Although it isn't exactly inspiring, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 must be commended for keeping things simple. It doesn't wow, but nor is it an ugly brick like so many budget devices.

Key features

Screen

Oh boy, what a display. For the price, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 has perhaps the best screen I've ever seen. If this is where the budget market is going, then we're all in for a treat.

Just a year ago, being on a budget meant accepting a resolution of 960 x 540. How things have changed: now devices such as the Microsoft Lumia 640 are at the head of a 720p charge, bringing higher resolution panels as far down the price ladder as is currently possible.

Yet, with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 achieves a first at this price point, sidestepping its competitors with a heady PPI of 400. With such a large screen and high pixel count, video and reading on the device are a treat.

This is only emphasized by the colour accuracy of the display. Accustomed to AMOLED screens such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, I have typically been underwhelmed by LCD screens, at least in the budget section of the market where a lack of dazzle is their defining feature.

However the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 has changed my opinion, and then some. The screen is pleasant on the eyes, rendering scenes with enough vibrancy to be interesting, but without being so bright as to look cartoonish.

Being an IPS screen, good viewing angles are a given from the Smart Ultra 6. But the device even exceeded my expectations in this regard, with no drop-off in either colour or brightness, even when viewing from extreme angles.

The only slight downside to the display is the lack of Gorilla Glass. This coating is almost ubiquitous among well known phone manufacturers, and the oil-resistant coating it has helps to keep everything smooth and pleasant.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Having used devices with Gorilla Glass for quite some time, it is easy to detect its absence from the Smart Ultra 6. Scrolling through web pages often required pushing with a little more force than usual to maintain speed, which unfortunately resulted in unwanted presses quite frequently.

The device possesses an automatic brightness setting, although this isn't activated by default. Essentially, this allows the phone to detect environmental brightness and adjust its display accordingly, something that often does not come as standard in mobile devices.

The display can get impressively bright, remaining usable in all but the sunniest of conditions, again something that is unusual at this price point.

In all, this is a screen that wholeheartedly outperforms all expectations. Bright, colourful and detail-packed, this is likely one of the best panels ever available at this price point, and is a high point of the device.

Bloatware

While the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 has many admirable qualities, it also has a number of negatives. And of these, the bloatware counts as one of the most significant.

At first glance, the approach taken to the software experience on the device is refreshing. As with the hardware design, Vodafone has opted to leave things primarily as Google intended, with the Smart Ultra boasting an almost stock experience.

This is no doubt something that will leave Android purists overjoyed. Although many manufacturers try to improve on the original experience, such as with Huawei's heavily skinned P8 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, many find it difficult to do so. In the worst cases, complicated manufacturer skins can slow down the software experience, or even worse, confuse the user.

As such, the Vodafone should appeal to many – that is, until they try to text.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

When a carrier or manufacturer produces a device, especially for the budget market, services and apps come bundled in, as a way to recoup costs. Vodafone has included quite a few, of which Message+ is the most prominent. Set as the default texting app, it has a long set-up process, and afterwards turns out to be nothing more than a generic, slow instant messenger.

It is hardly alone: Direct Access, My Web, Updates and Vodafone Start, Smart Tips and Smart Flow also make an appearance. Mostly these are quite useless. Direct Access is a link to an online Vodafone accessories store, My Web is a hotlink to the Vodafone website. Updates works to keep all Vodafone apps updated (surprisingly), while Smart Flow is an alternate, buggy, home screen. Lastly, Smart Tips is a series of small guides on how to use a smartphone for the first time, which could admittedly be useful for some.

The prevalence of carrier apps on this device is only emphasized by the general light-touch approach on the rest of the device, and as such is quite jarring.

No frills 4G

4G is the mobile internet technology of the future. Marketed by everyone from phone manufacturers to mobile carriers, it is expected to deliver an appreciable improvement in mobile internet speeds for many across the country – that is, when it arrives.

