Apple Watch sale at Amazon: the Apple Watch 3 gets an $80 price cut

If you’ve had your eye on the Apple Watch now is the time to snag a killer deal at Amazon. For a limited time, you can get the Apple Watch 3 38mm on sale for just $199. That’s an $80 discount and the lowest price we’ve found for the series 3 smartwatch. If you’re interested in a cellular plan, Amazon also has the Series 3 watch with LTE connectivity on sale for $299. Both smartwatches include GPS technology and are available in both 38mm and 42mm models.

The Apple Watch 3 is a health-focused smartwatch that also keeps you connected with the ability to make calls, send messages, and receive notifications. The series 3 watch helps you achieve your fitness goals by tracking popular workouts like running, yoga and cycling and calories burned. The smartwatch also offers heart rate monitoring and will notify you when an unusually high or low heart rate is detected. The waterproof watch includes GPS technology and offers up to 18 hours of battery life.

This particular deal includes the 38mm model with a space gray aluminum case and black sport band. Amazon also has the Apple Watch 4 on sale, but will still cost you a whopping $350. This makes the $199 price tag on the Apple Watch extremely attractive.

If you’re interested in a larger display, Amazon also has the 42mm Apple Watch 3 on sale for $229.

If you want your smartwatch to include LTE connectivity, Amazon has the Apple Watch 3 with cellular and GPS technology on sale for $299. This allows you to get internet and phone connectivity on your watch even your iPhone is far away. Amazon also has the 42mm model with cellular and GPS on sale for $329.

Discover more Apple watch sales with the best cheap Apple Watch prices and deals that are currently available.

You can learn more about series 3 smartwatch with our Apple Watch 3 review

Shop more deals with our guide on Amazon Prime Day 2019: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

Discover more Apple watch sales with the best cheap Apple Watch prices and deals that are currently available.

Interested in other smartwatches? We also have the best cheap Fitbit sale prices and deals that are happening now. 

Learn more about Prime Day with our guide on Amazon Prime Day 2019: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

Discover more Apple watch sales with the best cheap Apple Watch prices and deals that are currently available.

Interested in other smartwatches? We also have the best cheap Fitbit sale prices and deals that are happening now. 

Learn more about Prime Day with our guide on Amazon Prime Day 2019: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

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Intel’s 2nd-gen Optane Memory M15 upgrades storage performance speeds

Buried among 10th-gen Core laptop CPU news, Intel unexpectedly dropped an update to its Optane Memory platform that ups storage performance, but doesn’t increase capacity.

Intel describes Optane Memory M15 as a 2nd-generation version of the original Optane Memory M10 released last year. Optane Memory exists mostly as a caching-style technology that helps speed up the responsiveness of your most commonly accessed files on larger hard drives and SSDs. It’s not intended for use as a primary drive.

The Optane Memory M15 adds more performance and an overdue update to the x4 PCIe gen 3 interface. The original Optane Memory M10 was unexpectedly limited to two lanes of PCIe gen 3.

Intel said the new Optane Memory M15 will reach sequential read speeds of 2,000 MBps, with writes hitting 900MBps. The original Optane Memory M10 was rated at 1,450MBps reads and 640MBps writes. But the area that Optane Memory excels at is getting even better too. Intel says the new M15 will hit 450,000 random reads and 220,000 random writes. Compare that to the M10’s 250K random reads and 140K random writes.

Bottom line: this should be a noticeable upgrade, although it almost appears that the 2nd-gen device’s biggest gains come simply from the increase in PCIe lanes.

The new Optane Memory M15 carries a 5-year warranty and is rated to write 365 terabytes of data over its life span. Intel said the capacity the drive will be 16GB, 32GB, 64GB. Pricing and availability of the drive was not announced at launch, though Intel says it will launch sometime in the third quarter.

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MediaTek challenges Qualcomm with premium 5G chip

MediaTek has announced a 5G processor at Computex in Taiwan that it hopes will allow it to challenge Qualcomm’s supremacy in the premium smartphone market.

The new 7nm System-on-a-Chip (SoC) is based on Arm’s Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU designs and includes MediaTek’s own 5G modem and AI processing unit (APU) technology.

It claims to give smartphones a significant performance boost, with theoretical support for 4.7Gbps download and 2.5Gbps speeds.

The chip supports Standalone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G infrastructure, but crucially, it only supports sub-6GHz spectrum.

While the first European 5G networks, including those in the UK, will use these frequencies, Verizon and AT&T are among those using much higher millimetre-wave (mmWave) bandwidth. This could limit its appeal in some markets.

However, MediaTek is confident that the platform will gain traction and expects the first commercial devices to be powered by the chip in the first quarter of 2020.

“Everything about this chip is designed for the first wave of flagship 5G devices. The leading-edge technology in this chipset makes it the most powerful 5G SoC announced to date and puts MediaTek at the forefront of 5G SoC design,” said MediaTek President Joe Chen. “MediaTek will power rollouts of 5G premium level devices.”

Qualcomm technology – whether its modems or processors – power the overwhelming majority of flagship smartphones, while Samsung and Huawei are working on their own components. This has left MediaTek to compete for business in the mid-range segments of the smartphone market and for other areas of electronics, such as connected speakers.

It was revealed during the now-concluded legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm that the former had held discussions with MediaTek over a possible modem supply but these did not amount to anything.

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Viveport – the Netflix for VR – comes to Windows Mixed Reality headsets

Windows Mixed Reality headsets are about to get even better for gamers with the Viveport subscription service officially supporting the affordable virtual reality (VR) headsets starting June 5.

Viveport is a an online store and subscription service for VR games made by HTC, and was originally launched for the HTC Vive. Later on, it included games that were compatible with Oculus Rift, and now it will also allow Windows Mixed Reality headset owners to download compatible games.

Back in the game

Windows Mixed Reality is a VR platform created by Microsoft and integrated into Windows 10. A number of companies, including Dell, HP and Samsung, have released Mixed Reality headsets, and their ease of installation and more affordable price tags makes them tempting alternatives to the Vive and Oculus Rift.

Their gaming capabilities have been expanded as well, with support for Steam VR and now Viveport, so if you’ve been looking for a way to get into affordable PC VR, then now is a great time.

Windows Mixed Reality hasn’t quite had the success of its competitors, which has led to some people wondering whether Microsoft will remain committed to the platform. With Viveport – and its large selection of VR games – now supporting Windows Mixed Reality, it looks like there may be plenty of life left in the family of headsets.

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Connecting the UK: How WHP is enabling 5G

What are the main challenges to the rollout of 5G in the UK today?

There are many challenges to the rollout of 5G in the UK, both Technical, Financial and Political.

Consumer demand for data and UK Plc’s ambitions for coverage against a backdrop of falling ARPU at the MNO level makes investment decisions critical, the cost of spectrum and the conditions attached play an important role in creating the environment for encouraging the deployment of infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas which may not have a viable commercial business case to support the investment by the operator.

Access to the spectrum and property assets are a challenge. Recent efforts to legislate on the latter to give greater certainty to time and costs of deployment in the short term have had the opposite effect. How best to enable the use of both private investment capital and targeted public funds to relieve some of the burden from the MNO’s should be reviewed to create the conditions necessary to support the large-scale investment required for the widespread deployment of 5G.

From a technical and practical perspective, the complexity of the site, size of antenna, compliment of equipment, and the existing and surrounding infrastructure etc has a significant bearing on the actual site solution, in the case of 5G this could be as an addition to an existing site or a brand new site.  

Early and consistent engagement with landlords by experts with knowledge of the market and locality as well as end to end process will be key, eg designing sites with the optimum planning and deployment solution, and managing all stakeholders from inception through to integration in to the network.

What was the origin of your partnership with Huawei?

WHP has been in the wireless infrastructure market in the UK since 1988, working with operators to deploy and upgrade their networks. 

Over the last ten years Huawei’s growth as an equipment vendor has been prolific, as Huawei became more embedded in the UK and demand was growing for their services they were looking for high quality companies who could partner with them and provide multiple services in volume to support their growth as they replaced legacy equipment and deployed 4G. WHP with a wealth of experience with MNO’s had recently undergone an MBO and had implemented a strategic growth plan which included supplying end to end services to an increased customer base. 

This naturally led to our initial discussions from which we found that we shared some similar attitudes around not only growth and ambition but willingness to challenge norms, innovation and to improve efficiency and quality, so it was really those shared values, ambitions and good timing which enabled us to embark on that journey for both WHP & Huawei.

How does the infrastructure for 5G need to be different to that required for previous iterations of mobile networks?

5G will see the first truly multi-layered networks requiring a more variable site solution than in previous iterations, as well as a larger compliment of equipment on each site.

The macro layer needs to be quite seriously upgraded and densified. This needs to be augmented with a layer of small cells to add capacity and fluidity. In-building also will come in to its own as venues, locations and office complexes will compete and differentiate on connectivity. 

Each site will require robust physical engineering and potentially more specialist / bespoke solutions. In recent times physical assets have become smaller and implementation more nimble, however, the new technologies have equipment that is heavier e.g. MIMO antenna and this means more robust engineering and structures needed.

Complex design. Each and every site has a complex design these days either through location to achieve coverage of a specific area or due to the type of installation e.g. multiple operators, multiple technologies and as a consequence each site needs more design input sign-off, interfacing checking etc.

What are the likely costs associated with upgraded infrastructure to prepare for 5G?

The costs will be significant as upgrading the infrastructure in some cases will be more expensive than the original site due to swapping towers for more heavy duty infrastructure to cope with the new additional equipment. The restrictions imposed on putting this in place in terms of network downtime whilst working on a live network also make it much more difficult than building new infrastructure from scratch for instance. 

The key to success and minimising costs is dimensioning early and giving stakeholders visibility of a stable programme. This allows a stable high quality resources deployed in a planned manner with efficient utilisation, minimising downtime and abortive effort.

How long do you think it will take for us to really reap the benefits of 5G?

We would anticipate 5G will take 7-10 years to build out fully, however with 5G capable handsets shipping this year and 5G network roll out underway we will see some initial benefits much sooner, the clamour for self driving or autonomous vehicles and smart motorways would suggest that consumers will be able to access some of that functionality in certain areas within the next two years. 

The use of social media and apps will drive the take up in usage and real time critical applications once the network is established in the main urban areas. Within 5 years we would expect tO see major benefits as the mobile experience converges with the widespread FTTP network and users are able to utilise contiguous connectivity. 

What will be the biggest change that 5G will bring about?

Everything and everyone connected in real time all the time. 

We envisage the network revolution / evolution will enable the whole future of technologies to be fulfilled. For example, the ground breaking initiatives are:

5G will enable individuals, businesses and communities, it will be a pre-requisite for social inclusion going forwards and transform the way we interact.

How would you describe the relationship with Huawei, and what does each side bring to it?

Our relationship with Huawei has developed since 2014 and it has been a challenging and successful period for both company’s. Overall it has been a good experience, we value our relationship and what we have achieved together, we share similar values and ambition and are positioned to have more mutual success in the future.

We see Huawei bringing world class expert technology, innovation, drive, support and boundless energy to the programmes. We believe WHP brings deep knowledge and expertise in our service area, experience, broad resources, can-do attitude, high ethics, unrivalled experience, challenge, innovation, value and commercial fairness. 

What benefits will 5G bring to business – do you have any use cases you could share?

There are many benefits that businesses will gain from the greater and faster connectivity facilitated by 5G, that could include realtime monitoring of exercise / calorie intake from an interactive personal training plan at the simple end. To a real time monitoring and intervention situation for intensive care at critical times enabling the efficiency of expert care coupled with AI across a wider number of people than is currently possible.

In general communication and therefore information and action will be able to be delivered quicker, interactively and in a mobile environment, it is difficult to think of a business that would not benefit from this capability.

Rob Potter is managing director, WHP

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Grab £70 M&S vouchers and free gifts with BT’s brilliant fibre broadband deals

In the position where you need to grab yourself a new broadband deal? Normally, this is a task filled entirely by tedious scrolling through each and every provider but luckily, we’ve already got the perfect option for you…but it ends tomorrow. 

In its weekly round of freebie-filled deals, BT has dropped a selection of fibre broadband deals, all packed full of incentives to really cement its position as one of the best options out there.

Currently, there are two main options when it comes to rewards from BT. Go with the likes of its Superfast Fibre 1or BT’s Starter TV deal and you’ll be rewarded with both a pre-paid Mastercard and a £70 M&S voucher. If you choose an offer with the M&S card you can claim it here within 3 months of your internet installation. 

