Reviews of Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone 14

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

That’s the vibe I felt after testing the new iPhone 14, Apple Watch Ultra and AirPods Pro 2 lines, Apple’s latest high-end products. They are expensive, yes, but many will think the new offerings are worth it.

Apple is releasing three new watch models (Apple Watch SE, Series 8, and Ultra), two iPhone models (the 14 and 14 Pro, each in two sizes), and the second-generation AirPods Pro. As a Bloomberg Pursuits reporter who focuses on lifestyle products, I’m going to focus on the ones that offer the most features and therefore the most expensive: the Apple Watch Ultra (starting at $799) and the iPhone 14 Pro (from $999).

Apple Watch Ultra

With a 49mm titanium case and rugged appearance, Apple Watch Ultra isn’t your ordinary smartwatch. Yes, it has all the features of other Apple Watches, but it can handle extreme outdoor conditions.

The customizable “action button,” only available on the Apple Watch Ultra, is on the left side of the device and covered in a color called “international orange.” This is a new hardware addition to make it easier to navigate the watch. With the push of the physical button, you can track training intervals, start a built-in dive computer (Huish Outdoors LLC’s Oceanic+ app, available this fall, which launches automatically after your dive and calculates and monitors dive), set up a stopwatch or drop waypoints along your route.

Coupled with dual-frequency GPS, the waypoints feature allows anyone from hikers to people living in dense urban areas to accurately document the places they’ve been and retrace the route they’ve taken just in case. they would get lost. Although I didn’t go into the woods to test the GPS system, operating the feature was intuitive. A simple press of the action button will drop a pin on where you are, and a simple scroll of the crown on the right side of the watch can take you to the previous point you dropped. Selecting the “Backspace” feature in the Action Button app will map the route you have taken.

The standard Apple Watch Series 8 also has the improved compass that lets you drop and go back, but that requires more manual maneuvering without the action button, which is probably fine for many people who don’t mind get lost in nature. base.

In a noisy environment, such as a strong wind on a mountain top or the hustle and bustle of a big city, Apple Watch Ultra has an improved microphone system to pick up your voice for phone calls lights, as well as a new loudspeaker. which can blast a loud emergency siren that Apple says can be heard up to 600 feet or 180 meters away. (The demonstrator at the presentation said it was too loud to test there.) Another lifesaving feature, also available for the 8 Series, is a new sensor to detect a car crash and notify services. emergency.

In addition to the older sleep, ECG, heart rate and blood oxygen tracking features, both watch models added two sensors, one on the back of the device and the ‘other inside and behind the screen, to discern changes in body temperature. Apple touts the feature as a family planning tool: by wearing the watch all the time, women can track their ovulation cycles (after analyzing at least two months of temperature readings) and decide the best time to get pregnant. The idea sounded cool, but I have reservations about wearing a large wrist device in bed. And willingly giving up so much data and control to a technology has given me a bit of black mirror flashbacks.

The Apple Watch Ultra, priced at $799, can also last 36 hours of battery life, or 60 hours on low power, withstand temperatures from -4F to 131F, and remain waterproof to a depth of 100 meters.

iPhone 14 ranges

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

Along with lifesaving features, there are some cool features like setting up multiple lock screens, taking better low-light photos, and more stabilized action videos. I tested out the autofocus front camera while uncomfortably taking a selfie as a model dressed in all sorts of shades of green looked on, who eventually joined me in a photo and exclaimed, ” Look, he can focus on the two of us.” It made. In a dimly lit room, I captured another model’s bored face with cameras on an iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro. The trio of cameras balanced the dark purple and brown colors while clearly showing the person.

The iPhone 14 (from $799) and iPhone 14 Plus (from $899) appear to be a standard upgrade from the iPhone 13, including better 12-megapixel wide 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 models and has eliminated the Mini option.

By comparison, the more exciting features are packed into the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Available in a 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen, the two 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 camera are located. Apple calls it the Dynamic Island. It’s a multitasking tool that helps people keep track of what they’re doing. For example, if you are listening to music and need to switch to another app, the music app will automatically be moved to the island. You can then expand the island to change songs or pause the music. You can also take a look at it for the duration of a phone call and an animated waveform of the audio; recording a voice memo; the progression of a chronometer; or see a combination of apps running in the background.

The camera system is a big deal for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which each have three cameras on the back. The main wide camera is 48 megapixels, a monumental increase from 12 megapixels for the iPhone 13 Pro.

The always-on display on newer models dims the screen instead of turning it off completely, so users can see essential information such as the time, date and temperature without touching the screen. The essentials are customizable, and you can turn off Always-On Display as well.

What about the Fitness app that only appeared on your iPhone after pairing with an Apple Watch? It will appear on your home screen once you upgrade to iOS 16, even if you don’t have an Apple Watch. The app’s Fitness+ tab (coming this fall) is filled with workouts, meditations, and motivational episodes. New Apple Watch buyers get Apple Fitness+ free for three months (existing owners get one month free), then the subscription is $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

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