One of the main barriers of entry to 4G so far, beside a lack of availability outside the big cities, has been price. When the tech debuted in the UK, it came with a significant price point, no matter the tariff. As time has gone by, this bar has been lowered with every passing month, to the point that 4G is now accessible at almost any price point.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

To date, however, the very last barrier to entry has remained stubbornly high: phone capability. When purchasing a flagship device, either on contract or SIM-free, it is expected to come with all bells and whistles, attached and working accordingly. The lack of 4G on something like the LG G3 would come as a shock, both to the press and the public.

At the budget level however, especially at the sub-£100 price point, 4G remains something of a luxury. As such, its inclusion on the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 comes as something of a surprise. And as someone used to HSDPA+, this surprise proved to be very pleasant.

In the Swindon area, using the Vodafone network, I was able to achieve and maintain download speeds of 25.77 Mbps and upload speeds of 12.40 Mbps. These are hardly the best that 4G can offer, but the difference from HSDPA+ was quite noticeable.

The inclusion of 4G helps to further set the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 apart from its competitors at this press. While other manufacturers charge extra for models with 4G (such as Motorola's Moto G 4G), that Vodafone offers it as standard is something of a coup.

Photography fun

Cameras and camera software have long been the main sphere for improvement in device design. As phones eliminate the compact camera from the market, image quality is improving with every passing model.

Again, this was something that has typically been the preserve of elite models, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, or the Nokia Lumia 1020, which respectively boast a fast aperture and a crazy megapixel count. Now, this is another battle that is moving into the budget space.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

And here is a space in which Vodafone has attempted to distinguish itself from the rest of the budget pack. The Smart Ultra 6 boasts a 13MP sensor, which is quite remarkable given the price point.

Typically, although more megapixels definitely does not equal better photos, bigger numbers sell more phones simply through sounding more impressive. Last year, many devices hovering around the £100 price point had a 5MP camera, sometimes even without autofocus. Many devices in this price bracket that have debuted so far this year have gone one better, with the Moto G 2014 and the Microsoft Lumia 640 sporting an 8MP sensor with autofocus and a flash.

With 13MP to play with, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 immediately distinguishes itself from its peers, though the performance of this sensor is quite something else altogether.

Performance and battery life

Usually, at least at the moment, when selecting a budget device, the choice of processor can be a little underwhelming. With nearly every device running either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 or a MediaTek chip, performance is mostly the same between devices. In the present that means that most are adequate for the needs of the average user, and this is certainly the case with the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6.

In fact, the device comes with a slightly higher specification than most, running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, which comes a similar architecture to the 415 but is clocked at a slightly higher speed. Keeping memory operations tiding over nicely is a healthy 2GB of RAM.

On a whole, the device runs mostly without a hitch. Running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 nips and zips between applications with only the occasional delay, and handles most games quite well.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Game Dev Story, as might be expected ran perfectly. Subway Surfers, a slightly more memory intensive game, ran with only slight hiccups when entering new areas, which did impede gameplay slightly when playing at higher speeds. Crossy Road also ran smoothly, though the likes of Dead Trigger 2 could struggle a little.

As for Geekbench, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 achieved a respectable single core score of 634, coming in at slightly under the Samsung Galaxy S4, which scored 658. The multiple core score was also acceptable, coming in at 2,091, higher than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and even approaching the performance of the Google Nexus 5.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Though not quite a patch on the Samsung Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6, the score of the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 shows just how far budget devices have come. While the top has plateaued slightly, the lower end of the market continues to makes gains.

For the average user, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 ought to suffice nicely. I generally found it a pleasant surprise in day-to-day use. If you don't expect a blazing-fast gaming demon, then this will certainly do.

Battery life

On first unpacking the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6, I was greeted with the pleasant revelation that it had a fully charged battery. Everything on the device, including several battery manager apps, assured me that this was the case, and so I went about my business without a thought.

After three hours of listening to music on Spotify via wired headphones, and checking the occasional song lyric online however, and the battery continued to read 100%. Indeed, even after two days, and shutting down from a lack of power, the battery continued to claim it had full capacity. As such, gaining an accurate measure of battery life became quite difficult.

Nonetheless, I carefully tracked my usage, and it is safe to say that the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 has a good battery life, if not exactly great. Vodafone claims that it should be possible to get up to two days' use from the device, but in my experience this is only with very light use.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Starting the day at 7am, and pounding the battery throughout the day with heavy internet use, some tethering, music, a little gaming and constant messaging, the device went caput at around 7:30 pm. In more average usage, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 ought to manage around four-and-a-half hours of screen-on time, easily enough for the average user.

However, road warriors and keen gamers will want to keep a spare battery pack handy, as the device doesn't quite have the stamina to hang with the best. Moreover, lacking any version of the quick-charge technology that has become standard among more expensive devices, the Smart Ultra 6 takes several hours to charge fully.

A battery saver mode is available, restricting processor performance and background data in order to achieve a few hours of extra use.

Although not reaching quite the same battery heights as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is a competent performer and ought to meet the needs of the average user.

The essentials and camera

From a mobile communications expert such as Vodafone, it might be expected that call quality would be excellent. Instead it is merely average, and this is entirely acceptable.

Calls sometimes sound a little tinny, and callers on the other end of the line remarked that occasionally a little echo could creep into the call, but otherwise the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is on par with its peers.

Either using 4G or HSDPA+, internet speeds were, on the whole, excellent. The device kept a strong connection almost no matter the location. As a result, browsing the web was a highly pleasant experience, especially given the extra screen space on offer.

Although the built-in Android keyboard lacks gesture typing support, it's sensibly laid out and generally quite pleasant to use, though most users will likely opt to install the far better Google Keyboard from the Play Store.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

Audio quality is something that manufacturers are increasingly focusing on, even at this price point. Consumers are beginning to expect their phone to suffice as an impromptu music player that will make them the envy of their companions.

The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 does not quite hit this note. Though the sound from the rear-firing speaker is free from distortion, this may be simply because the speaker cannot quite get loud enough to distort. Almost anything – a shower, a passing car or a light breeze – can drown out the weak beats thrown by this tiny speaker.

It isn't quite sufficient for throwing those bangin' beats, but for media consumption in a quiet room, it is about OK. There is also a surprisingly decent FM Radio app included.

GPS performance was acceptable in most situations, achieving a quick lock even in areas without a great deal of coverage.

Camera

With a 13MP rear-facing camera, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is among the first, at least in the UK, to offer so many megapixels at such a low price point.

More megapixels is not always better however. The quality of photos often depends on sensor size, generally the bigger the better. Smaller sensors gather less light, and as such often have to work harder to produce better images, utilizing software tricks to help with things like colour and sharpness than many people use to judge photos.

The higher number of megapixels however only helps to reduce the amount of light that such a small sensor can receive, in addition to negatively affecting low-light performance, this can sometimes even affect detail capture.

As such, when I activated the camera app on the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 for the first time, my expectations were not exactly high.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

The camera app itself turned out to be something of a surprise however, being both usable and customizable. Upon starting, three modes are available to the user, which can be activated by either taping or sliding, much as with the iPhone 6. "Mode" allows access to High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, filters, smile detection image capture, interval capture and a panorama mode.

Interestingly, there is also a multi-exposure mode. This allows for the capture of several images, which are then stitched together to create various effects, similar to the process of bracketing with a more traditional camera. Unfortunately, the results of this mode vary wildly, and often leave an obvious painterly look. Using it requires either a steady hand or a tripod, and as I lacked both, I found I did not use it very often.

There are also a number of manual controls, to change things such as ISO in order to better compose shots.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

On the left hand side of the app, there is a toggle to switch between the 13MP rear-facing camera and the 5MP selfie cam. There is also a timer which can be set to three, five or ten seconds, an automatic flash toggle and quick access to the settings menu, which allows for more fine-tuning of capture.

On the right, there is a toggle to activate movie capture mode (which begins capturing footage instantaneously upon selection) and a link to the gallery app at the bottom.

In good lighting, the sensor manages adequately. Fine detail isn't too smudged, colour reproduction is a little cool and noise keeps its ugly head down. Move from these conditions however, and things change for the worse. The sensor struggles to handle low-light conditions, and even in brighter settings photos can often have a smudgy look to them. Video recorded by the device is similarly flat.

