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Sony Xperia X Performance quick review: A flawed phone with an obscene price

Sony is now accepting pre-orders for its line of Xperia X phones in the US, including the X and X Performance. We've already covered the Xperia X in detail, learning that it's a disappointing phone. But what of the top-of-the-line Xperia X Performance? It solves a few of the issues with the Xperia X, but it comes with a much higher $700 price tag. Is this the Sony phone you should buy, or should you buy none of them? Let's use the Xperia X as a thoroughly mediocre and overpriced yardstick to find out.

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OnePlus 3 review: Learning how to cut the right corners

OnePlus started talking a big game before its first phone even came out. The company's attitude can be irksome, but the OnePlus One turned out to be very good thanks to a combination of high-end internals and highly customizable Cyanogen software. Plenty of people still use this phone, but the OnePlus 2 does not seem to have the same dedicated fan base. It omitted several features like NFC and quick charge technology. Now, the third flagship phone from OnePlus is out, and you don't even need to beg for an invite to buy it. Is this the true successor to the OnePlus One? Let's dig in.

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Sony Xperia X review: Sony's latest attempt to convince you to buy a phone from someone else

Sony has never been a major player in the North American smartphone market, but it still gives it a shot every now and then. Sony has famously found every way to fail at gaining traction with its Xperia Z line of smartphones. This year Sony traded the Z for an X (I guess it traded with Motorola) and has launched a US version of the Xperia X in relatively short order. This phone is a mix of old and new from Sony, but the combination is problematic—it might have kept the wrong things. Sony is looking to sell a phone with a mid-range SoC at a flagship price.

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Jaybird Freedom Review: Nice Wireless Earbuds, But Hard To Justify At $200

Despite being well received, the Jaybird X2 wireless earbuds caught some heat for not being significantly different from the first gen version. The new Jaybird Freedom (technically the Freedom F5) wireless earbuds are a different animal entirely. Jaybird has slimmed down the size of the earbuds to make them more comfortable, but says it hasn't sacrificed sound quality. They do look almost impossibly small. I've been taking these earbuds for a spin to see if they are worth the admittedly high $200 price tag.

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InBrief
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Google Opens Up API To Read And Reply To Play Store Reviews, Support Already Offered By Zendesk And Conversocial

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Maps v9.23 Adopts Visually Distinct Navigation Notification, Automatically Downloads Offline Maps, And Much More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google is sending out all kinds of things today. First it was Nexus factory images, then an Android Auto update some users can actually care about, and now a pretty full bump to the Maps app. There are plenty of live features to look at in this one, but there is some teardown material, as well. There's no point in wasting words, let's get straight into it.

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SCOSCHE MagicMount Pro Review - A Highly Convenient Magnetic Mount With A Couple Of Trade-Offs

Car phone mounts can be a real pain to use. Most mounts on the market use some sort of clamping mechanism to secure your phone. While a clamp can effectively hold your device while driving, it is not a very elegant solution. Access to buttons is often blocked by the arms of the clamps, phones can fall out during sudden stops, changing from landscape to portrait can be a chore, and mounting the phone is often a two-handed operation.

SCOSCHE, a car and phone accessory manufacturer, believes that magnets are the answer to all these annoyances. They have been making magnetic mounts for a long time and just debuted their new line of magnetic mounts, the MagicMount Pro series.

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Nextbit Robin Review: A Surprisingly Solid Crowdfunded Smartphone, But Not Without Its Flaws

We're used to crowdfunded smartphones being delayed into obsolescence by poor planning and over-promising. Coming from that sort of pedigree, the Nextbit Robin is already a success because it actually exists. This phone hit Kickstarter last year and raked in over $1.3 million. The promised delivery was January, and now it's out there just a little late. So, good on Nextbit for releasing a phone, but is it worth buying? Let's find out.

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Google Appears To Be Testing A New, Simpler Layout For Ratings In The Play Store

Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page.

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Google Play Developer Console Provides New Tools For Understanding User Reviews

There are multiple reasons to leave a review in the Play Store. One is to convey to other users how good or bad an app is. Another is to communicate to the developer.

Google has recently changed up the dashboard that software creators see when they sign into the Developer Console. The new page shows how ratings have changed over the course of days, weeks, and months (pictured above). This overview makes it easy to see if the release of a new update has any effect on user impressions. Developers can also break down ratings by location, language, and other variables.

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