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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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[Update: Best Buy too] [Deal Alert] Chromecast Audio only $25 ($10 off) on the Google Store

The Chromecast Audio is a great little device, allowing you to stream supported content to any speaker (or anything else really) with audio input. I myself bought one fairly recently, so I could turn my old iPod dock into a WiFi speaker.

Google today dropped the price of the Chromecast Audio down to $25, a whopping $10 lower than the original price. There is no sign of a Chromecast Audio replacement being announced at Google's upcoming October 4th event, so you don't have to worry about buying a soon-to-be-discontinued device.

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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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Sony Xperia XZ pre-orders go live, available on October 2

It is no secret that Sony is not the largest smartphone player in the U.S. While the phones (and tablets) are typically pretty good, they are not too commonplace here. Regardless, some of us still get excited when Sony announces new devices. That excitement is easily doubled whenever those make it to the States.

The Xperia XZ was announced at IFA back at the beginning of this month with U.S. availability. You can now pre-order it from Amazon for $699 in blue, silver, and black (though, at the time of this writing, the black was showing at $717.59 for me). The official date has been given as October 2, where you should also be able to purchase this phone at Best Buy (and "other participating retailers").

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Google Search may soon show live popular business times for locations

There's a Chick-Fil-A location on Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs. It's there. It sells chicken sandwiches. It's the only one on that side of the city. The store is technically open from 6AM to 10PM every day, but I don't think I've ever been there before nine at night. Because as good as Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are, they're not worth waiting 40 minutes in a drive-through line that wraps around the building twice.

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First Chromecast Preview firmware removes all Chrome branding

Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only states, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.

Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo.

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Giveaway: Win an NVIDIA SHIELD multiplayer bundle - one SHIELD and four gamepads

Once again, we're partnering with NVIDIA for an awesome giveaway bundle. To celebrate the release of Borderlands 2 for SHIELD (I know, we're a little late here), we're handing out a super awesome multiplayer SHIELD bundle. If you're our lucky winner, you'll receive one (1) NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV console, four (4) official NVIDIA SHIELD gamepads, and one (1) free code for Borderlands 2 for SHIELD.

NVIDIA SHIELD features a host of unique capabilities, allowing for live game streaming from your NVIDIA GeForce GTX-powered PC, online game streaming using GeForce NOW, and the most powerful graphics performance of any Android device on the market thanks to its Tegra X1 processor.

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Allo hits #1 in the Top Free Apps chart, but for how long?

Allo was finally released earlier this week, much to my own excitement. Google's latest messaging app seems pretty appealing in some regards and I am always willing to try something new. Thus far, I am enjoying it.

It seems that I am not alone. Allo is listed as number one in the Top Free Apps chart in the Play Store. That means it is beating Facebook/Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is mirroring its cousin, Duo, which also reached number one in the Top Free chart shortly after its release just over a month ago.

From this vantage, it is pretty easy to draw parallels between the two apps — both were announced together as Google's new messaging solution.

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Android and its first purchasable product, the T-Mobile G1, celebrate their 8th birthdays today

Eight years - that's how long Android has been available to the public for. September 23rd, 2008 marked two huge events in Android's history: T-Mobile's release of the G1, the first Android device available to the masses, and Google's release of the Android 1.0 SDK. Happy birthday, Android!

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A wild Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV appears at Walmart, costs $69

According to a helpful commenter who provided this photo, a Walmart (location unknown) is currently selling Xiaomi's not-actually-out-yet Mi Box. The price? $69. Not bad at all - great, even. Xiaomi has not indicated when it plans to release the device specifically, but if this is any indication, you can probably guess "pretty soon."

So, it may not be a bad idea to call up your local Walmart and see if they made the same mistake - this could be more widespread than we know. And at $69, that's an easy impulse buy, am I right?

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