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Read Now: Smartwatches Are Great, but a Luxury Smartwatch Is Pretty Dumb – 101 Latest News



Smartwatches Are Great, but a Luxury Smartwatch Is Pretty Dumb

#Smartwatches #Great #Luxury #Smartwatch #Pretty #Dumb

Tag Heuer

The smartwatch market is vast, and those looking to add some intelligence to their wrist have plenty to choose from. Some luxury brands have released their own take on the smartwatch and attached a price tag to match. But is the concept of a “luxury smartwatch” actually pretty stupid?

Tech giants like Samsung and Apple have plenty of high-end, high-quality pieces, but in terms of price and prestige, they aren’t what you would consider ultra high-end. This category is where you find names like Rolex, Omega, and Montblanc. Alongside standard features like sleep tracking, step counting, and a GPS, they promise to add a sense of prestige and collectability to your new device. However, despite their decades of success and exclusive clientele list, these brands are providing an overlap no one wants or needs.

Why People Collect Luxury Watches

A luxury watch is as much an investment as it is a display of wealth. With its multitude of tiny moving parts and staggering accuracy, it is both a work of art and a staggering engineering achievement. While a Rolex has no more practical use than something like a G-Shock, it comes with a pedigree; it’s a little ticking piece of history.

Because of the scarcity, longevity, and prestige involved, luxury watches tend to appreciate value. It’s something you can hand down through your family or sell for a large amount of money should you fall on hard times. Although certain electronics can fetch a hefty price, you’re talking about items of historical significance in outstanding condition. An Apple 2 in the box would fetch a hefty price, but if you go out and buy a brand new MacBook, it’s probably not going to be worth a lot in 40 years. It’s the same with a smartwatch. Crack open the case, and you’ll find a circuit board, not a hundred precision-crafted pieces. No matter what brand name gets printed on it, your smart watch will not appreciate in value.

There are Several Luxury Smartwatches Available

A Montblanc Summit 2 smartwatch

Several notable companies are making high-end smartwatches and selling them at a premium. Montblanc, a German company famous for making costly pens, is one of them. Surprisingly for a company that charges several thousand dollars for a ballpoint, their contributions to the smartwatch market aren’t that outlandishly priced. While still about twice the price of an Apple Watch, the Montblanc Summit and Summit 2 can be picked up for under $1000.

Established Swiss watchmakers like Tag Heuer have dipped their toes in the smartwatch pond. Its “Calibre E4” seems to be geared more towards style than substance — you can have a Porsche branded display on the front of it, but nothing under the hood sets the watch apart. If you want to spend closer to $10,000, Breitling has a strange mechanical-smart watch hybrid aimed at “pilots and yachtsmen.”

The B55 will pair with your phone, but it doesn’t look to be of much use outside of the cockpit. It won’t track your steps, but it will track flight and lap times. The display is a combination of a traditional watch and the sort of digital display you’d see on a Casio. And there is an app, which is the easiest way to access the watch’s very specific features.

Luxury Smartwatches Offer Nothing Beyond Perceived Status

You might be able to justify the price if the likes of Montblanc and Tag Heuer were providing something cutting edge — but their efforts are nothing special. Arguably, they can’t keep up with established smartwatch brands, so you’ll get less for more money.

Although the reality of the product doesn’t match its headlines, Garmin is at least pushing some innovation with their “unlimited battery” solar smartwatch. It’s an attempt to tackle what may be the smartwatch’s biggest drawback — the fact you need to charge them regularly. Similarly, Apple has a high-quality product (as they usually do) that integrates flawlessly with the rest of their catalog. So if you’re an iPhone user, that’s the obvious choice.

To put things in perspective, one feature Tag boasts about is the ability to display the NFT you undoubtedly overpaid for on the face of the smartwatch you overpaid for. The problem with this feature is that nobody cares about your NFT or fitness tracker.

Electronics Have a Shorter Shelf Life

A waste basket filled with electronics
Poring Studio/Shutterstock

While some families have had items like watches handed down through the generations, similar things are unlikely to happen with electronics. Electrical items have a shorter shelf life, with things like smartphones lasting just two to three years on average. Then there’s obsolescence; products in the tech world improve quickly and often. A top-of-the-line smartwatch now will more than likely be a primitive piece of garbage in ten years.

Yes, a mechanical watch is technically an obsolete object. Some watches link to atomic clocks, which are more accurate than a purely mechanical device could ever hope to be. But like classic cars and retro consoles, they have found a niche with collectors and are still marketable.

Luxury watches also require maintenance, and it gets expensive. Ideally, you’ll take the watch to a certified professional every three to five years. That professional will check the watch over, perform standard maintenance tasks like lubricating parts of the mechanism, and replace any badly worn or broken parts.

This is highly delicate, specialized work and can cost hundreds of dollars. So, could you replace the internals of an aging luxury smartwatch the same way? Probably. But as I mentioned earlier, part of the appeal of a luxury watch is the intricate mechanism. Chips and circuit boards are also incredibly complex but don’t carry the same prestige.

An Apple watch is as premium as you should go

A man wearing a Series 5 Apple Watch
Danny Chadwick / Review Geek

Apple as a brand has plenty of prestige. If you look in the hands of a billionaire taking a phone call, the chances are you’ll see the latest iPhone. That iPhone may be clad in gold and covered in precious gems, but underneath the overpriced display of wealth, it’s still the same kind of phone the majority of people in the US use.

Despite this, even the biggest name in tech learned the hard way that luxury smartwatches are a non-starter. Seven years ago, the company offered an 18k gold edition of the first apple watch. This luxury edition cost around $17,000, putting it on par with brands like Rolex. Unlike Rolex, the ultra-premium Apple watch was a huge flop. Since then, the company has dropped the precious metal casing, adjusted its pricing, and found an incredible amount of success in the smartwatch market.

If you want to show off, no one is going to look down on you for displaying an Apple product, whereas with an Android-based piece of tech like the Montblanc Summit — you may get a sideways look. Apple’s tech also works seamlessly together, and while it does play with others, it isn’t always too happy about it. So if you’re currently using an iPhone, opting for something outside of Apple’s ecosystem may limit both your expensive watch and expensive phone.

If you’re an Android user, cheaper options that will impress the same amount of people as any other Android watch are probably available. So there you have it. If you want to show off, buy Apple. If you don’t, you’ll pay more, probably have a worse experience, and be bullied by the shallower elements of the tech community.

It’s an overlap that no one needed

For the reasons stated above, a luxury watch collector more than likely has no interest in a smartwatch. Equally, while people who are really into tech might have no problem spending four figures on something truly market-leading — I doubt they’ll pay a 100% premium over a standard Apple Watch for a Wear OS device with a penmaker’s name on it.

So there’s the problem. These devices theoretically appeal to two large, affluent markets but offer nothing either of them wants. And on top of everything else, charging a huge premium comes with the territory when you’re operating a luxury brand. So they can’t even price these watches at a point where they could theoretically compete with Apple, Samsung, Garmin, et al. Luxury smartwatches are a dumb idea. The customer base is probably limited to three middle-aged blokes in an Austrian ski lodge who know nothing about tech but are interested in how much REM sleep they’re getting.


Read Now: Macs, MR, and more: Everything coming from Apple in a jam-packed June – 101 Latest News



WWDC 2023: Tim Cook steht vor einer Herausforderung

#Macs #coming #Apple #jampacked #June

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Read Now: Best iPhone 14 Camera Accessories – CNET – 101 Latest News



Best iPhone 14 Camera Accessories     - CNET

#iPhone #Camera #Accessories #CNET

$90 at Amazon

Aputure MC LED video light

Powerful lighting on a budget

$100 at PolarPro

PolarPro Apex Minimalist tripod

PolarPro Apex Minimalist tripod

Our favorite iPhone tripod (Update: Out of stock)

Not too long ago, photographers used to laugh at smartphones. A lot has changed over the years, however, with many phone launches focusing on the cameras themselves. Now smartphones can take impressive photos on par with even the best cameras. All you need is some additional gear, and you can be shooting photos that border on professional-grade. 

The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro offer excellent features that creative professionals will enjoy, like multiple rear cameras — including a superwide-angle lens — that can capture incredible photos and videos. 

Perhaps the most notable, however, is the addition of ProRes, which started in the previous generation and is available on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It enables you to produce a far more professional-looking postproduction look. This means that, now, creative professionals can incorporate these phones into their productions. 

And sure, you can simply walk outside with your phone and snag some beautiful footage, but there’s a wealth of iPhone 14 accessories you can use that’ll help elevate both your videos and photos to new levels to wow your followers.

Here’s our list of the best gear to pair with your iPhone to give your shots a boost. Every iPhone 14 accessory listed here has been tested by us to make sure it works as well as it’s supposed to. If it didn’t impress, it didn’t make the list. Look no further if you’re after the best iPhone filming accessories to take your skills to the next level. These excellent accessories will make shooting a breeze. 

Read more: Best iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Cases You Can Buy Right Now

The best iPhone camera accessories 

There’s no one accessory that by itself will revolutionize your iPhone photography, as different products bring different things to the table. I love the Moment Anamorphic lens as it lets you achieve a stunning cinematic look with your phone. DJI’s phone gimbal meanwhile provides superb stability to get super smooth-looking shots, while the Aputure MC LED video light simply lets you light up the scene you’re shooting when the sun goes down. 

But an LED light will do nothing to improve your audio, so you’ll need to look towards the Rode VideoMicro if sound quality is important. These items all add something different to your photo and video production and used together let you take your mobile video production to a whole new level. Want some inspiration? Here’s my guide for shooting better video with your phone. 

SmallRig Mobile Video Cage

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Camera cages are common tools that let you attach a wide variety of accessories to a DSLR, including lights, microphones, handles and external monitors. SmallRig’s new mobile cage offers much the same functionality, but for your iPhone, and with multiple mounting points around the edge to attach whatever accessories you need like microphones. 

I’ve been using the cage with an attached Aperture LED light, PolarPro tripod and Rode microphone (all seen below), which makes for an incredible mobile vlogging rig. SmallRig also offers various attachments of its own, including top and side handles, which help provide stability when you’re hand-holding while filming. The cage is solidly built from aluminum, has bayonet lens mounts (see below), and has a convenient clasp for easily slotting your phone in and out. 

Moment Anamorphic lens

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Anamorphic lenses are normally something you’d find in a professional cinematographer’s kit bag. These lenses provide a wider aspect ratio that you get in a wide angle lens, along with distinctive blue-line lens flares that give footage a much more filmic quality. Moment’s mobile anamorphic lens does exactly that for your iPhone.

Clip it on and it’ll squeeze your footage into the shorter, wide shots format that completely transforms the look of the video you can take from your phone. I’ve absolutely loved the look of my phone footage using the lens and it’s a must-have for any budding film producers wanting to up their game with their phone. 

You’ll need to shoot with apps like Filmic Pro that let you “unsqueeze” the footage so it doesn’t look all distorted on most cameras. The lens uses a bayonet mount that attaches to compatible cases, including Moment’s own ones or a variety of third-party options, including the SmallRig cage mentioned above.

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Aputure MC LED video light

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

iPhone cameras don’t have the greatest lighting, so having a backup light is always a good idea. This USB-C rechargeable video light is packed with LED lights and is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand but puts out a huge amount of light when you’re short of proper lighting.

It’s great for lighting up your subjects, whether that’s for portraits, product photography or macro or to light up yourself if you’re vlogging at night. The power output is easily adjustable, as is the color temperature of the light. 

It also has a variety of creative light effects to spice up your production, including simulations of fireworks, lightning, a flickering fireplace or the flashing red and blue of police car lights.

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DJI Om 5 gimbal

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The iPhone 14’s built-in image stabilization is already superb, but for an even smoother ride, consider using a dedicated gimbal like DJI’s OM 5. It evens out all but the most aggressive movements, allowing you to get smooth tracking footage of you running behind your subject as you film a chase scene. 

It also has a built-in extendable selfie stick, which not only makes it great for YouTube vloggers, but also allows for more creative angles by holding it up higher, or even flipping it over and having the camera run close to the ground or through grasses.

Rode VideoMicro microphone

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Recording good audio for your vlogs or your next iPhone-based short film is crucial, and while the iPhone does a decent job of capturing audio, a dedicated microphone will take things to the next level. Rode’s VideoMicro shotgun mic can plug into your phone’s Lightning port (via an adapter) and provides crystal-clear audio when recording with the standard iPhone camera app or any third-party video app, making it one of the best iPhone camera accessories on the market. 

I love using it on top of my phone for vlogging and the included wind shield is superb for cutting out wind noise when working on location. Alternatively, get a 3.5mm extension cable and you can try using the mic on the end of a boom pole for recording audio in a conversation you’re filming.