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

The selfie camera is another story. With 5 MP and a nice wide-angle to play with, the snapper achieves pleasant results, even without having to resort to the horrors of the common Beauty modes found in many snappers these days.

Camera samples

Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 review

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Verdict

Though disappointing in some key areas, I found that using the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 was mostly a pleasant experience. Even at a lower price point, it manages to outcompete most of its peers, especially in terms of performance.

We liked

The full HD, 5.5-inch panel on the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is a true beauty. Offering excellent clarity, colour reproduction and brightness, it is the screen of a smartphone that is at least twice as expensive.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chugging away inside, performance on the device is great. Navigating the UI is a seamless experience, while games mostly maintain consistent framerates, outside of the more intensive titles.

Reception on the device is fantastic: even in areas where I normally receive no reception, the Smart Ultra 6 still managed to maintain a strong connection. In areas with 4G, internet speeds were commonly very fast, even when compared to other devices, especially at the same price point.

We disliked

As the competition continues to heat up at the lower end of the market, it is no longer acceptable to pass off a grey slab as a modern smartphone. Though the design of the device is inoffensive, the Smart Ultra 6 struggles to stand out against more colourful and attractive competitors.

The rear-facing camera, though possessing some promising hardware, produces only barely adequate results. Images are often washed out, with the sensor having a very poor dynamic range, and video is also very flat with a washed-out look.

Battery life, though mostly acceptable, does not meet the claims set by Vodafone. Though many users will find this acceptable anyway, this is certainly not the battery champion it is set out to be. The excessive bloatware also makes for a poor impression.

Final Verdict

For £125 on Pay As You Go, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 could be the budget device to beat at the moment. And with a large, bright Full HD screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 3000mAh battery, 13MP rear-facing camera and 5MP wide angle selfie cam, on paper this certainly appears to be the case.

However, with a bland design, poor camera performance and a battery that is only adequate, the constraints of this price point certainly make themselves heard.

In many other ways however, the Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 exceeds its price point, and then some. The screen is excellent, the performance is more than satisfactory, and the inclusion of a 4G radio, let alone a good one, at this point is very encouraging.

With the Smart Ultra 6, Vodafone is attempting to cast off the appearance of compromise that has dogged its smartphone efforts so far, and has mostly succeeded. The Vodafone Smart Ultra 6 is one of the most exciting devices of the year at this price point, and as such is well worth a look, especially if you're on Vodafone's network already.

First reviewed: July 2015










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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524 CDMA 800 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - A1522 (CDMA), A1524
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524 CDMA2000 1xEV-DO - A1522 (CDMA), A1524 TD-SCDMA 1900 / 2000 - A1524
4G Network LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 13(700), 17(700), 18(800), 19(800), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700) - A1522 GSM, A1522 CDMA
Sim Nano-SIM - Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) - Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)
Announced 11/2/2015
Status Available. Released 2014, September
BODY
Dimensions 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 in)
Weight 172 g (6.07 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 5.5 inches (~67.8% screen-to-body ratio)
MultiTouch yes
Protection Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating - Display Zoom
SOUND
AlertTypes Vibration, proprietary ringtones
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot No
Internal 16 GB, 1 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps, EV-DO Rev.A 3.1 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Blue Tooth v4.0, A2DP, LE
NFC Yes (Apple Pay only)
USB v2.0, reversible connector
CAMERA
Camera Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality
Camera Features 1/3'' sensor size, 1.5µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
CameraVideo 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps, optical stabilization, check quality
CameraSecondary 1.2 MP, 720p@30fps, face detection, HDR, FaceTime over Wi-Fi or Cellular
FEATURES
OS iOS 8, upgradable to iOS 8.2
CPU Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Messaging iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser HTML5 (Safari)
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
Java No
Colors Space Gray, Silver, Gold
Others - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic - Siri natural language commands and dictation - iCloud cloud service - iCloud Keychain - TV-out - Maps - iBooks PDF reader - Audio/video player/editor - Organizer - Document viewer/editor - Photo viewer/editor - Voice memo/dial/command - Predictive text input
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 2915 mAh battery (11.1 Wh)
StandBy Up to 384 h (3G)
TalkTime Up to 24 h (3G)
MISC
SARUS 1.19 W/kg (head) 1.19 W/kg (body)
SAREU 0.99 W/kg (head) 0.91 W/kg (body)
Updated: Best Telstra phone: 5 we recommend

