DT Daily: Lexus 350 F Sport review, Apple Watch battery life, Bill Gates bets on smartphones

Today on DT Daily: We take a hot rod Lexus for a spin, the Apple Watch hits the battery life wall, and Bill Gates says smartphones will save the world. Or, at least, Africa.

DT automotive editor Nick Jaynes has been busy lately, mostly behind the wheel of this, the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport, one of the L-brand’s hottest hot rods.

The 350 F Sport is packing a 306 horsepower V6, all-wheel drive, four drive modes and the luxurious interior you expect from a Lexus. But it’s also packing some extra tricks, including an improved frame for better handling, a “Sport Plus” mode for those track days and some exterior details to let everyone know this is no ordinary Lexus. The Lexus RC 350 F Sport chimes in at just under 50 grand to start, but once you add on some options, the price can climb quickly.

Everyone is waiting to see how good – or not good – the Apple Watch will be, and now we’ve learned that despite their usual ability to take a tech sector to the next level, one thing Apple has not been able to do is miraculously extend battery life beyond what other smart watches are providing.

According to a post on 9 to 5 Mac, the Apple Watch will stop telling time – and all else – after just 2 and a half to 4 hours of active use, or 19 hours of “mixed use.” The battery will last 3 days in pure standby mode or 4 days in sleep mode, but what fun is that? Those numbers are about what other smart watches are putting up as well. So, essentially, you’ll need to charge it up every night, or maybe once during the day, depending on use.

First world problems, we know, but hopefully Apple and others can squeeze more juice into their watches as time and technology march on.

From first world problems to genuine Third World problems: the world’s richest man says he thinks smartphones can help solve much of Africa’s woes.

In an annual “video letter” posted as part of the Gates Foundation’s efforts to improve life for those in poverty, Bill Gates says that one key to cultivating prosperity is getting the impoverished bank accounts that they can access and utilize through inexpensive smartphones. Gates says that while we take bank accounts and their mobile apps for granted, most poor people don’t have them, which contributes to their financial instability.

Coupled with micro loan programs and other financial tools, Gates says countries like Kenya, where most all adults now have a mobile-controlled bank account, are starting to see declines in poverty and increases in new small business. Learn more about what Gates and wife Melinda are up to these days here and here.

Your host today is Jillian Rabe. Miss a day? Watch all the episodes of DT Daily right here. And be sure to catch our latest podcast.

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