Democrats want to take another look at the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

Democrats want to take another look at the T-Mobile-Sprint merger


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T-Mobile’s planned purchase of Sprint is facing new and intense scrutiny from the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. The executives of the two companies will sit before two congressional hearings this week — House Committee on Energy and Commerce took up the topic on Wednesday and the House Committee on the Judiciary will question the company heads on Thursday.

In the ten months since T-Mobile first announced its intention to buy up its competitor, the company has cozied up to the Trump administration. The company’s executives spent more than 50 nights at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. T-Mobile CEO John Legere spent two night in the hotel and paid a rate of $2,246 per night, according to the Washington Post. That activity is likely to be viewed as an attempt to buy favor with the president and will come up during this week’s hearings.

The hearings this week won’t have a direct influence on the government’s decision on whether to allow the purchase to go forward or not. The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission get to approve or deny the merger based on their own investigations that will look into antitrust concerns and other potential harms. However, the hearings may turn up new information that would give regulators pause. Legere told investors last week that he believes the merger will be completed by June.

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Spotify is reportedly in talks for a $200 million podcast purchase

Spotify is reportedly in talks for a $200 million podcast purchase


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Spotify is reportedly looking to sink big money into podcasts. According to Recode and The Wall Street Journal, the music streaming company is currently in talks to acquire podcasting giant Gimlet Media for over $200 million. If Spotify manages to finalize the acquisition, it will be the first time it has purchased another company. Recode says the negotiation is in the advanced stages, but it’s not a done deal yet, and their talks could still fall through.

Gimlet is currently valued at $70 million after raising money in 2017. It’s the company behind some of the most popular narrative podcasts today, including technology and culture show Reply All. In addition to its regular offerings, it also airs limited run ones — one of those was psychological thriller Homecoming, its first fictional title that became an Amazon Prime series starring Julia Roberts.

While this could mark Spotify’s biggest podcast-related expansion yet, it’s been hosting audio programs for quite a while now. Back in early 2018, it launched a new section that pairs visual elements with podcast content, including shows from Gimlet Media. And in October, it started allowing the public to add their shows to the podcast section as part of a beta program.

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The movie industry is giving up on its UltraViolet digital locker

The movie industry is giving up on its UltraViolet digital locker


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UltraViolet, the digital rights locker that gives you a way to view the movies and shows you purchase from various services, will shut down on July 31st. If you’re not familiar with the service, it stores only licenses (and not the content itself) in the cloud to enable playback on multiple devices regardless of their origin. You can even use it to redeem codes for digital copies that come with physical purchases. UltraViolet has announced the news on its website, along with instructions not to close your libraries or to unlink them from supported retailers. It’s working with those retailers to maximize your continued access to the movies and TV shows in your list.

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the industry consortium running the service, said it decided to shut down UltraViolet due to changes in the market. In the FAQs on its website, DECE said it’s seen the emergence of services “that provide expanded options for content collection and management” outside of UltraViolet in recent years. As DECE chief Wendy Aylsworth told Variety, “The marketplace for collecting entertainment content was very small when Ultraviolet started. It was siloed into walled gardens at the time.” The landscape has changed dramatically since the service’s launch in 2011.

In addition, UltraViolet may have also suffered from Disney’s decision not to support it. The digital locker went live with backing from all major movie studios except the House of Mouse. Disney later launched its own digital locker service called Movies Anywhere. If you have an existing UltraViolet account, you can continue linking your digital content to it and using it to redeem digital copy codes until July 31st. After it shuts down, you’ll be able to access your movies and shows through the services of the retailers where you purchased them from.

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Sky adds offline viewing to Now TV app for iPhone and iPad

Sky adds offline viewing to Now TV app for iPhone and iPad


Now TV

Now TV, the UK video streaming service owned by Sky that lets users purchase premium channels, has added offline downloading to its iOS app. The update brings it up to speed with its parent’s Sky Go service, giving customers the option to download films and shows to watch on the go. However, the feature doesn’t currently appear to be on the Now TV app for Android. We’ve reached out to Sky for more information and will update this article with its response.

