Apple Watch bands hit stores in limited supply

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Apple Watch sport with black fluoroelastomer band.
Apple Watch sport with black fluoroelastomer band.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch won’t be available in stores for at least a few more weeks, but if you want to get a head start on your collection of band color options, hurry to your local Apple Store now. They’ve finally got Apple Watch bands!

I ordered an extra Sport band weeks ago after deciding the white I got wasn’t for me. I’m still waiting for it, and figured I’d probably be waiting for weeks. So as soon as I heard that some stores have bands in stock, I jumped in my car and sped to my Apple Store faster than Mad Max Rockatansky fleeing from Immortan Joe and the War Boys.

Unfortunately, bands are in pretty limited supply and only a few colors are available, but I lucked out and they had just what I needed. Here’s what it’s like to buy an Apple Watch band at the Apple Store:

Apple Watch Sport has better display than pricier models

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Is Apple Watch demand waning?
Apple Watch already has a ton of apps. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is pushing into new territory with the Apple Watch, by making it the first device to come from Cupertino that uses an OLED display. One of the reasons Apple’s never brought OLED displays to the iPhone is they’re more challenging to engineer than long-established LCDs.

Apple hasn’t given us too many details about the Apple Watch’s display yet, other than telling us it’s a ‘Flexible Retina Display’ but the team over at DisplayMate have put the new display to the test, and came away with a shocking discovery: Apple Watch Sport has a better display than the Apple Watch Edition.

Just how scratch-resistant will your Apple Watch Sport be?

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Swatch has an answer for Apple Watch. Photo: Apple
Will it scratch? Photo: Apple

Unlike the sapphire crystal used in the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition, the low-end Apple Watch Sport uses a scratch-resistant fortified ion-X glass display to protect your next must-have Apple device from the wear-and-tear of its daily grind. But how does it hold up?

Thanks to Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy we apparently have our answer. Using ion-X glass covers provided by Apple leaker extraordinaire Sonny Dickson, Hilsenteger runs the glass covers through a gauntlet of keys, knives, steel wool, and different types of sandpaper.

You can check out his video below.

Apple Watch Sport ships with a weird tri-sectioned band

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Don't expect to get two bands with this. Photo: Apple
Don't expect to get two bands with this. Photo: Apple

Recently, Apple sparked a little bit of confusion when they announced that every Apple Watch Sport would contain two separate bands. People interpreted that to mean that it shipped with two complete bands: one for small and medium wrists, and one for large wrists. But the truth is more complicated. Bad news for swappers.

How an in-store Apple Watch demo will make you a believer

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Apple Watch won't just be available from Apple Stores come August.
Apple is offering in-store Watch fittings to help customers figure out what watch to buy. We highly recommend it. There's a few surprises. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — Like a lot of people, I took the midnight plunge and bought an Apple Watch before I’d even tried it on.

But today, I got to see the device I bought last night. I went down to the flagship Apple Store in San Francisco and tried on a range of watches.

I wish I’d done this before, because I might have ordered differently.

Apple Watch band packaging looks like Swatch

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Is that an Apple Watch band box sitting on the tablet? Photo: Apple
Is that an Apple Watch band box sitting on the table? Photo: Apple

Apple might have just leaked some packaging for the upcoming Apple Watch.

The Apple Jobs website received a nice update today — including a new image of what appears to be some of the Apple Watch packaging that will hit Apple Store shelves April 24. The boxes look too thin to hold the Apple Watch and its inductive charger, so they’re more likely just for bands, but we couldn’t help but notice they look just like Swatch’s iconic boxes.

Here’s a comparison shot:

How Android Wear stacks up against the Apple Watch

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Now that we know more about the long-awaited Apple Watch, it’s time to find out how it stacks up against Google’s Android Wear platform and the growing number of wearables that support it.

There are lots of similarities between the two, but there also some big differences in software, hardware, and price that will likely help you decide which one is right for you.

What Apple Watch Sport looks like with pricier bands

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Apple Watch Sport looks good with a pricey band. Photo: WatchAware

Apple will reveal pricing details on its long-anticipated smartwatch in less than a week, but if the stainless steel version costs upward of $700, I’m definitely going the cheap route with the Apple Watch Sport.

The $350 timepiece isn’t as fashionable as its expensive gold and stainless-steel siblings, a point Apple’s website emphasizes by only showing Sport units with Sport bands. But if you pair the Sport with pricier bands, you can barely tells its the el cheapo option.

iOS developer Nick McCardel created mockups of the Apple Watch Sport with bands for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Despite its less luxe finish, the Sport’s silver and space gray aluminum cases still look great no matter what you pair them with.

Take a look at some of the configurations below: