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Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
535.00 SAR 525.00 SAR (141.75)USD
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Quick Overview
  • This tablets runs on Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop) powered with Quad-core 1.2 GHz.
  • This tablets has 5 MP, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus and has 2 MP Secondary camera
  • This tablets has 8.0 inches inches display TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors.
  • This tablets has 16 GB (Wi-Fi)/ 32 GB (LTE), 2 GB RAM of internal memory.
  • This tablets has Non-removable Li-Ion 4200 mAh battery
  • This tablets has Yes sim
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GENERAL
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA
4G Network LTE
Sim Yes
Announced 3/1/2015
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2015, April
BODY
Dimensions 7.5 mm thickness
Weight 320 g (11.29 oz)
DISPLAY
Display Size 8.0 inches
MultiTouch Yes
SOUND
AlertTypes Yes
LoudSpeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY
CardSlot microSD, up to 128 GB
Internal 16 GB (Wi-Fi)/ 32 GB (LTE), 2 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA, LTE
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Blue Tooth v4.0
USB microUSB v2.0
CAMERA
Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus
Camera Features Geo-tagging
CameraVideo Yes
CameraSecondary 2 MP
FEATURES
OS Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
CPU Quad-core 1.2 GHz
Sensors Accelerometer
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio TBC
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black/Silver
Others - MP4/H.264 player - MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player - Photo/video editor - Document viewer
BATTERY
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 4200 mAh battery
MISC

IN DEPTH: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G Flex 2

Battery, camera comparison

Smartphones have reached the point where designs are more iterative than innovative. While the look and feel changes only slightly on new models each year, manufacturers haven't done much to wow consumers beyond the traditional rectangular slab of glass, metal and plastic.

LG attempted to shake things up last year with first G Flex, a 6-inch smartphone with a curved display and slightly flexible frame, and Samsung soon followed with their own take on this concept, courtesy of the Galaxy Note Edge, a phablet-sized model featuring a display that wraps around the right side.

These Korean tech titans wasted no time announcing all-new versions of these devices for 2015, and we sat down with both in an effort to determine whether curved and flexible displays actually enhance the experience or are little more than a marketing gimmick.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge display

Screen

Although it won't hit stores until April 10 (with preorders now available in 20 countries), the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is little more than a variant of this year's Samsung Galaxy S6, featuring nearly identical specs with one notable exception: The Edge's display gently wraps around both sides of the front.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S6 Edge offers the same 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display as its less curvaceous sibling, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 that packs in a whopping 577ppi.

The new LG G Flex 2 one-ups Samsung's latest with a 5.5-inch Full HD P-OLED display which curves slightly from top to bottom, and like its predecessor, can handle a bit of bending without breaking.

Despite the larger screen, the G Flex 2 tops out at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of only 403ppi, but LG attempts to make up for this shortcoming by comparing the curved display to its high-end televisions, offering a more cinematic viewing experience in landscape mode with three modes (Standard, Vivid or Natural) to make any content look great.

LG G Flex 2 profile

Design

Weighing only 4.66 ounces (132 grams), Samsung's curved Galaxy S6 Edge offers a premium feel that's slightly less ergonomic along the edges, but the aluminum frame and 7mm thickness make the device feel lighter than the Galaxy S6.

Roughly the size of an iPhone 6, Samsung borrowed a somewhat annoying trait from Apple's latest flagship handset: The rear camera protrudes from the back ever so slightly, presumably a design compromise to keep the device slim and trim.

Instead of curving around the edges, LG's G Flex 2 bends the entire case inward vertically, and because of the larger display size, its contoured body weighs slightly more at 5.36 ounces (152 grams) with a 5.87 x 2.96 x 0.37-inch (149.1 x 75.3 x 9.4mm) frame.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge both sides

Processor and Storage

Just because it looks so nice on the outside, that's no reason to be a slouch when it comes to what's on the inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge obliges with an octa-core, 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor clocked at 2.1GHz capped off by a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU and a whopping 3GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage for good measure.

