This post on MacRumors inspired me to write this post. From that post:

The Apple Watch Edition line had been available since the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015, and in recent years had offered titanium casings with an additional, exclusive watch band. The Apple Watch Ultra is now the only Apple Watch to offer a titanium casing.

There’s a reason I purchased an Apple Watch Edition last year. The writing has been on the wall for a while and since I was desperately hoping for a ceramic white re-do, I was expecting Apple to do something drastic and would give us a lineup that was $199-$999 for Apple Watch with SE sitting at the bottom,  Watch at $299/$399, Ceramic at $699 as an Edition and Pro at $999 with features I wouldn’t want or need such as the inclusion of a mobile camera or extreme tolerances to cold/hot temps or high & low altitudes such as underwater tolerances that greatly exceeded where I would go. I was going to stick with the Edition watches personally.

I was worried a year ago that Edition would go away so I bought one, a 45MM Space Black Titanium and I added AppleCare which gave me a 3 year warranty. Little known fact about the Edition models that you have a 3 year warranty as, by default, they come with a 2 year standard warranty. I have almost entirely stopped using my Space Black link bracelet and now exclusively embrace my collection of sport nylon bracelets in different color styles (Pride, Olive Green, Red and Nike Grey). These are so light weight and pair well with the almost non-existent weight of the Titanium. I’ve gone totally opposite from the heavy weight of the Stainless Steel + Link Bracelet I wore every single day from series 0 until series 6. 

For iPhone, I was expecting Apple to kill Lightning in lieu of wireless only, a larger screen size and move away from the heavy stainless steel (something I actually value on iPhone) so last year, I purchased a maxed out iPhone 13 Pro Max with 1 terabyte of storage with AppleCare again expecting a 2-3 year ownership like the watch. 

On Friday, I gave Apple $2,647 and purchased:

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max, 1TB – Gold
  • Apple Watch Ultra – Orange Alpine Loop
  • AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

So much for self control. I will be selling my iPhone 13 for around $1100 since there are very few 1TB models for sale so surely there’s a person in a niche who wants that much storage and willing to pay $100 more than a 512GB capacity phone. I will not immediately sell my 45MM Titanium Space Black Series 7 watch even though it’s worth about $650 ($250 less than I paid) due to its rareness as the last non-ultra Edition in Space Black Titanium. I will be putting my AirPods Pro in my secondary carry bag that is just my iPad Pro as a backup pair because the battery is pretty good and I’d be using them in a quiet office space where the enhanced noise cancelling features aren’t necessary.

If you’d like to see a few photos of my Apple Watch ownership story (so far), I created this post last year on my move to Titanium from Stainless Steel.

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Why did I spend $899 on my watch and $1499 on my iPhone 12 months ago just to sell them a year later? Well guys, that wasn’t the plan! Duh! Apple did a few things that really convinced me that I needed to give them another wheelbarrow of cash. 

Apple Watch Ultra

I waited 5 days to pre-order this watch as I was torn between pros and cons. Here’s the reasons why and the reasons why I’m keeping my Series 7 for a while or at least until the Ultra’s return policy is up just in case I end up not liking it:

Pros:

  • 1.5 days of battery life or 5 days depending on what power mode you choose
  • 49mm display and more information on the Infographic Module that I use nearly full time
  • Protected Digital Crown eliminates false presses when I’m wearing motorcycle gloves
  • Free strap (I had bought an Orange Alpine Loop for $99 then realizing I could just spend $649 more and get the loop for free — LOL)
  • Activity Button with tracking for way points when riding off-road

Cons: 

  • Activity Button which is necessary to mark way points when off-road tracking isn’t accessible when I’m wearing gauntlet motorcycle gloves
  • Hard (not smooth) corners around the screen will mean the titanium will surely get damaged, scratched and dented when I bang it against walls, trees, motorcycle parts
  • Digital Crown may be harder to use with my full GoreTex gloves but that’s not clear
  • Larger screen = larger touch points. I already get false touches from my gloves when riding in the rain and bits of water gets between my gloves & watch face
  • Heavier than my 45MM Titanium watch by quite a bit. My S7 SB Titanium – 45.1G. My old stainless steel was 51.5 grams. The new Ultra is 61 grams. That’s a BIG jump
  • Overall, it may be too large and bulky to use when actually doing physical activities like lifting weights or riding my motorcycle with off-road waterproof gloves.