Telstra has been making some big changes to its network over the past few months. From massively improving the bundled data on its plans to killing off excess data fees with automatic top-ups, Telstra has drastically improved its offerings.

And it's not just on the value front either. There's also the launch of its 4GX network last year, and the promise of LTE-A speeds of up to 450Mbps in the future.

Now with family data plans and the ability to upgrade your smartphone every 12 months when you're on a 24-month plan, it's time we took a look at which handset you should choose when you wander into the Telstra shop.

Compared with its competitors, Telstra's range is quite small. Traditionally, Telstra has been very selective with which OEM partners it works with and it tends only to take on the big name products. Though in our list, you'll also see an exclusive that you won't find on any other network.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Pound for pound, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is probably the best phone you can buy right now.

Samsung has taken on board a lot of the criticisms the world had with the Galaxy S5, from build quality to bloated, useless features, and streamlined them for the Galaxy S6.

Available in three different capacities, the Galaxy S6 is a powerhouse of a phone with a great camera, amazing screen and a feature list that makes previous Galaxy phones blush from embarrassment.

Telstra plans for the 32GB Galaxy S6 start at $81 a month on the $55 Go mobile plan, while you can grab a handset for $0 on a $95 plan over 24 months

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus

Few "best phone" lists would be complete without the iPhone, and compared with the available offering at Telstra, the iPhone 6 Plus definitely deserves to be here.

Apple's decision to supersize its iconic iPhone brand isn't for everyone, but those that love the 6 Plus' 5.5-inch screen really love it.

Throw in the fact that it incorporates optical image stabilisation, and the benefits of iOS 8, and you've got yourself a pretty stellar offering.

Telstra will make you pay a premium for that extra screen real estate though. To get the phone on a plan, you're looking at paying at least $94 a month for the 16GB phone.

If you want the phone without handset repayments, you'll need to jump on the $195 a month Premium Mobile Plan. That does include 16GB of data a month though, which is something.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Forget the fact that Sony releases a flagship every six months for a second. The fact is that Sony's last Xperia handset brought with it not just an incremental update, but a stellar miniature version in the form of the Z3 Compact.

Seriously, despite the fact it has a lower resolution that the full sized-model, this little pocket rocket delivers the same 20.7MP camera, plus Sony exclusive features like Playstation Remote Play.

Plus, the smaller 4.6-inch screen also makes it a bit cheaper than its full sized brother, which is always an appealing selling point.

Telstra offers the Xperia Z3 compact for $0 up front on a $95 Go Mobile Plan, which includes 6GB of data every month.

Microsoft Lumia 635

Microsoft Lumia 635

It still doesn't have anywhere near the marketshare as its Android and iOS-based rivals, but Microsoft's Windows Phone platform keeps on keeping on.

Telstra is using the Lumia 635 to target some of the more budget-conscious areas of the market, with the phone available for $0 on a $55 Go Mobile plan.

Given you get a more than capable LTE handset with a 5MP camera, 4.5-inch screen and the rather versatile Windows Phone platform, it's a pretty decent offering.

If you want Telstra and Windows Phone but have a tad more cash to spend, the telco also offers the Lumia 830 on its range of plans.

Blackberry Classic

BlackBerry Classic

For the vast majority of people, the Blackberry Classic is just simply irrelevant. The company that staked its success on its enterprise-grade security has struggled in a post-iPhone world.

But the Blackberry Classic is not a bad device. It has plenty of really useful features to appeal to its clientele – namely, corporate types who live and breathe typing emails on a tactile keyboard.

