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sony

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The Sony Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra are Sony's new 'super mid-range' phones

Sony's XZ Premium and the XZs are not the only new kids on the block for its 2017 smartphone lineup. The company has also got the 'super mid-range' XA1 and XA1 Ultra devices, for those searching for a good-looking phone on a budget.

Both XA1 models are cemented firmly in their mid-range category by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 processor. There's 3GB RAM on board and 32GB storage, with microSD card expandability. For the Ultra, the same Helio P20 processor is coupled with 4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage, plus microSD card. The XA1 has a 5-inch 720p screen, so it won't be winning any pixels per inch awards.

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Sony announces the Xperia XZ Premium with Snapdragon 835 and 960fps video capture, plus Xperia XZs

I don't know how Sony hasn't run out of alphabet letters and rectangular designs by now. Year after year, or more like half year after half year, the company churns another phone that distinctly looks like almost every Sony phone we've seen to date (which might be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much you like the design language) and that has another letter or noun added in the name. I'm honestly confused, but I understand that it has its appeal for a small subset of people, so I'll put my judgment aside and carry on telling you about these new Sony phones announced at MWC today.

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Four of Sony's Xperia smartphones for 2017 appear in leaked image

Sony can't catch a break. Following the XZ Premium leak from just a few hours ago, a picture of four unannounced Sony smartphones has surfaced, courtesy of our old friend @evleaks. One of those is the aforementioned XZ Premium, but what are the other three?

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Google announces RCS support for Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe subscribers

Late last year, Google announced that Sprint would be the first carrier to use its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. Several more carriers have joined since then, including Rogers in Canada and Telanor in Europe and Asia. In a blog post from Google, the company announced that Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe will be rolling out Jibe RCS to their customers.

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[Update: OTA resuming] Sony begins rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat OTA to the Xperia Z5, Z3+, Z4 Tablet

The Xperia Z5 series (Z5, Z5 Compact, and Z5 Premium) was on the list of devices that Sony promised to bring Android 7.0 Nougat to. After releasing the update to the more recent X Performance and XZ, then the X and X Compact, Sony is now ready to bring Nougat 7.0 to the Z5.

The OTA has started rolling out to some Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium users and will probably expand to the Z5 Compact soon. It's a large download at more than 1.2GB, and it should up your phone's software to version 32.3.A.0.372.

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PlayStation Vue Mobile 2.0 gets a program guide, sub-profile creation, and more

PlayStation Vue is a TV streaming service that provides live shows, sports, and On Demand to subscribers. Despite the name, it is not limited to Sony's gaming consoles. There is an Android TV app for sitting back on your couch to watch your favorite shows, as well as a mobile version for on-the-go content consumption on your phone or tablet.

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Sony shows off the first 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, Sony took the time to reveal the first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor (with DRAM) for smartphones ever, which has the potential to lend itself to some amazing leaps in mobile photography.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia X Compact drops to just $350 ($150 off) at Amazon and Best Buy

Back around the time of the Galaxy Nexus, I recall a counter-culture developing, calling for an end to the insanity of oversized phones with screens as big as 4.7 inches. They wanted a smaller alternative, built for human hands and human pockets. While the itty bitty smartphone committee might have lost the good fight in a general sense, they now have a few more options, including the Xperia X Compact. Its screen is only 4.6 inches. Hey, it's the principle that counts.

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Sony's CES announcements include new sound bars, TVs, and headphones

Sony is, of course, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. As you'd expect it has a great many new products, ranging from new TVs to new Blu-Ray players. However, in our opinion, what is most exciting in Sony's announcements are the Chromecast built-in (or is that Google Cast?) products and the newly-unveiled Android TVs, plus some new headphones.

Sound bars and speakers

First up is a new sound bar, the catchily named HT-ST5000. This is Sony's flagship sound bar for 2017, so it has all the top-of-the-line features, such as Dolby Atmos, hi-res audio, and twelve advanced speakers. Sony says the HT-ST5000 is for home theater setups, and proves that with the number or ports and connectivity options: three HDMI ports, one HDMI ARC port, a USB input, Bluetooth and NFC, and a number of digital and analog connections.

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[Deal Alert] Pick up a 2-port Aukey car charger with QC 3.0 for just 8 bucks after coupon on Amazon ($5 off)

As a community of tech addicts, we tend to be a bit more demanding of our phone's battery life than the average user. Because of this, we need to take advantage of every opportunity available to recharge our gear. A perfect time to top off the tank of the ol' smartphone is during the daily commute. If you are fortunate enough to have a short one (you lucky devil) then you need a car charger that can provide the much-needed juice in a hurry. 

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