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Apple Watch will go on sale early 2015 priced $349

As you've almost certainly noticed, Apple launched its new smartwatch last night (opens in new tab) (alongside a pair of fresh iPhones, of course).

And the Apple Watch is expected to go on sale early next year, just as the rumour mongers had predicted.

Apple also revealed the price for the US market – or at least the price the watch will start at, which is $349 (£215 our money, but expect it to be a lot closer to the dollar price when the UK tag is revealed, of course).

Presumably that starting price is for the basic Apple Watch – the device will also come in a Sport variant, and the posh Apple Watch Edition, and two different sizes to allow a more compact option for those with smaller wrists. The Edition version is bound to be the most expensive model by far, sporting 18 carat gold.

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While the device does look pleasing (particularly with the posh finish on the Edition model), we have to say that it's a little chunkier than we imagined it would be, and looks more like a traditional smartwatch than we were expecting.

The watch hooks up with your iPhone and can of course be used for health and fitness purposes, being able to monitor your heart rate. It will perform the usual smartwatch functions, and you'll be able to send and receive texts on it, and the device will support Apple Pay, allowing you to make payments with a wave of your wrist.

Apple is also making a big deal out of how tough the watch is, with it using a "cold-forging process that makes the 316L stainless steel 40 per cent harder and less susceptible to nicks and corrosion", and the device having a scratch-resistant sapphire display.

Whether it will be able to make a case for itself at the price point Apple is pitching – particularly when you consider how expensive the high-end watches are likely to be – that's a tricky question.

Read more: Apple launch summary: A bigger iPhone, a smart Apple Watch and a new way to pay for sandwiches (opens in new tab)

We're not convinced that this is the device to fire up the smartwatch revolution as many pundits have previously theorised, let's put it that way.

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.