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Majesti-Fi Smart and Premium, First Take: Mobile wi-fi hotspots for business travellers Review

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Mobile wi-fi hotspots are a popular option with many business travellers, allowing them to use a mobile network to provide a secure wi-fi connection away from the office, rather than relying on unprotected public wi-fi.

Most of these devices are designed for personal use, often provided by mobile networks with a SIM and a contract along with the user’s smartphone. In contrast, the modestly named Majesti-Fi hotspot devices are very much aimed at business users and, following their launch in South Africa, are now available in the UK as well.

The developer, Majestic Ventures, currently offers two hotspot devices. The Majesti-Fi Premium is a slimline device that can easily be slipped into a jacket pocket, while the larger Majesti-Fi Smart has a screen that makes it easier to monitor data usage and network performance. The current version of the Majesti-Fi Smart also functions as a rechargeable battery pack, although that function will be dropped from the new model that’s planned for release in coming weeks, in order to reduce the size of the device.

Both Majesti-Fi devices provide 4G LTE Pro Plus mobile connectivity with 256-bit encryption, and allow you to use either a standard SIM card or the company’s own ‘virtual SIM’ software. Those features are fairly standard for mobile hotspot devices, but it’s the network service they provide that sets them apart from their more consumer-oriented rivals.

Majesti-Fi Smart

majesti-fi-premium-table.jpg

Majesti-Fi Premium

LCD screen

4-inch

no

Battery capacity

6,000mAh

3,500mAh

Battery life

15 hours

13 hours

SIMs

2 x Nano SIM

2 x Nano SIM

Max. download data rate

150Mbps

150Mbps

Max. upload data rate

50Mbps

50Mbps

Weight

240g

151g

Business customers can take out a contract with Majestic Ventures itself, rather than a standard contract with a single existing mobile network. However, Majestic has negotiated deals with more than 300 networks in 140 countries, allowing it to provide a reliable roaming service all around the world. Upon arrival in a new country, the Majesti-Fi device will automatically connect to whichever network provides the strongest signal, but can also switch to other networks as you roam, in order to continually select the best signal it can find.

SEE: Sensor’d enterprise: IoT, ML, and big data (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

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There are a number of pricing and data plans available for the Majesti-Fi devices. For light use, or for a device that’s shared by several members of staff, you can buy a single Majesti-Fi hotspot device for £129 (ex. VAT; £154.80 inc. VAT). This option allows you to choose several PAYG payment plans, such as a 7-day plan with 1GB of data for £14 ex. VAT; £16.80 inc. VAT). You can spread that 1GB over a month for £42 ex. VAT; £50.40 inc. VAT), going up to £155 ex. VAT; £186 inc. VAT) for 5GB per month.

Corporate customers who buy multiple devices get a better deal, with the Majesti-Fi devices discounted to £120 ex. VAT; £144 inc. VAT) each. Regular travellers who are prepared to commit to a 12-month contract get a better deal as well, with 1GB per month costing £35 ex. VAT; £42 inc. VAT). If you need more than 1GB data per month, then the cost simply rises on a flat rate of £35 (ex. VAT) per gigabyte.

The only minor oddity is that there’s no mobile app to control features, such as providing temporary ‘guest’ access to a new user or device while you’re travelling. It is possible to configure network settings such as this via a web browser interface, although that won’t be very intuitive for non-technical users, and Majestic does assume that each device will be set up and configured by the in-house IT department before you leave the office.

Even so, the worldwide coverage and secure, reliable connectivity that the Majesti-Fi devices offer could prove a very worthwhile investment for frequent travellers who need to use a lot of data on the road.

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Polestar 2 adds a video streaming app to pass the time while charging

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Polestar is adding a video streaming app to the Android Automotive OS dashboard of the Polestar 2, though as you’d hope the EV has some strict limits on playback depending on whether you’re driving or not. Currently in beta, the Polestar 2 video app is designed to give drivers something to occupy themselves as they wait at public chargers.

Certainly, the growing number of DC fast chargers available in the wild have helped with cutting down that time. So, too, has Polestar’s incremental update to just how fast the EV actually tops-up, with an OTA firmware update back in February 2021 nudging the charging rate to 155 kW from the 150 kW it launched with.

All the same, even if you find such a charger, it’s still going to take you longer to top-up than pumping gas might. European Polestar 2 owners will now be able to entertain themselves with some video as they hang out in the cabin.

There’ll be a choice of news programming and national TV broadcasts, where available, Polestar says, along with a video playlist which is curated by the automaker. To begin with there’ll be SVT in Sweden, TV2 in Norway, and GOPlay and RTBF in Belgium. All European market also receive feeds from BBC Ideas, Al Jazeera English, and Germany’s tagesschau. More options will be added over time.

What you won’t be able to do, though, is play video while you’re actually driving. The Polestar video app can be accessed when the EV is parked; switching out of Park and into Drive or Reverse will automatically flip the stream into audio-only mode. That way you can hear the show, but not see it on-screen which could be a source of driver distraction.