LG mostly made up for the lack of oomph on the first G Flex by slapping an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor into the sequel, clocked at 2.0GHz with Adreno 430 GPU and the same 3GB RAM.

Unfortunately, the built-in storage on the G Flex 2 maxes out at 32GB, but up to a totally insane 2TB of additional storage is available from an optional microSD card – a feature sadly lacking on the otherwise hardware-rich Galaxy S6 Edge.

Battery, cameras and features comparison

LG G Flex 2 back cover removed

Battery

If you love the flexibility of swapping in a new battery when the current one runs out, neither of these curvy smartphones are likely to make you smile.

It's too early to know what the battery life will be like on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but the 2600mAh power pack doesn't offer a whole lot of encouragement on this front.

By comparison, the G Flex 2 packs a 3000mAh battery (reduced from 3500mAh in the previous model), but before LG can boast about having more power, there's the matter of that larger 5.5-inch display to consider.

Thankfully, the fast charging capabilities of both models should have you back in action quickly – our own review of the LG G Flex 2 topped up from a complete discharge in just over an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge camera

Cameras

Samsung hasn't held back when it comes to the Galaxy S6 Edge camera: Rocking a 16MP, f1.9 aperture sensor with dual LED flash and optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video up to 3840 x 2160, the rear camera is no slouch.

By comparison, the LG G Flex 2 borrows liberally from the LG G3 to provide a 13MP sensor that otherwise checks off the same feature list above on the Galaxy S6 Edge, although the laser auto focus is one noteworthy addition.

Neither model breaks much new ground with the front camera, however: Samsung touts a "best-in-class" 5MP sensor with 120º wide angle lens, while LG's tops out a 2.1MP, which the manufacturer claims is enough to use it as a "full HD camcorder."

LG G Flex 2 in hand

Features

The remaining feature checklist is relatively the same for both handsets: Each ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the gate, with the usual Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless on board.

Aside from curved edges, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also offers built-in Qi and Powermat-compatible wireless charging.

LG instead opted to include a selfie-friendly "Gesture Shot" mode on the G Flex 2, which provides a three-second timer on the front-facing camera that can be activated with a gesture; tilting the camera down allows the user to review images instead.

Like the original G Flex, the sequel also features that bizarre self-healing back, which didn't do all that much to impress in our own review of the G Flex 2. More impressive is the Glance view, which offers a peek at what's happening without the need to actually turn on the device.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge connected

Galaxy Edge 6 vs G Flex 2 Verdict

This two-horse race ultimately comes down to just how curvy you want: Along the edges of the handset with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or on the entire smartphone with the LG G Flex 2.

LG has a slight advantage since the handset is already available from two carriers for early adopters to take home, but to be honest, the whole concept of curved displays on a smartphone still causes us to scratch our collective heads more than be impressed.

Samsung isn't likely to woo many potential Galaxy S6 buyers away from the flagship device in favor of the Galaxy S6 Edge either, but those in search of a more premium edition worthy of making friends envious will want to wait it out a bit longer – assuming you can afford it, that is.








IN DEPTH: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs LG G Flex 2

Battery, camera comparison

Smartphones have reached the point where designs are more iterative than innovative. While the look and feel changes only slightly on new models each year, manufacturers haven't done much to wow consumers beyond the traditional rectangular slab of glass, metal and plastic.

LG attempted to shake things up last year with first G Flex, a 6-inch smartphone with a curved display and slightly flexible frame, and Samsung soon followed with their own take on this concept, courtesy of the Galaxy Note Edge, a phablet-sized model featuring a display that wraps around the right side.

