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amazon

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[Update: $50 at Verizon in all colors] [Deal Alert] Get a UE ROLL 2 Bluetooth speaker for just $49.99 ($50 off) from Amazon

Smartphones have never produced particularly good sound through their speakers. Sure, phones like the older HTC Ones, the Nexus 6 and 6P, and the Axon 7 have dual front-facing ones, but none of those are any match for a true, dedicated speaker. Even the JBL Moto Mod for the Moto Z line isn't all that great for its price and size. Now, though, you can get a highly-rated and highly portable Bluetooth speaker in the form of the UE ROLL 2 for just $49.99 on Amazon.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon is offering a discount of $8.62 on all orders of $50 or more, today only

For the second straight year, Amazon has ranked #1 on the Harris Corporate Reputation Poll - with the company earning a record-high score of 86.27 this time. To celebrate, Amazon will take $8.62 off all purchases of $50 or more.

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Amazon's newest Fire TV Stick available for pre-order in the UK, Germany, and Japan

Back in September of last year, Amazon released a new model of its Chromecast competitor, the Fire TV Stick. The $39.99 dongle is a major upgrade from the previous model, with better performance and Wi-Fi capabilities. Now Amazon is selling it in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.

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[Deal Alert] The 16GB BLU Life One X2 is $120 from Amazon's Gold Box Deals ($30 off)

If you need a cheap backup or replacement phone (the former is always my go-to excuse to justify buying phones), then Amazon has you covered in one of its offerings in the Gold Box Deals for today. The 16GB/2GB BLU Life One X2 is currently going for $119.99, which is a respectable savings of $30. 

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia XZ is now $449.99 on Amazon ($200 off)

One tradition with Sony smartphones is that they are nearly always overpriced at launch. Sony's latest flagship, the 2016 Xperia XZ, was no exception - it started at a whopping $699. Although the official MSRP has been marked down to $649 since then, you can now get it from Amazon for just $449.99.

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[Deal Alert] Choetech USB Type-C cable multi-packs on sale at Amazon for up to 35% off


The world is moving beyond the venerable microUSB cable. USB Type-C is where it's at, and that means you'll need to replace your cables. That brings up two potential issues: you don't want to spend a lot of money, but you also want good cables. Well, the highly regarded Choetech cables are on sale, so that solves that.

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[Deal Alert] Get an Arlo Q 2-pack from Amazon for $280 ($70 off)

Having a security camera is something that is quite tempting for me, partially due to my living arrangements and location and also because I like to always be aware of what's going on around me. So it's deals like this one that really pique my interest. Amazon has a 2-pack of the wired Arlo Q security camera for $279.99, a savings of $70, which makes each camera $140.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat for $79 ($70 off), but hurry

If you're in the market for a "smart" thermostat, but don't want to shell out the cash for a Nest, then this deal might be for you. Home Depot is currently offering the Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat for $79, a savings of $70. But you need to act fast. This sale is the "Online Exclusive Special Buy of the Day," which, as that mouthful of a title might suggest, means that time is limited.

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Amazon enters the meeting, video call, and messenger space with Chime

Conference calls and video meetings have almost been synonymous with Skype for the longest time, but Amazon is looking at changing that. Chime, a new Amazon Web Services platform, wants to simplify communications between teams and individuals and cater to their different aspects in one app: video call, voice call, chat, and screen sharing.

Chime is now available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. According to Amazon, the service was built from the ground up with mobile in mind, so the apps work well on phones and let users seamlessly transition from and to their desktops. There are a few other advantages to Chime, like the lack of any long pins (meetings ring up like a phone call), quick options to get out of a meeting or let others know you're running late, a view of all participants and their current status, the possibility to mute one specific person's microphone if there's too much ambient noise around them, and the ability for anyone to share their screen without too much hassle.

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Amazon Tap firmware update enables Echo-style hands free voice commands

Here's an interesting example of a product getting better with age. The Amazon Tap speaker was introduced as a mobile, battery-powered alternative to the Echo, with access to the same Alexa voice commands, but limited in that it could only accept said commands with a button press. This made the less-expensive Tap, while interesting, not all that much better than a smartphone for voice searches. But the latest firmware update from Amazon enables hands-free Alexa commands, like the Echo and Google's Assistant on the Google Home. Talk about a value add.

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