I’m going to give it a try and see if I like it. I may not. Honestly, it might be too large completely in which case I’ll fall back to my now obsolete Series 7 with all of the features I need in a very lightweight titanium case with a 3 year warranty.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – 1TB

A bit of housekeeping, someone asked me a while back if I’ll actually use all 1 terabytes of storage. I just opened my iPhone’s settings and I have 190 gigabytes free with 1.02TB of total capacity. I’m using 820 gigabytes of space on my iPhone. Also, after 1 year of ownership, I have a battery health of 92%. The warranty expires 9/24/2022 but I have Amex covering 1 additional year of warranty and any accidental damage through a credit card perk if I pay my cell phone bill with my Amex card. My iPhone 14 will have AppleCare because I am paying Best Buy $199 a year as a Total Tech Member. They didn’t realize I’d actually take them up on “free AppleCare” for all of my devices and Best Buy is now paying for Apple Care on two MacBooks, two iPad Pros, Two AirPods (Pro+Max), two iPhones and an Apple Watch Ultra. I’m getting my money worth for their $15 a month program that gives me no restocking fees, extended return period and free AppleCare. If you buy a lot of Apple Products, give Best Buy Total Tech a try.

Moving on, The iPhone 14 has some pros that are VERY interesting to me and make the upgrade worth it:

  • Dynamic Island (making the notch/pill useful)
  • Always on display (boy do I miss Blackberry’s red flashing light when you have a notification but this is a good compromise 20 years later)
  • 48 Megapixel raw images
  • 50% improvement to low light photos
  • Re-introduction of the 2X camera
  • Improvements to all 4 cameras (I will link to the Halide Blog’s breakdown when they put one up but there are a LOT of improvements)
  • Satellite SOS (I’m paying Garmin $35 a month April – November plus having to carry a bulky InReach with me every time I ride and this is free for 2 years)
  • One additional hour of battery life
  • Reduced burn-in risk on OLED (I have light burn-in today)
  • They kept the Lighting port (I wanted USB-C but I think we’ll go port-less before they go USB-C)
  • Very possibly new thermal management that will keep the iPhone from overheating in direct sunlight (mine dims the display and overheats every day that I’m outdoors which is the same issue with my iPad by the way. I can get 15 minute of use on my iPad when in direct sunlight before it overheats and goes into power reserve)

Cons: just the price. $1599 is a LOT of money for an iPhone. I’m getting AppleCare for free and the iPhone is sales-tax free thanks to living in New Hampshire. I’ll likely get $1150-$1200 for my old iPhone (one company guaranteed $900 if I sell it through them without dealing with any people) so this is not a HUGE cost to upgrade. I’m glad I didn’t pay for AppleCare on my old iPhone or pay a monthly fee to Verizon and get locked into a 30 month plan like my wife.

There really aren’t any cons to upgrading. This is the same iPhone I love today with a lot of new upgrades that will save me time and money and allow me to use the iPhone for day rides off-road without having to bring my SLR even though I’ll continue to bring my SLR for many trips because the photos are MUCH better. Just an example, here’s an iPhone 13 Pro Max photo next to a Canon 5D Mark IV with my 70-200 MM lens. I’m still not shooting exclusively with iPhone except for trips that are just one day on my dirt bike. 

iPhone:

People iPhone

SLR (same people, same time, same lighting)

People SLR

iPhone is years away from producing photos like this but it’s getting easier to live with it on a short term trip.

AirPods Pro 2nd generation:

I’m stoked with the features that were added. From memory and in short:

  • Price remains unchanged at $249 (HUGE)
  • Double the noise cancelling
  • Selective noise cancelling and I hope it works on children screaming at a cafe. Jackhammer sounds aren’t something I deal with but I’d love to wear AirPods with Transparency turned on more often and have coffee grinders, children, Harley motorcycles and horns honking be removed. This is the feature that will make AirPods full-time wear for many folks who get agitated with loud noises
  • Audio boost of voices again, in transparency mode hearing someone talk but not a coffee grinder will be amazing
  • Improved spatial audio based on the shape of my ears (wow)
  • Better fitment with more tips (excellent, the Large size falls out because it’s too large to go deep and the medium falls out because it’s too small
  • Bettery battery life
  • Find My support with a loud speaker on the case

I’m excited and there are no downsides except for cost which the iPhone was the same. Tons of upsides but the downside being having to pay to upgrade. Apple can you please bring out a $250 a month “anything plan” so I can just always have the latest laptop, iPad, AirPods, iPhone and Apple Watch? I’d sign up tomorrow. 

Overall, this was a fantastic event. I won’t be purchasing the next iPad or MacBook Pro but I’m still holding some dollars for a ProDisplayXDR that is half the price of the current one. I want something 27-30” that is 6K without all of the reference monitor features that the current $4999 ProDisplay has and ideally a much better webcam than the Studio Display but there’s always next year.

Here’s the products I pre-ordered:

BestBuy2

BestBuy1