ood news, Apple fans: the iPhone 15 family and Apple Watch Series 9 are no longer the subject of idle speculation! Apple has revealed all at a disgustingly early event for viewers in New Zealand, so here are the full details for those who didn’t fancy getting up at stupid-o-clock.
First of all, there were four new iPhones. Just as with last year, there are two regular models (the 6.1in iPhone 15 and 6.7in Plus) and two Pro models (Pro and Pro Max — also 6.1in and 6.7in).
The non-Pro iPhone 15s are a big step up from last year — though admittedly that’s partly because last year’s was near identical to 2021’s.
Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are essentially wearing hand-me-downs from last year’s 14 Pro models, meaning they both get the 4nm A16 chipset, the ‘I can’t believe it’s not a notch’ Dynamic Island and a new 48MP camera. Oh, and USB-C, which Apple somehow resisted giving a stupid new name to.
The Pro models also get this USB-C charging port, as well as the usual 120Hz screen and superior camera array with a telephoto lens. In fact, if you get the all-singing, all-dancing iPhone 15 Pro Max you also get Apple’s first periscope lens in a camera phone, which offers 5x optical zoom — though you will have to pay at least NZ$2,499 for the privilege.
The Pro models also benefit from the new lightning-fast A17 Pro chipset — which Apple says is 20% faster in games than the A16, now with support for ray tracing.
There’s also an Action Button to replace the Mute Switch. You can still use this for muting if you like, but it’s contextually sensitive and you can program it to do whatever you like (as long as it’s something prescribed by Apple).
We also got a look at the Apple Watch Series 9 which… looked a lot like the Series 8. On the inside, though, there’s a processor with a 30% faster GPU and a new four-core neural engine. Why would you need a neural engine in a watch? Apple says it’s all about making Siri faster as it’s all done locally, rather than on the cloud.
There’s also a neat new feature called Double Tap, that will let you end calls or cancel alarms by tapping your index finger and thumb together. Neat. What’s less neat is that it still has the same old 18-hour battery life, despite being more efficient. Apple has instead decided to bank these efficiencies on making the screen brighter — it can now reach 2,000nits.
Finally, there’s the Apple Watch Ultra 2 which gets the improvements of the Series 9 alongside a new screen which reaches 3,000nits. It starts at NZ$1,599, making the Apple Watch Series 9 look like a steal at ‘just’ NZ$749.
Pre-orders for watches starts today with iPhones following on Friday, and the new tech will officially go on sale on September 22.