These Korean tech titans wasted no time announcing all-new versions of these devices for 2015, and we sat down with both in an effort to determine whether curved and flexible displays actually enhance the experience or are little more than a marketing gimmick.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge display

Screen

Although it won't hit stores until April 10 (with preorders now available in 20 countries), the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is little more than a variant of this year's Samsung Galaxy S6, featuring nearly identical specs with one notable exception: The Edge's display gently wraps around both sides of the front.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S6 Edge offers the same 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display as its less curvaceous sibling, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 that packs in a whopping 577ppi.

The new LG G Flex 2 one-ups Samsung's latest with a 5.5-inch Full HD P-OLED display which curves slightly from top to bottom, and like its predecessor, can handle a bit of bending without breaking.

Despite the larger screen, the G Flex 2 tops out at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of only 403ppi, but LG attempts to make up for this shortcoming by comparing the curved display to its high-end televisions, offering a more cinematic viewing experience in landscape mode with three modes (Standard, Vivid or Natural) to make any content look great.

LG G Flex 2 profile

Design

Weighing only 4.66 ounces (132 grams), Samsung's curved Galaxy S6 Edge offers a premium feel that's slightly less ergonomic along the edges, but the aluminum frame and 7mm thickness make the device feel lighter than the Galaxy S6.

Roughly the size of an iPhone 6, Samsung borrowed a somewhat annoying trait from Apple's latest flagship handset: The rear camera protrudes from the back ever so slightly, presumably a design compromise to keep the device slim and trim.

Instead of curving around the edges, LG's G Flex 2 bends the entire case inward vertically, and because of the larger display size, its contoured body weighs slightly more at 5.36 ounces (152 grams) with a 5.87 x 2.96 x 0.37-inch (149.1 x 75.3 x 9.4mm) frame.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge both sides

Processor and Storage

Just because it looks so nice on the outside, that's no reason to be a slouch when it comes to what's on the inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge obliges with an octa-core, 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor clocked at 2.1GHz capped off by a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU and a whopping 3GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage for good measure.

LG mostly made up for the lack of oomph on the first G Flex by slapping an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor into the sequel, clocked at 2.0GHz with Adreno 430 GPU and the same 3GB RAM.

Unfortunately, the built-in storage on the G Flex 2 maxes out at 32GB, but up to a totally insane 2TB of additional storage is available from an optional microSD card – a feature sadly lacking on the otherwise hardware-rich Galaxy S6 Edge.

Battery, cameras and features comparison

LG G Flex 2 back cover removed

Battery

If you love the flexibility of swapping in a new battery when the current one runs out, neither of these curvy smartphones are likely to make you smile.

It's too early to know what the battery life will be like on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but the 2600mAh power pack doesn't offer a whole lot of encouragement on this front.

By comparison, the G Flex 2 packs a 3000mAh battery (reduced from 3500mAh in the previous model), but before LG can boast about having more power, there's the matter of that larger 5.5-inch display to consider.

Thankfully, the fast charging capabilities of both models should have you back in action quickly – our own review of the LG G Flex 2 topped up from a complete discharge in just over an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge camera

Cameras

Samsung hasn't held back when it comes to the Galaxy S6 Edge camera: Rocking a 16MP, f1.9 aperture sensor with dual LED flash and optical image stabilization capable of shooting 4K video up to 3840 x 2160, the rear camera is no slouch.

By comparison, the LG G Flex 2 borrows liberally from the LG G3 to provide a 13MP sensor that otherwise checks off the same feature list above on the Galaxy S6 Edge, although the laser auto focus is one noteworthy addition.

Neither model breaks much new ground with the front camera, however: Samsung touts a "best-in-class" 5MP sensor with 120º wide angle lens, while LG's tops out a 2.1MP, which the manufacturer claims is enough to use it as a "full HD camcorder."

LG G Flex 2 in hand

Features

The remaining feature checklist is relatively the same for both handsets: Each ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the gate, with the usual Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless on board.

Aside from curved edges, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge also offers built-in Qi and Powermat-compatible wireless charging.

LG instead opted to include a selfie-friendly "Gesture Shot" mode on the G Flex 2, which provides a three-second timer on the front-facing camera that can be activated with a gesture; tilting the camera down allows the user to review images instead.

