Reviews of Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone 14

Apple’s latest devices are designed to help you be more adventurous in the outdoors, become a better content creator, and, according to the company, keep yourself alive.

That’s the impression I got after testing the new iPhone 14 line, Apple Watch Ultra, and AirPods Pro 2, Apple’s latest top-of-the-line products. Yes, they are expensive, but many will feel that new offerings are worth the money.

Apple is releasing three new watch models (Apple Watch SE, Series 8 and Ultra), two iPhone models (14 and 14 Pro, each in two sizes) and second generation AirPods Pro. As a lifestyle writer for Bloomberg Pursuits, I’m going to focus on the ones that have the most features and are therefore the most expensive – the Apple Watch Ultra (starting at $799) and the iPhone 14 Pro (starting at $999).

Apple Watch Ultra

With a 49mm titanium case and rugged exterior, the Apple Watch Ultra is no ordinary smartwatch. Yes, they have all the features that other Apple Watch have, but they are capable of handling extreme outdoor conditions.

The custom action button, available only on the Apple Watch Ultra, is located on the left side of the device and is colored in international orange. This is a new hardware addition that makes it easier to navigate the watch. By pressing a physical button, you can track training intervals, launch the built-in dive computer (the Oceanic+ app from Huish Outdoors LLC, available this fall, which automatically launches after a dive, calculates and controls dive parameters), set a stopwatch, or discard waypoints—geographical points— along your route.

Combined with dual-frequency GPS, the waypoint feature allows everyone from hikers to people living in densely populated urban areas to accurately document the places they’ve been and re-trace the route they’ve taken if they get lost. Although I did not go into the woods to test the GPS system, the operation of this feature was intuitive. A single press on the action button will cause the pin to drop to the location you are in, and simply swiping the crown on the right side of the watch can take you to the previous point you dropped. Selecting the “Back” function in the Action Button app will display the route you have taken.

The regular Apple Watch Series 8 also has an upgraded compass that lets you reset waypoints and go back, but that requires more manual maneuvers without an action button, which is probably good for a lot of people who aren’t worried about getting lost in the wild. on a regular basis. the foundation.

In noisy environments—say, harsh winds on top of a mountain, or the hustle and bustle of a big city—Apple Watch Ultra features an upgraded microphone system that picks up your voice for clear phone calls, as well as a new speaker. this can turn on a loud emergency siren, which Apple says can be heard up to 600 feet or 180 meters away. (A demonstrator at the presentation said it was too loud to test.) Another life-saving feature also available for the Series 8 is a new sensor that detects a car crash and notifies emergency services.

Along with the old features for tracking sleep, ECG, heart rate and blood oxygen, both watch models have added two sensors, one on the back of the device and one inside and behind the display, to detect changes in body temperature. Apple introduces this feature as a family planning tool: Wearing the watch all the time, women can track their ovulation cycles (after the watch analyzes at least two months of temperature readings) and choose the best time to get pregnant. The idea seemed cool, but I have concerns about wearing a massive device on my wrist before bed. And willingly giving up so much data and control in favor of technology has given me some Black mirror memories.

The $799 Apple Watch Ultra can also last up to 36 hours on a single charge or 60 hours on low power, withstand temperatures from -4F to 131F, and be waterproof to a depth of 100 meters.

iPhone 14 lines

As mentioned, Apple prioritizes the “life-saving” aspect of many new features. All iPhone 14s are capable of sending an emergency SOS signal via satellite (the service will be available in November). This means that even without Wi-Fi or cellular coverage, phones can make emergency calls using satellite technology. They also have a collision detection sensor that will alert emergency services if you’re involved in an accident.

Beyond the life-saving features, there are cool features like multiple lock screen customization, better low-light photos, and more stabilized videos. I tested the autofocus front-facing camera, barely taking a selfie under the gaze of a model dressed in all sorts of shades of green, who eventually joined me in the photo and exclaimed, “Look, she can focus on both of us.” And so it was. In a dimly lit room, I captured another model’s bored face with the cameras on the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro. The three cameras balance the deep purple and brown to show the person clearly.

The iPhone 14 (starting at $799) and iPhone 14 Plus (starting at $899) seem like a standard upgrade to the iPhone 13, including improved 12-megapixel cameras and different colors (midnight, blue, starlight, purple, and (PRODUCT) RED). . Apple offers a 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen, respectively, for the two identical designs, and eliminates the Mini variant.

In comparison, the most interesting features are found in the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen sizes, they cost at least $999 and $1,099 respectively. A notable addition is the black pill-shaped area at the top of the screen where the speaker and front-facing camera are located. Apple calls it “Dynamic Island”. It is a multi-tasking tool that helps people keep track of what they are doing. Let’s say if you’re listening to music and need to switch to another app, the music app will be automatically moved to the island. Later, you can expand the island to change songs or pause the music. You can also look at it for phone call duration and animated sound form; recording a voice note; timer progress; or see a combination of applications running in the background.

The camera system makes a big difference to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which each have three cameras on the back. The main wide-angle camera has a resolution of 48 megapixels, which is a huge improvement over the 12 megapixels for the iPhone 13 Pro.

The Always-On Display for newer models dims the screen instead of turning it off completely, so users can see important information like the time, date, and temperature without touching the screen—basic settings are configurable, and you can turn off the Always-On Display, too.

And the Fitness app that used to only show up on your iPhone when you paired it with your Apple Watch? It will appear on your home screen after updating to iOS 16, even if you don’t have an Apple Watch. The Fitness+ tab in the app (this fall) is filled with workouts, meditations, and motivational episodes. New Apple Watch customers get Apple Fitness+ free for three months (existing owners get one month free), then a subscription is $9.99/month or $79.99/year.

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