The company previously announced that offline downloads would be available before the end of 2018, but that never materialized. There’s also no mention of the launch on its official social media channels. Sky previously told T3 that the feature would allow customers to watch content from the premium Sky Cinema, Hayu and Entertainment passes, with a download icon signalling the available content on the Now TV app. Users will then reportedly have 30 days to watch their saved shows or movies.

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Amazon extends its free US shipping period to December 18th

Amazon extends its free US shipping period to December 18th


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Amazon recently got in the Christmas spirit by offering free shipping with no minimum purchase to everyone. It had reason to celebrate, coming off the back of its biggest shopping day ever on Cyber Monday. But that bit of goodwill is going to last longer than we originally thought. In an effort to target last-minute shoppers, Amazon is extending the free shipping promotion until December 18th for orders that arrive in time for Christmas in the US.

To keep Prime members who pay for that privilege happy, Amazon said it will offer free two-hour deliveries all the way till midnight on Christmas Eve via Prime Now in 30 cities — for folk who really like to leave it late. More than 10,000 cities in the US now have access to Amazon’s free same-day delivery and one-day shipping, the company said.

Amazon shipped over 5 billion items with its Prime subscription service in 2017. It’s been cranking out the holiday deals, including offers on Thanksgiving turkeys and free Echo Dots with purchases of Xbox One consoles, in a bid to beat that colossal figure. Expect it to ring in the new year with its latest results, reminding us just how much we gorged on gifts in 2018.

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An affordable phone with a huge battery

An affordable phone with a huge battery

Editor’s Note, Dec. 13: Best Buy currently sells a 32GB unlocked Motorola Moto G6 Play for $144 if you activate it on a carrier at the time of purchase. Target sells a 16GB Verizon prepaid Moto G6 Play for $130. The original review, published on July 3, follows.

The Moto G6 Play ($180 at Amazon) has a secret weapon that its pricier Moto G-siblings don’t: A big ol’ honking battery. For many people including myself, an affordable phone with a seemingly endless battery is the smartphone paradox. The iPhone X ($1,099 at Walmart) and Pixel 2 ($649 at Google Store) cost much more than the Moto G6 Play but still get less battery life.

The Moto G6 Play — without discounts — costs $199, £169, AU$329. To put it another way, for the price of one iPhone X, I could buy five Moto G6 Play phones.

Motorola smartly planned its budget friendly, feature-rich G family. There’s not one or two, but three different affordable models: The Moto G6 ($200 at Amazon)Moto G6 Plus and the Moto G6 Play.

Moto G family prices

Moto G6 Play Moto G6 Moto G6 Plus
US price $199 $249 not sold in US
UK price £169 £219 £269
Australia price AU$329 AU$399 AU$499

Moto G6 Play design

In terms of design, the Moto G6 Play gets all the hand-me-downs from the Moto G6 family and the Moto G5 family before it — some fit better than others. The Moto G6 Play doesn’t have the slick-looking Gorilla Glass 3 back of the Moto G6 and G6 Plus. It uses a micro-USB port instead of the more fashionable USB-C one and it lacks dual-cameras. Again, it’s $50 less than the Moto G6, so I didn’t exactly expect the works here.

In hand, the Moto G6 Play feels dense and solid. It’s not water-resistant, but Motorola says that it’s splash proof aka don’t spill your coffee on it or at least no more than a few drops. On the back, is a fingerprint reader that’s cleverly incorporated into the Motorola logo. Out of all the rear fingerprint readers I’ve used, the belly button-shaped reader on the Moto G6 Play is the absolute easiest to find and use without looking.

The Moto G6 Play’s software isn’t flashy. It runs a fairly stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo and has minimal extra apps. The tweaks Motorola does add are thoughtful and fun. I mean who doesn’t love making a double karate chop motion to turn on the flashlight?

Like the Moto G6, the Moto G6 Play has a 5.7-inch 18×9 ratio display. However, the resolution is only 720 HD instead of the 1,080 HD displays found on the Moto G6 and G6 Plus. In use, this isn’t as horrible as it sounds. Images, websites and videos look good on the display. The only time I ran into trouble was in direct sunlight trying to take photos. The display was nearly impossible to use as a viewfinder.

