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sony

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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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[Deal Alert] Get a Sony Xperia XZ for just $649.99 from Amazon ($50 off)

As of late, Sony Mobile has been making some pretty decent smartphones, but it destroys any chances of them succeeding by slapping massive price tags on them. The relatively new Xperia XZ is one of these phones; it's nice, but $700 nice? Not to most. However, with this latest markdown by Amazon, you can grab an XZ with a US warranty for $649.99, $50 less than the MSRP.

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PlayStation Vue expands to Android TV today, PC and Mac web support coming soon

Sony just announced today that its PlayStation Vue streaming service is coming to Android TV. If you do not know what Vue is, it might just seem like another streaming option. It is actually more akin to Dish's Sling TV with live TV channels, sports networks, and HBO and Showtime across a variety of price tiers. Additionally, the "PlayStation" moniker might give the impression of requiring Sony's PlayStation 4 game console — it actually doesn't. For all of the cord cutters out there, this is just another good option in a growing market.

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Sony's weird Future Lab Program N prototype gadget gets an Android companion app

Never let it be said that Android Police discourages innovation. Even so, the "N" device from Sony's Future Lab Program is a little hard to wrap your head around. At first glance it looks like one of those neckband-style Bluetooth headphones, and indeed, it does fulfill that function (with a pair of "open ear headphones" that are similar to, but not the same as, bone conduction buds). But it also has a pair of open-air speakers on the neckband, like a tiny little boombox. It isn't limited to music, either: according to Sony's site for the N, it also delivers "up to the minute information" like news, weather, fitness data, and notifications.

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[Update: Price now $99] Deal Alert: Grab a set of refurbished Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones (MDRXB950BT) for just $75 (normally $200)

I own quite a few different sets of over-ear headphones that I use for different purposes. My Bose headphones I wear when working at the computer because they are so light and comfortable that they never cause fatigue. When I travel, I bring a set of Sony wireless noise cancelling headphones to drown out the sound of the jet engines and crying children (which are usually my own). During my lunch break at work I rock my V-Moda Crossfades, because they sound awesome and look intimidating, so no one bothers me while I listen to Audible.

I also own a pair of Sony Extra Bass headphones (MDRXB950BT) and those I wear when I am craving some sick bass notes.

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Sony's intelligent personal assistant and bluetooth bud Xperia Ear is now up for pre-order in Europe

We've known about the Sony Xperia Ear since February when it was announced at MWC along with 3 other prototype projects. At the time, Sony said it was coming late in the summer, but the date was later postponed to November, and here we are. The Xperia Ear is now available for pre-order exclusively on the Xperia Store online in Europe. It'll cost GBP 179 in the UK and EUR 199 in France, Spain, Germany, and other European countries.

So what's the Xperia Ear? It's a Bluetooth headset, but it's not made for music as much as it's a personal assistant living inside your ear.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia XA, X, and X Performance all marked down 25% on Amazon today only, lowest prices yet

Sony, for a couple of years, was my very favorite smartphone manufacturer. The Z3 was, in my opinion, the best smartphone of its generation. I have since moved on to a Nexus 6P, but my wife still uses my old Z3 and I still miss its epic battery life and water resistance.

The Japanese manufacturer has hit a bit of a rough patch the last couple of years, but they are still cranking out phones, and I'd wager some of you readers are still on team Sony, lusting after their hardware.

If that's the case, then you really should check out the sale going on over at Amazon today.

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[Update: All colors ~$390] [Deal Alert] Sony Xperia X down to $399 ($81 off) on Amazon

Sony has tried more than once to wedge themselves into the North American smartphone market, but often to no avail. Perhaps in an effort to clear stock for their recently-released Xperia XZ and X Compact, Sony is now offering the Xperia X for $399 on Amazon.

Even at that price, I'm not sure I would recommend this phone. If you read our review of the device, you'll know that it didn't impress us.

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