How well it goes down with owners, meanwhile, remains to be seen, and indeed Polestar is seeing this beta version as a way to test out the popularity of new features. “We will receive feedback – both good and bad – that will help to refine the app based on thousands of use cases, rather than a small, defined set,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, explains. “We will also continue to add channels in the future, which gives the app huge growth potential since it is realistically able to integrate any web-based streams.”

Sweetening the deal is the fact that viewers won’t have to pay extra for the data used by streaming, since that will be included in the car’s own data plan.

It’s unclear when – or even if – the app will come to Polestar 2 cars in North America. Current legislation certainly doesn’t prevent it, with Tesla already offering streaming on its EVs, though again with limits on when you can watch depending on whether the car is in motion. We’ve got a request in with Polestar for more information, and will update when we hear back.

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Brembo introduces G Sessanta Concept brake caliper for motorcycles

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Italian braking expert Brembo is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Commemorating this glorious event is the brand’s newest brake caliper concept for motorcycles. The latest G Sessanta Concept is unlike any brake caliper you’ve seen before. Embodying the desirable traits of a genuine concept, G Sessanta is Brembo’s vision for the future of mobility.

The Brembo G Sessanta Concept has innovative LED lighting technology that is purpose-built on the body of the caliper. It not only enhances form and function but it serves as a communication interface for the driver. “The light takes Brembo’s experience in the use of color to a higher level, giving it new values,” according to Brembo’s PR.

Wireless technology is at the heart of G Sessanta. The colors and lighting effects can be personalized using your smartphone or gadget. You can choose from changing lighting moods or allow the system to select the lighting effects based on existing surroundings.

What’s more, it can relay warning lights to the driver, like when the brake pads need replacing. And if you find it tricky discerning your bike from hundreds of others in a parking lot, G Sessanta can emit a courtesy light to point you in the right direction.

Brembo has been setting new standards in braking technology since the brand’s inception in 1961. Born in Paladina, Italy, Brembo’s 46-year motorsports history is a testament to the brand’s commitment towards performance and innovation. The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing has optional Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with copper-free brake pads and electronic sensors to monitor the brake pad thickness, all while weighing 64 pounds less than cast-iron brakes.

However, will Brembo’s G Sessanta Concept make it to four-wheeled conveyances? We’ll have to wait and see, and it’s interesting to witness how lighting or wireless technology can benefit auto brakes, as well. Still, it’s good to know that significant OEM and aftermarket suppliers are infusing new technology into their products.

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The Citroën Ami Cargo is an electric microvan for small business errands

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You’ve probably heard of the Citroën Ami EV, a micro EV that’s small enough to be driven by 14-year-old teeny boppers without a full driving license – in France, at least. Nevertheless, the Ami is a brilliant and dirt-cheap city car with a conscience. And now, Citroën has unveiled the microvan version of the Ami, which makes it doubly desirable.

The Citroën Ami Cargo offers all the little goodness of a regular Ami, but it has small or micro-enterprises in mind. “Inspired by the version designed for individuals, My Ami Cargo retains the idea that guided the design of Ami,” said Richard Meyer, Stellantis Commercial Vehicles Strategy and New Mobilities manager.

Small on the outside yet big on the inside, Citroën Ami Cargo has a vertical partition and modular shelves to store cargo boxes, plants, small kennels, and whatever you fancy. The modular rack can hold 40 kg of weight and has a flat top to form a mobile desk. “This is why we created an innovative interior space, allowing us to make an offer that’s unique on the market while retaining the simplicity and clever design of the Ami,” added Meyer.

What’s more, Citroën’s electric microvan has a flat floor with two levels of height adjustment, allowing you to carry taller objects up to 1.2-meters. All told, Citroën Ami Cargo can accommodate up to 400 liters or 140 kilos (308 pounds) of stuff. In the rear, it also has a closed storage box to secure valuable things like smartphones, tablets, small laptops, and parking tickets.

Otherwise, the cargo version remains a basic Ami minus the passenger seat. It still measures 2.4-meters by 1.4-meters, perfect for tight parking spots. It has a single electric motor and a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. It only has eight horsepower, but how many horses do you need to motivate a tiny van?

As it turns out, it doesn’t take much. The 6 kW electric motor enables a modest 30 mph (45 km/h) top speed, so don’t expect to be blown away like in a Tesla Model Y. The tiny battery achieves 47 miles of range on a good day. But when the battery runs out of juice, it replenishes in just three hours using a primary 220V domestic socket.

Also, the Citroën Ami Cargo is endlessly customizable to fit any purpose. The best part is the price: You can purchase the Ami Cargo in France for as low as €6,490 ($7,800) with a €900 ($1,081) deductible, or you can rent it as part of a long-term lease agreement starting at under €25 ($30) monthly

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