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[Deal Alert] Get a Verizon/unlocked Pixel refurb for $399.99, Pixel XL for $499.99

Despite being nearly a year old, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL still haven't seen very many non-carrier related discounts. It's honestly pretty impressive how well they've held their value, but that's not good news for those of you who don't want to pay full price. Don't worry - Woot has refurbished units of both the 5.0" and 5.5" models for just $399.99 and $499.99, respectively.

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Google is recruiting Google+ beta testers

Do you have unusually strong opinions about Google+ and what Google should be doing with it? Then today is your lucky day. Google is seeking people to help test new features and give feedback on the direction of G+. Not all who apply will be accepted, though.

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[Free Alert] Google is handing out free $1 Google Play credits to select accounts

Everyone likes free things, right? If you are one of the many billions of people who do, you should enjoy this Deal Alert, which I have dubbed "Free Alert." Google is giving free $1 Play credit, which can be used anywhere on the Google Play Store, to select users.

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[Deal Alert] LG Watch Style on sale for $139.99 ($110 off) via eBay

Google and LG teamed up on a pair of smartwatches to show off Android Wear 2.0, one of which had all the things and the other had very few things. That other watch is the LG Watch Style, which still sells for $249 on the Google Store. That's way too much, but it's on sale for a much more reasonable $139.99 on eBay right now.

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Samsung reports record operating profits in Q2 2017 of $12.67 billion

Samsung's early estimates of its Q2 earnings pointed to record earnings, and the newly released final numbers confirm it. Samsung, which had to recall one of its most important phones less than a year ago, had an operating profit of $12.67 billion (14.4 trillion Korean won) in Q2. That's slightly higher than the estimate from early this month.

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Samsung Pay could soon be available on non-Samsung phones

It's been a busy year for Samsung's mobile payments system. While the Korean company has continued to add new regions, it has also introduced PayPal integration and Visa Checkout compatibility in the US. Samsung has also made the service available for more of its budget handsets in the form of a stripped down version called Samsung Pay Mini, where before it could only be used on high-end Galaxy phones. Apparently, Samsung doesn't want to stop there and now wants to bring its payments app to other non-Samsung Android phones.

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HTC has announced a standalone VIVE VR headset, exclusive to China

At Google I/O back in May, we saw the announcement of standalone Daydream virtual reality headsets from companies such as HTC and Lenovo. While they have yet to materialize, HTC has just announced that it's releasing the VIVE Standalone headset, and it will be exclusive to China.

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Multiple Google Home users are reporting issues with Philips Hue light bulbs

A number of users are having difficulties controlling their Philips Hue light bulbs via Google Home, the help forum for which is brimming with activity on the subject. The problem seems to manifest itself when trying to turn the lights on and off with a voice command, which leads the Google Assistant to respond with, "Sorry I can't do that, I'm learning every day."

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LG's mobile unit loses $117 Million in Q2 2017, blames it on poor LG G6 sales

LG has announced its second-quarter results for the 2017 and things don't look too good for the mobile division, yet again. While both the Home Appliance & Air Solution unit and the Home Entertainment unit have brought in profits ($412.5M and $303.8M, respectively), thanks to strong sales of fridges, washing machines, and OLED TVs, the Mobile Communications division continues to bleed billions of Korean won.

According to LG, the mobile unit had $2.39B in revenue, but the operating margin was again a loss of $117.27M. That's slightly less than last year's Q2 where the unit lost $132M largely due to the G5's mitigated reception.

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Google confirms that YouTube Red and Google Play Music will merge

Google has a tendency to create multiple products that end up competing with each other, to some degree. Android and Chrome OS, Google's handful of messaging clients, the list goes on. But two of Google's subscription services, YouTube Red and Google Play Music, will soon merge into one offering.

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