Apple's 'Far Out' September 2022 event was filled to bursting with new products, bringing us new four iPhones, three Apple Watches, and one new AirPods. Well, you get two AirPods in the box, but you know what we mean.
There was a huge amount of info to gleam, especially when it came to all the differences between the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the new features of the brand new Apple Watch Ultra, or the many ways the AirPods Pro 2 have been improved.
And TechRadar was there, to not only see the whole event live, but we also got to go hands-on with the products straight afterwards, to speak to Apple about the products, and to bring you our early verdicts on whether they're worth the upgrade – though our full, in-depth reviews will follow, naturally.
Here's everything you need to know about them all.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
At the high end of the Apple iPhone launch is the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Apple iPhone 14 Pro will debut the new Apple A16 Bionic chip, which Apple says is the most powerful smartphone chip. The new chip will also push the limits of Apple's computational photography.
The new 48MP camera sensor will use very large 2.44 micron sensor pixels, and it will group the 48MP array into a quad-pixel arrangement, so final images will only be around 12MP. The phone will combine multiple cameras to enhance telephoto images or add bokeh depth to portraits. Pro shooters can also use the full resolution and shoot in Apple's ProRAW format.
Apple says the display on the new iPhone 14 Pro, at 2,000 nits, is the brightest display on any smartphone, and matches the brightness of its Studio XDR desktop display.
The new Apple iPhone 14 Pro doesn't have a notch, or a punch hole. It has an island. Yup, Apple has branded the camera cutout, and calls it the Dynamic Island. The company has fully embraced the void, and now integrates widgets and app information as well as notifications to build on the black pill shape.
Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
As expected, Apple has announced a larger version of the Apple iPhone 14, and it is the iPhone 14 Plus. The iPhone 14 will feature a 6.1-inch display, and the larger Apple iPhone 14 Plus will use a 6.7-inch screen. The phones will use the same A15 Bionic processor found on last year's iPhone 13. Apple says these iPhone will have the best battery life ever in an iPhone.
Apple is going all-eSIM on the iPhone 14. No US model will have a SIM card tray. Every major US carrier supports eSIM, and generally a carrier will provide a QR code that helps the phone register your eSIM on the network. Apple will also launch its anticipated satellite-based SOS service. The iPhone 14 will guide users who need rescue to find and communicate via satellite with rescue services.
The camera on the new Apple iPhone 14 will get an upgrade. It remains a 12MP sensor, but will use larger sensor pixels and a wider aperture, and those aspects make more of a difference than megapixel counts. The front selfie camera also gets an upgrade. Apple says its newly branded Photonic Vision processing will lead to twice the image quality in low-light compared to the iPhone 13.
Apple AirPods Pro 2
The Apple AirPods Pro 2 have been updated with better battery life and touch controls. Apple says the new AirPods will get up to 6 hours of playback, and up to 30 hours total playback time when you include the battery built into the case. You can now adjust volume on the earbuds by rubbing the nubs.
The new AirPods Pro feature a new processing chip, the Apple H2 chip. The new chip and other audio upgrades provide a better spatial audio experience, and the new AirPods will even work with the Apple iPhone camera to create an image of your ears and provide the most personalized experience.
The new AirPods offer more dynamic transparency by filtering out repetitive noises during transparency mode, so you can hear the world around you, just not the worst parts of it.
Apple Watch Series 8
As expected, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 8 at its Far Out event. This has a temperature sensor in it, which additionally helps with menstrual cycle tracking. Apple is emphasizing that this data will be secure and private, encrypted in a way that only you can access – Apple or other outside agencies cannot.
There's also a feature called Crash Detection, which will detect if you're in a serious crash and automatically contact the emergency services and an emergency contact.
Low Power Mode is another new feature, and this offers up to 36 hours of battery by switching off some features. This will be coming as a software update to older models too though.
Other features include fast charging, an ECG, blood oxygen measurements, sleep tracking, and more. The wearable starts at $399 for a cellular model or $499 for GPS and cellular.
Apple Watch Ultra
We were expecting an Apple Watch Pro but instead we got an Apple Watch Ultra. This has a titanium case, the biggest, brightest screen ever on an Apple Watch and the largest battery – offering up to 36 hours on a single charge, or up to 60 hours if you use a new battery optimization setting.
It also includes a new button, while the digital crown has grooves to make it easier to turn when wearing gloves. Cellular comes as standard here, and the wearable seems designed for outdoor adventurers or extreme sport fans. There is a new customizable action button, and all of the buttons and crown are designed to be used with gloves on.
The Ultra seems specially fitted for extreme sports fans. It uses a separate frequency for GPS guidance that Apple says helps in dense forests or urban environments. The new Ultra can handle some extreme SCUBA diving tasks, and app partner Huish says it can replace a full dive computer. The compass can leave breadcrumbs and help you backtrack as you navigate your route.
Apple Watch SE 2
If you're after a cheaper wearable then there's the Apple Watch SE 2. This offers workout and activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, fall detection, and the same motion sensors as the Apple Watch 8 – so it also gets the Crash Detection feature.
It packs the same chipset as the Apple Watch 8 as well, so it should offer smooth performance. And it's now cheaper than before!
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.
- Matt BoltonManaging Editor, Entertainment