Apple Unveiled New iPhones, Better AirPods, and a Badass New Smartwatch

·5 min read
Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

Apple's annual fall keynote hardware event is always one of the biggest days on the tech world's calendar. This year, the day’s announcements more than lived up to that elevated billing. And after two consecutive virtual presentations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company got to pull out all the stops with an in-person blowout for press and special guests at the Steve Jobs Theater at its Cupertino HQ.

Apple CEO Tim Cook set the expectations immediately: This day was all about AirPods, the iPhone, and the Apple Watch. The overall message was all about integration—how people can use all of Apple's personal gear to live better, more connected lives.

This is one of Apple's deepest hardware reveals in recent memory, with the standard mainline product updates to go along with some brand new device categories, giving gadget lovers even more options for the devices that they use for everything from mindless scrolling to their most important work projects.

Whether you're a hardcore Apple addict or just a casual smartphone user looking to upgrade your handset, there's plenty to be excited about. Here's what you need to know about all the new gear.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 8

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

Key Details

  • Always-on Display

  • Fast Charging

  • Swim-Proof, Dust-Proof, Crack Resistant

  • New Temperature Sensor - Overnight wrist temperature monitoring

  • Menstrual and Ovulation tracking for people who menstruate

  • Crash Detection - new motion sensors and accelerometers can detect the forces of a car accident, then notify emergency services and contacts

  • 18-hour battery life

  • Low Power Mode for 36 hours for extended battery life (available on Series 4 and later)

  • International Roaming for Cellular models

  • 4 colors: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and (PRODUCT)RED

  • Starting at $399 for GPS, $499 Cellular

  • Available for order now and retail September 16

Apple Watch SE

The pared-down Apple Watch is now in its second generation, providing many of the same smartwatch features at a less expensive cost at $249 for GPS and $299 for Cellular. Available September 16.

Apple Watch Ultra

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

The biggest news for the Apple Watch is a brand new class of wearable: the Apple Watch Ultra, a rugged, badass sports watch. The focus for the device was exploration, adventure, and endurance, with a massively extended battery life and next-level outdoor features. Look out, Garmin.

Key Details

  • Titanium Case

  • Action Button

  • Larger Digital Crown and side button to be used with gloves.

  • 3 microphones for new audio features

  • 36-hour battery life estimate; 60-hour low power estimate with OS update later this year

  • Wayfinder watch face

  • Night Mode

  • Specialized bands for different use cases: Alpine loop, Ocean band, Trail loop

  • New GPS solutions for better tracking

  • New tracking measures for serious athletes

  • Manual transitions for triathletes and duathletes

  • New track running features

  • Newly redesigned compass and tracking features for explorers, including Backtrack to retrace your steps on the trail

  • Built in 86 decibel siren for emergencies

  • WR100 water resistance and dive tracking features for scuba diving

  • $799, available for order now and retail September 23


Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

The best-selling wireless headphones in the world finally get an update from 2019, with new features and updated specs.

AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

  • New H2 chip

  • New low distortion audio driver for updates clarity

  • Personalized Spatial Audio for all-over sound and immersive listening using the iPhone's TrueDepth camera to map the users' ear shape

  • Active Noise Cancellation

  • New sizes of in-ear tips for better fit

  • Adaptive Transparency Mode, which can dampen high-decibel sounds

  • Touch Control for better

  • Up to 6 hours of listening time per charge, 30 hours with a full case charge

  • Precision finding to locate the charging case, with a speaker to make it easier

  • Apple Watch, MagSafe, and Qi charging

  • Lanyard loop for better handling

  • $249, order September 9, retail September 23


No Apple hardware event would be complete without the center of the company's connected ecosystem: the iPhone. New camera features (including an Action mode that workout filmers everywhere will love) will make these your new favorite handsets.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple
  • 6.1 inch display and 6.7 inch display, respectively

  • A15 chip

  • Enhanced Workout summary for fitness

  • Super Retina Display

  • Ceramic Shield screen

  • 5 Colors: Midnight, Starlight, Blue, Purple, PRODUCT(RED)

  • New rear camera system with 12 MP lens with better motion freezing and low-light capture

  • 12 MP TrueDepth front camera with autofocus

  • Upgrades to video recording, with new Action mode for improved stabilization

  • eSIM capability

  • Crash Detection features (like the Apple Watch)

  • Emergency SOS via satellite - free for 2 years

  • Starting at $799 and $899, respectively

  • Available for order September 9, available retail September 16 and October 7, respectively

iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple
  • Surgical grade stainless steel

  • 4 Colors Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple

  • New True Depth front-facing camera with Dynamic Island - smaller-sized notch, but interactive and intuitive for alerts and connectivity

  • New Super Retina XDR bright display with a peak of 2,000 knits

  • New personalized home screen and Always-On Display

  • A16 Bionic chip for better efficiency, display, and camera

  • 48 MP rear camera for better low-light photos, new 2x Telephoto zoom option

  • Video with Action mode stabilization and improved Cinematic Mode

  • All-Day battery life estimate

  • Starting at $999 and $1099 for Pro and Pro Max respectively, for order September 9 and retail September 16

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