Like the original G Flex, the sequel also features that bizarre self-healing back, which didn't do all that much to impress in our own review of the G Flex 2. More impressive is the Glance view, which offers a peek at what's happening without the need to actually turn on the device.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge connected

Galaxy Edge 6 vs G Flex 2 Verdict

This two-horse race ultimately comes down to just how curvy you want: Along the edges of the handset with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, or on the entire smartphone with the LG G Flex 2.

LG has a slight advantage since the handset is already available from two carriers for early adopters to take home, but to be honest, the whole concept of curved displays on a smartphone still causes us to scratch our collective heads more than be impressed.

Samsung isn't likely to woo many potential Galaxy S6 buyers away from the flagship device in favor of the Galaxy S6 Edge either, but those in search of a more premium edition worthy of making friends envious will want to wait it out a bit longer – assuming you can afford it, that is.








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: iOS 9 release date, features and rumors

iOS 9 release date, compatibility and features

In between the last month's Apple Watch launch and September's iPhone 7 unveiling, the next big project for the Cupertino company is iOS 9.

Its annual mobile operating system update may be one month from its official debut, in beta form at least, during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference.

Yes, iOS 8.4 may take center stage, but when WWDC 2015 starts on June 8, you can expect an iOS 9 tease of some sort during the software-focused keynote that morning.

The new iOS is going to favor new features, apps and stability over drastic visual changes, according to the latest rumors. Here's what we anticipate next month.

iOS 9 release date

Apple has confirmed the June 8 to June 12 dates for WWDC 2015 in San Francisco, and the company always has its keynote on day one of this five-day conference.

That means registered Apple developers can expect to see and then download the next iOS update on June 8 or soon after, at least if everything holds to the same-day delivery pattern as past years.

The latest unofficial news seems to indicate that the company may hold back on iOS 9 and launch iOS 8.4 instead, debuting an artist-driven social network as part of its fresh Apple Music app.

Soon after that, there may be an iOS 9 public beta too, given all of the iOS 8 problems a year ago, and everyone else should expect the final version in September along with the new iPhone.

That three-month wait can be a good thing. iOS 9 beta 1 will be buggy and unfinished. The best features typically don't launch until the gold master version in September anyway.

iOS 9 compatibility

This may be the first iPhone and iPad software update to require a lightning cable.

iOS 9 release date

iOS 8 muscled out iPhone 4 compatibility last year, and iOS 7 said goodbye to iPhone 3GS two years ago. Is iPhone 4S on the iOS update chopping block?

That makes sense. After all, the company is gearing up for its lightning-port-required Apple CarPlay infotainment system and Apple Watch has the same compatibility chart among phones.

On top of that, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C first introduced 1GB of RAM, up from the 512MB in the iPhone 4S. It's time to retire these 30-pin dock devices.

Small iOS 9 download size

There are still plenty of iPhone and iPad users left behind in the transition from iOS 7 to iOS 8 simply because they don't have enough internal storage to make the update.

iOS 9 release date

These deprived 16GB phone and tablet owners need up to 5GB of free space to install iOS 8, and that means deleting precious apps, photos, videos and music.

With the iPad Air 2 syphoning off 3.4GB for the operating system alone, this leaves users with a paltry 12.6GB and, if you factor the 5GB needed, that's just 7.6GB for all of their content.

iOS 9 is expected to change this frustration, which has made paying for iCloud storage seem like a punishment. iOS 8.3 and iOS 8.4 beta are setting a good example with a slightly smaller footprint.

Siri update

Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant is reportedly receiving a small upgrade in iOS 9 to match the Siri found on Apple Watch.

iOS 9 release date

The silent smartwatch version of Siri has a little more color to its wavy lines at the bottom. That's all we know so far based on this week's rumors.

But there's a good chance if Siri comes with new looks, it also comes with more smarts. After all, Apple's assistant needs to compete with the more-accurate Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana.

