By Lou Hattersley
With less than a month to go before Apple starts taking orders for the Apple Watch, its long-awaited entry to the wearable market. But while Apple traditionally keeps its ranges lean with two or three models of each device to choose from, it's thrown that all to the wind this time. Prepare to be inundated with options.
There are ostensibly three ranges: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. There are two different sizes to each model 38mm and 42mm and if you look closely there are even different cases in each range (Silver, Space Grey, Space Black with Gold at the top-end); beyond that are a plethora of straps, buckles, loops or bands to choose from, too.
All in all, there are 38 different Apple Watch options on offer. Even if you're all sold on it, and don't want one of the many very good alternatives instead, picking the right one to order can be a bit of a nightmare. But which one is right for you?
Best Apple Watch for Commuters
Do you spend you mornings huddled on public transport and avoiding eye contact? The Apple Watch Stainless Steel Case 42mm with a Leather Loop is the one for you. The loop clasps magnetically, making it easy to put on while the alarm is going off, while it will also look smart when you get in to the office. The Apple Watch is also hard-wearing thanks to its Sapphire Crystal display and the ceramic rear will be less irritating for some people than the Aluminium Case.
Best Apple Watch for Fitness Freaks
So you like running, exercise and healthy eating? Good for you: have a Watch Sport. It's the cheapest Apple Watch, and notably lacks the ultra-hard Sapphire screen from the more expensive Watch ranges. Don't let this put you off though, Watch Sport has a new Ion-X screen, which some are reporting to be more shatter resistant than the Sapphire Display, while the watch design itself is more knock-proof. So it's ideal for bashing around in the gym, then – look closely and you'll see two models, a Silver Aluminium case with a White, Blue, Green or Pink Sport Band and a Space Grey case with a Black Sport Band.
Best Apple Watch for the Health Conscious
A key feature of Apple's Warcg is its much touted ability to help people live a healthier life and as such all models feature a new app called Activity. This isn't a fitness app, but aims to motivate people to sit less and move around more. It measures the way you move, and keeps track of when you stand up or sit down. The heart-rate sensor on the back of each watch measures your daily calorie burn – great for those looking to cut down on the pies. The Watch Sport screams get fit, but while it's the cheapest – so will save some serious weight on your wallet at least – all models have the same sensors so you should get an Apple Watch that you're happy to wear all the time.
Best Apple Watch for Travellers
The Apple Watch is going to be a great companion for jetsetters, be it backpacking or on business. We'd suggest the Sports Band in a bright colour if you're the former, perfect for Bondi Beach. The sensors on the back and GPS connection to your iPhone will be great for keeping track of where the hell you are, while a solar charger and battery such as the PowerMonkey eXplorer will help you keep both charged up when you're on the move. Remember that it's showerproof (and rain proof) but not waterproof, though, so take it off before jumping in the sea.
Best Apple Watch for Business
If you're more CEO than budget-airline crusty, there are some super-stylish executive models at the top end of the Apple Watch range. With its Sapphire Crystal screen and Ceramic Back it certainly has a higher quality of materials than the Sport range. The Stainless Steel Case with Leather Loop strikes us as the most earnest watch in the range, ideal for the boardroom and poker-faced presentations. It's also a little more expensive than other Apple Watch models, so you look the part, but not ostentatiously so.
Best Apple Watch for the Fashion Conscious
Fashion is a fleeting, and personal, thing, and all models offer something unique. If you're looking for a watch that matches most outfits, and looks as good in the office as it does in the evening, we suggest you take a look at the Apple Watch Stainless Steel Case with Modern Buckle or Classic Buckle. The Modern Buckle clasps magnetically; the Classic Buckle has a regular clasp. Straps are available in Black, Midnight Blue, Soft Pink and Brown, although our money is on Midnight Blue.
Best Apple Watch for Working Outdoors
While you might baulk at wearing an expensive smartwatch while getting your hands dirty, there is a lot to be said for having all that info at your wrist (without having to reach, and sully, your iPhone). The Apple Watch Sport is the more knock-proof and is cheaper than the Apple Watch Edition. We expect it to be a sturdy piece of kit and there's a high-vis green option, which will be easy to find if you put it down.
Best Apple Watch for Hipsters
Ah, yes, we know what you're thinking: hand-crafted leather all the way. But can we draw your attention to the Apple Watch with Milanese Loop. We think this is the most interesting strap Apple has on offer, although it does divide opinion (not always a bad thing). The Milanese Loop is a nickname for a mesh bracelet made from metal threads stitched over and then rolled. It's super-comfortable to wear and feels super-modern despite originating from the 17th century. We think this will appeal to the Hoxton set – Swiss watch experts WorldTempus have more information on the Milanese mesh if you're interested.
Best Apple Watch for Tech Geeks
Go to the Apple Gallery and slide all the way to the right (just before you get to the ludicrous gold Watch Edition models). There you go: Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Link Bracelet. That's the one to get. Sorted.
Best Watch for the Rich and Famous
There's a rumour that Apple designers nicknamed the Gold iPhone the "Kardashian phone" during development. But if ever an Apple device was designed squarely for Kim and Kanye, then it's this: the Watch Edition. Crafted from a unique alloy that mixes the tears of Chinese factory workers with gold produced by smelters that don't participate in the Conflict Free Resource Initiative, and with prices starting at £8,000.
This article originally appeared on Lifehacker UK -- the expert guide to getting things done more efficiently, whether at home or at work.