But upgrade to BT’s Superfast Fibre 2 package (for incredible speeds at a tenner more a month) and you can choose a free tech reward worth up to £140. This could be an Amazon Echo, JBL Bar Studio sound bar or even a Hive smart lights pack. 

Whichever deal you end up getting from BT is so stocked up on incentives that these are easily some of the best value fibre broadband deals around. You can see the best of these offers below or for something a bit different, check out our guide to the best broadband deals around, no matter the provider.

BT’s new fibre broadband deals + free gifts

BT Superfast Fibre | 18 months | Avg. speed 50Mb | Weekend calls | £9.99 delivery | £29.99pm + £30 reward card + £70 M&S voucher
The most affordable of BT’s three main fibre packages, going with Superfast Fibre 1 will reward you with average speeds of 50Mb. On top of that you’re also getting a £30 pre-paid Mastercard and a £70 M&S voucher, making this already brilliant value package even better.

Deal ends 30 MayView Deal

BT Superfast Fibre 2 | 18 months | Avg. speed 67Mb | Weekend calls | £9.99 delivery | £39.99pm + £60 reward card + FREE tech gift
Want faster speeds? Jumping up to an average of 67Mb, the Superfast Fibre 2 package is perfect for those big households who need faster speeds to get through all of their downloads. Combine that with a £60 reward card and your choice of a free gift (as listed above) and this is one of the best.
Deal ends 30 May View Deal

BT Starter with Superfast Fibre + Free BT Sport  | 18 months | Avg. speed 50Mb | Weekend calls | BT Sport | £49.99 upfront | £39.99pm + £30 reward card + £70 M&S voucher
Fibre broadband alone not quite enough? With this offer from BT you get access to not just internet but also Freeview TV and 3 months of BT Sport completely free. Throw in the reward card and M&S voucher and this is a deal more than worthy of its price.

Deal ends 30 May View Deal

What is a BT Reward Card?

The Reward Card that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that’s around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend.

It’s an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of installation, otherwise you’ll lose out on all that cash.

How to pay for NYC subway and bus fares using your Apple, Android, Fitbit, or Samsung device

As the saying goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Starting Friday, contactless payments are set to expand in a big way as New York City MTA riders will be able to pass through the turnstiles with just a flick of their wrist or a wave of their phone—as long as they’re wearing an NFC-enabled Apple Watch, Fitbit, Samsung, or Android device.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s One Metro New York is launching a new tap-and-pay program on several transit lines, including all Staten Island buses, and all stops on the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. The MTA plans to expand the OMNY program to the entire NYC public transportation system by 2021.

While Tim Cook had already confirmed Apple’s participation in the program and Google previously announced its partnership with the MTA “to bring more features with Google Maps and Google Assistant to make commuting even easier,” OMNY will also support Samsung and Fitbit devices. Here’s how they’ll work:

Apple Pay

OMNY utilizes Apple Pay Express Mode, which lets you tap your watch or phone on the contactless terminal without needing to wake the device or use biometric authentication. Users will need to update to iOS 12.3 and watchOS 5.2.1 to use Apple Pay Express Transit on the iPhone SE, iPhone 6S and later iPhones, and Apple Watch Series 1 and newer models.

Google Pay

Any Android smartphone with an NFC chip can take advantage of the OMNY system by tapping their phone on the terminal, but Google hasn’t announced whether Wear OS watches will work yet. Google Assistant also has new transit features, so you can ask when the next train is arriving and Maps will tell you if your station supports OMNY.

Fitbit Pay

Fitbit Pay launched in 2017 and since expanded to some 40 countries and several of Fitbit’s trackers: the Ionic, Versa Special Edition, and Charge 3 Special Edition all support the OMNY system via the Wallet app. Fitbit also announced it will be rolling out transit support in six other cities as well: Chicago, Singapore, New South Wales, Taiwan, Vancouver, and London.

Samsung Pay

Samsung phones that support NFC or Magnetic Secure Transmission technology will be able to pay for fares using either the Samsung Pay app or the Google Pay app. Using with a Galaxy or Gear watch can also use OMNY but will need to use Samsung Pay as their default method of payment.

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