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WSJ: Essential's investors include Amazon, release date for phone being announced next week

It's being reported by the Wall Street Journal that Amazon is among the companies which contributed to Essentials $300 million coffers. They also reveal that Best Buy and Amazon will be retail partners for the upcoming phone launch. The best bit of news, though, comes in the form of a set of dates. Although we still have no idea when the phone will launch (Essential has now very much overshot its 'end of the month' June prediction), Essential president Niccolo de Masi says, "I will give you an exact date in a week."

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After a short hiatus, BLU phones are back on Amazon

Earlier this week Amazon took some of the low-budget manufacturer BLU's phones off the retailer's digital shelves, following allegations that BLU had included spyware in its products. It seems to have been a false alarm, though, as today BLU has announced in a tweet that Amazon is back to stocking its phones. Customers looking to pick up a cheap and capable phone can again purchase them at the US' biggest online merchant. 

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[Deal Alert] Best Buy has huge discounts on Amazon products, including Echo for $89.99 and Echo Dot for $34.99

Did you miss out on Amazon hardware on Amazon Prime Day? Well, we've got good news for you - Best Buy's one-day sale is slashing prices on Echo and Fire products, in some instances making them even lower than Amazon had them on Prime Day. If you've been in the market for Amazon-branded electronics, now would be the time to grab them.

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[Update: It's really live now] Alexa devices can now control your Fire TV

One of the Google Home's best features is the ability to control playback of a Chromecast with voice commands. For example, you can ask "OK Google, play Gravity Falls on the living room TV" to start playing content without having another device nearby. Now the Fire TV can do that, but with Alexa devices.

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Hulu launches new UI and Live TV Beta on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Hulu may not be as big of a name in the industry as it once was, but its subscriber count is still in the octuples. It's also still working on new features, such as an updated user interface and Live TV beta that hit Android, iOS, Apple TV, Xbox One, and Chromecast two months ago. Now, those two things have hit the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

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Alexa is finally rolling out to Amazon's Android app, starting this week

Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant is best known for being on its Echo line of speakers, but it's available on both iOS and Android. There's a dedicated Alexa app on both of those operating systems, but only iOS has Alexa built into the main Amazon app. However, that's changing very soon.

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Amazon surveys customers about 'Anytime' messaging service

There is no shortage of messaging services in the world today. WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Allo, Hangouts - the list goes on and on. But it looks like Amazon could be preparing their own messaging service, called 'Anytime by Amazon.'

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[Deal Alert] Prime Exclusive Moto G5 Plus on sale for $30-60 off, $154.99 (32GB) and $179.99 (64GB)

The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best budget phones you can get, and it's available cheaper if you get the Prime Exclusive version from Amazon with ads. However, this already good deal is even better today. Both capacities are on sale for an additional $30-60 off.

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[Deal Alert] Get $10 to spend on Amazon when you stream a Prime video for the first time

You like free money, don't you? If you answered yes, then you will have to read through a series of steps and a long list of limitations to get $10 to spend on Amazon. If you answered no, then I guess you already skip any Android Police article with the words "Deal Alert" in the title.

So what do you have to do to get these free $10? Well, first, you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber - new or existing or on free trial. Second, you have to have an eligible Amazon Video device (these include Fire TVs, streaming players, Smart TVs and DVD players, and game consoles, but not phones or computers or tablets) and to sign into your Amazon account to link this device to it.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon has pre-Prime Day deals on Kindle Unlimited (up to 40% off) and Music Unlimited subscriptions (96% off)

This July 11th marks the third annual Prime Day. While that date is still a while off, Amazon has rolled out a few deals early. So if you are a Prime subscriber, you can pick up a two-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited for $143.86 (40% off), or get a four month Music Unlimited subscription for just $1 (96% off) if you are a new subscriber. 

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