Siri also needs to stop answering to "Hey, Siri" when we don't say actually say that command prompt. That'd be a step in the right direction.

Beats Music integration

Don't forget about Dre. Streaming music is really taking off and Beats may be Apple's answer to Google Play Music All Access.

iOS 9 release date

Not that the existing services aren't great, but one which can easily be tied into your iTunes account and include access to your existing iTunes library would certainly be welcome.

It already has iTunes and now it has purchased Beats and has access to Beats Music. It's not unrealistic to think that Apple might build the service into iOS 9, either as a pre-installed Beats Music or under new Apple branding, if it doesn't come even sooner in the form of iOS 8.4.

Apple Maps with public transit

Apple is regularly improving its once-disastrous mapping effort and with each update it becomes ever more useful, but it's still not quite a match for Google Maps.

iOS 9 release date

One major improvement which was actually rumored for iOS 8 but didn't arrive was public transit directions for bus, train and subway routes.

More ambitiously, we've also heard rumours that Apple is working on an augmented reality view that uses your camera to highlight points of interest on your screen. This could explain all of the camera-equipped Apple vans roaming the streets.

Stability improvements

The No. 1 new, but boring feature we're going to see from iOS 9 is stability. iOS 8 has been plagued with false starts, glitches and continuing Wi-Fi and battery drain bugs.

iOS 9 release date

Apple's Health app made a unfashionably late debut in iOS 8.0.1, a botched update it pulled, and its message boards are full of complaints, which Apple alluded to during the iPad event.

iOS 9 is reportedly receiving a lot of under-the-hood attention to prevent the same issues from reaching the post-beta masses in September.

With the quick adoption rate that Apple devices have over Android, there's really no time for such widespread bug-testing.

More interface shortcuts

iOS 9 is likely to open up new shortcuts, allowing you to quickly navigate menus on your iPhone and iPad with simple taps or gestures.

iOS 9 release date

Apple did a good job of this with iOS 8 via interactive notifications, frequent contacts listed in the "multitasking" menu, inline audio and video messaging and a bunch of mail app tweaks.

iOS 9 could save us even more time. We'd love to see Command Center host shortcuts to individual settings: holding down the Wi-Fi on/off switch should lead to the Wi-Fi menu, the Bluetooth switch to the Bluetooth menu, etc.

That's much faster than closing the app and heading to the settings menu to make a simple change, like pair a new Bluetooth device. Android has been able to do this trick for years.

Another Google-inspired menu change involves keeping media in the notification menu, not just on the lockscreen. Actively streaming a movie should put the controls at your fingertips.

iOS 9 feature long-shots

The list of iOS 9 feature seems rather thin at the moment mainly because no one can officially confirm much else ahead of next month's announcement.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of other updates we'd like to see added to Apple's iOS 9 beta, which is widely expected to launch this summer.

Not all of them may actually become reality, of course. But there is a strong push from users for the following ideas.

Home screen widgets

We've been crying out for widgets for years and with iOS 8, Apple is sort of giving us them... sort of.

They live in Notification Center with basic functionality at-a-glance. Pulling down this hidden menu reveals sport scores, OpenTable reservations and a Calendar preview, for example.

But what we'd still love to see is home screen widgets. Apple has kept its interface clean and that's presumably one of the reasons why widgets have taken so long to arrive in any form.

Empowering users to customise their home screens can only be a good thing, though, and if Apple doesn't want to go as all-out with it as Android has, it could always look to Windows Phone for inspiration and simply make its icons "'live."

This doesn't have to be completely different to what's there now, but folders that tell you more information about changes to the apps held within is our top ask for iOS 9.

Guest and kids mode

Does someone else in your family like to get their grubby little hands on your iPad? Kids love playing games on the tablet, which is more accessible than PS4 and Xbox One.

iOS 9 release date

Letting a spouse or child borrow your expensive Apple device wouldn't be as much of a problem if there was a proper guest mode and, better yet, kids mode.