The Moto G6 Play has a big friendly battery

The Moto G6 Play’s low-resolution screen combined with its large battery gives the phone a terrific battery life on a single charge. In our looped video battery tests (in airplane mode), the Moto G6 Play’s battery lasted an average of 15 hours and 16 minutes. That’s five and a half hours longer than the Moto G6, which lasted 9 hours and 41 minutes.

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The Moto G6 shouldn’t be this good and still cost $249

The Moto G6 shouldn’t be this good and still cost $249

Editors’ note, Dec. 7: Currently in the US, Best Buy sells the Motorola Moto G6 unlocked for just $200 if you activate it on a carrier at the time of purchase. Amazon sells a Prime Exclusive version of the Moto G6 for $240. Both of these come with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. The original review, published on July 3, follows.

How do you follow up last year’s wonderful budget-friendly Moto G5 Plus? Well, you could start with the outside. Add a second rear camera for portrait mode photos. Trade that Micro-USB port for a USB-C. Get rid of the 16:9 screen ratio and go tall with a trendy 18:9 display that shows more vertically. Say bye to the metallic back side and hello to a glass back with curved edges, specifically Gorilla Glass 3.

The overall result would be a phone that looks decidedly 2018, but with pretty much everything we loved about last year’s Moto G5 Plus. And that’s exactly what the Moto G6 is.

Last year’s Moto G5 Plus hit a sweet spot between features, design, performance and price. The Moto G6 hits most of those, but just misses with a shorter battery life than last year’s Motos.

The Moto G6 looks sleek and modern. It has a groomed slicked-back hair vibe that makes it seem anything but affordable. But at $249, £219 or AU$399 it’s crazy affordable compared to the $1,000 iPhone X.

Roughly the same size as the Moto G5 Plus, the Moto G6 has thinner bezels and a glass back that curves at the edge for a comfortable grip. Like nearly every phone with a glass back, it collects more fingerprints than the stars of CSI.

But the Moto G6 isn’t the only affordable Motorola phone to consider. If you’re outside the US and your budget has some wiggle room, the Moto G6 Plus deserves a serious look. If you’re okay with last year’s styling, check out the Moto G5S Plus ($242 at Walmart) which is still being sold.

019-motoe5-plus

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On the left is the Moto G6 and on the right the Moto G6 Play. The dual-camera unit on the Moto G6 looks like a shocked face emoji.


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Moto G6, G6 Plus, G6 Play: What’s the difference?

I tested the Moto G6 with 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM and no NFC. I bring this up because there are three new G-series phones for 2018. To confound things further, each model is tweaked a bit depending on where you live.

  • Moto G6 Play: This is the most affordable of the three phones. In the US, it costs $50 less than the Moto G6. The Moto G6 Play has a lower resolution display and only a single rear camera, but it also has the biggest battery of the three — a 4,000-mAh whopper more capacious than the one found in the Galaxy S9. Read CNET’s full Moto G6 Play review.
  • Moto G6: Though it’s roughly the same size as the Moto G6 Play ($180 at Amazon), the Moto G6 has a higher resolution display, dual rear cameras and a more powerful processor. In the UK and Australia, the Moto G6 comes with NFC, and there’s a “step up” UK version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
  • Moto G6 Plus: Despite not being available in the US, the Moto G6 Plus is the highest-end option in the Moto G family. It has a 5.9-inch display instead of the 5.7-inch ones found on the G6 and G6 Play. Its battery is slightly larger than the one in the G6. The UK model has NFC and an optional 6GB of RAM.

Moto G6, G6 Plus, G6 Play top features and prices

Key features of the Moto G phone family

Moto G6 (US, UK, Australia) Moto G6 (UK) Moto G6 Plus (UK, Australia) Moto G6 Play (US, UK, Australia)
Price (without discounts) $249, £219, AU$399 £239 £269, AU$499 $199, £169, AU$329
Screen 5.7-inch 5.7-inch 5.9-inch 5.7-inch
Processor 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 427
Storage 32GB 64GB 64GB 16GB (US only), 32GB
RAM 3GB 4GB 4GB, 6GB (UK only) 2GB (US only), 3GB
Battery 3,000 mAh 3,000 mAh 3,200 mAh 4,000 mAh
Rear camera(s) 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 13-megapixel
NFC Yes (UK, Australia), No (US) Yes Yes Yes (UK), No (Australia)

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EU approves Disney’s purchase of Fox assets, with conditions

EU approves Disney’s purchase of Fox assets, with conditions


AP Photo/Richard Drew

Disney’s acquisition of Fox studios and TV channels is one step closer to becoming a practical reality. The European Commission has approved the mega-deal under the condition that Disney has to divest its stake in “factual channels” it controls in the European Economic Area, including History, Crime & Investigation and Lifetime. The buyout would have eliminated competition between two rivals in several countries, the Commission said.

Disney has already committed to offloading the channels, the Commission said.

The clearance follows months after shareholder approval in July and suggests it may be more a question of when the deal closes than whether it closes in the first place. If it does, it promises to shake up the media landscape in a big way by giving Disney access to huge properties (such as Avatar and X-Men) it can wield both on conventional screens and its upcoming streaming service.

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Amazon sends out toy catalog with no prices ahead of the holidays

Amazon sends out toy catalog with no prices ahead of the holidays


Amazon

Amazon’s holiday shopping marketing push is well underway. On Monday, it scrapped the minimum purchase amount for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping over the season. In another effort to get consumers to purchase their gifts from Amazon, the company is mailing out millions of copies of its first toy catalog.

The catalog, called “A Holiday of Play,” mimics those from traditional toy retailers, with bold colors and happy kids filling the pages. It includes games (video and board varieties), action figures, dolls, subscription boxes (for STEM toys, Funko figures and books) and, of course, the kids versions of the Echo Dot and Fire 10 HD tablet. It features some expensive products, such as pricey Lego sets, a $400 electric ride-on toy, an LG 4K Ultra HD TV and a $500 Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera kit.

But you’ll need to go online to find out those prices as there aren’t any in the catalog, presumably because they tend to fluctuate. As such, the catalog implores you to scan items with the Amazon app to learn more. The pages are also dotted with Amazon’s SmileCodes. When you scan these, the app takes you to a page with related gift ideas. Alternatively, the items are linked to their respective product pages in the PDF version of the catalog.

If you’d like a physical copy and don’t receive one through the mail, you can pick one up at Amazon Bookstores and 4-star outlets, new stores in which the company sells highly rated goods along with new and trending products.

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2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S first-ride review: Heaven on two wheels

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S first-ride review: Heaven on two wheels

While cars must generally be a rational purchase, I’m a firm believer that motorcycles should inspire special feelings in your special places every time you ride them. Heck, just looking at my Triumph makes my juices flow, even if it’s snowing outside. Bikes are inherently less practical — not to mention far riskier — so why not get one that’s worth the compromises? Buy a car with your brain, I say, but let your heart choose the right bike.

When I spent the first few minutes contemplating the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S, well… let’s just say that my heart wasn’t exactly racing. This is not a bad-looking bike by any means, but aesthetically, it’s far from evocative. Visually, the tall and somewhat ungainly Multi shares little more than a color and a logo with many of Ducati’s sexier, sportier two-wheeled offerings. On that first meeting, I was left feeling a bit cold.

That quickly changed. After a few miles in the saddle, I was keenly aware that I was astride one of the greatest motorcycles I have ever ridden. 

The package

Ducati has made a Multistrada of some shape or another for over 15 years now, starting with the original Multistrada 1000 back in the early 2000s. That bike helped bridge the gap between upright tourer and high-strung super-moto. Now, the 1260 S is the latest, and fastest, evolution of that theme: excessive speed and engagement in an upright, comfortable and effortlessly capable package.

The new bike is built around Ducati’s 1,262cc Testastretta DVT engine, which is shared with the sporty Diavel cruiser. DVT stands for Desmodromic Variable Timing, which enables the bike to automatically and continuously adjust its valve overlap to provide both smoothness and power. “Testastretta” meanwhile means “narrow-head,” a moniker attached to this latest flavor of the company’s iconic L-twin configuration, which you can think of as a laid-back V-twin. Not laid-back in terms of performance, mind. A whopping 158 horsepower means this bike is far from relaxed. 