It’s a great investment if you’re looking for a directional microphone.

Profoto B10

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At $1,349, industry goliath Profoto’s B10 studio flash will be little more than a pipe dream for most. But if you want to get truly professional lighting on location or in a studio using your iPhone, the B10 is second is one of the best iPhone camera accessories. . This pro flash is designed primarily for use with DSLRs but can also be used with iPhones and Android phones via the Profoto app. If you’re ready to take your smartphone photography to the next level, it allows you to get shots with your phone that would simply not be possible to achieve without it. 

Sure, most pros probably wouldn’t consider shooting a major project on just their phone, but it’s a potentially great backup in case of camera failure, or simply a lightweight and convenient way to test ideas in the field without hauling bags of gear around.

It also comes with a carrying case that will protect it from other elements. Its rechargeable battery provides a battery life that can provide more than 400 full flashes.

Moment MagSafe tripod

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Rather than use screw clamps to secure your phone in place, Moment’s tripod mount uses Apple’s MagSafe system, which makes it incredibly quick to pop your phone in place and start shooting. When you’re done, just rip your phone away from the magnetic disk and pop it back in your pocket. Easy!

The minimalist approach to the mount’s design makes it extremely compact so it’s no hassle to always carry it with you for when inspiration strikes. The magnets are strong, too, so you don’t need to worry about your phone popping loose while you’re walking along. It’s available as a mount by itself, or with the cold-shoe bracket (pictured) to attach a microphone when vlogging.

PolarPro Apex Minimalist tripod

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Having a solid tripod can make all the difference in getting stable, wobble-free video, particularly if you want to put yourself in the frame. PolarPro’s Apex Minimalist tripod is a great option for mobile producers, as its compact size means it’s easy to chuck into a backpack, but it’s burly enough to support bigger cameras should you need to. 

I love using it for static shots, and for holding my phone up to shoot vlogs while walking around. It comes either with an integrated twist-locking ball head, or as the tripod legs only. I prefer the latter as it allows me to use my own compact ball heads, which are more stable with heavier loads.

How we test iPhones

We test phones in real-world scenarios, looking at the performance of the processor, battery and cameras, and judge how each model compares to its competition. We take value into account, as well as extra features like storage, connectivity, software additions and anything else that will make a real difference to your life with the product. 

Accessories like the ones seen in this list are treated in exactly the same way; they’re put to real-world use both indoors and outside, evaluating how well they perform and whether they’re worth the money. Everything that’s featured here has been tested by our own fair hands and if it didn’t impress, it didn’t make the list. 

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Read Now: Ford offering flexible EV leases to Uber drivers – 101 Latest News



Ford offering flexible EV leases to Uber drivers

#Ford #offering #flexible #leases #Uber #drivers

Ford is teaming up with Uber to offer flexible leases on electric vehicles to rideshare drivers.

Uber is under pressure from governments around the world to get more of its drivers into EVs to reduce tailpipe pollution and fight climate change. And Ford is eager to get more of its Mustang Mach-Es on the road as it pours billions of dollars into EV production while incurring huge losses.

Under the new Ford Drive program, Uber drivers would be able to lease a Mustang Mach-E for flexible terms, either one or four-months, depending on the location. And there are other benefits as well. According to Ford:

The vehicle is delivered to the driver within two weeks, and they use the Ford Drive app to manage payments and service. In each city, the Ford Drive team works with local dealers to purchase a fleet of Mach-Es. Service and maintenance of those vehicles are conducted through dealers as well. 

But the lease program won’t have a wide rollout yet. To start out, the companies are piloting the program in three cities: San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Ford Drive actually launched already in San Diego, with Ford leasing 150 EVs to Uber drivers in 2022. California is the biggest EV market in the US, and the biggest market for EVs driven on Uber’s ridehail platform.

Uber has been operating its own EV ridehail service in dozens of cities since last year. Only premium EVs, like Tesla, Polestar, and, of course, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, would be considered eligible for Comfort Electric trips. It will sit alongside the company’s other EV product, Uber Green, which gives drivers an extra fee (usually $1) to use electric vehicles.

This is the second major partnership to be announced by Ford in recent days. Last week, the automaker said it would adopt Tesla’s EV charging standard in the interest of opening up Elon Musk’s dependable and widespread charging network to Ford EV owners.

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