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sony

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[Update: Xperia XZ too] Sony begins its Nougat upgrades with the Xperia X Performance

It's been a few months since Android 7.0 hit the AOSP code repository, and this is about the time of year that owners of non-Nexus (non-Pixel, now) flagships start to ask why their upgrades are taking so long. Well if your flagship just happens to be the latest high-powered Sony smartphone, you're in luck. The Xperia X Performance is receiving its Nougat update starting today, according to XperiaBlog. For the record, that's just a little over three months of waiting for the upgrade - not bad by current Android standards.

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Sony releases PlayStation Communities, an easier way to find friends to game with

The PlayStation Network is generally pretty good, but nothing's perfect, so today Sony is releasing a brand new app that takes the Communities feature of PSN and puts it in an app for Android (and iOS). This makes it a bit easier to find friends and people who have similar interests, which I've found found PSN lacks in the past. This goes hand-in-hand with the PlayStation app, which is an entirely separate thing for some reason.

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Using the app, you can join Communities and post to the other members - while a lot of stuff is "hey im online anyone want to co-op," some stuff is good, especially for league-based racing games or first person shooters.

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[Deal Alert] Sony's Xperia XZ has fallen to just $499.99 on Amazon ($150 off)

The Xperia XZ hasn't been out for long in the United States, but its prices just keep dropping. Just a few days ago, this very phone went from its MSRP of $649.99 to as low as $581.98, but now, it's gone down another $80 or so to $499.99. That's a pretty damn good price for such a new device, even if you have to flash different firmware to get the fingerprint sensor to work.

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The Xperia Ear app is now available on Google Play

Sony's Xperia Ear has been available since earlier this month (or mid-October if you count pre-orders) after being announced at MWC in February, and now we have the final piece of the puzzle: the companion app, allowing users to configure and control the app according to personal preference.

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For a brief recap, when you put the Ear into, um, your ear, it will tell you your schedule, the weather, and the latest news. It has a gyroscope and accelerometer, so it can tell what position it's in, when you're walking, or if you're asleep. This means you can nod to confirm something, which is pretty cool, or shake your head to decline.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies are coming to the Nexus 4, available for the Nexus 5 on CAF, T-Mobile LG G3, and more

Cyanogen Inc. may be dying as a company, but the voluntarily-maintained CyanogenMod ROMs are still alive and kicking. Case in point: seven more devices are joining CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Six of these Android-powered machines have builds already up, but one doesn't yet.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia X is down to $300 on Amazon ($100 off)

We have yet another deal from Sony to celebrate the Thankgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. Over on Amazon, you can score an Xperia X for $299, saving a total of $100. That price feels about right for this phone (finally). So if you have been considering getting this little guy, now is a good time to pick one up.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia XZ down to $580-$600 in all its colors on Amazon

If I was going to spend about $600 on a phone, I wouldn't put it down on a Sony device. Don't get me wrong, I love the company, but I don't think its prices for the past year or so have been realistic and I would fear the huge loss in resale value. But that's just me. If you like Sony, this deal should be right up your alley.

The unlocked Sony Xperia XZ with a US warranty is down to $580-$600 on Amazon. When it was first released, the XZ was priced at $699.99, but we saw its price drop to $649.99 in October.

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Sony XAV-AX100 Android Auto headunit available for pre-order

Android Auto is starting to pick up a little bit of steam, which is nice to see for us car audio nerds. Recently, Auto hit v2.0 which brought with it some changes, including an on-phone mode. For those of us who do not have a fancy new car that includes the smartphone connectivity, aftermarket headunits are our next best bet. That brings us to Sony's first dip into this particular arena, the XAV-AX100. Announced back in August, we only got some news about features. Well, now this bad boy is up for pre-order at $499.

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Sony’s Concept for Android Nougat firmware now available on Xperia X in Europe

Sony has been toying with a different take on Android for the last year. The company calls it the "Concept for Android" program, and it gives Sony a place to test out new features for its phones with a cleaner build of Android. It's only available on select phones in certain markets, but another one is being added to the list today. The Xperia X in Europe can now download the latest Concept for Android.

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Brutal YouTube tester JerryRigEverything finds a lot of plastic in Sony's 'premium' Xperia XZ

If you haven't at least glanced at YouTube gadget aficionado JerryRigEverything (whose real name is Zack), you should close this tab and go do that. He puts new phones through excruciating damage tests for "entertainment purposes only" - it's the kind of thing that we're not really supposed to do in our standard reviews (unless the phone dares us to kill it). In a breakdown of the Xperia XZ, Sony's current premium flagship which retails for $700, Zack found a surprising amount of materials that were less than premium.

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