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Everything You Need to Know About Buying an Apple Watch

3 minute read

The Apple Watch officially goes on sale April 24, but pre-orders and try-on sessions start Friday, April 10. But buying an Apple Watch will be a little different than getting a new iPhone or iPad. Here’s what you need to know:

When, exactly, can I place an order?

Apple will begin accepting pre-orders on April 10 at 12:01 a.m. PDT. Customers can reserve a watch on Apple’s online store or through its dedicated app. The boldest shoppers can have the watch shipped, sight unseen, directly to their address.

What if I’m not sure about the design and the feel?

Then it’s better to reserve a fitting session. Apple Watches will be available for “preview” fittings on April 10. To manage lines, Apple is launching a new, online reservation system where customers can schedule a five- to 15-minute appointment at the display case. Just pick a watch case and band online, and you’ll be notified when it’s available for pickup at the store. Once there, a representative will make sure it’s the right fit and offer last-minute opportunities to comparison shop.

Do I have to reserve a try-on session?

Apple won’t necessarily turn away walk-in customers, company representatives confirmed in a statement to 9to5Mac, but if past launches are any guide, walk-in customers should be prepared for lengthy waits and inventory shortages. So it’s really better to have a reservation.

Can I browse different models online?

Yes, high-resolution images of every model are conveniently lined up on this gallery on the Apple website. Prices start at $349 for the 38mm Sport version and catapult to $10,000 and up for the gold Apple Watch Edition. As for fitting guidelines, Apple created a handy infographic that shows how cases and bands fit together around the average man and woman’s wrists.

When do I get my Apple Watch?

As always with Apple’s product launches, that depends on where you stand in line, so impatient shoppers should secure their place in the online queue on Friday at midnight Pacific time on the dot. There is one way to bypass the lines, however: Fork over $10,000 or more for the Apple Watch Edition, and you’ll have an hour-long fitting appointment and your own personal helpline, in case further questions come to mind.

Read next: 14 Very Cool Money Apps for the Apple Watch

11 Amazing Features of the Apple Watch

File picture shows an Apple Watch during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Apple Watch is the company's' first entirely new product category since the original iPad. It's a huge gamble for Apple and a test of the still-nascent wearable market.Stephen Lam—Reuters/Corbis
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch is the most customizable and varied product Apple has likely ever launched. It'll come in three editions made of different metals and be available with multiple snap-in wrist bands. Prices start at $349.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch has a touch interface that can sense the difference between a light touch and hard press. But it also has a "digital crown" that allows users to quickly scroll through lists without obscuring the screen.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook wears the Apple Watch and shows the iPhone 6 Plus during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Watch must be paired with an iPhone for many of its functions. The device piggybacks on the phone's data and GPS connections to pipe in directions or incoming voice calls and text messages, for instance.Stephen Lam—Reuters
New Apple Watch is pictured during an Apple event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino
The Watch, like Apple's other iDevices, will have various independent apps. Examples include a Tesla app that shows the status of your electric car when it's charging and a Starwood app that lets the Watch act as your room key.Stephen Lam—Reuters
An Apple Watch is shown during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
Apple's fitness app, one of the device's main selling points, tracks runs, walks and bike rides.Stephen Lam—Reuters
Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino
The Watch also can track your heart rate (while resting, while active) throughout the day thanks to these light sensors on the back.Koichi Mitsui—AFLO/Corbis
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
It also has Apple Pay, the company's digital payments platform. Swipe the Watch in front of a compatible kiosk and it will make an automatic online payment.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
CEO Tim Cook has said the Watch will last about a day before it needs to be recharged. So far, battery life has been the biggest downside of most wearables. The Watch recharges through the magnetic system shown here.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Unveils iPhone 6
The Watch will come with many customizable bands that slip on and click in place at the top and bottom of the device's body.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple introduces Apple Watch
It also comes in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm, to fit on different size wrists.Monica Davey—EPA
Apple Watch is shown on screen during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertin
Higher-end models of the watch could cost several thousands of dollars.Stephen Lam—Reuters
Apple Unveils New iPad Models
Apple is significantly expanding it's product reach.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
Apple Inc. Reveals Bigger-Screen iPhones Alongside Wearables
And there's one more thing...David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images
Tim Cook
It tells the time.Marcio Jose Sanchez—AP

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