For Telstra customers, the Blackberry Classic is a reasonably priced option, available for $0 on a $70 Go Mobile plan.

That includes 2.5GB of included data which is a bit on the compact side for a device designed to send and receive data every minute of every day. But for the type of person who wants a Blackberry, that's easily overlooked.








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UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








;
UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








;
UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








;
UPDATED: All 38 Apple Watch designs: Every band, case and face so far

Apple Watch: watch cases and bands

Apple Watch features

This week was the Apple Watch launch day, but you can't try on the iPhone-compatible wearable yet since we're a month away from pre-orders and two weeks further from its official release date.

That's a problem for anxious early adopters who want it now. The April 24-bound smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and styles, way more than the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In fact, there are 38 different Apple Watch choices (up from the original 34) and nine default watch faces with millions of customizations, according to Apple.

Here's every Apple Watch face, band and case announced so far, giving you extra time to decide which "iWatch" should be your watch before waiting in line.

Cases: Apple Watch vs Sport vs Watch Edition

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr72v7Z7m4Y

All Apple Watches boast the same rectangular design with rounded off corners, but they're divided up into three different case "collections" based on build materials.

Starting at $349 (£299) and costing as much as $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000), the names Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition, don't tell us a whole lot about those differences, so let's explain each watch case.

The regular Apple Watch

Apple Watch design and colors

Donning the "regular" Watch puts a highly polished stainless steel case on your wrist, one that comes in glossy metal colors of either space black or stainless steel.

Protecting the precious Retina display is sapphire crystal, which is the same glass that covers the Touch ID home button of newer iPhones.

Sapphire crystal is touted as the hardest transparent material on earth next to diamond. It'll stand up to dings every time your formerly-bare wrist forgets what it's like to wear a watch.

Watch Sport

Apple Watch design and colors

Sport is the the lightest of the three Apple Watch choices thanks to its anodized aluminum case that still manages to be 60% stronger than standard alloys.

It skips out of the expensive sapphire glass in favor of what Apple calls strengthened Ion-X or aluminosilicate glass. This further reduces the weight, making it fit for active lifestyles.

Sure, the iPhone-matching matte space gray and silver aluminum case appears less shiny vs the regular Watch, but Apple's 7000 Series aluminum and Ion-X glass makes it 30% lighter.

It's also the least expensive Apple Watch version at $349 (£299) for the 38mm size and 42mm for the $399 (£339) size.

Watch Edition

Apple Watch design and colors

Watch Edition will be the most expensive Apple Watch at $10,000 (£8,000) because of its 18-karat gold case. It may even be locked inside a safe within your local Apple Store.

It's been crafted by Apple's metallurgists to be twice as hard as standard gold, says the Cupertino company, and will come in two colors: yellow gold and rose gold.

Complementing those cases are color-matching bands made of leather or fluoroelastomer plastic.

Bands are the next step in deciding on the right Apple Watch.

Six different band styles, 18 colors

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch is all about personalization with six band types and 18 colors, all of which are easily interchangeable thanks a unique slide-out locking mechanism.

Yes, it's a proprietary watch strap - did you expect anything less? - but it looks to be a whole lot easier to switch out compared to the irksome hidden pins of the Moto 360.

I'm okay with that. I want the sport band at the gym and the Milanese loop for a night on the town without the hassle of digging into the watch case with a pair of tweezers.

Link bracelet

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch choices

Available with the regular Watch, the link bracelet is one of two stainless steel Apple Watch bands. This one matches the 316L stainless steel alloy of the case.

It has more than 100 components and the brushed metal links increase in width closer to the case. A custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet.

Best of all, you can add and remove links with a simple release button. No jeweler visits or special tools required for this stainless steel or space black-colored strap.

Milanese loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch bands

One of the classiest-looking Apple Watch bands is the Milanese loop, a stainless steel mesh strap that loops from case to clasp.

Emphasizing that woven metal design, there's hardly a clasp. Its tiny magnetic end makes the strap infinitely adjustable and tucks behind the band for a seamless look on one's wrist.

An out-of-the box option with the regular Watch, the Milanese loop is truly one of a kind in that it only comes in a stainless steel color.

Modern buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch leather

A modern buckle adorns the bottom the first of three leather options among Apple Watches, complete with top-grain leather sourced from France.

The French tannery is said to have been established in 1803, but Apple puts a tech-savvy twist on the buckle. It's a two-piece magnetic clasp that only looks ordinary when together.

This leather option comes in black, soft pink, brown or midnight blue for the regular Watch and bright black, red or rose gray for the premium Watch Edition, all meant for the smaller 38mm watch size.

Classic buckle (leather strap)

Apple Watch design and colors

Apple Watch models

If the Apple Watch modern buckle is a normal-looking watch band with a magnetic twist, then the classic buckle is an ordinary-looking variant without one.

No tricks here. It's just a traditional and secure band that feeds through a stainless steel or an 18-karat gold loop and matches the watch case.

The classic buckle's leather is from the Netherlands and the color choices are as simple as can be: it comes in black for the regular Watch or either black or midnight blue for Watch Edition.

Leather loop

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch design

This is the leather-equivalent of the all-metal Milanese loop because it tucks magnets into the soft, quilted leather Apple Watch band.

The more pronounced pebbled texture also stands out from the subtle finishes of the modern and classic buckle. Apple says its Venezia leather sources from Italy.

Apple Watch buyers who go with the leather loop band have four colors choices: black, stone, light brown and bright blue.

Sport band

Apple Watch bands

Apple Watch sport band

Despite its name, the sport band is an out-of-the-box option among all three "collections," not just the Apple Watch Sport.

The band is made of smooth fluoroelastomer, so it's resilient for all activities and fastens with a simple pin-and-tuck closure. Hopefully it's easier to buckle than the Fitbit Charge.

The sport band is available in the most colors on the Sport Watch: white, black, blue, green or pink. Regular Watch and Watch Edition buyers can choose between black or white.

Apple Watch sizes

Apple Watch sizes

Less exciting, but equally important is the choice of among Apple Watch sizes. There are two case heights: 38mm and 42mm.

This opens it up to smaller and larger wrists. The 38mm size is more compact, but having that little bit extra screen space by way of the 42mm option may go a long way.

It should be noted that a few bands appear to be exclusive to certain sizes: the modern buckle is limited to the 38mm option and leather loop the 42mm size, for example.

No right-handed and left-handed Apple Watch decisions need to be made at the Apple Store, thankfully. This smartwatch is ambidextrous because the screen can be flipped.

Apple Watch faces

Apple Watch analog watches

There are nine different default faces from Apple, according to its official website, and likely a lot more to come from third-party developers currently testing out WatchKit.

The great thing about smartwatch faces is that none of them are permanent, something we were fond of when testing out Android Wear smartwatches.

Mickey Mouse is my favorite because I never got a Mickey Mouse watch as a kid. But maybe that'll be reserved for Disneyland visits now that I'm an adult.

Analog watches like Chronograph, Color, Simple and Utility can be swapped in for a more professional look that rivals today's best smartwatch alternatives.

Customizable watch faces

Apple Watch designs

Digital watch faces all have something unique to offer. Motion adds a bit of animal-inspired movement in the background, solar lets you follow the sun's path based on your location and the time of day and astronomy lets you explore space and a rotatable 3D Earth.

Modular, the grid-like ninth watch face, really defines what Apple means when it talks about complications. Most faces can be alerted to include pressing information like stock quotes, weather reports or your next calendar event, according to the company.

Apple Watch wrap-up

Apple Watch

With two sizes for most band designs, six band types, 18 band colors and three cases with two colors each, there's a lot of choice going into this smartwatch purchase.

Apple Watch is launching with a lot of personalization, echoing a time when the Cupertino firm introduced variety among its iMac G3 computers and iPod successors.

Which case and band combination I get has ultimately been determined by the price and availability. For such a new product that's bound to be outdated in a few months to years, I'm leaning toward the cheaper Sport Edition when the Apple Watch release date rolls around.








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