Sure, there's a very limited "Guided Access" option that restricts usage to one particular app, but a system-wide guest account for family members would be ideal for the family iPad.

Coupling this proposed guest mode with an instant Touch ID login would be even better and would one-up Google's existing multiple account interface found in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Actual multitasking

Let's be honest: using two apps at once is true multitasking. Switching between two paused apps is not true multitasking.

iOS 9 release date

Apple could upgrade iOS 9 from the latter, fulfilling the side-by-side app functionality that always seems to be rumored but never actually pans out every year at WWDC.

You could visit both TechRadar AND GamesRadar. Win-win!

A 12-inch iPad Pro would give mobile power users enough space to work with two or more apps at once, and the speculated 2GB of RAM for upcoming devices would back it up.

iOS 8 code had suggested that Apple was testing out some sort of multitasking, so it isn't very farfetched that the feature could make its official debut in iOS 9.

iCloud price drop

Ready or not, everything is being saved to the cloud these days and there's no easier way to back things up on an iPhone and iPad than iCloud Drive.

iOS 9 release date

Apple's cloud-based ecosystem automatically saves photos, video and documents exactly like every other file hosting platform out there - except it costs more.

Yes, there's 5GB of free storage space, but that's not even big enough to remotely back up a 16GB iPhone. Paying for 20GB isn't big enough if you own more than one Apple device.

1TB of space from Dropbox and Google Drive is half the price of iCloud Drive and that really needs to change with iOS 9's native cloud storage system.

Ability to default to third party apps

Apple still has the largest and most diverse selection of apps of any mobile OS, but it largely keeps them at arms-length and keeps the core smartphone operations fairly locked down.

iOS 9 release date

There aren't any third party SMS apps for example and while there are alternatives to the "Mail" app, there's nothing built into iOS to let you make one of them the default email app.

Even if iOS 9 doesn't let us open up more APIs to developers, it'd be nice to at least be able to open up a Mail webpage link in the Chrome browser instead of defaulting to Safari, or use Siri to call look up directions in Google Maps.

Hide apps that can't be uninstalled

Apple clearly doesn't want people deleting the stock apps that come with iOS, yet we'd wager we're not alone in saying that we don't use all of them - they clog up the home screen.

iOS 9 release date

Android has its app drawer and we don't expect as major an addition as that, but maybe just a 'hide' option against them in the settings screen. Then you can always go back in and unhide the forgettable apps if and when you decide that you do want to use them.

This is a feature that would become even more important if Apple let us change the default apps as suggested above.

Less reliance on iTunes

Liking iOS doesn't necessarily mean liking iTunes and it definitely doesn't mean liking being forced to use it whenever you connect your iPhone and iPad to a computer.

iOS 9 release date

It's a rather divisive piece of software and there are times when simply being able to mount your iDevice as a drive, wade through its folders and cut and paste things would seem an easier way to go about managing it, so it would be great if Apple let us do just that with iOS 9.

It doesn't have to ditch iTunes, just give us the option to use something else.

Embrace jailbreaking rather than trying to prevent it

Apple has always done its best to prevent jailbreaking. Of course, determined users always find a way. There are numerous advantages to having a jailbroken device and we're not talking about the illicit ones.

iOS 9 release date

Escaping lockdown opens up new apps and features that Apple won't allow in its walled garden. Often these are things that other operating systems already provide or which Apple will later add.

For example folders were possible on jailbroken devices long before they were added to iOS and SBSettings pre-dated the long-overdue Command Center by five years.

Of course when Apple does add these features they're normally a lot more polished and stable, but adventurous users should have the option to get new functionality early.

We're not saying Apple should build in the ability to access these things, just that it shouldn't block it, much like Google makes no attempt to stop users from rooting their devices.

We don't see Apple ever doing a 180 on this but we'd love it if the Cupertino company did make things more lax in iOS 9.








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