Apple has finally unveiled its long-rumoured smartwatch and has dropped the "i" before its much-touted name. The Apple Watch (not iWatch) has been launched during the company's iPhone 6 press launch in Cupertino and it looks as if it could redefine the category.

Not only is it a watch, Apple claims that it is a "comprehensive health and fitness device". It also adopts a "breakthough user interface", not just an iOS 7 or 8 looking design.

"What we didn't do is take the iPhone and shrink the user interface and strap it on your wrist," said Time Cook.

The Watch has a dial on the side that Apple calls the "digital crown". It enables you to perform on-screen actions without needing to pinch and zoom or manipulate the touchscreen. For example, to zoom in and out of a map.

Pressing the crown button also brings you back to the home screen, which is covered in round app icons. And the display even turns on when you raise your wrist, again negating the need to constantly touch the display.

Apple's voice recognition software Siri is built into the Watch, so you can dictate to it and there are multiple sensors built in, for all manner of data reading, including heartbeat.

READ: What is Apple Watch and what can it do?

The front screen is made of toughened sapphire glass and can also sense the amount of force applied by a fingertip, not just swipes. Apple calls its haptic technology "Taptic" so the smartwatch can tell if you mean to just tap an icon or properly press on it.

There's no GPS sensor inside, instead it links to an iPhone to know where it is, but it does have other LED sensors for fitness purposes. And there's NFC inside for the same Apple Pay contactless payment system that was launched with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It also charges wirelessly, using a MagSafe induction charger that attaches to the back.

Different straps will be available, with stainless steel bands, leather straps, sports bands and those that connect magnetically. There is even an 18ct gold version of the watch, and you will be able to buy it in two different sizes, for men and women.

READ: Apple Watch could kill activity trackers and sports watches, but not the Samsung Gear S

Battery life has not been revealed, but Apple states that it is good for "all day wear", so we suspect that means you'll need to charge it nightly (much like most other smartwatches on the market).

The Apple Watch requires connection to an iPhone (from iPhone 5 and up) for use and comes in three models; Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition. It starts at $349 (£216) and will be available early 2015.

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