It wouldn’t be a Multistrada if that engine weren’t hanging from a trellis frame attached to one of the most advanced suspension setups available on a road bike. The Multi S offers what Ducati calls Skyhook Suspension Evolution, so named to represent the feeling of being attached to the sky, not riding along the road. Evocative titles aside, this is one of the most advanced active suspension setups on the road, relying on a series of accelerometers and gyros to detect bike position and suspension movement, dynamically adjusting both front fork and rear shock with latency times measured in milliseconds.

Layer on a lean-sensitive traction control, anti-lock braking system and a quick-shifter that can manage clutchless up- and downshifts, and you have one of the fanciest bikes on the planet — as you might expect for its $20,995 starting price. 

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

Testastretta DVT: The latest flavor of desmodromic bliss. 


Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The ride

You don’t need to be tall to enjoy the latest revision of the Multistrada, but it helps. The 1260 S offers multiple seat heights, the lowest being 825 mm (32.5 inches), the one that my 31-inch inseam demanded. For those with longer legs, it raises to 845 mm (33.3 inches). Even lowered, swinging a leg over the pillion seat and generous grab-handles still required a bit of a stretch for me. But once situated on the bike’s wide and surprisingly pliant seat, I had no problem getting both feet on the ground.

They wouldn’t stay there for long. For my first 90 minutes astride the Multi, my feet didn’t touch the ground once. That’s partly because I’m lucky to live in a place with few stop signs and fewer streetlights, so I could just motor along freely. More importantly, despite my height, the Multi is so well-balanced that I could easily bring it right down to a complete stop where required by law, and then accelerate away again without a wobble and without putting a foot down. That’s the kind of comfort that usually takes some time to develop on a new machine.

The riding position on the Multistrada does feel awkward at first. You sit upright, hands splayed out wide and high, feet pulled back in a sporty sort of way. But the broad position delivers incredible leverage on the wide bars. The lightest bit of pressure on one grip or the other sends the bike dipping toward the apex, showing the kind of responsiveness you might not expect from something so lanky. 

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

The wide, high bars are loaded with controls, but the layout is mostly intuitive.


Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Cornering, then, is borderline telepathic, as is braking. Just a quick squeeze with one or two fingers on the lever brings the Multistrada cleanly to a stop, and with ABS you needn’t be so worried about a bit of gravel or oil in the way. And then, there’s throttle.

Though fancy and new and outfitted with the latest variable-valve magic, the L-twin lump here is still a big twin. At very low revs, it can still be a bit grumpy, shaking and rumbling and fussing. But let that motor have its head a bit, which you really should anyway, and the rush of speed is compelling. The Multistrada surges forward with the kind of manic aggression that’ll make you think you’re astride a snarling sportbike. But, with a comprehensive traction and stability control system, you needn’t worry about unsavory wheelspin or wheelies spoiling your fun. Just point and squirt. 

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

The flurry of configuration screens here will make control freaks weep with delight.   


Tim Stevens/Roadshow

And when it’s time to grab another gear, a quick flick of the ankle will do. The quick-shifter here is smooth and capable at any rev and any throttle opening. It makes it blissfully easy to grab the next gear, or indeed the previous one, without worrying about the clutch. And that brings us to the next part of the Multistrada’s repertoire: touring.

Though the 1260 S is plenty fun in short blasts, this is really a bike made for much longer rides, and it’s here that it really, really shines. Those high, wide grips hide behind generous brush guards that’ll keep the worst of the weather away from your gloves. When it gets really chilly, heated grips are just a button-press away. The tall windscreen, too, creates a heck of a cocoon, and if you need more protection it raises or lowers with a quick, simple, manual mechanism.

The suspension does a remarkable job of delivering positive feel and response, yet it also soaks up massive road imperfections without complaint. And, should the ride be too hard, a few flicks with your left thumb can pick a softer setting. Fresh pavement ahead? Go ahead and dive back up to Sport mode and live it up.

So the perfect tourer, then? It would be for me, but perhaps not for everybody. If there’s a complaint here, it’s that the Multi always feels “on.” Even when dialed back to a gentler mode, it’s never short of playful and lively. For endless runs down amazing mountain passes, that’s not a problem. But if your notion of “touring” has more to do with relaxed droning down the highway, this bike may be a little too on its toes for you. 

