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amazon

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Alexa now supports scenes for Smart Home Skills

Amazon took to its developer blog today to announce that Alexa, its very successful smart home speaker, will be supporting scenes. These will allow users to speak simple commands to set predefined conditions on various connected devices. Prior to this announcement, interaction with them was limited to specific manufacturer apps.

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Twitch Prime provides ad-free Twitch streaming and other goodies with your Amazon Prime subscription

Amazon has owned streaming giant Twitch since 2014, but besides a Fire TV app, you would be hard-pressed to find evidence of Amazon's handywork. Today that changes, with Twitch announcing their new premium subscription, Twitch Prime. And as you may guess from the title, it comes free with an Amazon Prime subscription.

To put it simply, Twitch Prime is a bit similar to YouTube Red. You get free game content every month (such as indie games or DLC), as well as discounts on new games sold by Amazon during the pre-order period and first two weeks of launch. As far as Twitch itself, you will get exclusive emotes and a chat badge, ad-free viewing, and a free channel subscription every 30 days.

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[Deal Alert] Withings Body Cardio smart scale down to $135 on Amazon (25% off)

When I reviewed the Withings Body Cardio scale just this past Saturday, I came away impressed by most things it could do, but rather let down by its price. At $179.95, I didn't think there were enough reasons to get the Body Cardio instead of the regular Body scale, which cost $129.95. I found the heart rate monitoring rather pointless while standing up and the Pulse Wave Velocity measure an interesting feature but with limited usefulness and accuracy.

My last sentences of the post were, and I quote, "Withings smart scales do drop their prices sometimes, so if you happen to find the Body Cardio around the same price as the regular Body, go for it.

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[Deal Alert] Get an ASUS ZenWatch 2 1.63" with HyperCharge for just $119 from Amazon and B&H

Just last week, we featured a deal for the smaller 1.45" ZenWatch 2 with a metal band. Now, we're back with another ASUS smartwatch offer; Amazon and B&H are both offering the 1.63" ZenWatch 2 with HyperCharge for just $119. Not only is this a larger, slightly newer model, but it's also $10 less than the deal from last week.

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New Amazon Fire TV stick brings quad-core CPU, Alexa Remote, and AC Wi-Fi

Just two days ago, Roku announced their new lineup of media center devices, and today Amazon has made public their latest Fire TV Stick. If you are unfamiliar with Amazon's hardware offerings, the Fire TV Stick is their competitor to the Chromecast (even to the point of Amazon removing Chromecast listings from their store). But unlike the Chromecast, and similar to the recently-announced Roku Express, all applications run directly on the device. The Fire TV stick also has a sizable game library, which is certainly unique at the price point.

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Xperia X Compact now available on Amazon, unlocked for $499

One week ago, the Xperia X Compact became available for pre-order on Amazon for $499 with a $50 credit. Today, as expected, it is officially available for sale on the site (we have yet to locate other sites currently selling it).

The X Compact, the smaller version of Sony's latest smartphone offerings, features a 4.6" 720p screen with a Snapdragon 650 CPU. The phone also has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with microSD expansion, USB Type-C with Qualcomm Quick Charging 3.0, and a 23MP rear camera. Keep in mind that the X Compact does include Android 6.0 Marshmallow at launch, but you can easily unlock the bootloader through Sony's Open Device Program.

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[Deal Alert] Get an ASUS ZenWatch 2 with a metal band for just $129.99 at Amazon ($70 off)

The ZenWatch 2 may not be the newest kid on the block (the ZenWatch 3 was announced a few weeks ago at IFA), but that only means that more deals will be available for it now. Case in point: Amazon is offering the ZenWatch 2 in the smaller 1.45-inch screen guise with a silver Milanese loop for just $129.99.

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Unlocked Moto Z now available for pre-order through Motorola, Z Play available through Amazon and Best Buy

After several months of exclusivity with Verizon, the Moto Z is now available for pre-order as a GSM unlocked variant for a whopping $699.99. In addition, the unlocked model of the newer (headphone jack-equipped) Moto Z Play can be pre-ordered, but for a more reasonable $449.99. Unfortunately, the Moto Z Droid Force is remaining a Verizon exclusive.

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[Update: gone] ASUS's ZenFone 3 Deluxe and Laser are now purchasable on Amazon in the US, but won't ship for a few weeks

We first heard about the newest additions to the ZenFone lineup back in late May, but ASUS didn't elaborate on availability for the United States. The ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe and ZenFone 3 Laser are now available to buy on Amazon for $530.48 and $206.95, respectively. However, they still won't ship for at least two weeks (if Amazon's information is correct).

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[Deal Alert] Ring video doorbell on sale for $169.99 ($30 off) via Amazon

If you're anything like me, you don't take kindly to unexpected visitors. The doorbell is a sign that something has gone terribly wrong, and I may soon be forced to interact with other people. Shhh, just be quiet and they'll probably go away. Okay, maybe you're not exactly like me, but perhaps you want to know who's at the door before you get up. The Ring WiFi doorbell can do that, and it's on sale for $169.99 right now on Amazon.

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