One can almost see the fanboys sitting on the edge of their seats, last Wednesday midnight, watching Apple Inc. unleash its new line-up of products, internationally. With thousands of devices likely to have been pre-ordered by now, here’s our take on which products and upgrades are truly worth getting excited about, and which of them fall short of expectations. 

Fitness wearables 

The Apple Watch Ultra packs in a ton of impressive features and design elements, such as the ‘Wayfinder’ watchface or the vivid red Night Mode activated by rotating the Digital Crown, for better visibility in low-light situations. It also has a built-in siren that can be heard up to 180 metres away. 

As interesting as the upgrades are, there’s no escaping the fact that, as the company’s first smartwatch aimed at serious athletes, it has its sights set on a pretty niche demographic. This offering is likely to convince those who’re part of the Apple ecosystem already, and need a more rugged upgrade and don’t mind paying ₹89,900 - almost double the price of the Apple Watch 8.

At ₹45,900, the Apple Watch 8 packs in only a couple of upgrades—new temperature sensors to improve ovulation tracking, and a power-saver mode that claims to double the battery life. Crash Detection, Apple’s new feature is an industry-first on a smartwatch, and, in India, while it might be able to alert our specified contacts in case of an accident, there’s seems to be little clarity (at least, officially) on how it will auto-alert any emergency services. 

The best bet in case you’re looking for a price tag that doesn’t make one break out in a cold sweat is the Apple Watch SE, starting at ₹29,900. The SE has the same S8 chip and basic features such as heart rate monitoring, and crash detection - as the Series 8. 

Upgraded AirPods Pro

The second gen AirPods Pro feature a new H2 chip to cut out loud ambient noise and offer longer battery life. Priced at ₹26,900 this version also has the ‘slide-to-tweak-volume’ gestures—a feature that every other TWS company has had for at least a couple of years now!

Smartphones category

There have understandably been a few disappointed sighs around the iPhone 14 which has the same processor as last year’s models, and the same price too at ₹79,900. There’s a marginal improvement with a new 5-core GPU and a bigger sensor for the 12MP camera, to improve the quality of low-light photography, according to the company.

The iPhone 14 Plus - with a ₹89,900 tag - sports a bigger 6.7-inch screen and a bigger battery than the iPhone 14, but other features remain pretty much the same. Can’t imagine those who bought the iPhone 13s being in a tearing hurry to upgrade to these. 

Levelling up

With the iPhone 14 Pro and the 14 Pro Max, Apple users will no longer be left stranded with the notch, thanks to ‘Dynamic Island’ which serves as an extra notification bar for users to keep an eye on their music, maps, or messages. I have mixed feelings about how necessary or appealing the ‘Always-On’ display is, with its customisable updates visible for anyone to see, anytime. Apple’s latest processor the A16 Bionic makes its debut in both these smartphones.

With Apple’s first-ever 48MP camera on a phone, Auto-focus on the front camera, and a reworked algorithm for the software overall, users stand to get even better-quality images. Not that camera capabilities were ever a sore point with the iPhones. The iPhone 14 Pro is priced at ₹1,29,900. 

The 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts of three superlatives - it has the biggest battery packed in on any iPhone, says Apple. It has the brightest display among all iPhones - 1600 nits! And it’s also the costliest offering this year at ₹1,39,900. 

Costly as they both are, Apple seems to have packed in meaningful upgrades only to these two flagships as compared to the other Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. However, there’s one thing I know for sure - good value for money or not - the people who seem to have had a taste of this forbidden fruit, are always left craving more!