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

Proof that the suspension is indeed not attached to the sky, but you’d never know it.


Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The tech

Switchable drive modes are just the beginning of the wonderment buried in the Multistrada’s multifunction LCD display. It’s here that you can customize each of the bike’s ride modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro to start) to an amazing level of detail. You can adjust the firmness of the suspension from hardest to softest with five degrees in between, and set independent values for front and rear. You can also adjust (or disable) the traction control and ABS, plus change the throttle mapping and a dozen other things. 

The level of customization is amazing, and that you can quickly do it via thumb controls is similarly impressive — though I’m a bit dumbfounded why Ducati didn’t include a simple “back” button. Instead, you’re left scrolling to the top or bottom of some (occasionally lengthy) lists to step back a level.

Controls on the bike are otherwise generally intuitive, my only real gripe being the headlight controls. The high-beam switch is in the traditional place, a sort of trigger on the top of the grip, but the lip on it left me constantly hitting it accidentally with my index finger. This meant I was flashing others a little more often than strictly necessary for passing purposes.

But, alone on a country road in the middle of the night, prepare to be amazed. The headlights on the Multistrada are better than many cars I’ve driven, covering the entire road ahead, even popping on additional lights that shine left or right when you dip into a turn.

2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S

Perhaps not the most immediately endearing face, but it’ll grow on you.


Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Pricing and configuration

The 2018 Ducati Multistrada starts at $20,995, which is enough money to get yourself into a very well-equipped Honda Civic. But, great though that car may be, it won’t excite like this. For that outlay, you’ll get yourself an incredible motorcycle with all the adaptive suspension features and rider aids, plus niceties like keyless ignition that I didn’t even know I wanted on a motorcycle. 

Options, then, are mostly cosmetics and comfort, with numerous bits like carbon fiber mudgards, a center stand and, of course, panniers. This being a Ducati, you can also spec it with a carbon-wrapped Termignoni exhaust, which will fill your ears while lightening your wallet by $1,072.08. Curiously, heated grips are not standard. You’ll need to drop another $350 for those.

Otherwise, that $20,995 gets you everything you need. Yes, that could be seen as an outrageous sum of money for something that sits on two wheels, but in terms of overall capability and poise, few machines can trump the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S. When it came time to return the keys a week later, I confess I still didn’t care much for the look of the thing, but I did look back with longing as it was taken away. 

What a machine. 

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Montblanc ships the first watch with a Snapdragon Wear 3100

Montblanc ships the first watch with a Snapdragon Wear 3100

Montblanc’s Summit 2, the first smartwatch powered by Qualcomm’s long-awaited Snapdragon Wear 3100, is now available for purchase. The made-for-wearables chipset promises longer battery life and new features, including a much better battery life. You’ll have to be willing to spend big bucks on a smartwatch if you want to see what the processor can do as soon as possible, though, because the Summit 2 will set you back roughly $1,000.

Prices vary a bit, depending on the configuration you choose. Its 42mm case is available in stainless steel, bicolor steel, black diamond-like carbon and titanium, which is the most expensive variant. Plus, you have 11 interchangeable straps to choose from, including calfskin, Milanese steel, rubber sport and nylon. You’ll get the new chipset’s capabilities and Google’s Wear OS features, including over a thousand watch faces, whatever configuration you end up with, though.

Montblanc says its battery life can last up to a whole day with its smartwatch features switched on. Those features include notifications for messages, calls, social media updates, calendar events, news and more, as well as Google Assistant and an always-on mode. With those switched off, the battery can apparently last for three to five more days. The Summit 2 also has an integrated GPS and a heart rate tracker for your fitness needs, and it is water-resistant enough that you can swim with it.

If you need Assistant’s help, you can use the watch’s microphone to ask for directions, set reminders or check your heart rate. In addition, it has exclusive travel functions, including the Timeshifter app, which minimizes jet lag by showing you tips — like, say, when you should drink coffee or expose yourself to a bright light source — on the watch face. When you get to your destination, you can also ask Assistant for translations. You can check out the device, its features and its various configurations on Montblanc’s website, but you’ll have to find a boutique that sells it if you want to buy one.

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